New York City, Friday 27 September 2019 – The World Federation of Exchanges ("WFE"), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, and the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (“SSE”) initiative have formalised their deepening partnership, with the two organisations agreeing to work together on building capacity and technical assistance to stakeholders, and on joint publications and research.
The exchange of letters took place at the SSE’s half-day meeting, held during UN week. The 10-year anniversary event was attended by the WFEand more than 20 of its members, along with other industry stakeholders, who discussed the progress of sustainable stock exchanges over the past decade, and how best to chart a path for the next 10 years.
The WFE and SSE signing formalised how the two organisations will work together in the future. The exchange of letters also outlined potential areas of further collaboration including: building capacity and providing technical assistance to stock exchanges on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure; disseminating, promoting and endorsing WFE and SSE sustainability tools (e.g. WFE ESG Guidance and Metrics, and the UN SSE Model Guidance on ESG Reporting) through existing networks, during public events, training workshops, and other relevant forums; and developing joint surveys, research and/or publications.
At the event, the WFE and SSE also published a joint paper entitled ‘How exchanges can embed sustainability within their operations: a blueprint to advance action’. The blueprint is a detailed plan for the WFE’s Sustainability Principle 5, which encourages exchanges to establish effective internal governance and operational processes and policies to support their sustainability efforts. The blueprint is a practical guidance document, aimed at assisting exchanges in translating the WFE’s fifth Sustainability Principle into concrete actions, guiding them towards embedding sustainability into their own exchange operations.
Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, WFE said: “We are delighted to formally recognise the partnership between the WFE and SSE, a partnership that has spanned many years, and has already seen a great deal of progress in the mainstreaming of ESG issues in the market infrastructure industry. Our members, many of whom are also members of the SSE initiative, are taking a leadership role in promoting the sustainable finance agenda, and our exchange of letters is a further demonstration of that commitment. We believe that by working together and leveraging each other’s expertise we will be able to fulfil our shared vision of a sustainable future. We look forward to many more years of cooperation and development work with SSE, as the initiative continues to evolve and grow its sustainability mandate."
“For the past decade of SSE activities, we have been developing an ever-stronger relationship with the WFE as sustainable finance has reached the mainstream,” said James Zhan, Chair of the SSE Governing Board. “On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the SSE, we're proud to sign an exchange of letters with the WFE. We look forward to working together to strengthen the role of exchanges in promoting sustainable finance.”
Last month, the WFE published its white paper on sustainability and commodity derivatives. In 2017, the WFE and UNCTAD published a joint paperon 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.