Nearly all exchanges have some form of ESG initiative, increasing to 90% in 2018 from 88% the year before, according to the fifth annual Sustainability Survey released Tuesday by the World Federation of Exchanges.
The survey for the first time mapped exchange activities to the WFE's Sustainability Principles that were published in October. It also expanded the section on how well exchanges are engaging with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The survey found that 73% of exchanges with some form of ESG initiative reported having UN SDG-specific initiatives, most commonly education and information programs for listed companies.
While two-thirds of responding exchanges encourage or require ESG disclosure, "there is still no consistent global standard for ESG reporting," the survey noted.
Sustainability indexes are still the most commonly offered products, but there has been considerable growth in ESG-related bond offerings, with 73% of exchanges with sustainability products offering green bonds in their markets, WFE said.
The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2019 by the WFE and covers the 2018 calendar year. The survey was compiled from the responses of 57 WFE members and six affiliates. The survey focused on four key areas: exchanges and their sustainability initiatives; the UN SDGs; transparency and reporting; and sustainability products. The results were compiled from questionnaire responses supplied by exchanges and their clearinghouses.