The Nigerian Stock Exchange [NSE] has announced admittance into the GRI Gold Community by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

The GRI is an international independent organization that helps businesses, governments and other organisations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others.

According to Michael Meehan, Chief Executive of GRI, “The GOLD Community is made up of leading organizations that are helping GRI shape the future of sustainability. GOLD Community members are the core of GRI’s global network and through their participation they play a crucial role in enabling us to carry out our mission,” said GRI Chief Executive Michael Meehan.

The NSE joins other stock exchanges such as BM&F Bovespa (Brazil), SIX Group (Switzerland), Deutsche Boerse, Taiwan Stock Exchange and NASDAQ as GRI Gold Community Members .

Commenting on this development, the Head of Corporate Services Division, NSE, Bola Adeeko said ‘’this recognition affirms our commitment to drive sustainable and responsible actions in the marketplace, workplace, community and environment. It is a call to greater responsibility to promote best practices initiatives and we will continue to partner with GRI to raise the bar in our operating environment.”

The Exchange became an Organisational stakeholder of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in October 2015 and has collaborated on a number of initiatives aimed at increasing the sustainability performance and disclosure in the Nigerian Capital Market.

Currently, the Exchange is implementing a phased strategic plan that will stimulate the appropriate application of relevant sustainability imperatives in the Nigerian capital market.

This process which will be implemented in phases includes high-level engagement process with listed companies, investors and capital market community; development of Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and sustainability reporting & disclosure training and certification for stakeholders.

The maiden Nigerian Capital Market Sustainability Conference (NCMSC) was held in partnership with Ernst and Young (EY) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)) on Friday, November 13, 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria. A follow up seminar themed “Beyond Reporting: Real Value Proposition” is planned for June 8, 2016.

This seminar will expose participants to the rudiments of sustainability reporting according to GRI G4 guidelines and will be a precursor to the introduction of disclosure guidelines for the Nigerian capital markets.

This stakeholder engagement and knowledge sharing conference had the active participation of listed companies, Dealing Member firms, investors, civil society and regulators. The event presented a platform to dialogue on business value of sustainable investment, enhancing corporate transparency and ultimately performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Recommendations from the Plenary Sessions and CEO Roundtable supported the introduction of the proposed Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines. The Exchange is currently engaging stakeholders on the draft disclosure guidelines to be released soon.