The Japan Exchange Group (JPX), the owner of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, announced this Monday that it has formed a partnership with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) to increase support for sustainable investments. Working together, the two stock exchange operators have already started analyzing areas where they can collaborate in bolstering interest in so-called ‘ESG’ investments.
Particularly popular in the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, ESG investment products purport to provide traders with a more ethical avenue for investment. This is achieved by evaluating the environmental, social and governance implications of an investment – hence ESG.
This segment of the market has, in one form or another, been around for decades but, since the release of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), a United Nations (UN) initiative launched in 2015, it has increased in popularity.
There are seventeen SDGs and their goals, whether it be ending world hunger or improving education, are disparate and wide-reaching. Firms or individuals making ESG investments also keep in mind the SDGs and evaluate how their investment could contribute towards reaching them.
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JPX all in on ESG?
JPX has been a strong supporter of ESG investments. Last year, the firm joined the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSEI). Another UN initiative, the SSEI aims to promote five of the SDGs, including efforts to reduce gender inequality and fight climate change.
Last month, JPX also announced that it would be forming a ‘Sustainability Committee.’ Reporting directly to Akira Kiyota, JPX’s CEO, the committee was formed with the purpose of supporting ESG investment on JPX’s exchanges.
This seems to have also been the purpose of the new agreement with LSEG. The British stock exchange-operator is also part of the SSEI, and the two firms will be working together to increase support for ESG investments on their respective exchanges.
Today’s announcement did not go into a great deal of detail as to how exactly that will be achieved. For now, the two firm’s efforts at saving the world will be confined to “joint marketing activities to promote listing products.”