How we work

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative has three inter-related pillars of activity: research, consensus building and technical assistance. The SSE builds its work on collaboration and partnerships for the greatest impact. The SSE aims to include representatives of all capital market stakeholders in all of its workstreams and has a network of stock exchanges, capital market regulators, investors, companies and other experts that engage with the SSE on a regular basis.

Overview 

Theory of Change

The SSE’s theory of change is to work in partnership with all capital market stakeholders to create new opportunities and understanding of market signals through consensus building, technical assistance and research. As a UN Partnership Programme, the SSE focuses its work on topics which align with the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Research

The SSE initiative conducts research and compiles information about sustainability measures implemented in different jurisdictions. This research is compiled and made public through open sources via its database of fact sheets and online publications. The SSE is the only source for sustainability-related data on stock exchanges world-wide.

The SSE undertakes thematic research projects to further support stock exchanges in their sustainability activities through research and guidance. The SSE has published guidance for stock exchanges on their own sustainability practices, green finance, sustainability reporting and gender equality. In addition, the SSE has developed a number of shorter briefings for meetings held on a specific topic. Where appropriate, the SSE contributes to other publications or supports other organizations through peer reviewing.

Databases

The SSE compiles data for three databases publicly avaialble on its website. This includes sustainability information on stock exchanges, sustainability-related regulatory initiatives, and sustainability reporting guidance documents. This data is also compiled in a biennial basis and published in the SSE’s Report on Progress. 

The SSE’s stock exchange and securities regulation databases can now also be filtered for a more user-friendly interface. Use the buttons below or the databases tab on the menu to access our three databases. 

Consensus Building

The SSE works with its five key stakeholder groups and other key experts to build consensus around sustainability topics such as sustainability reporting, green finance, SME platforms, gender equality and other sustainability themes.

Global Dialogues

Held once every two years, the flagship SSE Global Dialogue is a unique global gathering designed to bring together market leaders to analyse, promote and foster communication on stock exchanges’ sustainability initiatives. Attracting speakers and audience members from around the world, the SSE Global Dialogue has become the main global platform for convening dialogue on sustainable capital markets. The next SSE Global Dialogue will take place in 2020.

Other consensus building activities

In addition to the Global Dialogue, the SSE holds many other events throughout the year, which usually take one of the following formats:

  • Regional Dialogues, where local capital market leaders are brought together to discuss the opportunities and challenges of their region
  • Executive Luncheons and side events, which usually take place alongside an important UN summit or event, giving capital market executives the opportunity to discuss the role of stock exchanges and regulators in supporting government efforts for sustainable development
  • Roundtables and working group meetings, which bring together operational level participants to discuss and advance a particular topic or research agenda
  • Bell ringing ceremonies, to raise awareness on specific topics and to commemorate important events

Technical Assistance

The SSE provides technical assistance to capital market stakeholders including stock exchanges, capital market regulators, investors, companies and policy makers. Assistance to these key stakeholders is provided through written guidance, such as the SSE’s guidance documents on stock exchange sustainability, green finance, sustainability reporting and gender equality, through workshops, seminars and meetings in partnership with thematic experts, or through other ad-hoc assistance in sharing best practices, connecting partners and providing examples from other markets. SSE staff also contribute to conferences, events, seminars and workshops by sharing best practice, trends and opportunities for stock exchanges.

Examples of technical assistance projects include:

  • Green bond training seminar at the Mauritius Stock Exchange
  • Technical workshop on ESG Disclosure for the SDGs in Berlin, Germany
  • Advisory group meetings on thematic topics to develop guidance documents, such as the SSE Action Plan on Green Finance, and the SSE Model Guidance on Sustainability Reporting

If you are interested in sponsoring a specific technical assistance activity, please contact the SSE. 

Partnerships

The SSE builds its work on collaboration and partnerships to amplify impact and to ensure a holistic approach. The SSE aims to include representatives of all capital market stakeholders in all of its workstreams and has a network of the stock exchanges, capital market regulators, investors, companies, policy makers and other experts that engage with the SSE on a regular basis. While the SSE engages first and foremost with stock exchanges, the other four key stakeholder groups are key to supporting stock exchange’s efforts in promoting and enhancing the sustainability and transparency of capital markets worldwide.

