The FINANCIAL -- Euronext, the primary exchange in the Euro zone, on December 7 announced that it has joined the United Nations' Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.
The UN SSE initiative aims to explore how exchanges can work together with investors, regulators, and companies to enhance corporate transparency on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues and encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment, according to Euronext.
This morning Eric Usher, Acting Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), rang the opening bell at Euronext Paris to mark the occasion. He was joined by the Chief Executives of other exchanges participating in the initiative and by the Chief Executive of ESMA.
Euronext’s five market operators have voluntarily committed—through dialogue with investors, companies and regulators— to promote sustainable, long-term investment and improved ESG governance disclosure and performance among the companies listed on their exchange.
In line with this initiative, Euronext continues to launch products related to the financing of the real economy in support of sustainability projects. These include:
Green Bonds: where funds raised are used exclusively to finance eligible Green projects such as renewable energy, sustainable land use, clean transportation, etc. In 2015, €3.84bn have already been raised through 11 green bond issues.
Sustainable indices: Euronext is working with Vigeo, the European leader in assessing companies’ and organisations’ extra-financial practices and performance, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
In addition, in November 2015, Euronext launched a new version of its Low Carbon 100 Europe Index®in partnership with Carbone 4 and CDP,introducing a more efficient means of measuring companies’ energy performance.
Commodities:Euronext has launched a number of products dedicated to financing the real economy, and our commodity contracts for milling wheat, rapeseed, corn and other products have long been relied upon as trusted global and European benchmarks. In June 2015, Euronext announced the launch of a Wood Pellet Contractleveraging favourable legislation in renewable energy to provide its clients with a product that supports renewable energy initiatives.
Stéphane Boujnah, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of Euronext NV, declared, “Joining the SSE initiative and partnering with the UN and our industry is another milestone in Euronext’s support for best practices in the environmental, social and governance fields, as well as for corporate social responsibility. As the leading pan-European exchange, operating regulated markets in five countries in Europe, Euronext has a responsibility to create a productive dialogue between investors and issuers, and encourage issuers to communicate their efforts in corporate sustainability. We look forward to participating in the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative as a global forum for sharing best practices on capital markets.”