Since the introduction of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006, a sustainbable approach towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters has been a major issue - both for companies and investors. While government funding can provide a stimulus, it is crucial thatinvestors are investing in the transition to greater sustainability because the funds needed to finance this change must come from the capital market. Therefore, it is important that ESG investments generate returns in line with the market, says Christian Reuss, Head SIX Swiss Exchange. Immense amounts of data, KPIs and a lack of uniform standards lead to enormous complexity around ESG. And this is likely to increase as governments enact more laws on non-financial disclosure. Even B2B companies that don't face disclosure requirements from investors and governments should prepare, according to Thomas Oschlisniok, partner at KPMG. Advanced digital technologies have therefore become indispensable for companies.
This is evident in the increasing demand from customers, investors and regulators for greater transparency in the supply chain, where according to KMPG 60-90% of a company's ESG-related impact originates. Advanced digital technologies that go beyond Excel files play a critical role in streamlining these processes and improving data quality through better traceability and auditability. While creating transparency requires a great deal of effort, it is rewarded with potential for new value creation. This is because it makes the company fit for the future, opens up new growth areas, and increases product and process quality thanks to greater knowledge. ESG gives companies credibility and relevance. Companies need to address the issue quickly, but they can go step by step. And they need to be aware that this is not simply a project for a single department, but requires the active involvement and cooperation of all areas of the company.
The disclosure of non-financial data ties up considerable resources at companies. SIX Swiss Exchange recognized this early on and has therefore been supporting its issuers in the reporting and dissemination of sustainability information for some time. For reporting, SIX Swiss Exchange has partnered with recognized experts to offer a wide range of training courses and materials on disclosure standards, regulatory requirements and investor expectations. And for dissemination, SIX Swiss Exchange has created a platform that highlights bonds with a strong link to sustainability (e.g. "green bonds") and helps companies give their sustainability measures more visibility among different investor groups.
SIX Swiss Exchange has partnered with KPMG, an expert in digital data capture and reporting solutions, to provide all SIX Swiss Exchange-listed companies with access to this exclusive conference.