January monthly news highlights
31 January 2018
SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTSEuropean Commission expert group endorses work of the SSE January 31, 2018 The work of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative has been endorsed by the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) in their recently published final report. In particular the report encourages stock exchanges to provide guidance on ESG reporting to their investors, and references the SSE’s recent report, ‘How Stock Exchanges can Grow Green Finance’ as a valuable action plan for stock exchanges looking to improve their sustainability. SSE engages IOSCO regional committee on Green Finance, ESG reporting January 25, 2018 The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative was invited to speak at the IOSCO Africa and Middle East Regional Committee Annual Conference on how stock exchanges can grow green finance in their markets, as well as other key sustainability opportunities. The all-day event featured high level discussion among key capital market stakeholders including regulators, exchanges, investors, issuers and regional experts to deliver their views on the challenges and opportunities of market-based financing growth and sustainable development. IFC and SSE promote new work on ESG guidance January 24, 2018 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and the London Stock Exchange hosted a roundtable discussion with stock exchanges, policy makers, investors and development partners to further their work on ESG disclosure guidance. The roundtable featured the launch of the IFC’s Disclosure and Transparency Toolkit while also looking at global trends in sustainability reporting regulation and policy, evaluating possible solutions for enhancing ESG disclosure practices and discussing the needs of today’s investors. EVENT: UN SSE 2018 Global Dialogue October 23, 2018 | Geneva, Switzerland The SSE flagship Global Dialogue is a unique global gathering designed to bring together market leaders to analyze, promote and foster communication on stock exchanges’ sustainability initiatives. Attracting speakers and audience members from around the world, the SSE Global Dialogue has become the main global platform for convening dialogue on sustainable capital markets. The 2018 Global Dialogue will take place as part of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
WEBINARS AND EVENTSThe WFE SME Conference February 26-27, 2018 | Malta The WFE SME Conference will highlight the WFE’s work at the forefront of the industry debate on SME markets. With its SME Working Group tackling different issues in partnership with WFE Research, this conference will showcase the considerable work that exchanges are doing worldwide. The WFE will also launch its forthcoming research on the challenges and opportunities around listing family-owned businesses. IIRC Global Conference 2018 in collaboration with ICGN February 28 – March 1, 2018 | Tokyo This year’s conference will be hosted in Tokyo in partnership with IIRC, ICGN, JICPA and JPX. Over 300 governance commentators from around the world including global investors, corporate executives and professional advisors, will join the meeting to share their perspectives over a two-day program. Climate Bonds Annual Conference March 19-21, 2018 | London International market actors, leaders, policymakers will gather to discuss and debate how to scale the global green bond market from billions to trillions. View the full agenda here. Getting to grips with climate risk: What do the G20’s TCFD recommendations mean for company reporting in the UK? March 20, 2018 | London This workshop will provide an overview of how UK companies can report on climate-related risks and opportunities using the TCFD recommendations, with some practical suggestions for integrating climate and financial information into your annual report. Ceres Conference April 24 – 26, 2018 | Boston, MA Join more than 600 influential investors, company executives and capital market leaders to hear the business case for sustainability, and learn how to build leadership and drive change within your firm or organization. Scaling up sustainable solutions to climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses are needed now more than ever to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. At Ceres Conference 2018, you will hear from a wide-range of forward thinking investors, C-Suite company executives and capital market leaders on the most up-to-date sustainability trends, the biggest challenges and innovative breakthroughs on issues related to corporate board governance, clean energy investing, Sustainable Development Goals, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, ESG disclosure, sustainable agriculture and food, and more. 5th International Reporting 3.0 Conference June 12-13, 2018 | Amsterdam This year’s Reporting 3.0 Conference will feature final findings from all four Reporting 3.0 Blueprints and will profile pilot projects of companies and others implementing Blueprint Recommendations under the Beta Testing Program. It will also feature the formal launch of the Global Thresholds & Allocations Council, a body of respected experts to vet and validate thresholds for the carrying capacities of the multiple capitals and methodologies for companies to set fair share allocations for access to those capital resources. PRI in Person 2018 September 12-14, 2018 | San Francisco, USA PRI in Person is the leading global conference on responsible investment, offering a platform for PRI signatories and other investment professionals to learn, network and collaborate in person over a three day period. The annual event allows attendees to discuss topical issues and share experiences from their own organisation and region with peers from around the world. UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 October 22-25, 2018 | Geneva, Switzerland Established in 2008, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum (WIF) is the pre-eminent global forum for investment policy-making. It is a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue on investment in sustainable development and strives to achieve actionable outcomes for the world’s investment related challenges. Pre-registration is now open here.
