By reporting on sustainability issues, companies tend to act more sustainably, Zhan said, explaining the incentive of a positive correlation between strong sustainable performance and financial performance. The private sector is critical for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and involving stock exchanges could mobilize thousands of private companies to move forward.
After all, stock exchanges enable businesses to create value and jobs. They set the pace for corporate growth, but growth left unguided can kindle an unsustainable hunger for quick profits. At the same time, stock exchanges are responsive to market demand, political shifts and the cultures in which businesses operate. The market reflects when companies offer innovative products, better practices and transparent data, encouraging other organizations to follow.