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Supporting Sustainable Stock Exchanges

Stock exchanges play a unique role in the capital markets. Although they are generally publicly traded companies themselves, they also perform a regulatory function in setting detailed “listing standards” – basic requirements a company must meet to trade on an exchange. Some exchanges, such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, have established rigorous sustainability standards, ensuring that any member company produce detailed sustainability reports. The time has come for a global sustainability reporting standard that all stock exchanges can adopt. Domini is pleased to participate on a drafting committee coordinated by the Investor Network on Climate Risk to produce a draft listing standard on corporate sustainability reporting. The draft standard is being prepared in response to a request from the NASDAQ OMX exchange for presentation to the World Federation of Exchanges, an association of the world’s stock exchanges. During the quarter, the drafting committee reported its recommendations in the form of a white paper that is now open for public investor comment (Visit ceres.org to read the paper). The comment period will close on May 1, at which point the drafting committee will regroup to address any comments received and produce a final recommendation for NASDAQ.

Domini is also pleased to participate in the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), with executives on the board and advisory council, and through our participation in SASB expert working groups. SASB is a new organization seeking to create specific sustainability indicators for use by publicly traded corporations in their SEC filings. SASB’s work should help investors obtain a better understanding of each company’s sustainability performance and more easily compare companies to their peers. This quarter, Shin Furuya, one of Domini’s lead research analysts, participated in SASB’s Financial Sector Expert Working Group Structural Engagement to identify potential key performance indicators for the finance sector, including commercial banking and mortgage financiers.