A new report has found that 39 of the country's
leading companies do not meet basic criteria for reporting their
actions in a number of areas ranging from corruption to environmental
practices to human rights. The new report by Greeneye, the only company
in Israel to specialize in Responsible Investment, was revealed at the
first seminar on Responsible Investing in Israel on Monday.
examined the 39 Israeli companies which joined the FTSE All World Index
about a year ago after Israel was upgraded by the index to "developed
country" status. The companies covered the spectrum from gas to food,
real estate, banks and chemicals.
CEO Noga Levtzion-Nadan and her team utilized the Eiris -
Ethical Investment Research Services methodology. Eiris is a global
provider of independent research into the social, environmental and
ethical performance of companies, and Greeneye is Eiris's local
The main areas the report looked at were: Ethics and bribery,
environmental practices, climate change, supply chain, protecting human
rights, safety and hygiene, and community service.
In all of these areas, there were certain risks to
which companies were exposed. Without information from the company,
investors had little chance of determining if the company was preparing
properly for them or not.
According to the report, 30% of the companies basically do not
issue reports on any of the issues at all. While half the companies had
some sort of environmental policy, only 15% of those policies were
adequate to good. Gas and chemical companies undertook inadequate
reporting, while food service companies were more prepared. However,
real estate companies were totally indifferent to environmental
While two thirds (26 of 39) of the companies had
ethical codes available for public perusal, there was not enough
discussion of enforcement mechanisms. Therefore, potential investors
could not be completely reassured that the company was corruption-free,
according to the report's executive summary. Seventeen out of the 26
had detailed ethical codes which prohibited bribery and discrimination.
Fifteen companies operated in countries where bribery could be a
problem, and only a third of them had policies which clearly prohibited
Only four of the companies even had partial preparedness for
the effects of climate change. Ten companies worked in countries with
problematic human rights records, but only one claimed to have a policy
on how to deal with the issue - but that policy was not publicly
available. Only four companies had publicly-available safety and
hygiene policies. Two of the four were banks, however, whose risk was
The report's authors theorized that the overwhelming reluctance
to publish reports on these issues stemmed from "lack of confidence and
lack of knowledge. Conversely, for those interested in Responsible
Investment - only that which is measured is managed."