SSE asked by IFC to present on ESG reporting and SDGs

20 June 2017

(Vienna, 20-21 June 2017) The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative was asked to present on a panel organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the key developments and trends in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting frameworks, guidelines, and standards and their alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel discussion was part of a two-day meeting held by the IFC to deliberate key developments in ESG integration in emerging markets, governance of environment and social issues, and transparency and disclosure for the development of a new toolkit on transparency and disclosure for sustainability in emerging markets.

The SSE discussed their ongoing work focused on five SDGs, illustrating practical examples of how capital markets are already supporting the targets set by governments worldwide. Additionally, the SSE shared its own experience of developing guidance on ESG reporting and provided insight into their success in shrinking the ESG reporting guidance gap at stock exchanges worldwide.

In September 2015 when the SSE launched its Model Guidance for exchanges, less than one third of stock exchanges around the world were providing guidance to issuers on reporting ESG information. As a result of the SSE Model Guidance campaign, in which all exchanges have been encouraged to produce their own guidance on ESG reporting, the number of exchanges with sustainability reporting guidance has more than doubled.

The SSE was asked to present their work to the group of nearly 60 experts who were brought together to tackle ongoing challenges relating to ESG disclosure and mitigating inherent risk of investing in emerging and frontier markets. Challenges discussed included weaker public institutions and governance, heightened social and environmental risk, and smaller companies with controlling shareholders.

This stakeholder consultation and Practice Group meeting builds on the work of the IFC Practice Group on Corporate Governance Codes, Standards, and Transparency and Disclosure, an informal community of worldwide experts on corporate governance codes and scorecards and non financial reporting.

The SSE collaborate with partners on topics relating to their own workstreams as part of its commitment to SDG 17: Global Partnerships. In addition to their contribution to such work led by their counterparts worldwide, the SSE coordinates a multi-stakeholder group of stock exchanges, capital market regulators, policy makers, investors and issuers.

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.