MCX Stock Exchange Limited (MCX-SX) of India is joining six other leading exchanges that have publicly committed to promoting sustainable investment practices. These are the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Brazilian stock exchange BM&FBOVESPA, the Egyptian Exchange, the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ OMX.
At the Rio+20 Earth Summit held in June 2012, UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi called on stock exchanges around the world to partner with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative and to commit to promoting sustainable development. "The so-called ESG issues - environmental, social and governance issues - are critical for creating a world economy that is more stable, inclusive and sustainable," said Dr. Supachai.
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges voluntary commitment letter asks exchanges to commit to the following pledge:
"We voluntarily commit, through dialogue with investors, companies and regulators, to promoting long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among companies listed on our exchange."
Mr. James Zhan, Director of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise, says that: "MCX-SX is a new exchange in India. They recognize the importance of sustainability issues, and want to build this into their activities from the start. We welcome this public commitment from Mr. Joseph Massey, Managing Director and CEO of MCX-SX, and we look forward to working with him and his colleagues to further promote sustainable business practices."
MCX-SX is India's newest stock exchange, having begun operations in the currency derivatives segment in 2008. It received government permission to deal in equities in 2012, and will soon "go live" with several hundred listed companies.
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi in 2009 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is a joint initiative that is co-organized by UNCTAD, the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative. The Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative aims at exploring how exchanges can work together with investors, regulators and companies to enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on environmental, social and corporate governance issues, and to encourage responsible long-term approaches to investment.