Markets are a powerful force for good in achieving the aims of supporting and driving sustainable value creation. As a leader in sustainability in emerging markets, the JSE recognises the importance of integrating the long-term perspective into financial markets to reduce socio-economic and physical climate risks and to contribute to enhanced financial stability and a low carbon economy.

 

Our Purpose

 

Situated at the heart of capital markets, the JSE is well-positioned to drive long-term sustainable economic growth, stability and resilience in our economy.

Rooted in Sustainability

At the JSE, we are committed to consistently advancing better sustainability practices in business.

We undertake to integrate sustainability across our value chain as we:

  • Guide our markets on the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure in investment considerations.
  • Use our central role as connector to facilitate engagement and advocacy in relation to sustainability.
  • Provide the tools and services that facilitate responsible investing and the re-orientation of capital flows to more sustainable development.
  • Ourselves behave in a manner that explicitly considers sustainability across our value chain as an exchange and as a central player in the South African economy

Raising capital and innovation for shared prosperity

As one of the Top 20 largest exchanges in the world by market capitalisation as ranked by the World Federation of Exchanges, we have provided Issuers with access to deep and liquid capital markets in a regulated and secure marketplace for over 130 years. In addition to being the first stock exchange globally to introduce a Sustainability Index and to incorporate a move toward integrated reporting, we consistently seek out impactful ways towards a sustainable economy.

In providing a sustainable route through our markets, our role is to create an enabling environment for better sustainability practices and disclosure.

Our Role and Sustainability Strategy

As a connector between buyers and sellers in the financial markets we create an enabling environment for better sustainability disclosure and awareness for issuers and investors, maximise our impact and promote sustainability thinking in the ecosystem within which we operate.

Our evolving approach to sustainability encompasses appropriate regulation, sustainability engagement and training with listed companies and investors.  It also incorporates expanding our sustainability-related product suite and fulfils an advocacy and leadership role through involvement in various local and international sustainability and governance bodies.

The JSE’s role within this sphere of business and governance has included:

  • Activities as a founding partner of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.
  • Service as the co-chair of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance.
  • Contributions as a member of the World Federation of Exchanges’ (WFE) Sustainability Working Group.
  • Service on numerous panels and committees related to responsible investment, sustainability, and integrated reporting.

The JSE was the first stock exchange in Africa to create a segment for Green, Social, Sustainability, and Sustainability-Linked bonds. We are a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, a global investor initiative which encourages consideration of environment, society and governance (ESG) in investment decisions, and a founding partner of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.

At the JSE we acknowledge that the long-term success of our exchange and its members is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us, and our strategy orbits around this truth.

Apart from looking at embedding sustainability practices in our organisation, we are guided by our view on the role the JSE can play in creating an enabling environment for better sustainability practices to take root in the markets we serve and facilitating the flow of capital to support the aims of sustainable development and resilient markets and economies.

Our approach to sustainability is guided by an array of frameworks that shape our actions and how we create value.

By building a sustainable business eco-system, we contribute to the transformation of the social space within our sphere of influence. We also strive to promote the wellbeing of the economy, our relationships with our stakeholders and the natural environment.

Our sustainability approach is further informed by global trends and local context, as they apply to the exchange, our operations and intent. This ensures that our approach and actions are relevant, timely, create value and are in keeping with global norms and local needs.

Our Value Creation

 

In line with our strategic priorities and with the additional lens highlighting where we are best placed to effect change through our business model, we have prioritised six Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose objectives we are best placed to advance. By helping drive progress towards these outcomes and creating shared value, we can support more resilient communities, sustainable capital and a transformed society, enabling value creation over the long term.

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How we create value by driving and supporting a sustainable future

Our efforts to act on our sustainability goals rally around four pillars of action.

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Action and advocacy for efficacy in ESG

Our stock exchange supports South Africa’s just transition and is a partner in the Race to Zero Partner Initiative through the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

Furthermore, the Financial Sector Climate Risk Forum’s Sustainable Finance Working Group, convened by National Treasury and chaired by the JSE, is developing a sustainable finance roadmap for South Africa, including perspectives on the just transition, premised on a climate-first approach.

In a global context, the JSE, together with the London Stock Exchange Group, co-chaired the work of the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative on developing and issuing a model guidance for climate disclosures, as well as an action plan for exchanges to help make their markets more resilient.

We work closely with the United Nations Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD), co-chaired by JSE Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This alliance leverages finance and investment know-hows to scale up private-sector contributions to the annual funding gap of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our Products and Services

 

Providing issuers and investors with the tools and services that facilitate responsible investing and the re-orientation of capital flows to more sustainable development.

Growing our sustainability-related product offering

As an exchange we have the capability to provide financial instrument innovation to finance the green and social transition and finance the green and social infrastructure generally. However, much work needs to be done across the financial ecosystem to support transition finance that will access global concessionary finance as well as climate-oriented active funds.

We provide critical market infrastructure in the process and can efficiently promote sustainable finance instruments.

We have a reasonably advanced suite of instruments on offer via our sustainability segment covering green, social and sustainability, sustainability-linked and transition bonds. Both are of relevance to climate action and emphasise the need for the local context on just transition to be supported by market mechanisms.

Also offered by the JSE, our ESG Indices will continue to grow, driven by regulatory pressures and growing demand in the underlying market. Indices create a supportive environment for greater ESG investment by:

  • Providing transparency around the performance of the ESG index relative to the benchmark.
  • Providing more information about the level of demand for ESG-aligned products.
  • Enhancing the ability of investment managers to provide ESG-aligned investment products.

Investors in our Sustainability Segment:

  • Demonstrate their commitment and contribution to a sustainable economy.
  • Are able to diversify their funding instruments.
  • Gain access to potential for improved pricing.
  • Trade within a highly regulated and secure trading environment.

Consistent evolution of responsible investment products

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