Financial Times reported today that Nasdaq OMX has joined Brazil’s BM&FBovespa, and the stock exchanges in Egypt, Istanbul and Johannesburg to encourage companies listing with them to disclose more environmental and social impacts. Together they list more than 4,600 companies worldwide. The group announced at a conference in Rio de Janeiro that they wanted to promote wanted to promote “long-term sustainable investment and improved environmental, social and corporate governance disclosure and performance among companies listed on their exchange”.

Nasdaq recognized they couldn’t make this move alone, and therefore sought support from other stock exchanges. The four other exchanges have been eager to work with regulators and its trade group, the World Federation of Exchanges, to develop global standards that all exchanges could use to promote sustainable and socially responsible investing. Nasdaq is the first stock exchange in the U.S. and Europe to make such a commitment. In related news, the London Stock Exchange just announced that all its listed companies will have to report their GHG emissions at the start of the next financial year.

We believe this is a great first step in promoting more ESG disclosure and greater transparency amongst corporations worldwide, with the hope of creating a global standard that all exchanges could employ to encourage responsible investing. What do you think? Tell us your thoughts!