September monthly news highlights
29 September 2017
SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTSSSE participates in new network to build sustainable financial centres September 28, 2017 The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative took part in the inaugural meeting of financial centres harnessing expertise to drive action on climate change and sustainable development. A group of the world’s leading financial centres agreed at the meeting in Casablanca, Morocco, to taking strategic action on green and sustainable finance. The network participants expressed their keen interest in involving SSE partner exchanges worldwide. (If your exchange would like to know more about the opportunities related to this network, please contact the SSE at firstname.lastname@example.org). Regulators, investors, issuers and exchanges gather for ESG roundtable September 27, 2017 The SSE held a roundtable discussion in Bonn, Germany, alongside the 2017 PRI in Person conference to evaluate how regulators, stock exchanges, investors and issuers can enhance corporate transparency to build long term markets and drive capital towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The dialogue was attended by regulators, stock exchanges, issuers and investors. The inputs received during the dialogue will further shape the work programme of the SSE going forward. Mongolian Stock Exchange partners with UN initiative to scale up sustainable finance September 21, 2017 The Mongolian Stock Exchange signed a commitment to promote sustainable and transparent capital markets signifying its partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. Mongolia recently hosted its 5th Sustainable Finance Forum held in September 2017, entitled “Fostering Partnerships to Scale Up Sustainable Finance.” This event, hosted in collaboration with the Bank of Mongolia, the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Regulatory Commission, among other organizing institutions, highlighted the Mongolian government’s commitment to achieve the 2010 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. New report: stock exchanges fostering economic growth and sustainable development September 7, 2017 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a report on The Role of Stock Exchanges in Fostering Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). The report was officially launched at the opening session of the 57th WFE Annual Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. It explains how stock exchanges operate, and why they matter, longer-term developmental challenges, and how exchanges might be able to address some of those challenges. Shanghai Stock Exchange joins United Nations sustainability initiative September 7, 2017 The Shanghai Stock Exchange announced its commitment to promoting sustainable and transparent capital markets through its voluntary membership with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative at the World Federation of Exchanges General Assembly in Bangkok. The Shanghai Stock Exchange also recently announced the launch of a green bond pilot program, offers guidance on sustainability reporting, and has a series of sustainability related indices. EVENT: United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Green Finance Dialogue November 16, 2017 – Bonn, Germany Bringing together ministers of finance, chief capital market regulators and CEOs of stock exchanges, investors and issuers, this leadership event will help chart the path forward for stock exchanges and their contribution to climate goals. This full day event will feature a high-level leadership forum in the morning where CEOs and government officials will discuss the challenges and opportunities of green finance. Following a networking lunch, the afternoon will feature four technical workshops where international experts will be on hand to share the latest state of the art in green finance.
WEBINARS AND EVENTSUNEP FI Regional Roundtables on Sustainable Finance October – December 2017 | Europe, Africa and Middle East, Asia Pacific The year 2017 marks 25 years since the inception of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and to celebrate, UNEP FI is bringing the sustainable finance community together at a series of Regional Roundtables. The agenda-setting events provide an opportunity for leaders from across the financial sector, civil society, academia, government, and the United Nations to discuss the latest trends and innovations in the region, as well as share good practice. After two successful Roundtables in Buenos Aires and New York, there is still time to participate in any of the three upcoming Roundtables in Geneva (16 – 18 October), Johannesburg (27 – 29 November), and Tokyo (11 – 12 December). For more information, visit the UNEP FI website.
CONSULTATIONSGRI Standards Public Consultation Feedback due by October 9, 2017 A 60-day public comment period is now open to review proposed changes to GRI 303: Water and GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety. These GRI Standards – part of the first global standards for sustainability reporting – have been updated through a formal due process, overseen by the GSSB, GRI’s independent standard-setting body. Public comment period now open for SASB’s exposure draft standards Feedback due by December 31, 2017 The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) published its Exposure Draft Standards and has opened a 90-day public comment period – the last before codification of its standards. The Exposure Draft Standards for 79 industries in 11 major sectors (listed below) will be open for feedback from corporate professionals, market participants, and public interest and intermediary stakeholders until December 31, 2017.
