Sustainability Disclosure Guidance
The JSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidance is aligned with, and draws on, the most influential global initiatives on sustainability and climate change disclosure – including the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, and the IIRC’s International <IR> Framework – as well as an extensive range of other frameworks and standards (Annex 1), and the Sustainability/ESG guidance of various peer exchanges. This Disclosure Guidance is not intended to replace any of these global initiatives but rather seeks to help companies navigate the landscape of reporting standards, and to provide explicitly for the South African context.
Climate Change Disclosure Guidance
The guidance 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. This guidance can be a starting point for report preparers that wish to integrate 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. The need for clear, consistent and decision-useful information from issuers on climate-related information is widely recognised. We, therefore, provide this guidance to support our market in understanding this demand and to help build consistency within our market on how to report on climate-related information.
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About Sustainability at the JSE
The JSE has long been recognised for its pioneering role in promoting strong governance and sustainability disclosure globally, through such initiatives as its progressive listings requirements incorporating the King Codes, its 2004 SRI Index (the first such “ESG” index owned by an exchange and the first of its kind in emerging markets), and its activities as a founding partner of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, a signatory to the UN-backed PRI, the co-chair of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance, and a member of the World Federation of Exchanges’ (WFE) Sustainability Working Group. It was also one of the first emerging market exchanges to create a segment for green, social and sustainability bonds and also offers derivative contracts off its FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index.
The SSE (2015) and WFE (2018) have both produced “model” ESG Guidance for exchanges to adapt to their context. Currently 60 stock exchanges have issued their own ESG Disclosure Guidance, informed by these guidance documents and adapted to local context, to help local issuers improve their disclosure. While the JSE is considered as having existing requirements for sustainability/ESG disclosure through its links to the King Codes on corporate governance, no detailed guidance to assist listed companies on sustainability/ESG reporting has been issued until now.