By Fabiana Negrin Ochoa
Singapore Exchange Ltd. and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have launched a digital portal in a bid to make environmental, social and governance reporting simpler for companies and easier for investors to use.
The portal will help simplify disclosure for SGX-listed companies using a set of metrics that align with existing standards and frameworks, the bourse operator and the central bank said in a joint statement on Monday.
Amid increased focus on ESG and sustainability reporting globally, "the multitude of sustainability guidelines and frameworks have created significant complexity in companies' disclosure efforts and have led to inconsistent data available in the market," SGX Chief Executive Loh Boon Chye said in a speech.
This lack of harmony has long been a thorn in the side of investors and corporates alike. By one estimate from EY, there are roughly 600 ESG reporting standards worldwide.
The SGX ESGenome portal aims to address these challenges and make it easier for businesses to publish data in a way that investors and financial institutions can use to track sustainability commitments, according to the statement.
"This enables capital to be mobilized more efficiently toward sustainable companies and projects," SGX and MAS said.
Baseline reporting will be based on 27 core ESG metrics published by SGX last year, covering areas from greenhouse gas emissions and water use to gender diversity and anti-corruption standards. The metrics draw from widely used frameworks, such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. Companies can make additional disclosures via more than 3,000 metrics, based on what is material to their business. Each metric requires a one-time input that can be automatically mapped across select standards and frameworks tailored to investors' needs and used to generate sustainability reports.
MAS said it will also draw on the ESGenome experience to address the reporting needs of the broader corporate universe, notably small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as supply-chain partners and suppliers.
"We are optimistic that by being frontrunners in ESG data disclosure via ESGenome, our listed companies will be in a better position to raise capital and attract international investors who are actively looking for leading ESG firms," Michael Syn, s...