World Federation of Exchanges publishes interactive report on sustainable investment initiatives

World Federation of Exchanges publishes interactive report on sustainable investment initiatives

 
Paris, France (2 November 2009) – The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) has announced the publication of an interactive report, “Exchanges and Sustainable Investment,” presented today at a United Nations event in New York. A follow up to the WFE’s 2004 report, the research provides an update on the growth of sustainable investments as mainstream products accessible to investors, regulators and companies.
 
The report, produced by sustainable investment consultancy Delsus Limited, will be continually updated with information from WFE member exchanges to reflect new initiatives at http://www.world-exchanges.org/sustainability/. 
Principals of a sustainable investing have become a widely accepted investment criteria in the world’s capital markets and, “Exchanges and Sustainable Investment” outlines the types of products and initiatives that are attracting support with investors and issuers.   The report concentrates on three main categories of sustainable investing:
 
  • Seeking standards and support from listed companies;
  • Creating and providing informative tools, products and services for sustainable investors;
  • Founding specialized markets for specific sustainable investment niches.
Peter Clifford, Deputy Secretary General at the WFE, will formally introduce the report during his session at the PRI Sustainable Stock Exchanges Event held at the United Nations headquarters today. Many leaders of exchanges from around the world will present their work and experience from markets around the world.
 
In an important session that will examine the role of exchanges and the emerging environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda, Clifford will join a discussion with Alyson Warhurst, Executive Chair, Maplecroft, David J. Vidal, Director, Center for Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability, The Conference Board and Serge Harry, Executive Vice President and Deputy Head of Strategy, NYSE Euronext. Mr. Harry is also Chairman and CEO, BlueNext S.A.
 
Many exchanges are already implementing an ESG agenda, and the WFE believes that this will be an excellent vehicle to reinforce their relations with both issuers and the buy-side, enabling strong corporate social responsibility at every level of the economic marketplace.  This includes providing better risk management, good governance and enhanced transparency to the benefit of the markets, investors, listed companies, and ultimately, betterment at a non-economic level.
 
“The WFE has a long track record of monitoring market quality issues in general and corporate governance in particular. In updating our earlier report on sustainable investment, we found that there is currently a wider array of initiatives underway than we had suspected,” explains Clifford. “From corporate governance to listed companies, an assortment of investor concerns are being addressed, most notably those issues regarding the environment. Regulated exchanges are well placed to help investors and issuers create a better market.”
 
Taken as a whole, sustainable investment products are proving that they can outperform the market and provide economic returns for mainstream investors.  The WFE’s report notes that many exchanges are now taking the innovative steps necessary to anticipate and respond to these new opportunities.  Initiatives range from improved information efficiency through sustainability indices and disclosure guidance, to specialist listing and trading platforms.   Clifford notes that through the WFE report and his appearance at the PRI conference, the WFE hopes to inspire greater innovation and research in sustainable investments across the global marketplace.
 

ABOUT THE WFE:

 
The World Federation of Exchanges, based in Paris, France, is the trade association of more than 50 publicly regulated stock, futures and options exchanges.  WFE conducts research on issues pertinent to its members and holds workshops and conferences around the world. WFE market operators are responsible for the functioning of key components in the financial world. WFE exchanges are home to about 46,000 listed companies (as of 31 July 2009).
At the end of June 2009:
 
  • The total market capitalization listed companies was approximately USD 40 trillion.
  • Approximately USD 46.8 trillion in equities were traded on WFE stock exchanges.
  • More than 5 billion future and option contracts were transparently traded on-exchange, with proper post trade risk management and guarantees. 

 

Report Date: 
Mon, 11/02/2009