The Borsa Istanbul has launched the BIST Sustainability Index, the first such index in Turkey, at an event held yesterday at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. BIST 30 Index constituents have been assessed against sustainability criteria devised by EIRIS, a leading global provider of independent research into the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of companies. Constituents that have met the criteria are included in the new index.
Partnering with Borsa Istanbul since 2013, EIRIS has worked with the exchange to define the criteria, develop index rules and engage with companies as part of the research process. Data collation was carried out by EIRIS and local research organisation, the Sabanci University Corporate Governance Forum.
Using EIRIS’ 30-year experience of responsible investment research, and experience of working with a number of exchanges around the world, the BIST Sustainability Index methodology is based on ESG criteria including biodiversity, climate change, environment, human rights, health and safety, bribery and board practice. Assessments are based on publicly disclosed information. The index rules and methodology are publicly available.
Post-launch EIRIS will be working with the Borsa Istanbul towards the ongoing development of the index. The BIST Sustainability Index will be reviewed annually and BIST 50 Index constituents will be analysed in the second assessment.
Joining Mustafa Kemal Yılmaz, Ph. D. (Executive Vice President, Borsa İstanbul) and İbrahim M. Turhan, Ph. D. (Chairman & CEO, Borsa İstanbul) as speakers at the launch, Peter Webster (CEO, EIRIS) commented, “The BIST Sustainability index will encourage Turkish companies and investors to give careful consideration to the value of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in long-term sustainable wealth creation. It also signals to global investors a seriousness to explore these questions in Turkey at a time when many other stock exchanges around the world are looking for models of how to enhance sustainability and transparency.”
Mr. Webster added, “The process of creating the index has already pushed these issues up the agenda for a number of the companies reviewed. Investors and others will now have the opportunity to explore the underlying data and engage with companies to understand how their approaches relate to their business success now and in the future.”
Borsa İstanbul Chairman & CEO Dr. İbrahim M. Turhan said: “Sustainability should be a part of our life. We believe that sustainability will become an integral part of business practice and strategy due to greater investor awareness raised by the launch of the BIST Sustainability Index.”
Dr. Turhan went on to say, “As Borsa İstanbul, we have been carrying on studies for a long while with the mission of establishing a platform to guide companies in their process of generating policies concerning risks in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and to transmit information about their sustainability policies to responsible investors. I can gladly state that Borsa İstanbul is affiliated to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, to the Global Compact and to UNEP FI. Borsa İstanbul is among the four founding members of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative along with BOVESPA in Brazil, Johannesburg (South Africa) and NASDAQ in the Rio+20 meeting of the UN in 2012. Borsa İstanbul has fulfilled its commitment to this initiative by launching the Sustainability Index.”
For further information please visit the Borsa Istanbul website at: http://www.borsaistanbul.com/en/indices/bist-stock-indices/bist-sustainability-index
A pdf version of this press release with notes to editors is available here.
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