Oslo Børs : Growing Emphasis On Corporate Responsibility

Source: Oslo Børs, 7 September 2016

Oslo Børs today becomes one of the first stock exchanges in the world to publish guidance on the reporting of corporate responsibility. “Investors are attaching more and more weight to corporate responsibility in their investment decisions, and we want to help increase transparency and improve reporting by companies. This guidance is intended to be a practical tool that companies can adapt to the nature of their business and their size”, comments Bente A. Landsnes, President and CEO of Oslo Børs.

Oslo Børs joined the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative (SSE) as a partner exchange in 2015. The aim of the SSE initiative is for stock exchanges, investors, authorities and companies to work together to enhance transparency in the capital markets on corporate responsibility issues and to encourage long-term, sustainable investment. Measures designed to improve listed companies’ reporting on corporate responsibility issues are part of the initiative.

“Today I want to congratulate Oslo Børs for being one of the first exchanges to translate this commitment into concrete action. Efforts like this demonstrate what an exchange can do to help the world achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”, comments James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

More information on the SSE initiative is available at: http://www.sseinitiative.org/
Oslo Børs’ guidance on the reporting of corporate responsibility was produced in collaboration with the Norwegian Forum for Responsible and Sustainable Investment (Norsif). The guidance is intended to be a useful and practical tool to encourage efficient, comprehensive and relevant corporate responsibility reporting.

“Norsif is committed to developing the field of responsible investment in Norway. Investors are increasingly taking corporate responsibility into account when making financial assessments. This guidance will help Norwegian companies to highlight corporate responsibility in their reporting and will make it easier for investors to make good choices in their portfolios”, comments Bjørn Stolpestad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norsif.

“Matters related to corporate responsibility can be of great significance to the preconditions for a company to create profitability and shareholder value over the long term, and investors are therefore increasingly attaching importance to these matters”, explains Bente A. Landsnes.

Emphasis was attached when preparing the guidance to ensuring that corporate responsibility reporting does not require companies to carry out extensive additional work. It is envisaged that companies will adapt their reporting activities on the basis of their size, the nature of their business and the desired level of reporting. The purpose of the guidance is to show how corporate responsibility reporting can be accomplished in a practical manner while also meeting issuers’ and investors’ requirements.

The reporting process set out in the guidance is based on the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. G4 is a reporting framework that is already used by a number of companies listed on Oslo Børs. The guidance also builds on other recognised international standards, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights, the UN Global Compact and the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Use of the Oslo Børs guidance on the reporting of corporate responsibility is voluntary for companies.