The London Stock Exchange Joins The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is one of the world’s oldest stock exchanges. It can trace its history back more than 300 years, and most would not really associate this great British institution with sustainability. Yet it does a lot of work in this arena—now it has partnered with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. It joins nine other exchanges in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia to promote sustainable business practices among publicly listed companies worldwide. The LSE is at the heart of global financial markets and is in a unique and privileged position to promote sustainability, and corporate responsibility. Ultimately, this collaboration is about supporting stable global long-term economic growth and a vision for a sustainable future—a key element for promoting much-needed investment in sustainable development!

Stock exchanges have a crucial role to play in enhancing both the quality and quantity of environmental, social and corporate governance reporting by companies listed on their exchanges. Only three percent of the world’s largest companies currently disclose information about their Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) performance. Better disclosure will improve the usefulness and comparability of information being reported in each market, enabling institutional investors to better manage risk and make more informed investment decisions. This SSE initiative is delivering the message that stock exchanges are a critical player in bringing investors, companies, regulators and other major stakeholders together to help make corporate sustainability a transformative force in achieving a shared, secure and sustainable future.

The LSE itself is very committed to working with companies, investors and regulators to design more transparent and sustainable capital markets. It believes their engagement will enable asset owners and asset managers to use their influence to direct capital and send positive market signals to those companies that exhibit best sustainability practices.

LSE’s collaboration with the SSE comes as momentum builds among investors and stock exchanges to promote corporate sustainability disclosure that is consistent and comparable across markets. This October, 2014 the fourth biennial SSE “Global Dialogue” will take place at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and the initiative’s flagship event, the “Global Dialogue” will bring together CEO’s of stock exchanges, companies and institutional investors, alongside high-level policy makers and capital market regulators. This unique gathering offers a global platform to demonstrate leadership and understanding of the sustainability-related opportunities and challenges facing the capital markets today. Together, they are exploring how exchanges can work with investors, regulators and companies to enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.

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