April 2016 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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SSE INITIATIVE NEWS

Seychelles Stock Exchange Makes a Double Commitment to Sustainability
April 18, 2016
Trop-X (Seychelles) Limited, the Seychelles’ licensed securities exchange, has joined the SSE Initiative, in addition to joining the SSE’s global campaign to close the ESG guidance gap by committing to produce guidance on ESG reporting by the end of 2016.

Belarusian Exchange Joins the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative as 51st Partner Exchange
April 1, 2016
Joining 50 other exchanges from around the world, the Belarusian Currency and Stock Exchange has committed to promoting sustainable and transparent capital markets as a UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative Partner Exchange.

Nairobi Securities Exchange and Qatar Stock Exchange Join SSE Campaign to Close the ESG Guidance Gap
March 30, 2016
Nairobi and Qatar have joined the growing number of exchanges committed to producing ESG guidance by the end of 2016.

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CONSULTATIONS AND DEADLINES

BM&FBOVESPA Consultation on Special Corporate Governance Segment
Comments due May 16, 2016
The consultation is the first step in the Brazilian exchange’s enhancement of its Special Corporate Governance Segment. The survey includes questions on subjects such as boards of directors, internal controls, transparency, and delisting rules.

Sustainable Agriculture Standard Stakeholder Comment Period Announced
Comments due May 27, 2016
SCS Global Services welcomes feedback on the second draft of its Sustainably Grown Certification Standard, a comprehensive certification standard for environmental, social, and corporate governance performance in the agriculture sector.

Responsible Mining Standard Consultation
Comments due June 5, 2016
The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is accepting public comment on v.2.0 of its best practice standard that seeks to improve the environmental and social performance of mining operations and establish a system to independently verify implementation of those standards.

Securities Commission Malaysia Invites Public Feedback on Draft Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2016
Comments due June 8, 2016
The draft Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance, last revised in 2012, segments corporate governance practices into two categories, a new approach that intends to encourage progression and stresses conduct and outcomes of governance best practices.

SASB Provisional Sustainability Accounting Standards Consultation
Comments due July 7, 2016
SASB has opened three documents for a public comment period: the SASB Rules of Procedure, the SASB Conceptual Framework, and proposed changes to its Sustainable Industry Classification System™ (SICS™).

First Set of GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards Released for Public Comment 
Comments due July 17, 2016
The GRI is now accepting comments on its first set of exposure drafts of the GRI Standards, a restructured approach to the G4 Guidelines and Implementation Manual that includes three ‘universal’ standards and 35 ‘topic-specific’ standards in order to enhance the quality and comparability of sustainability reporting.

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Seeks Comments on Sustainability Disclosures and Risks
Comments due July 21, 2016
Following up on a 2013 staff report, the SEC published a concept release in mid-April to seek public comments on modernizing business and financial disclosure in Regulation S-K. A number of pages are devoted to sustainability-related disclosure questions.

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UPCOMING WEBINARS AND EVENTS

Ceres Conference 2016: Business Not as Usual: Sustainability in an Age of Disruption
May 4 – 5, 2016
Held in Boston, attendees will learn how sectors from electric utilities and transportation to food and finance are adapting to 21st century sustainability challenges, and will feature a Sustainability Reporting 3.0 session on trends and progress by stock exchanges on reporting standards.

Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Conference
May 17 – 20, 2016
Global Infrastructure Basel will host project developers, financiers, and local authorities in San Jose, Costa Rica to introduce SuRe®, a global, voluntary ESG and resilience standard for infrastructure development and upgrade projects it developed with Natixis.

ICGN Annual Conference
June 27 ­– 29, 2016
Held in San Francisco, the International Corporate Governance Network’s annual gathering will focus on the role of long-term investors in promoting governance best practice and sustainable development to help ensure financial market stability and growth.

United Nations SSE Executive Dialogue on Green Finance
July 20, 2016
Held in Nairobi, Kenya, this SSE Executive Dialogue will address key elements of the new global agenda on green finance, and evaluate what role stock exchanges can play. This takes place within the World Investment Forum 2016 and UNCTAD14.

2016 SSE Global Dialogue
September 6, 2016
Held in Singapore, alongside PRI in Person, this event will enable stock exchanges and stakeholders to meet and evaluate how new global sustainable development and green finance policy agendas will impact capital markets. Registration now open, register here.

PRI in Person
September 6 – 8, 2016
In the PRI’s 10th anniversary year, this PRI in Person will be bringing the world’s leading responsible investment event to Asia for the first time since 2008. PRI in Person will take place in Singapore. Register here.

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LISTING STANDARDS AND GUIDANCE

Nasdaq Issuers Soon to Disclose Board Member Compensation by Outside Entities
April 15, 2016
A new listing standard, submitted and published to the US SEC on April 5th, will require issuers to disclose board member or board candidates compensation, to take effect June 30th if approved.

BM&FBOVESPA Launches Sustainability Guidance Aimed At Private Companies
April 14, 2016
The guide, “Sustainability in Business: How to start, who to involve, and to prioritize,” (in Portuguese) aims to dispel the idea that sustainability is limited to large companies.

Revised London Stock Exchange Admission and Disclosure Standards
April 8, 2016
The changes, which came into effect on April 4th, relate to structure, and are deemed mostly administrative and clarificatory in nature.

