The Investor Initiative for Sustainable Exchanges (IISE) Working Group was formed by INCR to convene a group of INCR members on a monthly basis to coordinate engagement with stock exchanges regarding corporate sustainability reporting and listing standards, following the creation of the United Nations-led global effort, the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE Initiative), in 2009. While the SSE Initiative facilitates ongoing discussions between these parties on stock exchange best practice, it has not taken a position on mandatory standards for sustainability disclosure. Many INCR members, however, have been strong and vocal proponents of a “floor” for stock exchanges on sustainability reporting—a minimum standard applicable to all exchanges on key aspects of ESG transparency.
Beyond the IISE Working Group, some of our INCR members and staff participate in the Principles for Responsible Investment's (PRI) Sustainable Stock Exchanges Investor Working Group (SSE IWG), which was previously an ongoing engagement under the PRI Clearinghouse. This Aviva Investors-led group of PRI signatories collaborates on a quarterly basis to share stock exchange progress, and calls broadly for enhanced sustainability performance and disclosure of listed companies.
As part of Aviva Investors’ call to action on stock exchanges in January 2011 (a component of a letter-writing campaign to almost 30 exchanges on ESG issues), North America-based INCR committed to engaging with five stock exchanges (or exchange groups) regarding corporate sustainability reporting and listing standards. Similarly, under the PRI initiative, other investors volunteered to engage with exchanges in their region or exchanges they hold in their investment portfolios. The IISE Working Group continues to coordinate with the PRI, the SSE Initiative, and other organizations to share best practices and lessons learned from these market-specific engagements with exchanges.