New York City, Thursday 26 September 2019 – The World Federation of Exchanges ("WFE"), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, today congratulated the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (“SSE”) on its 10-year anniversary.
The SSE will today host a roundtable, alongside the UN General Assembly gathering and Climate Action Summit, which will see more than 65 participants commemorate the initiation of the SSE in 2009 by the United Nations Secretary General in New York. The SSE initiative, a UN Partnership Programme organised by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), has become the platform for collaboration and learning for stock exchanges together with capital market regulators, investors, issuers and financial service providers to meet global sustainability goals.
Attendees will be participating in two interactive discussions over the course of today, one on the role stock exchanges will play in the next 10 years of the sustainability transition, moderated by Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer of the WFE. This session will be based on the presentation and discussion of the paper co-authored by the WFE and SSE entitled ‘How exchanges can embed sustainability within their operations: a blueprint to advance action’, published earlier this week. This blueprint addresses the fifth WFE Sustainability Principle, which encourages exchanges to establish effective internal governance and operational processes and policies to support their sustainability efforts. There will be a second discussion on the role regulation and standards will play in the next 10 years of the sustainability transition.
In addition, the WFE and SSE will sign an exchange of letters at the conference, formalising the terms of the partnership between the two organisations.
WFE members at the event include: B3; Johannesburg Stock Exchange; National Stock Exchange of India; Korea Exchange; Bolsa Mexicana de Valores; Nigerian Stock Exchange; Saudi Stock Exchange – Tadawul; Borsa Istanbul; Nasdaq; Egyptian Exchange; the New York Stock Exchange, and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, WFE said: “The WFE would like to congratulate the SSE on this important milestone. Both the WFE and the SSE are committed to furthering the sustainability agenda in our industry. Today’s anniversary, whilst a celebration of the great progress that has been achieved over the past decade, is also an opportunity to agree how we will continue to drive ESG-related change in the next ten years.”
James Zhan, Chair of the SSE Governing Board, said: "Over the past decade of the SSE's work, we have always appreciated the support of the WFE and have been encouraged to see the industry embrace sustainable finance. On the occasion of the SSE's 10-year anniversary, we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the WFE over the next decade. Together we have made much progress in bringing sustainability into the mainstream of exchange practices. Going forward there is still much work to be done, to translate principles into actions and transform pioneering examples into everyday business."
Last month, the WFE published its white paper on sustainability and commodity derivatives. In 2017, the WFE and UNCTAD published a joint paper on the role of stock exchanges in fostering growth and sustainable development. Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) is a core strategic mandate and principle of the WFE. The WFE has engaged on the topic of sustainability since the inception of its Sustainability Working Group (SWG) in 2014. Since that time, the group has produced a number of market-leading research reports on the topic of sustainable finance including the annual WFE sustainability survey (for the calendar years 2018, 2017 and 2016); and the WFE’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Guidance in 2015 and 2018, as well as a responding to number of policy and regulatory consultations on the topic.