Exchange in Focus: LSE Group Launches Guide to ESG Reporting
9 February 2017
(London, 9 February 2017) Today the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE Group) brought together over 100 financial leaders from institutional investment firms and listed companies for the launch of LSE Group’s new Guide to ESG Reporting.
“We see the ESG Reporting Guidance as a real opportunity for exchanges to promote greater consistency and depth in reporting,” said Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of LSE Group and host of the event. “This is something we feel is a real asset for issuers and investors, and it shows the role that the financial sector can play.”
This launch marks the fulfillment of the exchange’s 2015 pledge to produce ESG guidance as part of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) global guidance campaign. With 23 exchanges so far engaged in the campaign, it represents a global shift in the way exchanges guide their issuers on environmental, social and governance disclosure.
“We’re happy to welcome the LSE’s new ESG Reporting Guidance and I hope other exchanges around the world will benefit from this example,” said James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD. “Today the LSE Group is promoting responsible investment in sustainable development and making a strong, practical contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
“We are so happy to be standing here today at LSE GROUP’s release of its very own guidance,” said Martin Skancke, Chairman of the Principles for Responsible Investment. “As one of the very first exchanges to make a public commitment to produce a guidance document, LSE Group helped lead the way for the 23 exchanges in total all committing to produce their own guidance during 2016.”
“The LSE Group is a diverse markets infrastructure group that operates a broad range of international equity, ETF, bond and derivatives markets,” said Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO of Borsa Italiana – a subsidiary of the LSE Group. “This guide is specifically focused on improving the dialogue and information flows between issuers and investors, which will, in turn, benefit the market as a whole, as good practice in ESG becomes more and more relevant in the investment chain.”
“We are increasingly working with asset owners and fund managers worldwide to build ESG considerations into their equity benchmarks,” said Mark Makepeace, CEO of FTSE Russell. “It is vital that investors are able to measure and capture their exposure to ESG risks and opportunities and the launch of the LSE Group’s guidance today will help companies understand what good ESG reporting looks like.”
David Harris, Group Head of ESG, LSE Group presented an overview of the guidance document and highlighted its objectives. “We need to move away from a world of conjecture and into a world of hard ESG data.”
“It is excellent to see LSE take this leadership position on the international stage. They are a strong supporter of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, and David Harris, in particular, is an international leader on this issue,” said Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer of Aviva Investors. “While high-quality national guidance like this is a fantastic step in the right direction, the destination we should have insight is IOSCO setting the international standard and then coordinating oversight and delivery.”
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.