(Beijing, 10 November 2015) The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative co-hosted the third annual China SIF (Social Investment Forum) taking place in China’s capital city Beijing on 10 November. The forum’s thematic focus this year was on green finance and sustainable stock exchanges, looking at how to reach a balance between exchange-led voluntary initiatives and compulsory requirements.
In his key note speech at the opening of the forum, SSE co-coordinator Anthony Miller highlighted the role exchanges can play not only in promoting green finance, but ultimately in the advancement of sustainable development. “More than forty stock exchanges around the world have joined the SSE to promote responsible business practices,” observed Mr. Miller. “These exchanges are answering the call for global partnerships to promote sustainable development.”
China recently announced that it would reduce its carbon intensity by 60-65% of 2005 levels by 2030. In roundtable discussions, participants highlighted the importance of aligning capital market objectives with the new green finance policy objectives, including the further promotion of green financial products such as environmental indices, ETFs, and green bonds.
Capital market leaders have an important role to play in encouraging the environmental sustainability of companies listed on local exchanges. In order to help exchanges to guide companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure, the SSE launched in September the SSE Model Guidance which exchanges can use to develop their own guidance document on ESG reporting for listed companies. This new tool is complimented by a recommendation and metrics guideline launched this month by the World Federation of Exchanges. This practical toolkit now available to stock exchanges can be found on the SSE website.
The SSE will be holding their flagship biennial Global Dialogue in Singapore in September 2016. To receive information on this upcoming event, as well as other SSE news, sign up to the SSE newsletter here.
About China Social Investment Forum (China SIF)
Co-founded by the Securities Times and SynTao Green Finance (a subsidiary of SynTao Co., Ltd.), China SIF is a non-for-profit initiative that aims to develop a platform in China for investors and other stakeholders to discuss SRI and ESG issues. China SIF invites guest speakers, including professionals from SRI organizations, CSR experts, and representatives from financial market home and abroad, to join online and/or offline discussions about SRI in China. For more information, please visit the China SIF website.
Further details on the third annual China SIF, a programme is available here.
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’s 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.