(26 June 2017) Australia’s largest stock exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), has signed a voluntary commitment to promote long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among its issuers. ASX joins 63 stock exchanges worldwide committed to this objective as Partner Exchanges of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.
“ASX has played a leading role in lifting corporate governance standards and improving the gender diversity of company boards in Australia through the ASX Corporate Governance Council. We look forward to sharing our insights with other members of the SSE and learning from their experiences, as we continue to work with ASX stakeholders to raise the quality of environmental, social and corporate governance reporting in Australia”, said Dominic Stevens, Managing Director and CEO of ASX.
ASX is Australia’s largest and oldest securities and derivatives market. It can trace its roots back to the gold rushes of the 1860s. It became a national exchange in 1987 when the six state-based exchanges merged to form the Australian Stock Exchange. With a total market capitalisation of around $1.8 trillion, ASX is home to more than 2,200 listed entities, including some of the world’s leading resource, finance and technology companies. It is also a global leader in raising capital and one of the top ten listed exchange groups in the world.
“We are delighted to welcome ASX to the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative,” said PRI Managing Director Fiona Reynolds. “ASX’s longstanding commitment to corporate sustainability, including its work on issues such as diversity and gender equality, ideally places it to help raise awareness amongst other exchanges of the importance of ESG factors.”
“ASX makes an important addition to the growing international community of stock exchanges that are demonstrating leadership on sustainability issues,” said James Zhan, UNCTAD Director of Investment and Enterprise and Editor-in-Chief of the United Nations World Investment Report. “Every day it becomes more clear that public policy towards sustainable development must be complemented by large scale private policy to promote responsible investment and sustainable business practices.”
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative
The SSE is a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges—in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies—can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues. The SSE is convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit www.sseinitiative.org