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QUICK Holds ESG Seminar to Discuss Information Disclosure
[Nikkei QUICK News] QUICK, a financial information provider, together with the Japan Exchange Group (JPX, 8697), held a seminar on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) in Tokyo on July 5, 2022 under the title "The New Era of ESG Information Disclosure: Actions Required of Companies and Investors." In his keynote speech, JPX Group CEO Akira Kiyota stated: "It is increasingly important to proactively respond to ESG and other sustainability information as revenue opportunities, rather than as just as risks. It is believed that by doing so, it will be possible to improve corporate value."
JPX calls for listed companies to enhance the quality and quantity of their sustainability-related information disclosures, with the goal of facilitating dialogues between investors and companies. Regarding human resources supporting corporate activities, Mr. Kiyota stated, "We are also asking for [disclosure of] information on the extent to which diversity is secured by appointing women, non-Japanese personnel, mid-career hires, etc., as core personnel such as managers as well as members of the board of directors.
FSA's Ikeda: "Corporate Initiatives for Exploring Risks and Opportunities"
Satoshi Ikeda, Chief Sustainable Finance Officer of the Financial Services Agency (FSA), also delivered a keynote speech at the seminar. He referred to corporate ESG initiatives as "each company's initiative for exploring its own risks and opportunities."
Sustainability information involves multiple disclosure standards. The IFRS Foundation, responsible for setting international accounting standards, established the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in 2021 with the aim of creating globally uniform standards. The ISSB plans to finalize climate-related disclosures by the end of 2022. With the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the European Union (EU) also drawing up standards by the end of 2022, Mr. Ikeda noted, "the second half of 2022 will be an important period [for determining standards]."
"It is important for companies to take on ESG issues as parts of their own business with a view to increasing their corporate value," he said. "A disclosure framework to help enhance such value will be created."
Hitachi's Masuda: "Companies Need to Tell Their Value Creation Stories"
Norio Masuda, Senior Manager of the Sustainability Promotion Division at Hitachi, participated in a panel discussion titled, "Future ESG Initiatives and What is Needed in Information Disclosure: What Lies Beyond Disclosure?" Mr. Masuda noted that "in disclosing sustainability information, Japanese companies should tell the long-term value creation stories of their companies."
When disclosing sustainability information, companies take the comply-or-explain approach. "Japanese companies tend to choose a 'comply' approach, while European companies are more likely to opt for an 'explain' approach," said Mr. Masuda. "Japanese companies should establish and tell their long-term value creation stories" to gain investor understanding.
Mr. Matsuda shared his views on enhancing the quality of ESG information disclosure. "Every corporate activity imposes a negative impact on society and the environment," he said, "but it is important to disclose the negative results together with countermeasures against them."
Nissay Asset Management's Iguchi: "The Importance of the Link to Corporate Value Enhancement"
George Iguchi, Chief Corporate Governance Officer of Nissay Asset Management, also participated in the panel discussion. Regarding the disclosure of ESG information and other non-financial material, he said, "The key is whether information disclosure is linked to the enhancement of corporate value."
Since its founding in 1971, QUICK has become Japan's largest financial information vendor, and has developed an information infrastructure that supports Japan's securities and financial markets. It delivers high-value global market information from a fair and impartial perspective to a wide range of customers including securities firms, banks, institutional investors and corporations.See More