Friday, November 16, 2018 / 08:38AM / by NSE
The integration of sustainability principles to business strategy and operations are increasingly assuming higher positions on the agenda of policy makers, market regulators, businesses and investors alike. Organisations globally are demonstrating that responsibility and profitability though not always mutually coexistent, they are not incompatible, and are in fact wholly complementary. A recent paper from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, part of the University of Oxford, stated that there is a remarkable correlation between diligent sustainability business practices and economic performance.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“The Exchange” or “NSE’) recognizes the impact of sustainability performance on the overall performance of businesses. While governments have historically initiated and led sustainability policies and regulation, market regulators and operators are increasingly playing a central role in encouraging good corporate governance and transparency among companies or Issuers listed on their stock exchanges.
In view of the aforementioned, The Exchange has commenced a phased project to integrate sustainability reporting for its listed companies. The implementation process which started in 2015 is expected to end in 2017. The first major step in this implementation was the hosting of the inaugural Nigerian Capital Market Sustainability Conference (NCMSC), which served as a stakeholder engagement session to discuss the business value of sustainable investment, enhancing corporate transparency and ultimately performance on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. The outcomes from the conference and results from relevant assessments have resulted in the production of the Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines (SDG).
Consequently, the NSE also held a Sustainability Reporting Seminar on June 8, 2016 to intimate stakeholders with the Guidelines, the reporting format and template, coupled with the real value proposition of reporting.
These Guidelines provide the value proposition for sustainability. They provide a step by step approach on integrating sustainability in organisations, and detail indicators that should be considered when providing annual disclosure to The Exchange.
The Exchange encourages all Issuers to consider and adopt the practice of sustainability reporting. These Guidelines have been developed while recognizing that Issuers may be at varying levels of understanding the requirements for the disclosure of sustainability information relating to ESG issues. We recognize that moving to best practice sustainability performance reporting and disclosure is a journey, and that preparing a Sustainability Report can be challenging especially for first time reporters and small scale companies.
Therefore, we encourage the companies to apply the recommendations of these Guidelines as much as possible on the basis of respective resources, and expertise.
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