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Stock Exchanges Adopt Sustainability Reporting Globally

Stock exchanges have long moved up and down based upon the financial merits of listed companies. Now they may swing based upon their sustainability performance as well: 21 stock exchanges around the world pledged to introduce sustainability reporting standards by close of Q1 2017. These exchanges will join 17 others that have already adopted the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

“Sustainability reporting has come of age,” said James Zhan, Director of the Division on Investment and Enterprise at U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), according to a statement. Zhan added that NGOs and the UN are not the only ones to advocate sustainability reporting; now, investors and the markets themselves are demanding it.

“Sustainability reporting has come of age.”

The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative is a platform for stock exchanges around the world to discuss, promote, and implement guidelines and standards for ESG disclosure and corporate responsibility investments. This joint effort among UN departments includes exchanges that represent more than 70% of the listed equity markets, with a market capitalization of $55T.

Nearly half the world’s stock exchanges now offer guidelines on ESG reporting; however, major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are still missing from the list.

The stock exchanges planning to introduce reporting standards are:

NorwayOslo Børs
SpainBolsas y Mercados Españoles
ChileBolsa de Comercio de Santiago
DenmarkNasdaq Copenhagen
EgyptEgyptian Exchange
EstoniaNasdaq Tallinn
FinlandNasdaq Helsinki
IcelandNasdaq Iceland
ItalyBorsa Italiana (LSE Group)
KazakhstanKazakhstan Stock Exchange
KenyaNairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)
LatviaNasdaq Riga
LithuaniaNasdaq Vilnius
MexicoBolsa Mexicana de Valores
MoroccoBourse de Casablanca
NigeriaNigerian Stock Exchange
QatarQatar Stock Exchange
RomaniaBucharest Stock Exchange
SwedenNasdaq Stockholm
UKLondon Stock Exchange
VietnamHanoi Stock Exchange
VietnamHoChiMinh Stock Exchange

The diverse economies and geographic locations show ESG reporting can be applied to all sorts of financial machines. As sustainability reporting is adopted across the world, it’s only time before US markets catch up to the trend.

“Market expectations are shifting quickly and we see more and more stock exchanges viewing sustainability reporting as necessary and inevitable,” said Anthony Miller, UNCTAD’s SSE initiative coordinator. “Those expectations create their own momentum.”


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