LSE becomes UN’s 10th sustainable exchange

Jun 04, 2014
<p>London bourse the latest addition to the UN&rsquo;s pro-sustainability program</p>

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has become the 10th exchange operator to join the UN’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, in a bid to improve its efforts to promote investment into sustainable companies.

Launched by UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-Moon in 2009, the platform aims to offer participating organizations the opportunity to talk through methods of encouraging sustainable investment, as well as ESG transparency issues. Its nine existing partners include NYSE Euronext, NASDAQ OMX and, most recently, the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

The main outlet for any change, notes the initiative’s website, is through dialogue with investors, companies and regulators. In particular, targets for improvement include corporate governance standards, finance available to clean-technology companies listed on the participating exchanges, and the introduction of non-financial reporting throughout.

Mark Makepeace, one of LSEG’s group directors, says his organization had a responsibility to make its attitudes toward sustainability official. ‘Given our role at the heart of global financial markets, we are in a unique and privileged position to promote sustainability and corporate responsibility,’ he explains. ‘Ultimately, this is about supporting stable, global, long-term economic growth.’

LSEG is already accredited by a number of similar organizations that promote awareness of sustainability and ESG issues, which include the FTSE 4Good Index Series and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The group was also named as one of Corporate Knights’ 100 Most Sustainable Corporations earlier this year.

In a press release announcing the partnership, Makepeace goes on to say that he is ‘delighted’ on behalf of the group to join the UN’s initiative, while he and his colleagues ‘look forward’ to collaborating with the organization and its fellow exchanges.

The Secretary-General of the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development, Mukhisa Kituyi, adds that LSEG will be the latest group to encourage improving best practice standards. ‘Together, we can promote markets where market signals and sustainability priorities are in alignment, not in conflict,’ he says. ‘This is part of our vision for a sustainable future.’

The announcement coincides with the release of the 2014 edition of LSEG’s corporate responsibility report. In it, CEO Xavier Rolet draws attention to efforts the operator has made to support small and medium-sized enterprises with its ELITE program, alongside the various ESG products it has introduced this year.

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