GPW joins United Nations Global Compact
The Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) has become a member of the UN Global Compact and will now establish closer relations with its Polish office, the Global Compact Network Poland which maintains the national secretariat and co-ordinates the co-operation of United Nations Global Compact members.
The move is part of GPW's ongoing sustainable development programme.
“It is our mission to support capital market participants in facing the biggest change in investing over the next few years. Global investors embed non-financial elements into valuation models, including respect for the natural environment, sustainable development strategies, and compliance with corporate governance principles. The trend is captured by the abbreviation ESG. Last year, we launched our first ESG product, the index WIG-ESG. We are developing more products while continuing a far-reaching educational campaign addressed to all market participants and working closely with local and international institutions and organisations engaged in socially responsible investing projects,” says Marek Dietl, President of the GPW Management Board.
GPW has decided to join the UN Global Compact as a participant in order to use the experience and expertise of the international organisation and, in near future, to promote knowledge of ESG factors among issuers on the exchange and to establish a competence centre for the development of strategic programmes and financial products, including indices, ensuring that the national environment, social and governance goals can be met.
“The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals set the direction for global development. They highlight the issues which must be addressed to ensure better and more harmonious development in the coming decades. The financial industry has over the past years integrated the ESG criteria and acknowledged the key importance of environmental, social and governance factors both in the private and the public sector. Joining the UN Global Contact is a great opportunity for us to access expertise and develop ESG standards on the local market based on the UN guidelines,” says Dietl.
Established 20 years ago by the UN System, the United Nations Global Compact brings together companies which develop strategies and actions according to the ten universal principles concerning human rights, labour standards, environmental protection, anti-corruption, and initiatives aiming to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“In partnership with GPW, we want to address an issue of key importance to the UN: responsible financing and the evaluation of listed companies according to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. It is crucial for the UN Global Compact to promote the ESG criteria and integrate environmental, social and governance factors in the evaluation of companies. Compliance with the standards of the UN Global Compact is a key factor for international investors and it opens the door to the UN supply chain worth USD 19 billion per year of the United Nations’ public procurement alone,” says Kamil Wyszkowski, Representative and President of the Board, Global Compact Network Poland.
The UN Global Compact identifies challenges and opportunities in sustainable development. It provides practical guidance, promotes activities and supports Polish members of the UN Global Compact in annual non-financial reporting of initiatives and their results. Membership in the UN Global Compact gives access to the biggest global platform of corporate leaders in sustainable development comprised of more than 10.5 thousand companies in 166 countries around the world representing nearly all business sectors.
In addition to ESG and responsible financing, the UN Global Compact and GPW have been running for six years now the global initiative “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”, a part of an international campaign calling on societies to take steps in favour of gender equality. The initiative takes place simultaneously on 85 securities exchanges participating in the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. The unique event inaugurated the initiative “Equal Opportunities in Business”, a part of the umbrella programme of Global Compact Network Poland: “Business and Human Rights. Standards of Ethics in Poland.”
“The main objective of the initiative is to eliminate discrimination against women employees at the work place and to establish ambitious corporate goals promoting woman leadership and equality in business. Statistics speak for themselves: women take home only 1/10 of the global income while they are responsible for 2/3 of the global work time. The world could add USD 5.3 trillion to the global GDP by 2025 simply by eliminating gender differences in economic participation by 25 per cent over that period,” says Wyszkowski.