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NEW YORK/ZURICH: Cisco Systems, PepsiCo, and the Royal Bank of Canada have been deleted from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) following an annual review that saw the addition of Bank of America, Telefonica and BHP Billiton.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Air France-KLM group topped the DJSI transportation sector that produced an 18.16 percent overall improvement year-on-year.

KLM 787-900-Launched in 1999, the DJSI is the first global index to track leading sustainability-driven companies based on investment specialist RobecoSAM's analysis of financially material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors.

RobecoSAM invites the world's largest 3,400 corporations from developed and emerging markets to take part in its annual assessment. This year it reviewed 85 percent of those companies' free float market capitalization and identified the top scoring corporation in 24 industry groups.

Despite Air France KLM's continued losses since 2008, the RobecoSAM assessment, based on "over 100 financially material criteria", decided the Franco-Dutch group "continues to demonstrate sustainability leadership in the transportation space, building on its long-term commitment to reduce its environmental impact, increase the company's social value and local development".

In 2014 Air France-KLM cut fuel consumption by 6.7 percent by optimizing routes and flight paths; decreased hazardous industrial waste by 18 percent; reduced energy consumption by 10 percent, and used 3.9 percent less water compared to the previous year.

RobecoSAM noted the airline group continues to lead the development and commercialization of bio-fuels, and manages its economic impact by focusing on developing local economies, engaging with local stakeholders and upholding human rights.

Commenting on the RobecoSAM methodology, head of Indices Guido Giese explained: "Over the years the DJSI index family has not only come to be the gold standard for corporate sustainability but has also become a competitive platform where companies receive recognition for their sustainability practices.

"The Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) is a state of the art, in-depth sustainability performance assessment methodology. Thanks to its broad reach, the results of the CSA are one of the leading sources of information on how listed companies around the globe are exercising financially material ESG practices. The entire DJSI index family benefits from that."

In an unrelated announcement, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has launched a 'Let's Get Digital' program that notifies customers "when one of their shipments is affected by an irregularity, its cause and the repair solution that has been found for them". With full-freighter capacity down 31 percent over 2014, the airline group reported an 8.9 percent drop in cargo revenue tonne-kilometers in August and a 9.7 percent drop for the first eight months of 2015.

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