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London Stock Exchange joins UN sustainability initiative



The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has joined the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, which aims to encourage sustainable investment and enhance transparency on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

The SSE was launched by Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s secretary-general, in 2010 and the LSE will become its 10th partner exchange. The initiative is designed to provide stock exchanges with an opportunity to play a leadership role in promoting sustainable business practices. Partner exchanges make a commitment to promote improved ESG disclosure and performance among listed companies.

Mukhisa Kituyo, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development, explained that the group had pledged to renew efforts to engage in dialogue with key capital market stakeholder to raise the level of best practice.

“Together, we can promote markets where market-signals and sustainability priorities are in alignment, not conflict. This is part of our vision for a sustainable future. This will be a key element for promoting much-needed investment in sustainable development”, he added.

The announcement coincides with LSE publishing its third annual corporate responsibility report, which outlines the progress made over the last year. In particular it highlights the FTSE4Good index series, which is designed to boost investment in companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.

Mark Makepeace, group director of information services at LSE, said, “London Stock Exchange Group’s approach to corporate responsibility is founded on four pillars that are closely tied with how we operate as a business: our markets, our service, our people and our community.

“Given our role at the heart of global financial markets, we are in a unique and privileged position to promote sustainability and corporate responsibility. Ultimately this is about supporting stable global long-term economic growth.”

Photo: jam_90s via Flickr  

Further reading:

Stock exchanges announce commitment to sustainable investment

Ceres initiative looks to boost stock exchange sustainability reporting

FTSE: sustainability at the world’s leading investment index provider

Ban Ki-moon’s sustainable investment speech at the NYSE: full text

Role of stock exchanges in sustainable investment up for debate