GENERAL NEWSContribution of exchanges to economic growth and sustainable development September 29, 2017 James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at UNCTAD discussed the recent report launched by UNCTAD and the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) in the September edition of the WFE’s Monthly Insight. “Our objective with this joint report with the WFE is to engage with the critically important question of how stock exchanges can promote economic development and begin to explore how this can be (and is already being) expanded to address some of the twenty-first century’s biggest development challenges”. The role of exchanges in fostering a sustainable future September 29, 2017 In her opening keynote speech given at the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) 57th Annual Meeting, the World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Arunma Oteh spoke about the critical role that exchanges play in fostering sustainable growth. “Exchanges and market infrastructure entities (MIEs) are agents of social change. They are indeed critical to sustainable growth given their global influence,” Ms. Oteh said. World’s first green exchange lists €63 billion in its first year September 28, 2017 The Luxembourg Green Exchange, the world’s first bourse for securities related to climate change, listed €63 billion of bonds after one year. “This far outstripped what we expected,” Jane Wilkinson, head of sustainable finance at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, said. “It clearly outstrips the growth we’ve seen in Luxembourg on the regular market, which was stable.” Report released on the sustainability of capital markets September 27, 2017 The report launched by Corporate Knights includes the following recommendation: In the short-term, exchanges and regulators should set a mandatory requirement for climate disclosure on a “comply or explain” basis, which can help maintain clear expectations while allowing companies the flexibility they need. Global resource launched for corporate sustainability reporting September 26, 2017 The World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a new tool, The Reporting Exchange to help businesses find trustworthy, up to date and accessible sustainability-related information for businesses to know what, when and how to report. The Reporting Exchange includes information on environmental, social and governance reporting requirements and provides resources from over 60 countries. Check out The Reporting Exchange here. B3 discloses results of the Report or Explain Study for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) September 22, 2017 The results present the efforts of companies listed on B3 to publish sustainability or integrated reports taking the SDGs into account. Sixty companies take the SDGs into account in their reports, 7 are preparing their reports to include the SDGs, and 36 companies intend or are considering the possibility of including the SDGs in their sustainability or integrated reports. B3’s initiative in partnership with GRI aims to foster understanding of the SDGs and their progressive incorporation into business strategy. Capital markets: How to build a social bond market September 18, 2017 “Our investor base broadened due to the issuance of social bonds,” says Satoko Tanaka, a director in Jica’s capital markets division. “As the only Japanese issuer of social bonds in our domestic market, we saw a number of investors with ESG [environmental, social and governance] mandates selectively invest in our bonds. To advertise their ESG commitments, some investors have disclosed the purchase of our bonds on their websites or annual reports. We hadn’t experienced that before.” UK government endorses Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures September 18, 2017 The UK Government has officially endorsed recommendations published by the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and encourages all listed companies to implement this new, voluntary framework to align climate-related risk management and financial governance. London Stock Exchange Group launched 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe 2017 September 5, 2017 The report celebrates some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Europe. The exchange group’s annual report examines in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the British and European economies.
ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTSNew index to give boost to green development September 28, 2017 China’s top green finance institute has jointly launched a green stock index with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and domestic index developer China Securities Index Co Ltd to track the green performance of listed companies. “With its high liquidity, transparency and test results that outperform the CSI 300 Index, the index is expected to become a benchmark for green stocks in China,” said Shi Yichen, assistant director general at Central University of Finance and Economics. Daiwa launches Japan ESG ETF tracking FTSE Blossom index September 26, 2017 Daiwa Asset Management has launched the Daiwa ETF FTSE Blossom Japan Index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The ETF tracks the FTSE Blossom Japan Index, which provides exposure to Japanese equities that display strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. LuxFLAG grants Europe’s first Green Bond Labels September 22, 2017 LuxFLAG, the Luxembourg Finance Labelling Agency, has granted Europe’s first green bond labels to 18 climate awareness bonds issued by the European Investment Bank. In June this year, LuxFLAG launched its green bond label that aims to avoid free-riding and strengthen environmental integrity in the market. By setting strict eligibility criteria, LuxFLAG sets the bar appropriately to provide the necessary accountability and confidence for green investments in the debt capital markets. New composition of STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index family September 18, 2017 STOXX Ltd., the operator of Deutsche Börse Group’s index business, and a global provider of innovative and tradable index concepts, announced the results of the annual review of the STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index. After the review, the main index now comprises 404 constituents. One hundred and seven stocks have been added, while 40 companies are no longer part of the index. Kazakhstan to issue country’s first green bonds September 5, 2017 Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) plans to issue the first “green” bonds in Kazakhstan by September next year. Results announced for 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review September 7, 2017 The three largest additions to the DJSI World this year include Samsung Electronics, British American Tobacco and ASML Holding.
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.