Exchange in Focus: JPX publishes Practical Handbook for ESG Disclosure

31 March 2020

The Japan Exchange Group (JPX) and Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) announced the publication of a new Handbook to support listed companies who are choosing to work on  (Environmental, Social, Governance) ESG disclosure, linking their company's mid- to long-term corporate value improvement to its sustainable growth.  In the last few years, JPX has observed that more and more investors have begun taking into account ESG factors when evaluating a company's mid- to long-term corporate value. Listed companies have also been acting to step up their ESG-related activities and information disclosure. Key highlights of the handbook include:
  1. Rather than listing specific data points, the Handbook brings together the issues that listed companies come across when looking into ESG disclosure and splits them into four steps that companies can follow, each including related processes and other points to think about. These are: 1. ESG issues and ESG investment; 2. Connecting ESG issues to strategy; 3. Oversight and implementation; and 4. Information disclosure and engagement.
  2. By including real-life examples of disclosure and referring to existing disclosure frameworks and standards, the Handbook provides a practical guide which will enable companies to begin concrete work on ESG disclosure.
Japan Exchange Group President & CEO Kiyota Akira says,
"At JPX we have been actively encouraging the spread of sustainable activities through support for TCFD, joining the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, and providing ESG-related products, as well as writing and implementing the Corporate Governance Code. With investors both in Japan and abroad now showing great enthusiasm for ESG investment, we have created the Practical Handbook for ESG Disclosure with the intention of pushing the investment potential of our listed companies, and indeed the Japanese market overall, one step higher. We hope that the Handbook can be a help to any listed company which is looking into ESG information disclosure."
Prior to this Handbook, JPX provided a reference guide for listed companies looking into ESG disclosure by having published a Japanese translation of the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative's "Model Guidance for Companies on Reporting on ESG Information" (English version here). Japan's Corporate Governance Code stipulates that listed companies should consider taking positive and proactive measures to address sustainability issues. The Practical Handbook for ESG Disclosure is currently available in Japanese and English

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.