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Exchanges maturing in ESG leadership as nine-in-ten embrace sustainability - new WFE survey out today

Hamilton, Bermuda: 17 May 2018— In a press release today The World Federation of Exchanges today published its fourth annual Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) survey of members, which shows nearly 90% of member exchanges are embracing sustainability initiatives. The release stated:

London, Thursday 17 May 2018 - The World Federation of Exchanges ("The WFE"), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, today published its fourth annual Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) survey of members, which shows nearly 90% of member exchanges are embracing sustainability initiatives.

The WFE survey captured the nature and engagement with ESG issues by member exchanges in both developed and emerging markets.

Overall, member exchanges continue to leverage their position to adopt more sustainability initiatives in their respective markets. Exchanges are prioritising the long-term sustainability of the financial system to educate more market participants, proactively drive ESG disclosures, and increase the number of sustainability products offered in their markets. Some exchanges said a lack of resources has hindered the adoption of ESG initiatives, as has insufficient demand, and there are reservations about the potential impact of these initiatives.

The survey also highlights the continued divergence of investor demand between emerging and developed markets in adopting and supporting sustainability initiatives. Despite lower investor appetite for ESG-related initiatives, many exchanges across emerging markets are gearing-up their efforts to incorporate sustainability-related financial products.

Perceived investor demand for ESG disclosure increased from last year, while the demand for sustainability products has remained broadly the same as 2016.

Please click here to download the full survey. Key highlights include:


Nandini Sukumar, CEO, WFE
said: “Exchanges are using their position within the financial system to transition the global economy towards more sustainable development. This survey reveals an increasing maturity through proactive engagement with market participants, more transparency for listed-companies, and a reorientation of investment towards a more sustainable financial system.” 

Siobhan Cleary, Head of Research & Public Policy, WFE, added: “More exchanges offering more ESG products, for example sustainable indices and green bonds, and encouraging more ESG disclosure of listed-companies, is creating a favourable market for sustainability.”


The survey was conducted in 2018 by the WFE and covers the 2017 period, focusing on three key themes: exchanges and their sustainability initiatives, transparency and reporting, and sustainability products and investor demand. The results were compiled from questionnaire responses supplied by exchanges and their clearinghouses.

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