January 2015 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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CDP Hosts Bloomberg Data Webinar
January 29, 2015
CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) hosted a webinar for investors on using Bloomberg Terminals to access CDP data and improve ESG analysis.

OECD Publishes Comments on Corporate Governance Principles
January 23, 2015
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published comments from 75 organisations on revisions to its Principles of Corporate Governance. The draft includes new content regarding the regulation of stock exchanges.
Comments: http://bit.ly/18mfGGm;  Draft revisions: http://bit.ly/1DcmMXB

Thai Exchange to rate companies on ESG
January 22, 2015
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), along with six capital market organizations–including the Securities and Exchanges Commission, will publish a list of companies performing well on ESG issues. The list will be reviewed annually.

Thai NGO Evaluates Companies on ESG
January 22, 2015
The Thaipat Institute database evaluates the 537 companies listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on ESG performance. The top performers are included on the ESG100 list, the first ranking of Thai companies based on sustainability issues.

UNEP Releases Sustainable Finance Inquiry Report
January 21, 2015
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, Pathways to Scale, claims that innovations in banking, bond markets, and institutional investing are needed to close an identified sustainable development investment gap. The report blames the gap on persistent undervaluation of environmental resources.

Mongolian Exchange Renews LSE Agreement
January 20, 2015
The Mongolian Stock Exchange will continue its three-year-old cooperation with the London Stock Exchange (LSE), signaling international confidence in the Mongolian market.

NYSE Publishes Corporate Governance Guide
January 20, 2015
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) released a new guide on corporate governance, which includes essays on building trust in boards and developing long-term relationships with investors.

HKEx-Shenzhen Link Expected in 2015
January 20, 2015
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange are expected to form a trading link this year. The move would build on the 2014 HKEx-Shanghai Stock Exchange link, which allowed for the first time foreign investment in Chinese companies and Chinese investment in companies listed on HKEx.

Many European Firms Explaining ESG Materiality
January 19, 2015
57% of European firms included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices explain their material ESG issues, according to RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook 2015. 36% of emerging market firms, 26% of Asia-Pacific firms, and 27% of North American firms explained their ESG materiality in 2014.

Largest Nordic Asset Manager Divests from Coal
January 19, 2015
Nordea is removing thermal coal producers from its portfolio, citing the destructive impacts coal has on the environment, and following the lead of Norwegian pension fund KLP and several other large investment groups. Nordea’s divestment will impact around $100 million of assets.

NASDAQ to Host Osaka Exchange Trading Platform
January 18, 2015
NASDAQ OMX and the Japan Exchange Group agreed on terms for the American exchange to provide a trading platform, market surveillance, and risk management technology to the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE). The deal expands the OSE’s global reputation and extends NASDAQ’s reach as an information technology provider.

JSE, NSE Announce Partnership
January 15, 2015
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) partnership will allow South African companies to list on the NSE, and Nigerian companies to list on the JSE. Both exchanges expect the partnership to strengthen the African economy.

Global Risks 2015 Stresses ESG Issues
January 15, 2015
The updated World Economic Forum report, which analyses significant global risks, classifies ESG risks as high impact and very likely. “Water crisis” and “failure of climate change adaptation” join “interstate conflict” as the top three risks. “Energy price shock” and “biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse” are two of the highest impact risks, and “extreme weather events” is the second most likely.

Opinion: Investors Want Carbon Disclosure Rules 
January 15, 2015
Many mainstream investors are concerned with the risks climate change poses to their portfolios, and are frustrated by the lack of informative and consistent sustainability reporting from companies, notes Corporate Knights. Investors want regulatory action requiring carbon emissions disclosure, but the US SEC appears unlikely to act.

UN Global Compact, GRI, WBCSD to Publish Corporate ESG Reporting Guide
January 14, 2015
Later this year, the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) will produce an implementation guide on corporate reporting against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, expected in September 2015.