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GENERAL NEWS

Consultations Closed for European Union Non-Financial Reporting Directive and United Kingdom Implementation
April 15, 2016
The public comment periods for Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial and diversity information and the UK’s implementation of the Directive have closed. The European Union received 346 responses and will publish a summary report at a later stage.

India’s CSR Expenditure Should be a Percentage of Revenue, Not Profit, says Deloitte
April 15, 2016
P.R. Ramesh, chairman of auditing, financial advisory and risk management at Deloitte India, says that the market’s required CSR expenditure by companies should be a percentage of revenue, not profit, reasoning that every business uses community resources and should be obligated to give back to the community.

Survey Evaluated How to Take the Pain Out of CSR Reporting
April 11, 2016
ReScore Group, a research collaborative, conducted a survey testing the ‘pain points’ of managers responsible for sustainability and CSR reporting and found that data assurance and responding to the different frameworks were consistently the two biggest ‘pain points.’

Pressure on European Union to “Stress-Test” Portfolios Against Low Carbon Objectives
April 8, 2016
The EU’s 28 environment ministers are actively discussing ways to shift investments toward lower-carbon technologies in an attempt to streamline national policies and avoid market fragmentation, despite a cautious response from the European Commission.

Brazil’s BM&FBOVESPA Buys Cetip, Creating Latin America’s Largest Bourse
April 8, 2016
The Cetip takeover, valued at about US$3.3 billion, will broaden the scope of products and services that BM&FBOVESPA offers in Brazilian markets, and increase its regional presence in markets across Latin America.

The Climate Reporting Sprint: Striving for Consistency and Comparability
April 8, 2016
In a recent Forbes’ interview, Tracey Rembert of Ceres lends insight to 2016 reporting trends, including a move toward mandatory climate reporting and the surge in comment periods around various aspects of ESG reporting.

PRI Calls on Credit Rating Agencies to Incorporate ESG
April 6, 2016
The UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment is asking credit firms and investors to sign a statement by May 6, 2016 calling for credit rating agencies to conduct robust analysis of ESG factors that could impact an issuer’s creditworthiness.

ESG Mandates Gain Traction in Asia
April 6, 2016
At a recent panel discussion at the Responsible Finance Summit in Kuala Lumpur, discussion turned towards the positive progress being made in ESG mandates across Asia, citing instances such as China’s adoption of mandatory ESG disclosures and increased leadership by asset managers and owners.

London Stock Exchange Group Joins Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) Partnership Program
April 4, 2016
LSE Group is the first global exchange group to become an official partner of the CBI, demonstrating its commitment to green finance in the wake of its July 2015 launch of a full range of dedicated fixed income segments specifically designed for green bond issuance.

Iran Joins the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
April 3, 2016
Iran’s Securities and Exchange Commission has been invited to present its membership request at the upcoming IOSCO meeting in Lima, Peru.

FSB Task Force Publishes Phase I Report; Pushes for Real-Asset Transparency
April 1, 2016
The Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCD) has published its Phase I Report, indicating that it will develop recommendations for institutional investors and asset managers for its final report, due at the end of 2016.

French National Assembly Adopts Bill on Corporate Duty of Care in Supply Chains; NGOs Welcome Move
March 24, 2016
Despite business pressure, the French National Assembly adopted the legislative proposal, bringing France one step closer to implementing a law that would ensure large French companies are held responsible for their impacts in France and throughout the value chain.

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ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTS

S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM Launch First Indices to Use ESG as a Smart Beta Factor 
April 19, 2016
The S&P ESG Index Series is the first index family to use ESG as the sole performance factor, utilizing RobecoSAM’s Smart ESG methodology, and is also the first ESG index family to serve the market for smart beta indices.

MSCI Develops Framework to Support Alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals 
April 12, 2016
MSCI launched a new sustainable impact index and metrics, designed to let institutional investors measure revenue exposure to public companies whose products and services work to address major social and environmental challenges.

Expansion of FTSE4Good with Launch of ASEAN 5 Index 
April 12, 2016
Launched in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the new ESG index benchmarks companies from the five ASEAN exchanges from developed and emerging markets that have been assessed to meet the standards for FTSE4Good inclusion.

S&P Launches Carbon Emitter Scorecard
April 7, 2016
Rising investor interest led S&P Dow Jones Indices to launch the first carbon emitter scorecard, which found that 15% of global emissions are directly produced by the world’s blue-chip companies, based on the S&P Global 1200.

Mexico Launches Green Bond Segment on Stock Exchange 
March 29, 2016
Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) has launched a section dedicated to green bonds, in response to the country’s pledges to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy generation. (pay wall)

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MANAGEMENT NEWS

Position Overseeing Sustainable Business Created at LSE Group
April 18, 2016
David Harris has been appointed as Group Head of Sustainable Business at London Stock Exchange Group. He will also continue his role as ESG Director at FTSE Russell.

Borsa Istanbul’s Chief HR Officer, Chief Info Officer, Chief Audit Executive and Chief Legal Counsel Have Resigned 
April 14, 2016
The exchange will further announce new appointments following the resignation of four senior executives.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Has New Head
April 10, 2016
Wang Jianjun has been appointed as the new General Manager of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, replacing Song Liping, the first female head of the Shenzhen Exchange.

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