(24 January 2018, London) The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and the London Stock Exchange hosted a roundtable discussion with stock exchanges, policy makers, investors and development partners to further their work on ESG disclosure guidance. The roundtable featured the launch of the IFC’s Disclosure and Transparency Toolkit while also looking at global trends in sustainability reporting regulation and policy, evaluating possible solutions for enhancing ESG disclosure practices and discussing the needs of today’s investors.
“We welcome the IFC’s Disclosure and Transparency Toolkit, which is highly compatible with the SSE’s guidance for stock exchanges on the same topic,” said Anthony Miller, UNCTAD coordinator of the SSE initiative. “When the SSE first launched its Model Guidance helping stock exchanges to guide their issuers on ESG reporting only 14 stock exchanges were providing any form of guidance. Today more than half of the world’s stock exchanges either provide guidance or have committed to do so in the next year.”
“Our goal is to accelerate the growth of sustainable capital markets across emerging economies. Stock exchanges are our key partners in advancing standards for increased disclosure and transparency to help build investor trust and confidence in emerging markets,” said Ethiopis Tafara, IFC Vice President and General Counsel for Legal and Compliance Risk and Sustainability.
The SSE and its partners continue to work with stock exchanges through capacity building, guidance and awareness raising activities with the objective of having all stock exchanges world wide provide guidance to their issuers on ESG disclosure.
The roundtable event reflected on the changing landscape of ESG reporting and considered possible solutions for enhancing ESG disclosure and standards and solutions for sustainable development particularly in emerging markets. The discussions included a panel on the role of stock exchanges, regulators and companies, where five SSE Partner Exchanges shared practical examples of sustainability regulatory frameworks, recent trends, and evaluated ESG integration into regulatory frameworks. The panel participants included CEOs of the Amman Stock Exchange, Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, the Egyptian Exchange and the head of sustainable finance at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
The SSE tracks progress of stock exchanges providing guidance on ESG disclosure on its website at www.sseinitiative.org/esg-guidance
The IFC Disclosure and Transparency Toolkit aims to help companies and financial institutions in emerging markets prepare comprehensive and best-in-class integrated annual reports that are appropriate for their size and organizational complexity, and adapted to the context of their operations. It provides guidance on the disclosure of material information about a company’s strategy, governance and performance. The objective is to provide useful environmental, social and governance information to investors and other stakeholders. This guidance is highly complementary to the SSE Model Guidance and the WFE’s Guidance Recommendations developed specifically for exchanges, and can be used alongside these tools.
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges 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 Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit www.sseinitiative.org