(Geneva, Switzerland, 1 March 2016) Stock exchanges from Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and Spain have just announced their public commitment to produce a guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure by the end of 2016.
These five exchanges join eight others that announced their commitment at the launch of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative’s Campaign to Close the ESG Guidance Gap, hosted at the London Stock Exchange in September 2015. The SSE campaign seeks to ensure that every stock exchange* has an ESG reporting guidance for issuers in place by the end of 2016, as only 15 currently have such a guidance in place.
Energizing this campaign is a coalition of over 100 investors and companies representing over $10 trillion in AUM and $400 billion in market cap, targeting 70 stock exchanges around the world. Leading this outreach is Allianz Global Investors and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Commenting on the progress of the campaign, Marissa Blankenship, Senior ESG Analyst at Allianz Global Investors, said:
“We’re delighted by the groundswell of support that has gathered behind this campaign from exchanges across the globe. Four months on from the campaign’s launch, to have thirteen trading venues from America to Asia supporting the initiative, including the five committing today, is a significant achievement. The public commitments these exchanges have made represent an important step forward in encouraging companies to be more transparent. We commend the exchanges involved so far for their leadership, and look forward to welcoming more to the fold in the near future.”
The five exchanges publicly announcing their commitment today are: BME Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, Oslo Børs, Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange and Casablanca Stock Exchange. All are SSE Partner Exchanges that signed a voluntary commitment with the UN to promote sustainable business practices in their markets.
“The SSE’s 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
“The Mexican Stock Exchange recognizes the importance for global investors to search for greater corporate responsibility and commitment to sustainability matters within issuer companies. Our partnership with the SSE initiative, will enable us to create a voluntary ESG reporting guidance for listed issuers by the end of 2016 in order to continuously contribute to transparency and efficiency in the Mexican Market.” - Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (The Mexican Stock Exchange)
“The creation of our own voluntary ESG reporting guidance for the companies listed on our markets is another step forward in our commitment to sustainability and the promotion of ESG reporting. Although there are no formal obligations associated with our guidance, we encourage users to use it as a useful tool for integrating ESG issues into their reporting and in this way enrich their communication with investors, analysts and stakeholders.” – Jorge Yzaguirre, Director of the Equities and Derivatives Markets, BME
“As KASE plans to increase its integration into global capital markets, we recommend our listed companies to disclose ESG information as well as financial indicators. Our ESG Guide will be published on our website in due time.” – Natalya Khoroshevskaya, Acting Chairman of KASE Management Board
“Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) is committed to enhancing financial reporting transparency, and improving the capital market’s efficiency to create long-term value for investors. To achieve this goal, the CSE has taken several initiatives, including the important step of issuing an ESG Reporting Guidance by the end of 2016 to improve corporate disclosure of ESG information. Thanks to CSEs efforts to implement ESG best practices within its management and promote sustainable behavior, it recently received the CGEM label for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Responsibility from Morocco’s Business Association.” - Casablanca Stock Exchange
As these stock exchanges move forward from commitment to implementation, the SSE provides a peer-to-peer learning platform and technical assistance. Central to this assistance is the SSE’s Model Guidance, which is a template exchanges can adopt and modify as necessary to fit the unique circumstances of their market. The World Federation of Exchanges also provides a complementary guidance to stock exchanges. To download these guidance documents or to view the progress of the SSE campaign, please visit the SSE website.
*The campaign is targeting all stock exchanges that are either SSE Partner Exchanges, or members of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).This does not include commodities exchanges or futures exchanges.
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative
The SSE is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges—in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies—can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues. The SSE is convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). All interested parties are encouraged to visit the SSE website (www.SSEinitiative.org) for more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets.