(15 May 2019) Nasdaq has fulfilled a commitment it made as an SSE Partner Exchange to provide guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting to its markets with the launch of its new global ESG reporting guide for public and private companies. The 2019 ESG Reporting Guide 2.0 includes the latest third-party reporting methodologies widely adopted by the industry, and aims to help companies navigate the evolving standards on ESG data disclosure, regardless of geography or market capitalization.
“Our thinking in this area has been driven by a foundational document, The Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information to Investors, originally published in 2015 by the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. The assertions therein about the inherent value of ESG reporting have proven more prescient with time, and still form the foundation of any meaningful “business case” for the practice,” the guidance states.
“Our goal is to take an increasing role in facilitating ESG practices, disclosures, and dialogue between investors and public companies. This not only creates liquidity for new investable products, such as ESG index futures, green bonds, and exchange-traded products that focus on ESG principles—but it will also likely create a better, more sustainable economy over the long-term,” Adena Friedman, Nasdaq CEO, was quoted as saying in the guidance document.
Nasdaq is one of 43 stock exchanges offering ESG guidance to issuers now around the world, a more than 200% increase since 2015 when the SSE launched its campaign encouraging all stock exchanges to provide guidance on sustainability reporting for their markets. All 43 guidance documents can be found here.
“ESG data points have become essential tools, not only for investors seeking performance indicators, but also for companies trying to increase operational efficiency, decrease resource dependency, and attract a new generation of empowered workers,” said Nelson Griggs, President of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. “Our global ESG Reporting Guide is intended to serve as a resource for today’s corporate leaders to create a world in which all market participants are able to share in economic opportunities.”
In March 2017, Nasdaq launched the ESG Reporting Guide to support Nasdaq’s Nordic and Baltic companies in their search for a more meaningful and sustainable connection with investors. Their newest guidance builds off of the experience of the ESG Reporting Guidance for the Nordic and Baltic markets and provides a global resource for all of its markets. The new version of the Nasdaq ESG Reporting Guide is intended to meet several goals:
- Eliminate and revise uncommon or impractical metrics
- Incorporate new developments in the marketplace (such as TCFD, SDGs, GRI Standards, EU NFR Directive, and others)
- Simplify and standardize guidance, labels, and calculations
- Improve ESG engagement for small- and medium-sized business enterprises
- Cover all Nasdaq markets – including the U.S. equities market – in a single document
“Our expanded ESG Reporting Guide integrates the latest reporting standards and long-term-focused methodologies and aims to further encourage companies in addressing critical ESG matters, such as capital markets and investor strategy, talent acquisition and retention, and supply chain oversight and responsibility,” said Evan Harvey, Global Head of Sustainability, Nasdaq. “Our team remains fully committed to taking a leading role in facilitating ESG practices, disclosures, and dialogue between investors and companies.”
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 100 marketplaces in 50 countries. Nasdaq is home to over 4,000 total listings with a market value of approximately $14 trillion. To learn more, visit business.nasdaq.com.
About the SSE
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, launched in 2009 by the UN Secretary General, is a UN Partnership Programme of 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). The SSE convenes stock exchanges who join by signing a voluntary public commitment and it currently has 78 Partner Exchanges worldwide. It provides Model Guidance on ESG disclosure for stock exchanges to help with the preparation of ESG reporting guidelines. The SSE has three inter-related pillars of activity: research, consensus building and technical assistance.