Sustainable Development Goals for Stock Exchanges

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Making an Impact

Our evaluation of the SDGs found four relevant goals that stock exchanges are best positioned to support. In addition, there is one underpinning action that will allow exchanges to impact these four areas and other SDGs.

Underpinning Action: Mobilizing Finance

Start Now!

To start contributing to the achievement of the SDGs, your exchange can make a difference with with these 5 steps:

  1. ESG Reporting Guidance – Assist companies by providing guidance in making sustainability information public.

  2. Dialogue – Engage your fellow exchanges and your investors and issuers with an SSE Communication to Stakeholders.

  3. Sustainability Products – Help incentivize and mobilize finance for SDG areas through products such as ESG indices and bond listings.

  4. Listing Requirements – Strengthen your listing requirements to encourage the disclosure and use of sustainability information.

  5. Join a Global PartnershipJoin the SSE, and participate in its workgroups to share best practices and promote sustainable markets.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

An example of leadership already underway is the bell ringing ceremonies seven SSE Partner Exchanges held in 2015 in collaboration with UN Women and UN Global Compact in support of empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

What you can do to further gender equality:

1. Promote gender diversity on the boards and management of listed companies by incorporating gender equality and the empowerment of women into your guidance, training and events.

2. Ensure accessibility of capital market services to female entrepreneurs of all ages.

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Goal 12: Sustainability Information

Target 12.6: Encourage companies, especially large and trans-national companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

Many stock exchanges are already playing a key role in achieving target 12.6 by providing guidance and training for companies and strengthening listing requirements. By focusing on these actions, exchanges play a vital role in achieving this target and ensuring transparency in their markets.

What you can do to enhance sustainability information:

1. Provide guidance and training for companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting: The SSE is supporting exchanges in this endeavor through the development of the Model Guidance on Reporting ESG Information to Investors to help exchanges address the growing need for sustainability information.

2. Develop sustainability indices that encourage companies to publicly disclose ESG information by highlighting the highest quality reporters.

3. Update listing requirements to provide a consistent and comparable baseline for sustainability data.

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Goal 13: Climate Change

Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.

Stock exchanges can play a leading role in creating climate resilient markets. Numerous exchanges are already offering related financial products as well as encouraging or requiring disclosure in this area.

What you can do to help mitigate climate change:

1. Create and promote financial products that stimulate awareness or mobilize finance towards ‘green growth’ sectors.

2. Provide guidance and training to both companies and investors on climate-related disclosure initiatives.

3. Support national and international policies to maximize benefits and minimize risks related to low-carbon investment.

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Goal 17: Global Partnerships

Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the achievement of sustainable development goals in all countries, particularly developing countries.

Exchanges have always played a key role in bringing stakeholders together, and now more than ever they will be pivotal players in achieving global efforts. By working with the SSE, some exchanges are already making their mark in this area.

What you can do to foster global partnerships:

1. Enhance the dialogue by joining the SSE as a Partner Exchange participating in the SSE Global & Regional Dialogues and engaging in relevant SSE work streams.

2. Educate your market, as a conduit between investors and listed companies, to encourage collective action.

3. Engage your fellow exchanges, reach out to your peers for advice, practical examples and support.

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Underpinning Action: Mobilizing Finance

One of the key questions arising as the world’s governments embark on a new set of development goals is how to finance these 169 targets. Stock exchanges have an important role to play to enable innovative financing mechanisms and promote a reorientation of financial markets through improved corporate sustainability reporting.

What you can do to mobilize finance towards the SDGs:

1. Support sustainability-related indices, bonds and other products. Different financial products can mobilize capital for various thematic areas that fall under the SDGs. For example, by creating a green bond listing, exchanges not only mobilize finance, they also provide opportunity for the growth of the sustainable bond market by setting the regulations and standards for these products in the markets they serve.

2. Encourage long-term, sustainable investments. Providing resources and enhancing listing rules to strengthen corporate sustainability reporting could help promote long term responsible investment in sustainable business practices.

3. Help nascent exchanges in low-income countries mature, supporting domestic mobilization of capital.

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Download the briefing note here: