According to an announcement by KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., the KLD-Nasdaq Social Index is a market value weighted index, tracking the largest US Nasdaq companies in major market sectors including:
- financial, and
It is the first market-based socially responsible index,
the KLD announced.
The analystics group constructed the new benchmark by applying a variety of social and environmental criteria to Nasdaq Composite domestic companies with over $1 billion in market capitalization.
KLD’s social criteria include, among other things, a company’s:
- environmental record,
- employee relations,
- non-US operations, and
- involvement in the tobacco industry
Among the Index’s top ten holdings are:
- software and systems maker Oracle Corp., which has notably strong diversity policies,
- biotech firm Amgen, Inc., with strong community involvement programs, and
- Qualcomm Inc., a communications technology firm, which has a strong employee involvement policy, according to KLD
In related news, today also saw the launch of the Social Leaders Fund, which invests in companies committed to environmental and social improvements.