Social rating agencies implement complex filters to identify the companies with the best sustainable and social performance and help investors select the companies for their sustainable portfolios. This study analysed whether companies that are defined as ethical, sustainable and socially responsible by those agencies actually deserve this label. More specifically, the inclusion in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World of companies that have been involved in controversies according to the Thomson Reuters Eikon database was studied. The results show that the inclusion of irresponsible companies in the DJSI Index is a fact. This outcome is in line with previous studies that criticise the methodologies applied by social rating agencies and those which outline the similarity of sustainable and conventional portfolios. The results may explain the contradictory conclusions regarding the performance of sustainable and conventional mutual funds in numerous studies.
Arribas, Iván, Mª Dolores Espinós-Vañó, Fernando García y Paula B. Morales-Bañuelos (2019). «The Inclusion of Socially Irresponsible Companies in Sustainable Stock Indices». Sustainability 11, n.º 7.