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Investors of $1.6 Trillion Urge Environmental Reporting

A group of institutional investors managing more than $1.6 trillion in assets have urged the world’s 30 biggest stock exchanges to force corporate sustainability reporting.

A group of 24 shareholders, including Aviva Investors London, Allianz Global Investors Investments Europe, the Australian Council of Super Investors, Dexia Asset Management, the Co-operative Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management wrote an open letter asking stock exchanges to change their listing rules, Reuters reported.

The investors said they want exchanges to make it easier to judge the environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks of listed firms.

Many companies listed on exchanges including Euronext Paris, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Helsinki, Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Lisbon and Borsa Italiana are disclosing good levels of such data, the investors said.

But other markets are seeing lower levels of disclosure, the letter said, with the lowest on NASDAQ GS, the Australian Stock Exchange, Korea Exchange, Santiago Stock Exchange and Philippine Stock Exchange.

“A lack of information as a result of limited or non-disclosure of ESG data makes it difficult for long-term investors such as us to assess the wider ESG risks and opportunities associated with a company,” said Paul Abberley, chief executive of Aviva Investors London, who has been a vocal supporter of increased corporate disclosure. Earlier this month he attacked the London financial system for what he called “amoral” behavior in the face of climate change.

“We believe that stock exchanges can play a crucial role in helping to create more sustainable global capital markets because of their ability to directly influence and monitor… companies seeking to access the equity markets,” he said.

Picture credit: bfishadow

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