Adidas Group, Kering, Burberry, H&M and Gildan Activewear have all been listed in this year’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indices - ranking them among the best-in-class sustainability performers in the world.

Luxury brands group Kering heads up the Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods sector for the second consecutive time, improving its overall performance from the year before.

The group achieved Industry Best scores across several categories within the set of 19 assessment criteria, including Supply Chain Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Environmental Reporting and Social Reporting. It also received full marks for its approach to Product Stewardship, Codes of Conduct & Compliance, and Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy.

The ranking “reflects the tangible benefits of our pioneering Environmental Profit and Loss Account (EP&L) roll-out and our overall strategy to implement a sustainable business model in our own operations and across our supply chain,” says Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of institutional affairs at Kering.

Adidas Group is included for the 16th consecutive year – which means the company has featured every year since the list was launched. It was rated Industry Best in Innovation Management and received high scores in Supply Chain Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Environmental Management System, and Talent Attraction and Retention.

“Our sustainability initiatives are an ongoing marathon, not a sprint, and the continuous recognition proves that we have been, and after all these years still are, on the right track to integrate sustainability thinking into our business strategy,” notes Frank Henke, vice president global social and environmental affairs at The Adidas Group.

H&M has made it onto the World Index for the fourth year in a row, and joins the Europe Index for the first time. Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M, describes it as “a great recognition of H&M's sustainability engagement and the hard work we do every day.”

And luxury goods brand Burberry is included in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) for the first time.

Meanwhile, Montreal, Canada based Gildan Activewear is included for a third consecutive year – and is the only North American company in the Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods industry group World Index. Glenn Chamandy, president and CEO, says: “A strong commitment to leading corporate social responsibility practices and a culture of continuous improvement and investments in the latest technology are equally critical to our success.”

The Indices evaluate the sustainability performance of the largest 2,500 companies listed in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index, with the annual assessment conducted by independent asset managers from the investment specialist RobecoSAM.

Thought to be the longest-running global sustainability benchmarks, they are a key reference point in sustainability investing for investors and an effective engagement platform for companies that want to adopt sustainable best practices.

The annual review is based on a thorough analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards, labour practices, branding and customer relationship management.