World Bank Completes GRI G4 Report 
January 14, 2015
The World Bank completed its 2014 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability report using the GRI Taxonomy, one of the first Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) taxonomies for sustainability disclosure. The World Bank is the only multilateral development bank to complete a GRI G4 report.

LSE, Borsa Istanbul Sign Partnership Agreement 
January 13, 2015
Turkish index and derivatives products will be traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), after the two exchanges signed a partnership agreement.

South Korea Launches Carbon Emissions Trading Market
January 12, 2015
The market includes 525 large companies, and is the second largest carbon market in the world, trailing only the European Union. The South Korean government has capped total carbon emissions at 1.687 million tons through 2017. Credits are being traded at roughly $8 each.

Joint Study Finds Low Rates of ESG Oversight From Corporate Boards
January 12, 2015
The report by the MIT Sloan Management Review, The Boston Consulting Group, and the UN Global Compact, titled Joining Forces: Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability, finds that only 42% of corporate boards are at least moderately engaged in oversight of ESG issues. The global study surveyed more than 2,500 executives and managers.

GRI Launches “Reporting 2025” Project 
January 9, 2015
The new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) project aims to identify the most important issues for future sustainability reporting and disclosure, to ensure future reporting guidelines are useful and rigorous.

Thai Futures Exchanges to Integrate
January 9, 2015
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the integration of the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET) and the Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX). A December 2014 government resolution initiated the integration, which is expected to increase Thailand’s competitiveness with international markets.

Opinion: The Role of Social Stock Exchanges
January 8, 2015
Social stock exchanges, which connect impact investment with socially beneficial enterprises, are a recent innovation. Active examples exist in the UK, Canada, and Singapore. Social stock exchanges encourage impact investment, but two Australian academics argue they could also potentially give governments excuses for inaction on sustainability issues.

BSE Moves Towards Commodity Exchange Launch 
January 7, 2015
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) moved closer to opening a commodity exchange following approval by SEBI, India’s capital market regulator. BSE, the largest stock exchange in Asia, would join a crowded Indian commodities market currently dominated by the Mumbai-based Multi Commodity Exchange.

Integrated Reporting Creates Value for Boards
January 7, 2015
An International Integrated Reporting Council report, Creating Value: Value to the board, details how integrated reporting helps corporate boards articulate their business strategies, make better decisions, and build trust with stakeholders. 

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SASB Opens Accounting Standards Consultation on Food, Agriculture 
Comment deadline: April 14, 2015
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has opened a public consultation for its Public Exposure Draft Sustainability Accounting Standards. The document proposes standards for sectors including agriculture, food and beverages, and tobacco.

ICGN Revises Non-financial Reporting Guidelines 
Comment deadline: February 12, 2015
The International Corporate Governance Network’s (ICGN) Revised Integrated Business Reporting Guidelines propose integrated reporting as key to corporate nonfinancial reporting. ICGN welcomes comments from its members.

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International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Conference
March 2-3, 2015
The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) conference will focus on corporate governance reform, and will feature speakers from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework to Launch 
February 24, 2015
The London launch of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework will include information about the new guidance for non-financial reporting, which includes human rights performance disclosure. The registration deadline is February 12th.

Date Change: PWC High Frequency Trading and Dark Pools webinar
February 3, 2015
The investor-oriented PwC webinar covers the impacts of high frequency trading and dark pools on capital markets, including information about suggested regulations.

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Salil Donde to Lead NASDAQ Global Information Services 
January 14, 2015
Donde will manage data and index products, which represent 21% of NASDAQ’s revenue. He joins NASDAQ from Lewtan Technologies Inc., where he served as CEO.

Lou Modano Names Head of NASDAQ Cyber Security
January 6, 2015
Modano, a senior vice president at NASDAQ, will also retain his responsibilities as head of infrastructure services. He replaces Mark Graff, head of cybersecurity since 2012.

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This is a monthly newsletter courtesy of Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. To subscribe, click here
Send exchange-related ESG news to Tracey Rembert, Director, Investor Initiative for Sustainable Exchanges: rembert@ceres.org