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Bursa M’sia to set up ESG disclosure platform

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia Bhd is looking at a few options to set up the corporate reporting platform for environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment disclosures by corporations.

“Industry stakeholders, from investors to regulators and financial institutions, are looking for good and transparent disclosures, as this is a means to keep corporations honest, in that you say what you mean, and do what you say,” said senior executive vice-president of Bursa’s data business Wong Chiun Chiek.

The stock exchange is constantly looking for partners to work with to guide public-listed companies (PLCs) on their ESG commitments disclosures, he added.

“We are looking at both, in terms of immediate ESG disclosure requirements for all corporations and how we comply with standards such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Global Reporting Initiative,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the GO ESG Asean Summit 2022 here yesterday.

Wong said one of the key features being considered in the reporting platform is to enhance interconnectivity with the bourse’s trading partners in the European, Asian and US markets.

“Another key feature of the ESG disclosure data platform is to be relevant for consideration from other stakeholders such as banks, regulators and corporate supply chain,” he added.

Wong noted that the exchange had announced enhanced listing requirements that mandate corporations to provide or submit and disclose their common set of ESG data starting in 2024.

“This means the work we are doing right now is to find the right solution to help guide the PLCs to improve their ESG disclosures,” he said.

Separately, renowned international corporate figure Mark Moody-Stuart said there had been increasing progress in companies’ awareness, adoption and impact of ESG. “The commitment to sustainable finance in the region is growing and rapidly becoming a priority,” said the Innovative Vector Control Consortium president and Global Compact Foundation former chairman.

He noted that ESG reporting encompasses both qualitative discussions of topics as well as quantitative metrics used to measure a company’s performance against ESG risks, opportunities and related strategies.

“It is particularly important that you should have this openness on reporting the accurate data, but it is unlikely any company will deliberately put out data which is not true because that really would be a car crash if it is demonstrated that you are not telling the truth.

“Much more likely is that the company is not talking about something because they do not want to have it examined, as a result, I would concentrate particularly on what the company is not publishing,” he said during “The Importance of ESG Data for Impact and Progress Management in Asean” fireside chat at the summit.

Moody-Stuart, who had been chairman and chief executive officer of the Shell group of companies in Malaysia in the 1980s and later became the Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies chairman, said it is important for a company to build trust by engaging others in how this data is produced. Themed “Data-Driven Sustainability: Accelerating ESG Impact for Asean”, the one-day GO ESG Asean Summit 2022, organised by the United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei (UNGCMYB), aimed to highlight the key role of ESG data in accelerating Asean’s sustainability agenda.

UNGCMYB executive director Faroze Nadar, in his welcome remarks, said big data forms the lifeblood of decision-making and the raw material for accountability within the public and private sectors.

“The collection and analysis of data are commonplace among businesses, with consumer profiling, personalised services, demand forecasting, and fraud detection being used for marketing and management decisions.

“However, the availability, accessibility and sharing of sustainability-related data remain scarce among Asean businesses.

“For some companies, despite having large amounts of ESG-linked data, its value is still not derived to its fullest,” he said.

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