The Singapore Stock Exchange has this weekend issued a policy statement on sustainability reporting and proposed guide for sustainability reporting for its listed companies. The press release
that makes the announcement includes a link to the policy statement
and states that SGX is seeking feedback from the public on the adoption of sustainability reporting and its policy guidelines (closing date for feedback is 29 October).
The guide takes the why, how, where, who, what approach - which advocates the use of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The policy statement provides the exchange's view of sustainability and how it should be approached within an organisation (the board is ultimately responsible).
An interesting extract from the policy is the statement below:"The Exchange adopts a progressive approach towards the policy on sustainability reporting, which balances global and local developments. The policy statement sets the baseline for holistic reporting going beyond corporate governance to social and environmental aspects. We expect, with our statement, to generate awareness among listed companies, leading to acceptance and commitment to sustainability as an operating principle as well as to be reported on. As the pace of sustainability reporting gains momentum amongst issuers, the Exchange will review our policy on sustainability reporting to keep pace with global developments and will consider formulating formal rules to regulate disclosure if necessary.
This is a very welcome move by the SGX, it will be interesting to watch the response from the business community within Singapore in the coming months and the uptake of officially encouraged voluntary reporting that follows. Our recent research for ACCA examining reporting around ASEAN and the Asian Sustainability Rating
(ASR) show that currently Singapore companies do not disclose as much as their counterparts in the region - will this change going forward?
More on this in CSR Asia Weekly.