canstockphoto4076117The Nordic and Baltic Nasdaq Stock Exchanges have decided to join the global initiative for Sustainable Stock Exchange Reporting on ESG issues. This means that Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius have committed to produce a guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure for listed companies by the end of this year.

Nasdaq Nordic and Baltic exchanges joined the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative in November 2015. This effort will also reinforce Nasdaq’s mission to provide fair, transparent, and efficient markets for investors. The forthcoming guidance will be aligned with the recommendations issued in 2015 by both the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ initiative and the World Federation of Exchanges’ Sustainability Working Group.

For example the World Federation of Exchanges´Sustainability Working Group have several key ESG Metrics in their recommendations. Those include for example:

  • Direct/indirect GHG (greenhousegas) emissions
  • Water management
  • Waste management
  • CEO pay ratio
  • Gender pay ratio
  • Human rights policy
  • Board voting
  • Code of Conduct

This decision means that Nasdaq will work for the guidance with their stakeholders during this year and publish the guideline by the end of year. It will have some implications also to the IPO listings although the market reporting requirements differ for example in the First North and the main list.

The aim of this global Stock Exchange Initiative is to encourage responsible investment, 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).  (www.SSEinitiative.org).

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