More than one third of companies listed in the Swiss Market Index (SMI) have voluntarily committed to sustainability reporting after a push on sustainability reporting by the SIX Exchange Regulation, the autonomous and independent body within the Swiss SIX exchange that monitors issuers.
Two years ago, in recognition of the growing importance of sustainability reporting, the regulatory board passed Article 9 of the Directive Corporate Governance (DCG), giving listed companies the opportunity to inform SIX that they produce a voluntary sustainability report.
Currently, 19 listed companies have chosen to opt in, including seven companies listed in the SMI. By opting in, these companies commit to produce their reports in accordance with an international standard recognized by SIX Exchange Regulation and to adhere to its enforcement concept.
As part of its supervisory responsibilities, SIX Exchange Regulation reviews not only compliance with the provisions of the DCG and the Directive Regular Reporting Obligations, but also adherence to the selected standard.
In particular, SIX Exchange Regulation focuses on the companies’ selection of material topics and enters into a dialogue with the issuers to ensure and improve the quality of the sustainability reports being produced. The review process has yielded positive results thus far and helped to establish an open dialogue between issuers and SIX Exchange Regulation.
Julian Chan, deputy head of media relations at SIX, tells IR Magazine: ‘This initiative aims to support the growing demand by investors for standardized, high-quality information on sustainability.
‘The regulatory board defined no specific quantitative goals in connection with the implementation of the new regulation. The regulatory board is responsible for issuing the Swiss stock exchange regulations and consists of representatives of different participants in the Swiss capital market, [such as] banks, issuers, lawyers and SIX.
‘More importantly, the current number is not a final number. As sustainability reporting continues to gain in importance, SIX Exchange Regulation expects more issuers to opt in over time.’
The list of companies that have opted in to the sustainable reporting, in alphabetical order:
Compagnie Financière Richemont
Credit Suisse Group
Kühne + Nagel International
SIG Combibloc Group
Swiss Life Holding