Major Investors Push for Sustainable Stock Exchanges
June 26, 2014
The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of investors under the leadership of Ceres, has issued a proposal calling for uniform sustainability reporting requirements on the world’s major stock exchanges. Sustainable investors have long complained that sustainability reporting (still largely voluntary) is inconsistent and not comparable from company to company. INCR’s Investor Listing Standards Proposal: Recommendations for Stock Exchange Requirements on Corporate Sustainability Reporting, provides “specific recommendations for integrating environmental and social disclosure requirements into listing rules for companies listed on U.S. and global stock exchanges.”
Sustainability reporting encompasses the disclosure of business policies, practices, goals, and progress related to—among other things—environmental and social issues. The reporting process is often a catalyst to identify key sustainability challenges and opportunities. Companies producing such reports frequently cite many benefits, including lower costs, less waste and increased productivity.
The INCR recommendations have been forwarded to members of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), which has created its own Sustainability Working Group to consider sustainability listing standards. Exchanges will be able to comment on INCR’s Proposal throughout the summer.
Because Wespath believes that current sustainability reporting is both erratic and inadequate, two letters have been written in support of this initiative. One was directed to the publicly-traded stock exchanges in which we holds shares; the other to our investment managers who were encouraged to address their own letters of support to the various exchanges on which they buy and sell shares. Wespath distributed these letters in early June.
Wespath is a Ceres member and a participant in the Investor Network on Climate Risk.
The Ceres press release is available here.
The full report is available here.