(18 January 2019) IOSCO, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, released a statement on disclosure of ESG matters by issuers on 18 January 2019. The statement sets out the importance for issuers of considering the inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, when disclosing information material to investors’ decisions. “IOSCO emphasizes that ESG matters, though sometimes characterized as non-financial, may have a material short-term and long-term impact on the business operations of the issuers as well as on risks and returns for investors and their investment and voting decisions.”
Ashley Alder, Chairman of the IOSCO Board said in a statement to the SSE, “IOSCO is monitoring developments in this area closely, given the growing importance of ESG matters to investors, and the continuing need to enhance transparency in the capital markets. IOSCO’s statement reminds issuers of their obligations to consider the disclosure (voluntary or otherwise) of the potential impact on their businesses of ESG-related risks and opportunities when these are material. IOSCO established its Sustainable Finance Network, under the leadership of Erik Thedéen of Finansinspektionen of Sweden, to enable IOSCO members to share their experiences and monitor ESG developments.”
In October, IOSCO Secretary General Paul Andrews launched at the 2018 SSE Global Dialogue the SSE’s guidance document “How securities regulators can support the Sustainable Development Goals”. Mr. Andrews also announced at this time the creation of the IOSCO sustainability network, which provides a platform for IOSCO’s members to share their experiences and discuss sustainability-related issues. The network was formed at the initiative of the Swedish Capital Market Authority Finansinspektionen, whose Director General Erik Thedéen will chair the network.
KEYNOTE: Paul Andrews, Secretary General, IOSCO
The SSE continues to support regulators in the development and promotion of sustainable finance throughout their markets and continues its work in this area with its Regulator Working Group.
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.