DEFINITION of 'Dow Jones Sustainability United States Index'

A free-float market capitalization weighted index that captures the U.S.-based companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, which contains the top 20% of the largest U.S., Canadian and Mexican companies from the Dow Jones Global Index based on economic and social sustainability.

The index is reviewed quarterly for possible weighting changes (based on free-float share counts) and reconstituted each year based on the updated results of comprehensive sustainability surveys, as compiled by research firm SAM Group. The surveys measure company efforts in energy conservation, corporate governance, shareholder relations and knowledge management, among many others.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dow Jones Sustainability United States Index'

Companies are evaluated not only against general market benchmarks but also against their own industry peers. As with other members of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index family, the United States index is also presented without businesses engaged in the production or distribution of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and gambling.

Shareholders in the United States and abroad are increasingly looking for their investments to have sustainability plans or programs in place. As such, companies that are chosen for inclusion in the sustainability indexes may use them as a platform for attracting socially-conscious investors and green investors.

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