Australia eyes ESG reporting
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Chair Joe Longo delivered a speech at the AFR environmental, social, and governance (ESG) Summit, shedding light on the crucial role of ESG reporting and its impact on attracting investment.
Longo emphasised that ESG is not just a passing trend, but rather a vital means of fostering fair and efficient markets while instilling confidence in investors.
Longo acknowledged the complexity and rapid evolution of the ESG space, with global progress being made towards developing clear standards and taxonomies for reporting. He emphasised that ESG reporting is the next step in a series of moves towards greater transparency and disclosure standards.
Coming up, ASIC have three key areas to address to ensure ESG disclosures are robust: governance, greenwashing, and growth in sustainable financing.
Regarding governance, Longo acknowledged that Australian companies are taking climate-related matters seriously but emphasised the need for rigorous, comprehensive, and non-misleading ESG disclosures. He addressed the issue of greenwashing, stating that ASIC has been actively enforcing apparently misleading sustainability claims. Lastly, Longo emphasised the significance of sustainable finance globally and ASIC’s commitment to staying informed and engaged in the evolving landscape.
We look forward to the work that Australian policy makers will put into considering the digitisation of Aussie corporate disclosures in due course. In an era of rapidly accelerating digitisation across the financial sector, we think the evidence shows that markets that lack digital disclosure mandates are missing out on coverage and investment.
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