(Stockholm, 7 March 2016) Nasdaq announced today that its Nordic and Baltic exchanges in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius have committed to produce a guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure for listed companies by the end of 2016. Nasdaq Nordic is proud to join the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative’s “Campaign to Close the ESG Guidance Gap”.
Seven Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges are now committed to the guidance disclosure, meaning the campaign will have 15 exchanges with published guidance and 20 exchanges committed to publish guidance by the end of 2016.
Nasdaq was one of the SSE’s founding partner exchanges in 2012, and the seven Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative in November 2015. The commitment today by the Nordic and Baltic exchanges marks an important step in Nasdaq’s continuous efforts to develop and promote sustainability guidelines. This effort will also reinforce Nasdaq’s mission to provide fair, transparent, and efficient markets for all stakeholders. The forthcoming guidance will be aligned with the recommendations issued in 2015 by both the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ initiative and the World Federation of Exchanges’ Sustainability Working Group that Nasdaq chaired.
“We look forward to working together with the UN SSE initiative and the WFE as we move forward on this project. Many of the Nordic exchanges are already global leaders in sustainability reporting, and we will continue to engage our listed companies on the ESG transparency and provide them with disclosure guidance,” said Adam Kostyál, Senior Vice President of Global Listings Services and Head of European Listings, Nasdaq.
“Nasdaq in the Nordic and Baltic regions is pleased to lead an exchange industry effort that increases data transparency, reduces risk, and provides the foundation for better, more sustainable long-term investments,” added Lauri Rosendahl, Senior Vice President, European Equities and Derivatives, Nasdaq, and President of Nasdaq Helsinki.
“Today’s announcement by the Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges demonstrates the kind of leadership required from the private sector to help us meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Joakim Reiter, UNCTAD Deputy-Secretary General. “I welcome the commitment of Nasdaq Nordic to promote more sustainable business and the example this sets for other stock exchanges around the world.”
“Following the successful outreach of Allianz Global Investors and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), I am thrilled to receive the commitment from Nasdaq’s seven Nordic and Baltic exchanges to produce a guidance on ESG disclosure for their listed companies by the end of 2016. With exchanges being an essential interface between issuers and investors, marketplaces like Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges have a critical role to play in the development of sustainable capital markets, by encouraging their issuers to provide investors with consistent, comparable ESG information,” said Marissa Blankenship, Vice President and Senior ESG Analyst at Allianz Global Investors.
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) 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). All interested parties are encouraged to visit the SSE website (www.SSEinitiative.org) for more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets.