Comerica Director of Corporate Sustainability Scott Beckerman shares his thoughts on the award and what it means to Comerica:
Recently, Comerica learned that we were selected for inclusion in the FTSE4Good index series for our 8th consecutive year. But what is FTSE4Good and why is this such a big deal? Launched in 2001, the FTSE4Good Index Series is a series of benchmark and tradable stock indices for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investors and is designed to measure the performance of companies, like Comerica, that demonstrate strong ESG practices.
Listing criteria are developed using an extensive stakeholder consultation process and are then approved by an independent committee of experts. The stakeholders helping develop the criteria include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governmental bodies, consultants, academics, the investment community and the corporate sector. The figure below shows how companies are scored on the three pillars of environmental, social, and governance performance. These pillars include a total of 14 different themes
For Comerica, we scored highest in the category of Corporate Governance, followed closely by Risk Management, Anti-Corruption, Human Rights & Community and Climate Change. The overall scores are calculated based on the theme scores as well as exposure factors that assess the importance of each of the categories for a particular industry.
So how are the FTSE4Good indices used? In short, they encourage people to buy stock in those companies, like Comerica, that have high ESG ratings. According to FTSE, the indices are used in four main ways:
Financial products - as tools in the creation of index-tracking investments, financial instruments or fund products focused on responsible investment.
Research - to identify environmentally and socially responsible companies.
Reference - as a transparent and evolving global ESG standard against which companies can assess their progress and achievement.
Benchmarking - as a benchmark index to track the performance of responsible investment portfolios.
Our ongoing FTSE4Good inclusion is great example of doing well by doing good - - it’s also another reason why I’m optimistic, by working together, we can help ensure a more sustainable company and world.