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Sri Lanka stock exchange launches sustainability guide for listed firms

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange has launched a guide for listed Sri Lankan companies to help them address environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their capital market communications.

“As sustainable investing continues to gain momentum among financial market participants, ESG factors are increasingly outlined by leading institutional and retail investors from around the world as vital determinants of investment decisions,” a statement said.

“Regulatory bodiestoo, are responding to this momentum, and are uplifting the importance of ESG disclosures to the corporation to strengthen market procedures.”

The CSE said growing political and economic prominence of climate change, market based incentives for the transition to lower-carbon products, labour standards, human rights and safety standards are the key drivers behind this emerging trend.

The Colombo Stock Exchange guide of six recommendations for listed companies consolidates current practices of investors and issuers and offers key insights into strategies that could be implemented to effectively communicate ESG informationas an investor relations initiative.

Head of Research and New Products at CSE Nishantha Hewavithana said that the publication is a part of the CSE’s bid to encourage listed companies to measure and publicly report their ESG performance,with a focus particularly on the impact to the environment.

He added that the CSE encourages all listed companies to consider sustainability reporting with a special emphasis on the recommendations made through the publication.

Establishing a commitment and drive to quality ESG reporting at a board level, considering multiple stakeholder interests, identifying and prioritizing material ESG issues, embracing widely accepted performance indicators, maintaining reporting integrity and transparency and establishing the right disclosure channels are outlined in the publication as key recommendations to listed companies.
(COLOMBO, March 16, 2018)

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