CONSULTATIONSWorld Benchmarking Alliance consultation February-April 2018 The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) founding partners have launched a series of global and regional consultations, as well as an online consultation aimed at gathering inputs and insights on the WBA’s objectives and governance structure, as well as identifying and prioritizing critical intersections between industries and the SDGs. Upcoming in-person roundtables will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Nairobi, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Washington, DC from February through April 2018. There is also an ongoing open online consultation. Public consultation opens for new V3.0 of the Climate Bonds Standard Deadline: February 18, 2018 The draft of the Climate Bonds Standard Version 3.0 (V3.0) has opened for a 60-day public consultation. Comment is sought from green bond issuers, investors, verifiers and other stakeholders. The V3.0 builds on the collaboration with the Green Bond Principles (GBP) to reinforce similarities in structure and terminology. Financial Reporting Council consultation on revised UK Corporate Governance Code Deadline: February 28, 2018 The revised Code is built on an updated set of principles emphasizing the value of good corporate governance to the sustainable growth of a company. The consultation also includes questions to inform the future direction of the UK Stewardship Code, which will be published for consultation in late 2018. Corporate Governance Council launches public consultation to strengthen corporate governance Deadline: March 15, 2018 The Corporate Governance Council of Singapore released a consultation paper on its recommendations to revise the Code of Corporate Governance. The recommendations aim to support sustained corporate performance and innovation, and strengthen investor confidence in Singapore’s capital markets.
GENERAL NEWSIndonesia Stock Exchange joins Climate Bonds Initiative Partners Program February 5, 2018 The Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) is the sixth exchange to partner with Climate Bonds in a diverse grouping that includes London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Green Exchange, Deutsche Börse, Bolsa Mexicana and Nasdaq Nordics. IDX is now part of a leading group of exchanges who are committed to playing a greater role in the development of global and national green finance, with a particular focus on green bonds. High-Level Expert Group delivers roadmap for greener and cleaner economy January 31, 2018 The High-Level Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG), group of 20 senior experts, including the London Stock Exchange, WWF France, AXA, and the University of Cambridge, released its final report with key recommendations to help the EU develop policies toward incorporating sustainability into the financial sector. Stock exchanges received special mention as playing a key role in promoting ESG reporting guidance for issuers and supporting high quality ESG reporting. 2018 Investor Summit on Climate Risk: capturing the investment opportunities of the Paris agreement January 31, 2018 More than 450 investor, company and capital market leaders convened at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations to map out the next steps for increased action on climate change. The strong showing of leaders, who ranged from institutional investors to state and city pension fund fiduciaries to corporate executives, demonstrated the growing mainstream attention on the greatest threat of our generation. Nasdaq Nordics and the Climate Bonds Initiative January 30, 2018 Nasdaq Nordic announced a partnership with the Climate Bonds Initiative, to increase Nasdaq’s strategic role in the Nordic sustainable finance sector. HKEX: Exchange publishes results of its latest review of disclosure in issuers’ annual reports January 26, 2018 The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong published the findings and recommendations from its review of issuers’ annual reports for financial year ending between January and December 2016. Key recommendations in the management discussion and analysis section include disclosure of the impact of relevant environmental policies and regulations on a company’s compliance record. SEC invites regulated entities to voluntarily submit self-assessments of diversity policies and practices January 25, 2018 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion introduced its Diversity Assessment Report for Entities Regulated by the SEC. The Diversity Assessment Report is designed to help organizations conduct self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices. Mexico launches green bonds principles January 25, 2018 Grupo BMV launched the Climate Finance Advisory Group’s Green Bonds Principles for Mexico. Luxembourg Stock Exchange partners with China’s Agricultural Development Bank to expand the green bond market