June 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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LSE Joins the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative 
June 2, 2014
The London Stock Exchange will become the 10th partner exchange of the SSE Initiative, which aims to facilitate dialogue among exchanges on sustainable investment and corporate transparency.

Op-Ed: The Case for Sustainability Reporting at Global Exchanges 
June 18, 2014
Jack Ehnes, CEO of CalSTRS, argues that investors need consistent and comparable information on sustainability management from all companies, and that stock exchanges should lead the way with reporting requirements.
Responsible Investor, Subscription Required:http://bit.ly/1pbzV0a

UNEPFI Releases Integrated Governance: A New Model of Corporate Governance for Sustainability
June 16, 2014
The report details shortcomings in the current corporate governance framework and proposes steps companies can take to move towards integrating sustainability into business management.  A chief focus of the report is to support institutional investors in their engagements with companies on sustainability issues.

Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD) Convenes Key Disclosure Organizations 
June 16, 2014
The CRD, which officially launched during the International Corporate Governance Network conference in Amsterdam, aims to provide a “meaningful response to market calls for alignment of corporate reporting frameworks.” CRD organizations including the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, FASB, IASB, ISO, and others, and was launched by the International Integrated Reporting Council.

SRI Connect Spotlights BM&FBOVESPA’s Sustainability Offer Favaretto  
June 16, 2014
Sonia Favaretto discusses the Brazilian equities market and sustainability initiatives at stock exchanges.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Calls for Improved Disclosure in Listing Standards 
June 13, 2014
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that the Zimbabwe exchange lost millions of dollars of potential investment because of inadequate financial and corporate governance disclosure requirements.

Hermes Chief Calls Exclusive Pursuit of Returns “Negligence” 
June 12, 2014
Saker Nusseibeh, CEO of Hermes Fund Managers, argued that pension funds striving to reach an inflation target may be better focused on providing their beneficiaries a target standard of living. This would require funds to consider the broader implications of their investments, including sustainability factors.

Cyber Security Breaches at Exchanges Lead to Heightened Security Effort 
June 12, 2014
To address such concerns, AIG, the National Association of Corporate Directors, and the Internet Security Alliance have released an updated manual on bolstering corporate cybersecurity. CME group and NASDAQ have both reported recent security breaches.
Article on Manual: http://yhoo.it/1v6dOFU
Article on Stock Exchanges and CyberSecurity: http://bit.ly/TwY3vJ

Stewardship Code Receives Support from Major Japanese Investors 
June 10, 2014
127 institutional investors from Japan and abroad have signed and accepted the Stewardship code, which was published in February 2014. Modeled after the 2008 UK Stewardship code, Japan’s recent code aims to increase transparency on shareholder votes and to facilitate investor engagement with corporate management. The FSA is accepting signatories to the code until the end of August 2014.
Code in English:http://bit.ly/1ncipTZ
Code in Japanese:http://bit.ly/1qHQfCy

Sustainability Reporting by US Large CAP Companies Jumps Significantly 
June 5, 2014
Governance & Accountability Institute’s new analysis finds an increase in companies reporting on sustainability, from 53 percent in 2012 to 72 percent in 2013.
Media: http://bit.ly/1kGNkoI
Report: http://bit.ly/1siDYsZ

IOSCO Seeks to Reduce Investor Reliance on CRAs 
June 4, 2014
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released a consultation report with the aim of compiling best practices in reducing “mechanistic” reliance on credit rating agencies (CRAs).

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The UK Issues Guidance on the Strategic Report for Companies 
June 9, 2014
The Financial Reporting Council guidance is intended to improve the quality of reporting by companies in their annual strategic report, and to better incorporate key concepts of Integrated Reporting. Recent UK regulations require some companies to produce a strategic report in addition to their financial report.
Media: http://bit.ly/1p8MeYL
Report: http://bit.ly/1p9ByHt

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IOSCO Consultation on 5-Year Plan Nears End 
June 27, 2014
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released an online survey on its 5-year strategic plan and encouraged stakeholders to submit letter comments. The deadline for submissions was June 27th, 2014.

ISAR to Hold  31st Session in October, Focus on Future of Corporate Reporting 
June 2014
The Working Group on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), convened by the UN, will meet as part of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum.  The ISAR meeting will focus on the future of the corporate reporting model.

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Six Swiss Exchange Debuts Sustainability Index 
June 17, 2014
The SIX Swiss Exchange introduced the SXI Switzerland Sustainability 25 Index, which highlights the 25 most sustainable companies in that market, with ratings provided by Sustainalytics.

TSX Teams with S&P Dow Jones to Launch ESG Index 
June 16, 2014
The Toronto Stock Exchange worked with S&P Dow Jones Indices and RobecoSAM to launch the new S&P/TSX 60 ESG index.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange Issues First Green Bond 
June 9, 2014
Johannesburg is the first city in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to issue a green bond. The bond will be used to finance climate change initiatives in the city, including biogas generators and solar energy. The bonds were 150% oversubscribed.

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Send exchange-related ESG news to Tracey Rembert, Director, Investor Initiative for Sustainable Exchanges: rembert@ceres.org