Stock Exchanges

Stock exchanges are the SSE’s primary partners, and are invited to become an SSE Partner Exchange by signing a commitment letter stating the following:

We voluntarily commit, through dialogue with investors, companies and regulators, to promoting long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among companies listed on our exchange.”

To further support stock exchanges in their sustainability commitment, the SSE invites all Partner Exchanges to participate in its events, join its thematic advisory groups, contribute to its research, and to participate in quarterly calls where the SSE and partners share new research, best practice and SSE updates.

If stock exchanges wish to engage with the SSE, they can:

  • Join the SSE as a Partner Exchange – there are no fees for being a member of the United Nations SSE. We only ask Partner Exchanges make a good faith effort to participate in our work streams as their time and resources permit. To find out more about becoming a Partner Exchange, you can visit our FAQ page or contact us at info@SSEinitiative.org
  • Make use of our guidance, tools and publications. Visit the SSE website’s publications section for guidance on advancing sustainability in your markets, or learn more about how you can enhance ESG disclosure, green finance, gender equality or partnerships in your market by visiting the our work section of the SSE website.

Securities Market Regulators

The SSE has always engaged securities regulators as a key stakeholder group given their close relationship with stock exchanges. While each market is unique, regulators can play an important role in supporting a stock exchanges efforts to promote long-term sustainable investment and improved ESG transparency.

If capital market regulators wish to engage with the SSE, they can:

  • Join the SSE’s Regulator Working Group. Email info(at)SSEinitiative.org for more information.
  • Engage in multi stakeholder dialogues on potential options that strengthen the regulatory environment, encourage long-term approaches to investment and encourage sustainability reporting that meets investors’ needs. Regulators are welcome at all of the SSE’s events, which can be found here;
  • Strengthen relevant international bodies responsible for equity markets in order to equip them to better address sustainability issues

Investors

The SSE works with Investors via the PRI and UNEP-FI, two of the SSE’s organizers. Investors that work closely with the SSE have contributed to the SSE’s projects as well as proposed their own projects for engagement with stock exchanges and regulators on sustainability topics.

If investors wish to engage with the SSE, they can:

  • Join the PRI’s SSE Investor Working Group, that engages with stock exchanges and regulators to enhance listing rules and/or regulatory initiatives to require the disclosure of sustainability strategies among listed companies. Email info(at)SSEinitiative.org for more information.
  • Contribute to specific topics by joining one of the SSE’s Advisory Groups and participating in its quarterly calls.
  • Incentivise stock exchanges and regulators to define disclosure requirements by showing your support for SSE campaigns, investing in sustainable products, and making your interests known.
  • Participate in the SSE’s Regional and Global Dialogues, workshops and advisory groups to ensure your market’s sustainability and leadership.

Listed Companies

The SSE works with listed companies via the UN Global Compact, one of the SSE’s organizers.

If companies wish to engage with the SSE, they can:

  • Join the Global Compact’s SSE Corporate Working Group to lend your voice to the discussion and encourage your stock exchanges to undertake sustainability activities. Contribute to the global discussion on a baseline listing standard to improve transparency. Email info(at)SSEinitiative.org for more information.
  • Contribute to specific topics by joining one of the SSE’s Advisory Groups and participating in its quarterly calls.
  • Incentivise stock exchanges and regulators to define disclosure requirements by showing your support for SSE campaigns, investing in sustainable products, and making your interests known.
  • Participate in the SSE’s Regional and Global Dialogues, workshops and advisory groups to ensure your market’s sustainability and leadership.

Policy Makers

As a UN Partnership Program, policy makers play an integral role in the mandate and mission of the SSE initiative.

If policy makers wish to engage with the SSE, they can:

  • Support the SSE through sponsorship of its activities.
  • Participate in the SSE’s Regional and Global Dialogues, workshops and advisory groups to ensure your market’s sustainability and leadership.

Official Supporters

Official Supporters recognize both a market demand and a global necessity for more sustainable and transparent financial markets. Through their financial contribution to the SSE, Official Supporters help the SSE further its mission to strengthen sustainable markets.

The yearly contribution made by the Official Supporters enables the SSE to better serve its mission and to grow its research, events and technical assistance in support of exchange’s and regulator’s sustainability activities.