(24 June 2019) The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in collaboration with the UN SSE initiative held a workshop on Responsible Investing and ESG attended by issuers, potential issuers and investors. The workshop featured speakers from the BSE, the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Kgori Capital, Leru Property Group, and Norsad Finance.
The workshop was aimed at building capacity among issuers and investors regarding the importance of ESG considerations in investment management processes. Mr Patrick Seitiso, from MFED, presented on the Botswana SDGs Roadmap covering the years 2017-2023 outlining the domestication of the SDGs, private sector involvement in the implementation of the Roadmap and the alignment of Roadmap to the National Development Plan 11.
In his presentation on Mainstreaming of Responsible Investment, Mr. Adrian Bertrand of PRI unpacked responsible investing with real life case studies of what has been irresponsible investing by listed companies in Africa and worldwide. He further explained the approaches to responsible investing and ESG incorporation and discussed how asset owners and financial services providers can benefit from being signatories to PRI whose platform provides insightful information and useful guidance material on the interrogation, assessment, and the reporting of responsible investing and ESG.
The BSE Head of Product Development, Mr. Kopano Bolokwe presented the BSE’s position on responsible investing and ESG, and discussed the initiatives undertaken by the BSE in mainstreaming ESG into the domestic capital market. He also presented on the BSE’s ‘Guidance For Listed Companies on Reporting ESG Information to Investors’, a framework developed by the BSE and aligned to the SSE’s Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information to Investors.
Ms. Tiffany Grabski, SSE initiative Deputy Coordinator presented on boarder market trends, providing an overview of the SSE initiative’s research, their involvement with stock exchanges and securities market regulators, and discussed the market opportunities presented by the global transition towards sustainability.
The workshop featured a panel discussion on the practicalities of ESG disclosure – regulator, issuer and investor perspectives with speakers from Kgori Capital, Leru Property Group, PRI, and Norsad Finance. The panelists shared information about their practical experiences in incorporating ESG into their investment processes, the importance of ESG reporting and disclosure by issuers, the challenges in accessing ESG data, and ways to address inconsistencies in ESG reporting, among others.
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.