Exchange in Focus: The BNV Sustainability Awards 2021 – Costa Rica Stock Exchange

8 December 2021

The BNV Sustainability Awards were recently held for the third consecutive year, as a recognition granted by the Costa Rica Stock Exchange to the efforts and commitments made by capital market participants to align the stock market with sustainable development through the different initiatives that the stock exchange has been promoting. Among the initiatives promoted in their local market the following can be highlighted: the creation of new funding instruments for sustainable projects, promotion of gender equality and creation of stock market products that empower women, support for entrepreneurship, promotion of responsible investment, strengthening the transparency of issuing companies through ESG reports.  César Restrepo, General Director of BNV, indicated that the Costa Rican market is setting a precedent. "Together, we are contributing to transparency and corporate governance, accountability, gender equality, the opening of investment opportunities with a sustainable approach and caring for the environment." While moving forward on the path of sustainability is not an easy or immediate task, it is necessary for generating greater value over the long term. The exchange seeks to promote, step by step, a more inclusive, more sustainable capital market that will contribute to a more prosperous Costa Rica for future generations. César Restrepo, General Director of BNVDuring the ceremony, the most recent accomplishments and news for the Costa Rican market were addressed as the support given by BNV for the approval of a new law that will facilitate financing through the capital market activities aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the National Decarbonization Plan, the National Policy for Adaptation to Climate Change, and Sustainable Production and Consumption (read more here). The ceremony also had the participation of Ms. Tiffany Grabski, SSE Senior Specialist who talked about the steps taken by BNV to promote the Sustainable Development Agenda and the commitments the Exchange has made since they joined the SSE Initiative and their dedication to Costa Rica and Central America market. In the category of thematic issues, the recognition is received by: - Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal for issuing the first public offering green bond in the local market, which is intended to refinance green credit lines, specifically related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and water management projects. - Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), for being the first public utility company in the country to place a public offering green bond and the first in the world to receive certification from the Climate Bond Initiative in the hydroelectric energy category. The purpose of the issue is to raise funds to refinance a portion of the existing debt related to the construction of the Hidroeléctrica Reventazón power plant. - BN Sociedad Administradora de Fondos de Inversión S.A. for creating the first public offering investment fund labeled green. The funds raised by the fund will be used for the construction of a green building (the fund is pending placement).  In the category of gender equality, the recognition for signing the WEPS women's empowerment principles issued by ONUMUJUERES is for: - Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal. - Popular Sociedad de Fondos de Inversión. - Mutual Valores Puesto de Bolsa S.A. Additionally, the following entities are recognized for achieving gender parity:  - INS Valores Puesto de Bolsa S.A. on its Board of Directors, and - Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE) on its Board of Directors and Senior Management. Since 2018, the Costa Rica National Stock Exchange assumed regional leadership in these issues, because they recognized themselves as a key factor in promoting actions that allow incorporating environmental, social and governance aspects into the essence of their market. For this reason, every year the Stock Exchange urges all capital market participants to join the initiatives that contribute to the sustainable development goals in the country.  You can watch the award ceremony (in Spanish): 

Bolsa Nacional de Valores: a SSE Partner Exchange 

BNV is featured in the SSE Stock Exchange Database, where you can check its sustainability activities. BNV has an annual sustainability report and offers ESG related training. Costa Rica Stock Exchange also has written guidance on ESG reporting that can be accessed in the SSE ESG Guidance Database. BNV is an SSE Official Supporter

About the SSE

​The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.