Fifty eight stock exchanges, representing over 70% of listed equity markets are now official partners of the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSE), a project of the United Nations (UN), according to the initiative’s 2016 progress report.

The SSE is co-organised by various UN agencies as well as the World Federation of Exchanges and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions. The initiative provides a learning platform for stock exchanges, investors, regulators, and companies to adopt best practices in promoting corporate sustainability and to encourage sustainable investment.

The SSE’s 2016 progress report stated that 12 exchanges currently incorporate reporting on environmental social and governance (ESG) information into their listing rules and 15 provide formal guidance to issuers. An additional 23 stock exchanges have committed in the past year to introducing new ESG reporting guidance for their listed companies.

Also, 30 of the largest 50 country economies have at least one regulation of disclosure of ESG factors in place, according to the report, and eight of the 50 countries implement an investor stewardship code that addresses ESG factors.

GRI and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) announced the start of the second phase of the Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business (CSRCB) program, helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the developing world, use sustainability reporting which will contribute to more jobs and higher incomes.

The CSRCB program is being implemented in Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam and will give SMEs access to global value chains. SECO is investing more than €5m into the program, which will run until 2020.