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Sustainability in capital market reporting - Practical guidance issued by Deutsche Börse

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03 Sep 2013

Non-financial aspects are an important part of a company’s value and investors and analysts increasingly ask for corresponding information. Therefore, Deutsche Börse has developed guidance that is designed to assist issuers of all sizes and sectors in integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) information into effective capital market communication.

The guide describes the rationale for corporate sustainability disclosure and offers seven best practice recommendations with separate chapters dedicated to each recommendation:

  • Picture the top-down approach
  • Consider stakeholder requirements
  • Provide material information
  • Focus on a “risk and return” approach
  • Give preference to quantitative data
  • Refer to standards (international / national)
  • Pay attention to presentational issues

All chapters offer practical guidance for implementing the recommendations and consolidates best practice in corporate sustainability disclosure as identified by national and international as well as mainstream and sustainability-oriented investors.

According to Deutsche Börse the challenge is

  • to identify a small number of key performance indicators that are relevant for management and evaluation purposes;
  • ideally, to present them using quantitative metrics, providing relevant context, illustrating interdependencies between financial data and ESG information, as well as with the financial reporting; and
  • to systematically omit information that is not material (and that would merely obscure key messages and / or confuse investors and analysts).

The guide stresses is not intended to replace existing standards but that it should be seen as offering an overview of existing national and international standards. To this end the guide also includes an appendix with additional information about relevant organisations such as GRI, IIRC and United Nations Compact.

The guide is available in German and English and can be downloaded from the Deutschen Börse website:

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