CBGnetwork on Tue, 31 Jul 2001 21:07:14 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> "Ethical" Index Launched Today


The Association of Critical Shareholders in Germany calls the alleged
"ethical" index FTSE4Good "extremely deceptive packaging". The criteria
used in the index rely mainly on voluntary commitments and voluntary
reports by companies instead of using data which was independently
verified. The FTSE launches FTSE4Good, a family of ethical indices to
"encourage socially responsible behaviour by stock market quoted
companies" on July 31.

"Companies which cause environmental risks like Bayer and BASF have been
included in the index" says Henry Mathews from the German Critical
Shareholders indignantly. Automobile companies like BMW and Volkswagen are
"in principle not environmentally sound and should not be included in an
ethical index". The same is true of the German airline Lufthansa.

The Coordination against BAYER-dangers (CBG) which has been monitoring
Bayer for more than 20 years was not contacted by FTSE in advance. A
request by CBG was answered: "These criteria do not cover every
conceivable issue and clearly there may be issues surrounding a company
that are outside the ftse4good criteria. If that is so, then that would
not exclude them." FTSE is owned in equal parts by the London Stock
Exchange and the Financial Times.

The Critical Shareholders stress that it is high time to put a stop to the
misuse of terms like "ethical", "responsibility" and "sustainability".
"Clearly", says Mathews, "standards for ethical investment must be
developed requiring greater transparency, external verification and
appropriate measures of performance."

The launch of the FTSE4Good index emphasizes this need - especially since
the included Volkswagen AG is a good customer in the house of "imug" - a
German institute which was involved in the rating of the German companies.

Background article & many links about FTSE4Good (german language) at:

CBG/Coordination against BAYER-dangers collects information about BAYER
and coordinates activities against violations of human and environmental
rights caused by this company. Anyone who has information on possibly
illicit activities of BAYER - please let us know. Anyone who needs photos
or information concerning BAYER is invited to contact us:

CBG/Coordination against BAYER-dangers, 
Postfach 15 04 18, 
40081 Duesseldorf, Germany

E-mail: CBGnetwork@aol.com 20
website: www.CBGnetwork.org
Fax: +49 211 333 940 Tel: +49 211 333 911

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