On October 30, 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices, a provider of investable and benchmark indices to the financial markets, became the first such provider to publically publish carbon metrics for many of its equity indices, including the S&P Global 1200, S&P 500®, and Dow Jones Industrial Average®. S&P Dow Jones Indices will publish the data online on a monthly basis alongside its standard financial data. The debut metrics include: (i) carbon footprint defined as the metric tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per $1 million invested against the index; (ii) carbon efficiency defined as the metric tons of CO2e per $1 million of a company's revenues against the index; and (iii) fossil fuel reserves defined as the greenhouse gas emissions that could be generated if the proven and probable fossil fuel reserves owned by constituents were burned, per $1 million invested.
The new metrics follow on S&P Dow Jones Indices expansion of its Environmental, Social and Governance portfolio with the acquisition of a controlling interest in the environmental data and analysis firm Trucost in October 2016 and are responsive to increased interest in understanding and evaluating climate risk. Hannah Skeates, Senior Director, Strategy and ESG Indices, S&P Dow Jones Indices explained the move as increasing transparency and shifting the market towards managing carbon risk: "As we move towards a low and zero carbon global economy, having carbon metrics as standard is likely to become commonplace. Once market participants understand their carbon exposure, they can begin to find solutions to manage this exposure and potential risk." Trucost provides the data and analysis for the metrics.