Johannesburg: 14 June 2022: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) today released its Sustainability and Climate Disclosure Guidance that aims to promote transparency and good governance, and guide listed companies on best practice in environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure.
In December 2021, the bourse published the Draft Sustainability and Climate Disclosure Guidance for public comment, which paved the way for a comprehensive consultation process with a broad group of stakeholders including market participants, sustainability specialists and corporate governance bodies.
“The JSE recognises the need to create an enabling environment for better disclosure practices, especially in light of regulation and guidance that are changing rapidly globally. The Sustainability Disclosure Guidance is intended to help companies to align with recent and imminent changes in global standards and international best practice regardless of their experience in sustainability reporting,” says Leila Fourie, Group CEO at the JSE.
The JSE disclosure guidance combines global best practice with local relevance, and simplifies ESG disclosure for both listed and private companies in a context of a myriad of frameworks, guidelines, standards and ratings in the market.
Unpacking the JSE Disclosure Guidance
The Sustainability Disclosure Guidance is an impact-focused, overarching reference document that has a basic set of metrics which are rooted in existing, well-established global standards. It is the blueprint which will assist companies to understand what matters, both on a local and global landscape, and start disclosing.
Parallel to that, is the Climate Disclosure Guidance which specifically aims to clarify current global best practices in climate-related disclosure and provides a step-by-step guide to get issuers started on this journey. The guidance can be a starting point for those tasked with preparing reports with the goal of integrating climate-related information for the first time, while also providing additional resources that can help deepen the journey into climate-related disclosure for those that are more advanced.
“It is our hope that the JSE Disclosure Guidance will help to improve business leadership, performance, accountability and transparency across the entire sustainability ecosystem,” concludes Fourie.
While organisations will have the prerogative to draw fully or in part from the guidance framework to augment their existing disclosure practices, the JSE supports the understanding that the structure of any high-quality disclosure is similar for organisations of all forms and sizes.
The JSE has long championed sustainability as it was the first emerging market - and the first stock exchange globally - to introduce a sustainability index in 2004. It is also a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and a founding partner of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. The JSE is also home to the existing FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index and launched the Green Bond Segment in 2017, which was expanded to a fully-fledged Sustainability Segment in 2020.
The JSE Sustainability and Climate Disclosure Guidance documents will be available on the JSE website effective 14 June at 10:30: https://www.jse.co.za/our-business/sustainability/jses-sustainability-and-climate-disclosure-guidance
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