November 2015 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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SSE INITIATIVE NEWS

SSE Co-hosts China’s Third Annual Social Investment Forum
November 10, 2015
The third annual China Social Investment Forum took place in Beijing; looking at how to balance exchange-led voluntary initiatives and compulsory requirements, the forum focused on green finance and sustainable stock exchanges.

Nordic Capital Markets Join Global Movement for Sustainable Development
November 4, 2015
Eight stock exchanges from Nordic countries joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative as Partner Exchanges; with over half of the world’s major exchanges now involved in the initiative, stock exchanges are becoming a powerful voice for responsible business.

World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Issues ESG Disclosure Guidance
November 4, 2015
Building on the SSE’s Model Guidance and the consultation Ceres led with investors globally, the WFE’s guidance identifies 33 key ESG performance indicators, which exchanges may integrate into listing rules or guidance, and 46 recommendations on how to enhance listed issuers’ ESG disclosures. Ceres commented on the potential for the WFE’s collaborative work to improve how global financial markets behave.

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CONSULTATIONS AND DEADLINES

International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Stewardship Code Consultation
Comments due January 15, 2016
ICGN is seeking member feedback on its draft of a Global Stewardship Code, which builds upon its existing policy framework and offers additional stewardship guidance. Please send all feedback to Marlice Johnson.

New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) Corporate Governance Rules Consultation
Comments due January 29, 2016
Wanting to address its “dated and unclear corporate governance listing rules,” NZX is seeking responses to a discussion paper it has issued to “ensure they remain fit for purpose,” said NZX head of policy Hamish Macdonald.

Water Climate Bond Standard Consultation
Comments due February 12, 2016
The standard is intended to provide investors with verifiable, science-based criteria for evaluating water-related bonds, and to assist issuers in differentiating their green bond offerings. Please send all comments to justine@climatebonds.net.

Natural Capital Protocol Consultation
Comments due February 26, 2016
Designed for all businesses, the Protocol aims to provide a standardized framework to identify, measure, and value companies’ impacts and/or dependencies on natural capital. A series of webinars will inform the consultation process.

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WEBINARS AND EVENTS

What Can Governments Do to Make Climate Change Disclosure Work?
December 10, 2015
The panel organized by CDSB will discuss how ESG reporting frameworks could be improved (or future ones designed) to ensure that climate change disclosures are useful, reliable, and comparable, yet avoid increasing the reporting burden on companies.

Advanced Certified Sustainability Practitioner Training
February 25 – 26, 2016
Given by the Center for Sustainability and Excellence, the course instructs participants on the skills and competencies required to produce a sustainability report aligned with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines.

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LISTING STANDARDS AND GUIDANCE

Bahrain Bourse Strengthens Governance Listing Requirements
November 12, 2015
The bourse has given all listed issuers six months to comply with the transparency, corporate governance, and disclosure standards issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain in December 2014.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange Implements Public Censure Standards
November 6, 2015
The exchange’s new four-part standard comprises information disclosure, board diversity, delisting system reform, and review mechanism components to determine if and how to publicly censure listed companies.

Financial Services Commission of Ontario Issues ESG Guidance to Pension Fund Administrators
November 2, 2015
Compliance is expected by January 2016 with a statement that contains “information about whether ESG factors are incorporated into the plan’s investment policies and procedures and, if so, how those factors are incorporated.” (paywall)

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GENERAL NEWS

PRI Launches Engagement Guidance on Corporate Tax Responsibility
November 23, 2015
The document discusses why and how to engage with companies on their tax practices, including red flags to look out for in identifying companies with which to engage and a list of suggested questions to ask companies.

Sustainability Integrated into Swedish Corporate Governance Code
November 23, 2015
Swedish boards are now expected to establish guidelines for their company’s conduct in order to ensure long-term value creation through ensuring internal controls are in place for all relevant aspects of the company, not just financial.

Is Independent Assurance the Next Stage for Integrated Reporting <IR>?
November 20, 2015
A new report uses expert insights from the South African business community to understand the challenges for <IR> as it evolves to deliver independent assurance in the same manner as conventional annual reports and financial statements.

New GRI Resource Enables Greater Transparency on Human Rights
November 16, 2015
“Linking G4 and the UN Guiding Principles” highlights the connections between the two standards, which include due diligence, grievance mechanisms, and impact assessments undertaken for both operations and suppliers.

London Stock Exchange Says Yes to Green Financing
November 16, 2015
The exchange has signed a pact with Yes Bank for bond and equity issuances of up to US $500 million that will focus on green infrastructure finance over the next year.

Financial Stability Board Proposes Creation of Disclosure Task Force on Climate-related Risks
November 9, 2015
The task force would be responsible for developing voluntary, consistent disclosures useful to lenders, insurers, investors, and other stakeholders in understanding material physical, liability, and transition risks related to climate change.

Calvert Investments Undertakes Engagement Effort with Global Stock Exchanges
November 5, 2015
Calvert has written to 67 exchanges on the importance of ESG listing standards and in support of them improving the availability, quality, comparability, and consistency of ESG data that is central to sustainable and responsible investing.

Ceres’ President Responds to the World Federation of Exchanges’ (WFE) Sustainability Reporting Guidance
November 4, 2015
While welcoming the WFE’s work with 22 of its members on ESG reporting guidance, Ceres head Mindy Lubber cautioned that there is still a lot of work ahead to unify and strengthen consistent, comparable, cross-market ESG reporting standards.

Exchange Trade Bodies are the Key to Global Adoption of Mandatory ESG Reporting
October 29, 2015
Ceres argues that IOSCO and the WFE must work in tandem to establish standardized ESG disclosure listing requirements to ensure issuers file ESG data that is material, consistent, and comparable. (paywall)

SASB Offers a Credential in Sustainability Accounting
October 27, 2015
Designed for financial reporting, investing, law, and ESG professionals, the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting Credential trains one how to identify, manage, and analyze ESG issues that affect firms’ financial performance.

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ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTS

New York Stock Exchange Hosts a Socially Responsible Exchange-Traded Fund
November 20, 2015
Etho Capital’s “diversified, socially responsible and fossil-free exchange-traded fund” is part of a series of financial products that will be released by the firm “dedicated to taking sustainable investing mainstream.” (paywall)

Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Launches Three Climate Change Indices
November 4, 2015
Aiming to provide investors with data about issuers’ contribution to the effects of climate change, TSX launched three indices that cover the separate concerns of CO2e emissions, carbon footprint, and ownership of fossil fuel reserves.

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MANAGEMENT NEWS

US SEC Commissioner Aguilar’s Replacement Announced
November 16, 2015
President Obama has selected Democrat Lisa Fairfax to replace Aguilar, who will leave the agency in December. Fairfax, a law professor at George Washington University, must be confirmed by the Senate.

SIX Swiss Appoints a New CEO
November 12, 2015
Christoph Landis will replace Christoph Katz as CEO of the stock exchange division and member of the executive board.

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Appoints New COO and CIO
November 11, 2015
Chris Corrado, formerly of MSCI, will be the group’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) as well as a member of the LSEG Executive Committee.

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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 

 

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