Chile Tilting Toward Sustainability

When investors think of sustainability, what often comes to mind first are progressive companies headquartered in Nordic nations, France, or Switzerland—but this is a dated view. Sustainability has moved beyond these regions, particularly into emerging markets like Latin America, where, one could easily argue, improvements in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards matter even more. There is simply more ground to gain.

In emerging markets, however, more tools are required to help investors make informed decisions. With this need in mind, the Santiago Stock Exchange and S&P Dow Jones Indices collaborated to launch the new S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index to set the standard for sustainable investing for the Chilean equity market.

Defining a Sustainable Benchmark

The S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index is a modern sustainable benchmark. ESG indices created in the early days of the sustainable investing movement tended to be narrow, focusing on the best ESG companies or a single theme, such as clean energy. Newer ESG benchmarks have forged a new path, still incorporating strict ESG criteria, but doing so in a way that retains a broad set of companies, which tends to result in less volatile, more benchmark-like returns. The S&P IPSA ESG Tilted Index fits this new mold.

The tilting of the parent index, the S&P IPSA, toward more sustainable companies is the defining characteristic of the index and ultimately drives improvements in sustainability. However, before this key adjustment, some basic exclusions are made in line with international norms.

First, companies are excluded that breach revenue threshold related to business activities commonly viewed as undesirable by sustainable investors around the world. This includes meaningful involvement in controversial weapons (such as nuclear or chemical weapons), tobacco, coal extraction, or generating coal-powered electricity. Further, companies are excluded that are deemed non-compliant with the United Nations Global Compact due to violations related to human rights, corruption, labor rights, and the environment.

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