Dow Jones has launched what it claims is the first index to measure the sustainability performance of companies from emerging markets.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index, developed with investment specialist RobecoSAM, tracks 69 "sustainability champions" from 20 countries.
Led by firms from China, Taiwan and Brazil, the index has a total market capitalization of more than $680 billion (£446 billion).
The index is constructed along similar lines to Dow Jones' other sustainability indices and is based on RobecoSAM's annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, which evaluates companies' sustainability performance based on economic, environmental and social criteria.
Only companies rated as being among the top 10 percent in their sector are eligible for inclusion.
In a statement, the companies said the index would help drive investment in green firms, providing a further incentive for companies from emerging markets to adopt sustainable best practices. It will also make it easier for green investors to track the performance of key businesses operating in emerging markets.
"The steady increase in the number of emerging market companies that participate in our CSA shows that businesses around the world are embracing sustainable practices as an important factor in their future competitive position," said Guido Giese, head of indexes at RobecoSAM.
"As the emerging markets have come of age, demand for a regional benchmark for sustainability investors has increased," he said.
Photo of emerging butterfly provided by IrinaK via Shutterstock.