Identifying the Leaders

Taschler examined several chemical companies that have achieved recognition as corporate leaders in sustainable development based upon the proprietary assessment methodology developed and validated by Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) Group, (Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, 2003). The Sustainable Asset Management and Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI, 2002) offers a methodical and verifiable method of scoring and identifying the leading companies in each of 62 industry groups, including basic materials and chemicals. It utilizes a best-in-class approach to identify the leading sustainability-driven company in these industry groups by requiring all companies to exceed a minimum threshold of sus-tainability (Baue, 2002). The chemical sector of the 2004 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index included the eight chemical companies listed in Table 8.8.

The boards of directors of these companies were examined in order to determine patterns of commonality in the leadership of sustainability initiatives. A number of findings emerged that may prove valuable to the leaders of other chemical companies who are looking for ways to employ the tenets of sustainable development in their corporate governance strategy.

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