13 April 2021
S&P Dow Jones has announced that it will remove Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (Adani Ports) from its Sustainability Index in response to evidence presented to it by human rights and environmental groups in March.
Market Forces, Australian Centre for International Justice and Justice for Myanmar coordinated the case for review, presenting evidence of Adani Ports’ involvement with the Carmichael thermal coal project in Australia, its business links to the Myanmar military and ecological destruction at some of its port sites in India.
Adani’s investors exposed to reputational risk
The removal shows that Adani Ports and the entire Adani Group continue to expose their investors and bankers to serious reputational risks. If these investors’ claims of corporate responsibility are more than greenwash, then companies like BlackRock, Barclays and JP Morgan must immediately cut ties with Adani, as many others already have.
The removal of Adani Ports from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is also an important signal to the Adani Group that it will be held accountable for its destructive activities. If Adani is genuine about being a good corporate citizen then it must walk away from the Carmichael coal project, cut ties with Myanmar’s murderous generals and clean up the mess it has made at some of its port sites.
Investors are cutting ties
S&P’s announcement comes amid a flood of exits by Adani Ports’ financiers, with at least eight companies either divesting from or banning future investment in Adani Ports recently due to human rights and climate related concerns. These are:
- State Street included Adani Ports in its recent exclusion list in January 2021
- PIMCO banned future investment in Adani Ports – March 2021
- Deutsche Bank backed out of participating in an Adani Ports bond issue in January 2021, citing environmental concerns.
- Pension fund, Carnegie, stated in its half year report (2020) that it excludes Adani Ports on environmental grounds.
- Pension fund SPP exclude Adani Ports for environmental damage including climate issues, January 2021.
- Swedbank reportedly “blacklisted” Adani Ports due to links to fossil fuels.
- Nordea told Fair Finance, “Regarding Adani Ports, we will sell that entire holding and we have already sold just over 80 percent”.
- SEB reportedly sold off its holding in Adani Ports in March 2021.
- DNB, joins the Swedish investors, reported to have also sold off its holding in March 2021.
- Danske Bank set restrictions prohibiting investment in Adani Ports and Adani’s Abbot Point coal port in September 2020.
It is disappointing that S&P’s announcement failed to mention Adani Ports’ role in the Carmichael coal project, which featured prominently in the case for review and has also featured in some of the divestment announcements listed above. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index Committee is undermining the credibility of the index by shrugging off the growing investor concern over exposure to climate-wrecking projects and companies.
Take action now by contacting Adani Ports remaining financiers to share the news and warn them that they are exposed to growing reputational risk.