May 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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Japanese Prime Minister Calls for Creation of a National Corporate Governance Code 
May 28, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has called for reform and tougher guidelines on corporate governance for the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This comply-or-explain code would require two independent directors, and otherwise ask issuers to state why there are code deviations. The new corporate governance code should be established by Spring 2015
Statement (in Japanese):
English Translation:

LSE Confirms Interest in Russell Investments Purchase 
May 14, 2014
The London Stock Exchange Group has entered into dialogue with Northwestern Mutual about purchasing Russell Investments, which handles over $260 billion AUM. The purchase would give LSE’s FTSE a strong foothold in the US large-cap index market, now largely dominated by S&P.

CFA Institute CEO Emphasizes New Age of Fiduciary Capitalism That Includes Focus on ESG Issues, “Externalities” 
May 12, 2014
Speaking to attendees of the Council of Institutional Investors spring conference, John Rogers highlighted the importance of a long-term approach to fiduciary capitalism and the social impact from corporate governance and environmental issues.
Related video speech: The Dawn of Fiduciary Capitalism:

Michael Bloomberg and Mary Schapiro to Lead Board of the Sustainability Accounting board (SASB) 
May 1, 2014
Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP, a global information provider, and Mary Schapiro, former chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, aim to advance SASB’s goals of sustainability reporting and believe that transparency improves investment decisions and promotes sustainable capital markets.

Ceres and Sustainalytics Release Progress Report on Corporate Sustainability Performance 
May 2014
The newly released report Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability highlights that 32% of public US companies (of the 613 firms evaluated) have formal board oversight on sustainability performance. The report’s key findings include: companies are now setting clearer sustainability standards for suppliers, incorporating sustainability performance into compensation packages, and taking steps to reduce GHG emissions.

The Association of chartered Certified Accounts Supports Mandatory Sustainability Reporting 
April 30, 2014
In a recent report, Sustainability Matters, the ACCA advocates for harmonization of reporting frameworks and for national governments to require sustainability disclosure on a comply or explain basis.
The report also discusses policies concerning climate change, integrated reporting, and reporting assurance.
Press Release:

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UNCTAD Releases Guidance for Policymakers and Exchanges on Sustainability Reporting Initiatives May 2014
The UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) final report on exchange guidance has been published. The guidance seeks to assist stock exchanges and regulators on sustainability reporting initiatives. The report discusses introducing voluntary sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, and moving stock exchanges towards a global approach on sustainability reporting.

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Deadline Approaching for Stock Exchange Comments on Sustainability  Listing standards Proposal 
June 23, 2014
The World Federation of Exchanges is facilitating a comment period of stock exchanges on the Investor Listing Standards Proposal, which presents a framework for mandatory sustainability disclosures by listed companies. The comment period for exchanges closes on June 23, 2014. (See Pg. 20 for more details on comment period)

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Plans Overhaul of Governance Structure 
May 26, 2014
The GRI has opened a 45-day public comment period for its new proposal on governance structure changes to establish its role as a standard setter in sustainability reporting. The public comment period is open until July 9, 2014.

Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority Opens Comment Period on Code of Corporate Governance Practices 
May 20, 2014
The code is organized into seven pillars, including shareholder rights and transparency and disclosure, and the comment period will run for 30 days commencing May 20, 2014. The code was drafted on an “apply or explain” basis, meaning that companies are required to comply with all applicable tenets of the code, and explain all omissions.

UN Global Compact Opens Company Comment Period on Investor Listing Standards Proposal 
May 6, 2014
The Investor Listing Standards Proposal, released by Ceres in March 2014, and supported by BlackRock, NASDAQ, and other capital markets organizations, presents a framework for mandatory sustainability disclosures by listed companies.  The recently formed Sustainability Working Group of the World Federation of Exchanges will discuss the proposal. UN Global Compact signatory companies have until June 27, 2014 to comment on the proposal.
Comment form:

OECD Proposes that State-Owned Enterprises Must Obey National Corporate Governance Codes in New Guidelines 
May 2014
The OECD’S public comment period for its revised OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises is open until September 8, 2014.

UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) to Host 2014 Global Dialogue 
May 2014
Registration is open for the 2014 Global Dialogue of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, to be held on October 14, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Institutional investors, company representatives, stock exchanges, regulators and government officials will come together to discuss sustainable development and ESG disclosure by stock exchanges and companies around the world.

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