Courtesy: Nikkei Inc.
Implementation of ESG Values
The Case of The Singapore Stock Exchange
新加坡證券交易所 (SGX) 於 1999 年在該國的三個交易所決定合併結構後成立。 它不僅是新加坡資產交易的主要場所，也是東南亞最強大的交易平台。 值得注意的是，該機構具有全球影響力。 新交所吸引了來自世界各地的投資者，並在全球眾多交易所擁有股權。 這使其有權在與環境、社會和治理程序相關的財務事項和運動方面影響他人。
在實施 ESG 價值觀方面，新交所是世界頂級金融機構之一。 交易所較早地認識到可持續性對於確保成功創造長期價值至關重要。 出於這個原因，該機構決定嚴格要求新加坡上市公司的透明度。 那些有興趣在新交所投資的人可以獲得 ESG 股票評級以及研究和可持續發展報告。 可持續發展報告應該與財務報告齊頭並進。 所有發行人，包括房地產投資信託 (REIT)、商業信託、特殊目的收購公司 (SPAC) 和交易所交易基金 (ETF)，都有義務每年發布信息。
為了滿足投資者的需求，從 2022 年開始，所有發行人都必須在其可持續發展報告中納入氣候報告。這些聲明需要包含以下組成部分：重大 ESG 因素、與氣候相關財務披露工作組 (TCFD) 建議一致的氣候相關披露、政策、實踐和績效、目標、可持續發展報告框架以及董事會聲明以及可持續發展實踐的相關治理結構。此外，從 2023 年開始，對於金融、農業、食品和森林以及能源行業的所有公司，氣候報告將成為強制性要求。到 2024 年，來自材料、建築和交通領域的公司將加入該領域。更重要的是，所有上市公司的董事都必須接受一次性的可持續發展培訓。新交所負責人認為，可持續發展報告將有助於更好地評估發行人的財務前景。
在解決社會問題方面，從 2022 年起，發行人還必須採取董事會多元化政策，以解決具有不同技能、要求和性別的人之間的不平等問題。性別不平等問題似乎很重要，因為根據統計數據，在接受調查的 3000 家公司中，87% 的董事是男性。因此，發行人需要製定議程，其中包括年度報告中的多元化目標、計劃、時間表和進展。
至於治理部分，可持續發展報告應涵蓋董事會和管理層在可持續發展問題治理方面的作用。由於董事會對發行人的長期價值創造負有全部責任，因此也有義務監督解決可持續發展問題的戰略方向。企業管理者的任務之一是確保 ESG 因素得到精確監控和管理。
此外，重點行業中的所有公司都將根據其在 ESG 相關事項上的進展情況進行評判。 新交所董事會準備了 27 項核心 ESG 指標以及一個門戶，供發行人輸入與所有三個領域相關的數據。 所提供數據的透明度確保投資者和公眾都能夠觀察他們所關注的公司參與者的發展。 此外，ESG 數據門戶承諾為投資者節省成本並簡化決策過程。 除了 ESG值的原始數據外，該門戶還將包含評論、報告指標的解釋、討論場所、董事會聲明等。
新交所董事會建議所有上市公司繼續在所有三個 ESG 組成部分中取得進展。 假設新規定保持不變； 所有發行人將繼續有義務連同其財務報表一起發布可持續發展報告。 在這種情況下，新加坡 ESG 價值的透明度應該會顯著提高。 與即將推出的 ESG 門戶一起，這些將成為關注可持續發展的投資者的重要工具。
Courtesy: Jason Leung
The Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) came into being in 1999 after three exchanges in the country decided to unite in structure. It is not only Singapore’s primary place for asset exchange but also the most powerful exchange platform in Southeast Asia. Notably, the institution has a global reach. The SGX attracts investors from all over the world and has ownership stakes in numerous exchanges worldwide. This gives it the power to influence others regarding financial matters and movements related to the environment, social, and governance procedures.
ESG Values and the SGX
The SGX is among the top financial institutions in the world when it comes to implementing ESG values. The Exchange relatively early recognized that sustainability is crucial to assure successful long-term value creation. For that reason, the institution decided to strictly demand transparency from companies listed in Singapore. Those interested in investing at the SGX have access to ESG stock ratings together with research and sustainability reports. Sustainability reporting is supposed to come hand in hand with financial reporting. All issuers, inclusive of Real Estate Investments Trusts (REITs), business trusts, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), are obligated to publish information annually.
Sustainability reporting at the SGX
In order to fulfill the demands of investors, starting from 2022, all issuers must include climate reporting in their sustainability reports. Those statements need to incorporate the following components: material ESG factors, climate-related disclosures consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, policies, practices and performance, targets, sustainability reporting framework, as well as board statement and associated governance structure for sustainability practices. Moreover, from 2023, for all companies in the financial, agriculture, food, and forest, along with energy industries, climate reporting will become mandatory. In 2024, companies from the materials, buildings, and transportation fields will join that group of sectors. What’s more, all of the directors of listed companies must undergo a one-time training on sustainability. Those in charge of the SGX believe that sustainability reporting will enable a better assessment of the issuer’s financial prospects.
When it comes to battling social issues, from 2022, issuers are also required to adopt a board diversity policy that addresses inequality among those with different skills, requirements, and genders. The issue of gender inequality may seem significant as, according to the statistics, 87% of directors in the surveyed pool of 3000 companies were male. Consequently, issuers need to develop agendas that include diversity targets, plans, timelines, and progress in their annual reports.
As for the governance part, the sustainability report should cover the roles of the board and the management in relation to the governance of sustainability issues. Since the board takes all the responsibility for the long-term value creation of the issuer, it is also obligated to supervise the strategic direction of solving sustainability issues. One of the tasks of corporate managers is to ensure that the ESG factors are precisely monitored and managed.
Furthermore, all corporations in the highlighted industries will be judged based on their progress in ESG-related matters. The board of SGX prepared 27 core ESG metrics as well as a portal for the issuers to input data related to all three areas. The transparency of provided data assures that both investors and the general public will be capable of observing the development of the corporate actors they follow. In addition, the ESG data portal is promised to save costs and simplify the decision-making process for investors. Besides the raw data on ESG values, the portal will also incorporate commentaries, explanations of reported metrics, a place for discussion, board statements, and more.
The SGX board advises all listed companies to continue their progress among all three ESG components. Suppose the new regulations remain unchanged; all issuers will continue to be obligated to put out sustainability reports together with their financial statements. In that case, the transparency of ESG values in Singapore should increase significantly. Together with the upcoming ESG portal, those will become a crucial tool for investors that care about sustainability.
Reuters. (2021, December 15). Singapore Exchange to mandates climate, board diversity disclosures. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/singapore-exchange-mandates-climate-board-diversity-disclosures-2021-12-15/
Singapore Exchange Limited. (2021a). Getting Started with ESG Investing. Singapore Exchange Limited. https://www.sgx.com/securities/ESG
Singapore Exchange Limited. (2021b). Sustainability. Singapore Exchange Limited.
Singapore Exchange Limited. (2021c). Sustainability Reporting. Singapore Exchange Limited. https://www.sgx.com/regulation/sustainability-reporting
Singapore Exchange Limited. (2021d, December 15). SGX mandates climate and board diversity disclosures. Singapore Exchange Limited. https://www.sgx.com/media-centre/20211215-sgx-mandates-climate-and-board-diversity-disclosures
About the Author
Patryk Chojecki is a researcher and writer at Taiwan Architecture and Building Center. He is currently a graduate student at National Chengchi University in Taipei. He is passionate about all topics related to international politics, environment, and international political economy.
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