Using exclusionary and qualitative screens, the KLD-Nasdaq Social Index is now up and running. The new index provides a means for SRI investors to satisfy their principles in choosing stocks from the Nasdaq for their portfolios. Boston-based KLD Research and Analytics, Inc., one of whose founders was Amy Domini, is a provider of social research services for institutional investors. Domini is no longer a principal of the firm, although her Domini Social Equity Fund is one of KLD’s largest clients.
The KLD-Nasdaq Social Index includes approximately 290 stocks from some of the largest companies in the Nasdaq, weighted by market value and chosen according to KLD”s screens. The choices cover major market segments including telecommunications, technology, and financial stocks. Companies screened for possible inclusion were domestic companies with over $1 billion in market capitalization. Companies must be listed on the Nasdaq in order to be considered for inclusion in the Index.
According to Anjeli Gupta, a spokesperson at KLD, the screens include traditional exclusionary ones–alcohol, gambling, tobacco, military contracting, and nuclear power–and qualitative. The qualitative screens, says Gupta, make for more subjective decisions (made by KLD) of company inclusion or exclusion, based as they are on a company”s social strengths and concerns. These screens include environment, community involvement, diversity, employee relations, non-U.S. operations, and product quality.