Rio Tinto and the FTSE4Good Index

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In September 2007 the giant global mining company, Rio Tinto, was included in the FTSE4Good index for the first time. [1] (FTSE4Good describes itself as an socially responsive index "designed to measure the performance of companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards, and to facilitate investment in those companies.") [2]

It was, the company stated, a result of the indice's policy committee developing "its methodology to include companies involved in the production of uranium, setting stringent criteria covering environmental impact and management, health and safety, community and employee responsibility and product stewardship. By meeting all these criteria in addition to all the other qualifications for the index, Rio Tinto has become eligible for membership of FTSE4Good."[2]

"Nuclear energy offers a clean, low carbon, stable source of energy for heat, light and power. Rio Tinto is committed to developing our uranium business in a sustainable and responsible way. Admission to the index indicates that Rio Tinto has met both the uranium mining and climate change criteria in full, in addition to the standards already applying to high environmental impact companies and high human rights global resource sector impact companies," it boasted [2]

In October 2006 the FTSE4Good policy committee adopted a set of criteria that allowed uranium mining companies to be accepted into the index. In its announcement, the index stated that it had "an ongoing commitment to "remove the negative screens currently employed by the FTSE4Good Index and rep[lace them with appropriate entry criteria." [3]

For the Index, the relevant "product stewardship" criteria for inclusion were for the company to have a policy which must "clearly state commitments to:

  • not supplying uranium for the purposes of:
  • nuclear weapons or other weapons manufacture (companies must provide assurances that this is the case);
  • civil nuclear programmes of non-nuclear wepon states if those states are not covered under safeguard agreements based on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguard system and under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • monitoring the chain of custody with disclosure of customers and their locations and the on-going chain of custody to the end user."[3]

Other SourceWatch Resources

References

  1. Rio Tinto, "Rio Tinto to join FTSE4Good Index", Media Release, September 13, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "FTSE4Good Index Series", accessed September 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 FTSE4Good, "FTSE4Good Uranium Mining Criteria", October 4, 2006. (Pdf file)
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