The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative is a United Nations (UN) initiative, working as a partnership between the UN, UN-supported organizations, stock exchanges, investors, companies, regulators and governments.
The SSE initiative is co-convened by four organisations – the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), United Nations Global Compact and UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
The SSE initiative has its roots in the responsible investment workstreams of UNCTAD, Global Compact, UNEP-FI and PRI. In a spirit of working as “one UN” these organizations partnered to create the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, which was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York in 2009.
The SSE aims to provide an effective platform for peer-to-peer dialogue among global exchanges. By exploring how stock exchanges can work together with investors, regulators, and companies, the SSE hopes to encourage sustainable investment, while also enhancing corporate transparency and performance in respect to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.
It is our great pleasure to inform you all that Chittagong Stock Exchange Limited (CSE) has become the 62nd Partner Exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and the first Bangladeshi Stock Exchange to join this global partnership on January 31, 2017 as part of a global effort to promote sustainability of performance and transparency in capital markets.
Since its inception in the year 1995 and through its momentous journey, CSE has been playing a pivotal role as the vanguard of development through capital market in Bangladesh. CSE is the proponent of many new concepts including:
*Independent secretariat- 1st April 1995
* Trading system automation-2nd June 1998
* South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) – 16th January 2000
*Central depository system-26th January, 2004
* Internet trading-30th May, 2004
*Securities Training Institute-July 24, 2008
*Demutualization of Exchanges-21st November 2013
As a Partner Exchange, the CSE will join forces with international efforts to spearhead sustainability practices among capital markets. CSE intends to make use of the SSE platform to improve transparency and further enable ethical and sustainable interactions in its marketplace.
Governance, technology and the commitment are the keys of CSE’s effort. CSE is committed to leading the Bangladesh capital market as stable and sustainable. We look forward to both contributing and learning from the other partners of this exciting initiative.
We hope CSE will be able to enhance the sustainability practices of listed companies and overall, make a meaningful contribution to the investment community.
As Governments worldwide launch the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), every sector in society will have a role to play in contributing to the success of these 17 goals and 169 targets. Out of these, 4 goals are related to the Stock Exchanges, which are:
Goal 5: Gender Equality
Target 5.5: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.
Goal 12: Sustainability Information
Target 12.6: Encourage companies, especially large and trans-national companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
Goal 13: Climate Change
Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.
Goal 17: Global Partnerships
Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources to support the achievement of sustainable development goals in all countries, particularly developing countries.
CSE is committed to promoting long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) disclosure and performance among companies listed on our exchange.
At present, Corporate Governance issues are included in Public Issue Rules and Listing Regulations. CSE Listed Companies have to report on compliance of conditions of Corporate Governance Guidelines of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission in their annual Financial Reports.
CSE has now the following plans to fulfill the above commitment for the achievement of the SDGs:
- ESG Reporting Guidance – Assist listed companies by providing guidance in making sustainability information public.
- Dialogue – Engage our fellow exchanges, investors and issuers with an SSE Communication to Stakeholders.
- Sustainability Products – Help incentivize and mobilize finance for SDG areas through new products such as ESG indices and bond listings.
- Listing Requirements – Strengthen our listing requirements to encourage the disclosure and use of sustainability information.
- Participate in its SSE workgroups -Participate in its SSE workgroups to share best practices and promote sustainable markets.