FTSE index launch to boost UNICEF

UNICEF is expected to benefit by $1m (£700,000) when the FTSE launches new indices for “socially responsible” companies this week.

UNICEF is expected to benefit by $1m (&£700,000) when the FTSE launches new indices for “socially responsible” companies this week.

But the FTSE says research shows at least 50 per cent of companies on the FTSE-100 index may not match the criteria required to make the list.

FTSE4Good UK, FTSE4Good Europe, FTSE4Good USA and FTSE4Good Global, are designed as the first step in creating a global standard for the rapidly growing area of socially responsible investment (SRI).

UNICEF and the FTSE have worked together as corporate partners for the past four years on various projects around the world. The charity will receive 50p every time a computer terminal is used to access real-time FTSE indices.

Criteria for the “good lists” have yet to be finalised but company performance will be judged on environment, human rights and social issues, as well as the exclusion of certain business practices, including tobacco manufacturers.

The FTSE will consult ethical and environmental specialists as well as fund managers and the Ethical Investment Research Service on how companies should be assessed.

The indices are expected to go live in June this year.

FTSE chief executive Mark Makepeace says: “FTSE4Good represents an aspirational framework for change. We want it to be a step towards encouraging companies to adopt socially responsible principles.”

UNICEF first worked with FTSE in 1997 when the Perpetual Zero Coupon Bond in euros was launched in December of that year. The bonds raised $500,000 (&£357,000) for the charity.

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