Five stock exchanges – NASDAQ OMX, BM&FBOVESPA, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) and The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) – recently announced a commitment to promote long-term, sustainable investment in their markets.
These leading exchanges, with over 4,600 listed companies in developed and emerging markets, have voluntarily committed to work with investors, companies and regulators to promote long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among companies listed on their exchange.
“Going forward we would like to publicly recognize those exchanges that are committed to promoting sustainability,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who announced the commitment in the presence of senior regulators, investors and representatives from stock exchanges.
“This is the first step of a larger global call to stock exchanges to publicly commit to promoting sustainability” explained Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact. “We take this opportunity to call on all stock exchanges around the world to join these leading exchanges in making this potentially transformative commitment.”
These endorsements were made during the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) 2012 Global Dialogues, held at the Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro during the Rio+20 conference last month. The SSE initiative, is co-organized by the Global Compact, UNCTAD, the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the UNEP Finance Initiative – and builds on three years of engagement with major stock exchanges.
“By encouraging companies to adopt good corporate governance practices where a social and environment dimension is taken into consideration, and by helping investors to make socially responsible decisions the SSE initiative can enhance transparency of information as regards capital markets and help creating more aware investors” said Edemir Pinto, CEO of BM&FBOVESPA.
The announcement follows a recent report by the SSE, 2012 Sustainable Stock Exchanges: A Report on Progress, that underscores that the majority of exchange entities are interested in promoting greater corporate transparency and responsibility on sustainability issues.
Source: UNCTAD press release