Expanding its commitment to fostering effective Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and communication among Sri Lankan listed companies, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday formalised an arrangement with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to provide guidance to listed companies on ESG disclosures in Sri Lanka.
GRI South Asia Director Dr. Aditi Haldar and CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike were present at the event.
GRI is an independent international organisation which has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social wellbeing.
The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are developed with true multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest and are the first and most widely adopted global standards for sustainability reporting.
GRI and the CSE will jointly undertake surveys and studies amongst listed companies and investors to gauge their knowledge, determine their capacity on sustainability reporting and identify the types of technical assistance and capacity building needed to improve awareness and institutionalise sustainability reporting within their organisations. CSE and GRI will also collaborate to conduct workshops, seminars and other forms of training for representatives of listed companies.
In what is of particular interest to the CSE, GRI will also facilitate regional peer-to-peer learning with other stock exchanges and capacity building for CSE staff through workshops, seminars and training.
GRI will also provide input to the CSE on the development of a comprehensive ESG guidance document in line with GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards.
Commenting on the collaboration, CSE CEO Bandaranaike stated: “As a member of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, the CSE actively engages in its commitment to promote improved ESG disclosure and performance among listed companies. Through our collaboration with GRI, the CSE intends to foster greater awareness among our listed entities on the fact that ESG practices can be as beneficial to companies as they are to investors and that a strong focus on ESG can provide a basis for strong business results.”
“The collaboration with GRI will offer us the opportunity to deliver internationally renowned ESG reporting expertise and knowhow here in Sri Lanka, which would be of benefit to all our capital market stakeholders,” Bandaranaike added.
Earlier this year, the CSE, in collaboration with Tundra Fonder, hosted the ‘CSE – Tundra Fonder Sustainability Forum’ to explore the catalytic potential of private finance in embracing and advancing ESG perspectives in the operations of Sri Lankan listed companies.
The exchange also recently launched a publication titled ‘Communicating Sustainability: Six Recommendations for Listed Companies’, to assist listed companies in addressing ESG factors in their capital market communication. The e-version of the publication is available for download at www.cse.lk in the ‘Publications’ section.