New SSE ESG Guidance Database

16 June 2020

    The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative today launched its new ESG Guidance Database which contains a comprehensive list of all stock exchange ESG guidance documents in the world. The database is now updated to include an analysis of major ESG reporting instruments referenced in stock exchange guidance documents.       Increased disclosure of ESG information has been the longest-standing objective of the SSE. In September 2015 when the SSE launched its Model Guidance for exchanges, fewer than one third of stock exchanges around the world were providing guidance on reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) information for their markets. More than half of the SSE’s members have now published guidance.   In 2015 the SSE launched its database tracking which exchanges have published ESG guidance, which has now been updated with an analysis of the reporting instruments most frequently cited by the guidance documents, including instruments from: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), CDP Worldwide, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB). It shows that an overwhelming majority of guidance documents reference the GRI, followed by the IIRC and SASB instruments, which are each referenced by around three-quarters of guidance documents. Climate-specific reporting instruments such as TCFD and Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) are referenced by just under half of the guidance documents.  The role of the SSE in promoting ESG guidance was recognized by the organizations behind the reporting frameworks in the SSE’s 10 Years of Impact and Progress Report, with Tim Mohin, CEO of the GRI noting that “under the leadership of the SSE, the number of stock exchanges providing guidance and training on ESG disclosure has increased year-on-year.” The CEO of the SASB Foundation Madelyn Antoncic said, “The SSE initiative and its partners have made significant and ongoing contributions to ensure that markets are fit for purpose in the face of daunting macroeconomic trends such as climate change, resource constraints, population growth, technological innovation, globalization, and more.” The new database also shows that the SSE campaign for ESG disclosure has been recognized by exchanges, as nearly 75% of the published guidance documents reference the SSE with nearly 40% making explicit reference to the SSE model guidance. The database is designed to supplement the original SSE model guidance by facilitating peer-to-peer learning and benchmarking among exchanges. 

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.