January 23, 2018 The aim of the agreement between ADBC and LuxSE is to bridge the Chinese interbank market with international investors and facilitate the acquisition of ADBC green bonds by investors located outside China. All eligible ADBC bonds will be displayed on the Luxembourg Green Exchange, the first and only exchange-operated platform entirely dedicated to green, social and sustainable instruments. The Luxembourg Green Exchange lists 50% of the world’s green bonds January 23, 2018 An interview with Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s CEO Robert Scharfe. Nasdaq to launch Nasdaq First North Sustainable Bond Market to meet increased demand January 12, 2018 1.7 billion EUR was raised on the Nasdaq Nordic Sustainable Bond Market during 2017 (up 81% from 2016), bringing the current total volume of sustainable bonds to 3.5 billion EUR. Nasdaq stock market opening bell will ring out for LGBTI equality January 12, 2018 United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour rang the opening bell on 12 January to promote the United Nations’ new global LGBTI equality standards for business. Luxembourg creates first law on green-bond standards January 11, 2018 Luxembourg continues to lead the way in the field of green finance, creating a bill dedicated to green covered bonds in renewable energy and climate finance. SET begins 2018 with an innovation and sustainable growth strategy to retain ASEAN leadership January 8, 2018 The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)’s three-year strategic plan from 2018-2020 has been conceived under the theme of “Towards Sustainable Growth with Innovation” in order to make innovation a key driver for the Thai capital markets to grow sustainably while retaining its leadership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Hong Kong welcomes HKQAA’s Green Finance Certification Scheme January 3, 2018 The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) announced the launch of its Green Finance Certification Scheme to provide third-party conformity assessments for green finance issuers.
ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTSFTSE Russell launches gender diversity indices February 5, 2018 The two indices, the FTSE All-Share Women on Boards Leadership Index and the Russell 1000 Women on Boards Leadership Index, are part of a series that respond to a growing trend among asset owners of integrating ESG considerations into passive investments to improve engagement and corporate performance collaboration. BSE India Inx lists IRFC’s first green bond January 13, 2018 BSE’s India International Exchange (India Inx) on Saturday said it has listed Indian Railways Finance Corporation’s (IRFC) first green bond on its global securities market. New sustainability index will facilitate sustainable investment in Europe January 26, 2018 Solactive partnered with Deutsche Bank to launch the new Solactive Sustainability Index, which is a tool designed to track the performance of environmentally and socially responsible European companies. Bloomberg launches global gender equality index January 24, 2018 Bloomberg created a sector-neutral gender equality index to help investors better identify and invest in companies that align with ESG values. This index is being used by investors as a “reference tool” to inform investment strategies, allowing clients to compare and understand a company’s approach to gender equality and better mitigate operational risks and maintain corporate competitiveness. Lyxor cross-lists green bond ETF on Deutsche Börse December 28, 2017 January 24, 2018 Lyxor cross-listed the Lyxor Green Bond Monthly Hedged UCITS ETF on the Deutsche Börse. The ETF is linked to the Solactive Green Bond Index, which comprises all USD- and EUR-denominated investment-grade bonds that have been defined as green bonds by the Climate Bond Initiative. Gender equality push enters investment sphere January 15, 2018 UBS announced the launch of a gender equality and sustainability focused UCITS ETF. A collaboration of UBS Asset Management and UBS Wealth Management, the ETF will contribute 5 percent of management fees to philanthropic projects that support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of empowering women and girls. New ETF focuses on LGBT support January 11, 2018 InsightShares rolled out a fund that invests in companies that demonstrate support for the LGBT community in their employment practices. The InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETF (PRID) tracks an index from UBS that incorporates a variety of factors, including data from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Nigerian Stock Exchange lists oversubscribed Nigerian green bond January 5, 2018 Nigeria’s inaugural green bond issue has attracted NGN 10.79 billion (USD 29.9m/EUR 24.8m) worth of subscriptions, slightly exceeding the offered amount of NGN 10.69 billion.
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.