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London Stock Exchange issues ESG guidelines for listed companies
February 9, 2017 / 12:27 AM / a year ago

London Stock Exchange issues ESG guidelines for listed companies

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) on Thursday issued guidelines on how companies should incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into disclosure statements alongside traditional financial reporting.

A red London bus passes the Stock Exchange in London February 9, 2011. The London Stock Exchange is to buy the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange TMX Group in an all share deal that will create a mining-dominant exchange at a time of rising commodity prices. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Global asset managers are increasingly focused on companies’ social and environmental impact.

Issues including climate risks, labour and human rights, and transparency and have become core factors in making investment decisions, the LSEG said in a statement.

“The agenda isn’t being driven by politics as much, it’s being led by investors, particularly long-only investors,” said Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive of FTSE Russell.

Of the biggest ten asset managers, seven used ESG in their investment approach, he said.

The LSEG has sent its guidelines to more than 2,700 companies listed on its UK and Italian exchanges.

The guidelines are in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative, which the London exchange joined in May 2014, a forum which encourages companies to disclose information about their social and environmental impact.

European regulators have put in place legislation that will require large companies to disclose ESG issues from this year onwards.

Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by John Stonestreet

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