Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka David Holly, CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena, CSE and GRI officials and representatives of listed companies at the market opening event
With environment, social and governance (ESG) factors becoming vital determinants of investment decisions, it is crucial for Sri Lanka’s listed firms to effectively measure and communicate ESG performance and impacts to their stakeholders.
“Sustainable investing has continued to gain momentum among financial market participants and environment, social and governance factors are vital determinants of investment decisions. As this requirement comes into the fore, it is vital that listed entities take steps to effectively measure and communicate ESG performance and impacts to their stakeholders,” Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Chairman Ray Abeywardena said.
He was speaking at a market opening ceremony organised yesterday to mark the milestone of the two-year collaboration between the CSE and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
The CSE and GRI marked two years of collaboration focused on providing guidance to listed companies on ESG disclosures and enhance corporate transparency.
The collaboration has been successful in engaging Sri Lankan listed companies to understand their capacity on sustainability reporting and identify and deliver the technical assistance and capacity building needed to improve awareness on sustainability reporting.
“Fostering the communication of sustainability is a key focus at the CSE and in association with the GRI we hosted a number of programmes tailored to create awareness on the importance of sustainability reporting and intend to continuously offer them guidance on ESG disclosures.
As a member of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative, the CSE actively engages in its commitment to promote improved ESG disclosure and performance among listed companies,” Abeywardena elaborated.
The Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka, which has supported the GRI and its activities in Sri Lanka, has been a key stakeholder of the partnership between the CSE and GRI in its efforts to create awareness on sustainability reporting and corporate transparency in Sri Lanka. Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka David Holly speaking at the event congratulated the CSE and GRI for the progress made while noting that business could have favourable impact on
While sustainability reporting helps with attracting investment, raising the corporate profile and broader public relations, he pointed out that it also paves the way for companies here in Sri Lanka to demonstrate to the world a commitment to be part of the solution to address the climate change concerns that are closely discussed globally.
“Since 2018, the GRI and CSE worked closely to successfully organise series of workshops, sessions, high-level engagement, round tables and developed resource material like the ESG guidance document to support the listed companies in Sri Lanka. We are confident that this collaboration would go a long way to strengthen corporate transparency in the region. We are thankful to the Australian Government Foreign Affairs and Trade Department, which supported us in this journey,” Senior GRI Coordinator for South Asia Rubina Sen said commenting on the progress made through the collaboration.
The GRI is an independent international organisation that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. The GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being.