(29 August 2017, Stockholm) Following the launch of its environmental, social and governance reporting guidance as part of the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative’s ESG reporting guidance campaign, Nasdaq has now announced a pilot program on ESG reporting for its Nordic and Baltic markets. The program was announced at the stock exchange’s ESG Integration Summit held on 28 August 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.
“To support our markets in reaching better and more broad-based ESG reporting – and hence better markets – we asked our listed companies, investors and other stakeholders to give their feedback on ESG reporting. Voluntary participation has been essential to our progress so far, and we now invite listed companies in the Nordic and Baltic markets to begin actually using the ESG Reporting Guide and report their experiences back to us,” said Lauri Rosendahl, President of Nasdaq Nordic, at the Nasdaq ESG Integration Summit in Stockholm.
“We applaud the work of Nasdaq in organizing their ESG Integration Summit,” said James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD. “Once again, Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges are demonstrating leadership. This pilot programme is a good example for other stock exchanges who are working to promote ESG disclosure in their markets.”
Evan Harvey, Nasdaq Global Head of Sustainability, provided more details: “The Pilot Program will run for one year, starting September 1, and will be open to 10–16 companies of various sizes, market locations, and business sectors. Nasdaq will solicit feedback from participating companies, prepare a report, and make the findings public. These pilot companies will be vital partners in the evolution of a smart and effective ESG Reporting practice.”
“Investor demand for high-quality ESG reporting has grown dramatically over the past decade. Once consumed primarily by niche investors, ESG data is now in high-demand from the biggest institutional investors in the world,” Mr. Zhan said in the foreword to Nasdaq’s ESG guidance, launched in March 2017.
The SSE’s global ESG reporting guidance campaign was launched in September 2015 with the release of their guidance template, the Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information to Investors. At the start of the campaign, less than 20% of SSE and/or World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) member exchanges were providing guidance to issuers on reporting ESG information. Today, about 40% of exchanges are offering such guidance, and over half have committed to do so in the near future. The SSE continues to work with exchanges worldwide to bring that number up to 100%.
The Nasdaq ESG Integration Summit, an all-day Nordic and Baltic sustainability event, was hosted by Nasdaq Stockholm. The event has attracted more than 100 prominent ESG professionals and delegates from listed companies, investors, exchanges, and regulatory communities to join the discussion on the direction and resources for contributing to the future health and prosperity of not only our markets, but also our planet.
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.