October 2015 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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Nordic Ministers, Exchanges Endorse SSE
November 4, 2015
Opened by Finland’s State Secretary H.E. Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Sweden’s Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs H.E. Mr Per Boland and UNCTAD Deputy Secretary General H.E. Mr Joakim Reiter, the SSE Regional Dialogue: Nordic Countries will welcome more than 150 participants from across Nordic Markets. Visit here for the agenda and full list of speakers.

Tunis Stock Exchange Joins UN Initiative, Focused on Promoting Sustainable Economic Growth
October 25, 2015
The exchange made a public commitment to sustainability and transparency of capital markets in the newly transitioned country by becoming a United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Partner Exchange. “We will be focusing on increasing listed companies’ transparency and commitment to environmental, social and corporate governance issues,” said Tunis Exchange CEO Mr. Bilel Sahnoun.

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Bursa Malaysia Consultation on Corporate Governance and Mineral, Oil, and Gas Industry Disclosures
Comments due November 13, 2015
The exchange is seeking comments on a consultation that combines a review of the disclosure of corporate governance requirements and the post-listing disclosure obligations of companies in the mineral, oil, and gas sectors.

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Annual Meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (sifma) 
November 10, 2015
Held at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC; legislators, regulators, and business practitioners will provide a 360 degree view of the state of US capital markets.

Quantifying ESG for Corporates and Investors
November 11 – 12, 2015
Two workshops held in London and Amsterdam will: (1) cover strategies for quantifying ESG performance and assessing the worth of ESG Reporting; and (2) offer an ESG Integration methodology that enables enhanced portfolio analysis.

ESG 2.0: Long-term Value Creation in the Investment Chain
November 19, 2015
Held in Grange St. Paul’s Hotel, London, discussions will focus on the relationship between asset owners and their asset managers as they relate to the consideration of ESG factors in investment mandates, reporting, and business relationships.

2015 World Forum on Natural Capital
November 23 – 24, 2015
Held in Edinburgh, Scotland, discussions will focus on understanding natural capital and exploring how risk can be turned into opportunity by putting natural capital at the heart of business and investing strategy.

ESG Strategies for Responsible Investors
November 24, 2015
Held at the Guimet Museum in Paris, Novethic’s event will have two sessions; the first will be dedicated to the financial issues involved in climate change; the second will focus on ESG issues most important to European asset owners.

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Consideration of ESG Criteria OK’d by the US Department of Labor
October 22, 2015
The new guidance, commented on by the US Secretary of Labor, explicitly acknowledges that ESG factors are proper components of a fiduciary’s due diligence process, thus eliminating an often-heard objection to ESG Integration strategies.

Singapore Bank Association Launches Responsible Lending Guidelines
October 12, 2015
Brought about by a World Wide Fund for Nature report, which singled out Singapore for needing better ESG disclosures, the new guidelines require banks to disclose how ESG criteria are included in project funding risk assessments.

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Egyptian Exchange (EGX) Concludes its First Sustainability Conference
October 26, 2015
Egyptian Minister of Investment, Ashraf Salman, stressed EGX’s role in educating the business community about the importance of integrating ESG criteria into business operations.

Blackrock Calls on Global Exchanges to Require ESG Disclosure by Issuers
October 22, 2015
Michelle Edkins advocates for exchanges to take a lead role in enabling investors to integrate ESG data into due diligence and stewardship activities by requiring complete, consistent, and comparable disclosures by their issuers. (paywall)

Thai Issuers Focus on Good Governance Practice
October 19, 2015
The efforts of Thai issuers at actually implementing sound corporate governance practices, as opposed to reporting on existing practice, has helped them to understand how this aspect of business operations contributes to sustainable growth.

Executive Perspective: Corporate ESG Disclosure Must Improve
October 16, 2015
Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva, weighs in on IOSCO’s and global stock exchanges’ role in ensuring companies disclose ESG data that is material, meaningful, and comparable across markets.

Singapore Exchange Will Audit Issuers’ Annual Reports
October 13, 2015
Exchange officials will assess issuers’ compliance with the Singapore Code of Corporate Governance and findings will be made public. The exchange also plans to engage with non-compliant companies to ensure shortcomings are addressed.

Bursa Malaysia Hosts 2nd Sustainability Series for Issuers and Investors
October 9, 2015
Conversations included exchanges’ unique and critical role in shaping more sustainable capital markets by setting ESG disclosure standards and defining best practices to improve environmental, social, and economic outcomes of businesses.

Japan’s Environment Ministry Launches Pilot Environmental Reporting System
October 5, 2015
The reporting platform will request disclosure of data across the spectrum of environmental issues including; who is responsible for ESG matters; the level of integration of environmental matters into business strategy; how emission reduction targets are to be achieved; and material environmental issues in a company’s value chain. (paywall)

Namibian Exchange’s CEO Connects Good Governance to Attracting Capital
September 28, 2015
Tiaan Bazuin, CEO of the Namibian Stock Exchange, explains the significance to investors of issuers adhering to the Cooperate Governance Code of Namibia (NamCode) and seeing best practices documented in local legislation.

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Luxembourg Stock Exchange Lists EUR 1.5 Bn Green Bond
October 27, 2015
KfW, a German government-owned development bank, will use the proceeds for project financing under it’s “Renewable Energies – Standard” program, which aims to reduce CO2e emissions through the development of renewable energies.

Noor Bank Plans Sharia-compliant European Stock Index
October 26, 2015
Aiming to reduce risk associated with market downturns, the investment product offering is based on a stock-picking process that involves an analysis of Sharia compliance, advanced financial risks, and ESG criteria.

TIAA-CREF and Nuveen Launch ESG Strategies for Europe and Asia
October 19, 2015
The funds will invest in a sector-neutral universe of stocks and bonds that provide direct exposure to issuers and/or individual projects, in developed and emerging markets that have clear and measurable social or environmental benefits.

FTSE Russell and Johannesburg Stock Exchange Launch New ESG Indices
October 12, 2015
Seeing a big increase in institutional investors that want to adopt ESG Integration investing strategies, the two have collaborated to develop a suite of tools that allow for a multi-dimensional understanding of issuers’ ESG practices.

Santiago Exchange and S&P Dow Jones Launch Sustainability Index
October 8, 2015
The Dow Jones Sustainability Chile Index comprises 12 companies that are incorporating sustainable processes into their business. José Martínez, CEO of the exchange commented on the importance for capital markets to commit to ESG issues.

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New Secretary General at the Italian Sustainable Investing Forum
September 29, 2015
After serving as Secretariat for almost 15 years, Davide Dal Maso will be replaced by Francesco Bicciato at the beginning of 2016.

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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