Launch of SSEI progress report

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16 Oct, 2014

The 'Sustainable Stock Exchanges 2014 Report on Progress' was launched at the Global Dialogue in Geneva on 14 October 2014. The report containing a review of sustainability initiatives at 55 exchanges found substantial progress, engagement, and a set of emerging best practices among exchanges regarding promotion of sustainability reporting and sustainable business practices more generally. However, it also recognised clear potential for the sector to do more.

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative (SSEI) was founded in 2009 by the United Nations to exchange experience in the development and promotion of corporate social responsibility and responsible investment among investors, listed companies, regulators and capital market infrastructure institutions. The SSEI prepares biennial reports providing a periodic picture of sustainability initiatives implemented by stock exchanges and regulatory bodies around the world. The reports also highlight current best practices, trends, opportunities and challenges. Some key findings of the 2014 report are:

  • Over forty per cent of the 55 exchanges reviewed offer at least one index integrating social and/or environmental issues;
  • Over one-third of the exchanges provide either sustainability reporting guidance or training to the listed companies on their exchange;
  • Twelve of the 55 exchanges require aspects of environmental and social reporting for at least some of their companies, with 7 of those exchanges requiring such reporting for all listed companies;
  • 19 members of the G20 have at least one regulation in place requiring disclosure of some social and/or environmental metrics by companies;
  • Of the 32 Securities regulators represented on the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), more than one-third have introduced a sustainability reporting initiative.

However, the report also notes:

While a 'new mainstream' is emerging among policymakers, regulators and exchanges, the sustainability challenges the world faces remain enormous. Further progress by exchanges and their regulators is particularly important given the wider sustainable development context, and the expected introduction of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. At present, financial markets are not set up to channel sufficient funds towards sustainable development objectives.

Please click for access to the report and a press release on the SSEI's 2014 Global Dialogue (links to SSEI website). The SSEI currently counts 16 partner exchanges from every continent; most recently, Deutsche Börse joined the initiative (link to Deutsche Börse website).

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