(Vienna, 20-21 June 2017) The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative was asked to present on a panel organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the key developments and trends in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting frameworks, guidelines, and standards and their alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel discussion was part of a two-day meeting held by the IFC to deliberate key developments in ESG integration in emerging markets, governance of environment and social issues, and transparency and disclosure for the development of a new toolkit on transparency and disclosure for sustainability in emerging markets.
The SSE discussed their ongoing work focused on five SDGs, illustrating practical examples of how capital markets are already supporting the targets set by governments worldwide. Additionally, the SSE shared its own experience of developing guidance on ESG reporting and provided insight into their success in shrinking the ESG reporting guidance gap at stock exchanges worldwide.
In September 2015 when the SSE launched its Model Guidance for exchanges, less than one third of stock exchanges around the world were providing guidance to issuers on reporting ESG information. As a result of the SSE Model Guidance campaign, in which all exchanges have been encouraged to produce their own guidance on ESG reporting, the number of exchanges with sustainability reporting guidance has more than doubled.
The SSE was asked to present their work to the group of nearly 60 experts who were brought together to tackle ongoing challenges relating to ESG disclosure and mitigating inherent risk of investing in emerging and frontier markets. Challenges discussed included weaker public institutions and governance, heightened social and environmental risk, and smaller companies with controlling shareholders.
This stakeholder consultation and Practice Group meeting builds on the work of the IFC Practice Group on Corporate Governance Codes, Standards, and Transparency and Disclosure, an informal community of worldwide experts on corporate governance codes and scorecards and non financial reporting.
The SSE collaborate with partners on topics relating to their own workstreams as part of its commitment to SDG 17: Global Partnerships. In addition to their contribution to such work led by their counterparts worldwide, the SSE coordinates a multi-stakeholder group of stock exchanges, capital market regulators, policy makers, investors and issuers.
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