The companies listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) can digitally report their sustainability performance from December this year as the bourse is putting in place a sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) dashboard.
The dashboard, a regional first, would allow all Qatar-listed companies to digitally report their sustainability performance in accordance with the 33 indicators outlined in the QSE Guidance on ESG Reporting. Once publicly launched in December, the dashboard would make it easier for investors to access the data and for companies to benchmark their performance.
Companies that have successfully communicated their sustainability strategy stand to gain from improved capital raising and are expected to have competitive edge, said QSE chief executive Rashid bin Ali al-Mansoori at an event to promote ESG.
Highlighting that investors worldwide are increasingly incorporating sustainability factors into their investment decisions, he said, “we are convinced that companies that effectively communicate their sustainability strategies will improve their capital raising abilities and have an overall competitive advantage.”
Addressing the listed companies at an even to promote the business case for ESG and sustainability, he said the QSE strongly supports the ambitions of reaching a well-informed investment environment and believe that by undertaking this engagement session, it would promote the sustainability agenda among the investors, listed companies and the business community within Qatar and thus contribute to the realisation of the human, economic, social and environmental pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.
Darin Rovere, chief executive of Sustainability Excellence, highlighted the strategic advantages of embedding sustainability practices into core business operations and the growing interest of investors in sustainability reporting. He also emphasised the value of ESG reporting in demonstrating performance against national priorities and the direct financial performance benefits of adopting ESG practices.
“When embedded into core business operations, sustainability can generate tremendous value and competitive advantage which can materialise in financial outperformance,” he said.
Houssam Lahrech, Head of ESG Invest — Independent ESG Rating Division of Sustainability Excellence — gave an overview of how investors and ESG rating agencies use ESG information to inform their investment decisions and provided recommendations on how to handle investors’ requests for ESG information.
“Responsible investing is one of the fastest growing trends in financial market. Companies in the region need to be prepared to meet the demanding ESG disclosure requirements of investors and ESG rating agencies,” he added. John Joseph, Ryan, Head of — the largest online database of corporate sustainability performance in the region — introduced the QSE sustainability and ESG dashboard at the event.
“We are excited to be working together with the QSE to pioneer the adoption of digital sustainability and ESG reporting in the region,” he said.
Hussain al-Abdulla, director of Marketing and Communication at the QSE, said the bourse believes that encouraging the listed companies to adopt ESG management and reporting would enhance their performance. “We then want to ensure that investors reward that performance. Such workshops and forums will help attract foreign ESG investors while encouraging ESG investing by local investors,” he said.