By James A. Loyola
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has recognized the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for promoting best practices in sustainability and reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNCTAD presented the ISAR Honours to the Commission particularly for the issuance of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Publicly Listed Companies through Memorandum Circular No. 4, Series of 2019.
The Guidelines set forth the information that publicly listed companies will have to disclose in relation to their non-financial performance across the economic, environmental and social aspects of their organizations.
It also provides a framework for the reporting of the companies’ contributions toward achieving universal sustainability targets like the 2030 SDGs, as well as national policies and programs like AmBisyon Natin 2040.
“We are indeed elated and grateful for our recognition as one of the top recipients of the ISAR Honours 2019,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
He noted that, “While we, the Philippine SEC, consider our Sustainability Reporting initiative as a reward in itself coupled with our belief that the responsibility to create a sustainable environment is an imperative that need not even be in our regulations, as it seeks the preservation of humankind, we accept this award with gratification as it would serve as an impetus to galvanize other organizations in our part of the world to take the same route and pursue this noble aim with much resolve.”
Launched in 2018, the ISAR Honours seek to support efforts on enhancing the quality and comparability of companies’ reporting on sustainability issues and on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its usefulness for monitoring the implementation of the SDGs.
For the second edition of the ISAR Honours, UNCTAD recognized four other national initiatives and two international initiatives that assist enterprises to publish data on their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and promote best practices in sustainability.
UNCTAD received 33 applications from public and private sector entities representing more than 19 developing, developed and transition economies, including China’s Asian Corporate Governance Association and nominees from the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The number of nominations almost doubled compared to 2018, demonstrating continuous progress in the area of sustainability reporting and proving the growing commitment of businesses to the 2030 Agenda, according to UNCTAD.
The ISAR Honours Review Committee consisted of 10 experts on sustainability from the World Business Council, Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan, World Benchmarking Alliance, Climate Disclosure Standards Board and the World Bank, among others.