SSE campaign to close the ESG guidance gap


The Goal

All stock exchanges providing listed companies with guidance on sustainability reporting.

In September 2015 when the SSE launched its Model Guidance for exchanges, less than one third of stock exchanges around the world were providing guidance on reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) information for their market. This gap in guidance on ESG reporting leads to incomplete corporate information, creating a challenge for investors seeking a comprehensive view of a company’s material issues. The purpose of the Model Guidance compiled by the SSE is to help exchanges address this need by providing a model, or template, that exchanges can use to develop their own, custom guidance.

The Progress

List of stock exchanges with guidance published

List of stock exchanges without published guidance

The Tools

SSE Model Guidance: Developed by a working group of nearly 90 capital market stakeholders, chaired by the London Stock Exchange Group the Model Guidance is a voluntary tool for stock exchanges to guide issuers on how to report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. This tool provides a copy/paste template that stock exchanges can use to start their own guidance.

WFE Performance Indicators: Based on the SSE Model Guidance, the World Federation of Exchanges has created a set of recommendations to its member exchanges on how to implement their own sustainability policies. The WFE Guidance & Recommendations identifies material ESG metrics which exchanges can incorporate into disclosure guidance to companies listed on their market. The metrics lay out 34 key performance indicators that are built off of the SSE guidance and was updated in June 2018.

Examples: The SSE maintains a database of all guidance documents provided by stock exchanges for listed companies so that other stock exchanges can learn from their peers. All guidance documents can be found here, or on the fact sheet of individual stock exchanges. The SSE also keeps track of those exchanges that have not yet listed guidance, and can offer donor-funded technical assistance or facilitate peer exchanges to those working on developing their guidance.

What people are saying

“The UN’s Model Guidance and the collaborative efforts of investors… have the potential to trigger historic improvements in how global financial markets behave.” – Forbes 2015

“We see this Model Guidance as an opportunity for exchanges to promote greater consistency and depth in corporate reporting.” – Mark Makepeace, Group Director, Information Services, London Stock Exchange Group

“This document provides the rationale for investor and stakeholder engagement on ESG issues, with correlating bottom line impacts, and it also counsels the improvement and harmonisation of management practices.” – Evan Harvey and Corli LeRoux, Former Chairs of the WFE’s Sustainability Working Group. 

“The SSE Model Guidance on reporting ESG information to investors provides a very helpful tool as it encourages exchanges to customize and balance their guidance to local conditions. This will be a useful starting point for Oslo Børs on its journey to best implement its own guidance by the end of 2016.” – Bente A. Landsnes, President & CEO, Oslo Børs

“Having voluntarily joined the SSE initiative, Hanoi Stock Exchange deeply acknowledges the importance of issuers’ transparent ESG reporting. With reference to the SSE’s Model Reporting Guidance, we intend to introduce a roadmap for application of our own customized market guidance on ESG reporting for listed companies within 2016. We look forward to the good impact of the guidance on enhancing the quality of listed companies, making our domestic securities market more sustainable and attractive to global investors.” – Hanoi Stock Exchange

See more quotes here.

Technical Assistance

The SSE works with stock exchanges to implement guidance on sustainability reporting through donor-sponsored technical assistance. For more information, please contact the SSE team directly via email: info(AT)SSEinitiative.org