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SRI Column

Colombia’s Bolsa de Valores joins UN’s sustainable stock exchange initiative

September 2014

The announcement on 22 July 2014 that the Colombian Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores Colombia (BVC)) is partnering with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, a project co-convened by the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Global Compact, means eleven stock exchanges globally are now involved in the initiative.

BVC, which is fourth largest securities exchanges in Latin America, becomes the second Latin American exchange to join the SSE initiative after Bolsa de Valores, Mercadorias & Futuros de São Paulo (BM&F Bovespa) in 2012, along with nine others from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia. In Europe, the London Stock Exchange Group joined the SSE on 2 June 2014 after the Warsaw Stock Exchange last December.

Specifically, the SSE is a peer-to-peer multi-stakeholder learning platform for companies, investors, stock exchanges and regulators to adopt best practices in promoting corporate sustainability and to encourage sustainable investment.

Juan Pablo Córdoba, CEO of BVC, commenting said: “BVC recognizes the relevance of sustainability for the private sector, which is why it has proposed raising initiatives to foster the knowledge and skills needed in the market to face the challenges of sustainable and responsible investment. All this, with the vision set on creating long-term value for the prosperity of Colombia and the region.” 

The ceremony, which took place at the exchange’s opening bell in Bogota alongside Andrea Pradilla, Director, GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) Focal Point Colombia, Alejandro Navarro, Latin America Consultant at Sustainalytics, and Anna Van Zoest, Chief Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Dutch Embassy in Colombia, was followed by the official launch of a new guide to responsible investment and the Latin American Sustainable Investment Forum (LatinSIF).

Pradilla remarked: “The step taken by BVC is a crucial one to encourage enhanced sustainability reporting by listed companies, and improve the quality and quantity of disclosures relating to non-financial information worldwide.”

She added: “GRI sees this as an example of strong leadership, and an understanding of sustainability-related opportunities and the challenges facing the capital markets today. It relates to how stock exchanges can work together with investors, regulators, and companies to enhance corporate transparency, performance on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues, and encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment.”

Separately, the 4th biennial SSE Global Dialogue will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 October 2014 (www.sseinitiative.org/global-dialogue/2014-global-dialogue/) during the UNCTAD World Investment Forum (13-16 October) with attendees comprising exchange CEOs, companies and institutional investors, policy makers and regulators.

The focus of the event is ‘Capital Markets for Sustainable Development’ and is touted as offering “a global platform to demonstrate leadership and understanding of the sustainability-related opportunities and challenges facing the capital markets today”. The event will seek address questions including what role can stock exchanges, regulators and investors play to improve the ESG performance of companies.

Among some thirty confirmed roundtable speakers are Marilou van Golstein Brouwers, Managing Director of Triodos Investment Management BV, who is a leading authority on microfinance, and Vincent Kaufmann, deputy CEO of Ethos, the Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development that aims to promote socially responsible investment (SRI).

While the event is free to attend places are limited, registration is required via the UNCTAD World Investment Forum’s website (www.UNCTAD-WorldInvestmentForum.org).
 




South America | SRI

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