Stock Exchanges and Market Regulators

Stock exchanges are uniquely positioned at the intersection between investors, companies, and regulators. As such they can play a key role in promoting responsible investment and sustainable development.

James Zhan, director of UNCTAD's Division on Investment and Enterprise ​

 Increasing market stability and resilience

Market regulators play a crucial role in encouraging good corporate governance and transparency, by requiring companies listed on their exchanges to fulfill ESG requirements. Many stock exchanges are now promoting some level of ESG disclosure in their markets, many in the form of an ESG reporting guidance for issuers. The key driver for recommending or requiring the disclosure of sustainability information by issuers is the desire to foster transparency, which enhances the stability and resilience of markets. 

Both companies and investors still need greater awareness and better guidance on how to effectively use ESG reporting frameworks. As intermediaries, stock exchanges see it as their role to advance awareness of the value of ESG reporting, and to promote alignment between issuers and the investment community on the supply and demand for ESG data. As the GRI Standards represent the common language for ESG reporting, 40 countries or regions reference GRI in their listing requirements or ESG reporting guidance.



 Market Policies and Regulations

GRI works with exchanges and regulators around the globe to support them as they develop, implement, and raise awareness about their sustainability reporting policies. Policy is a fundamental driver for corporate sustainability. The use of trusted, global standards reinforces the value and consistency of the reported information throughout the value chain of business relationships. This consistency allows for benchmarking between and across industries, and helps to enable more accurate and reliable data collection. The GRI Standards are increasingly referenced by policy makers and regulators. References can be made by requiring the use of the GRI Standards, considering reporting according to GRI as automatically complying with the policy, recommending the GRI Standards or referencing them. 

Learn about how the GRI Standards can be used and referenced by capital market regulators and stock exchanges in the publication Enabling Smart Policy: The role of GRI Standards.