KUWAIT: In keeping with its commitment to the support and promotion of responsible, sustainable and impactful business practices, Boursa Kuwait partnered with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to organize a workshop around the standards, practices and tools for ensuring the impactful implementation and reporting of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles as well as the importance of integrating them with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and into business operations.
The ESG-SDG Impact Sensitization Course was held at Boursa Kuwait’s premises on May 31 and June 1 and attended by over 40 senior management and decision makers from various Kuwaiti listed companies. During the two-day workshop, UNDP experts delved deep into a wide range of topics and various aspects of ESG, sustainability, Impact Management and Measurement (IMM) and the SDGs.
The speakers included Vito Intini, Lead Economist, UNDP Regional Hub, UNDP SDG Impact Director Fabienne Michaux, Independent Senior Development Consultant (PFM) and Lecturer at Duke University Jean Mulot and Pedro Cortez, Impact Analyst, UNDP Business Call to Action (BctA), who discussed the business case for more sustainable business models and explored how companies can integrate sustainability in their operation in Kuwait as well as ensuring competitiveness and sustainability at the same time.
Commenting on the workshop, Naser Meshari Al Sanousi, Marketing and Communication Senior Director at Boursa Kuwait, said: “As we continue to strengthen our reputation as a model issuer and a socially and environmentally conscious company through responsible and sustainable business practices, we remain committed to supporting the companies listed in the Kuwaiti stock exchange in their ESG journey, signified by our long-term strategic partnership with the UNDP.”
Al-Sanousi added: “As we encourage market participants towards more sustainable business operations and practices, it is critical to raise awareness and inform them about the most important ESG principles and practices, as well as explaining the benefits of embedding those principles and how they can help them become more efficient and impactful, adding not just to their bottom line, but helping them fulfill their long-term business objectives. I would like to thank the various UNDP experts for sharing their valuable insights and look forward to more collaborations in the future.”
For her part, Hideko Hadzialic, Resident Representative, UNDP Kuwait, said: “For some time, the private sector and financial markets have been integrating ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance – criteria into their business models and investment decisions. This is good for the companies’ bottom lines and has a positive impact on the well-being of people and the environment.”
She added: “A survey of the 75 largest asset managers in the world found that 48% of investors are developing an approach to the SDGs, with the private sector playing a vital role. We expect them to increase their participation towards the achievement of the “New Kuwait 2035″ vision and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
The workshop comes as part of Boursa Kuwait’s ongoing initiatives to promote Corporate Sustainability in the Kuwaiti capital market and encourage the adoption of best standards in ESG disclosure and reporting among listed companies. In addition to many webinars and workshops, the company published a comprehensive disclosure guide to support listed companies to report on ESG issues, and to meet the growing needs of various stakeholders, including investors, customers, suppliers, and regulators for transparent and regular information. Furthermore, the company published its annual Sustainability Report, detailing its accomplishments in CS during 2021, earlier this year.
Boursa Kuwait’s Corporate Sustainability strategy stipulates ensuring initiatives apply and fall in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), industry best practice standards and investor expectations, creating strong and sustainable partnerships that ultimately achieve success and allow Boursa Kuwait to leverage the capabilities and strengths of other companies or organizations that have experience in different fields, and integrating sustainability efforts with the company culture, in order to achieve longevity and an ongoing impact that is carried on and instilled in the day-to-day operations of the stock exchange.
As part of the strategy, Boursa Kuwait has launched many initiatives in partnership with local and international organizations, focusing on support for nongovernmental organizations and charity programs, financial literacy and capital market awareness, the empowerment of women, environmental protection as well as safety and preventive measures against COVID-19.