Nasdaq has released its global Sustainability Report for 2019, highlighting major milestones and critical initiatives, including achieving carbon neutrality, launching new ESG-specific solutions for clients, and being recognized globally for its ten diversity and inclusion programs. The report offers an overview of Nasdaq’s sustainability efforts and progress as part of its long-term commitment to ESG advocacy, oversight, and philanthropy.
“Nasdaq is devoted to catalyzing progress,” Nasdaq President and Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman wrote in the report’s opening letter. “In both our own internal practices and in our ability to share tools and best practices with thousands of clients and listed companies, we actively seek to impact our global community by leveraging the scale of our operations and our client network to make a positive difference.”
Friedman highlighted several landmark achievements in 2019, including the launch of the ESG Advisory program and the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network. Nasdaq also was named to the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the fourth consecutive year, making it the only exchange company to have done so. In Europe, the company saw a significant increase in Sustainable Bond listings on its European Debt Market while its Nordic-based ESG Index futures hit one million contracts.
“We have been encouraged by how strongly client demand is rising for our expanded ESG offerings, and have continued to look for innovative ways to further build on these solutions,” Friedman said.
Over recent years, ESG has become an increasingly important issue for companies, and even more critical in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Friedman noted how many companies have embraced a shared responsibility for solving big problems, from corporations working toward a treatment and retrofitting factories to manufacture ventilators to local restaurants staying open to cook meals for home-bound senior citizens.
“Even as we address the immediate health and economic crises stemming from the pandemic, we can seize this moment also to advance on the longstanding and systemic challenges that threaten our shared prosperity,” Friedman wrote.
As part of its ongoing commitment to equality, Nasdaq also unveiled more comprehensive diversity stats regarding gender and ethnicity in its Sustainability Report. “Our ultimate goal is for Nasdaq’s team to reflect the diversity of the populations of each of the countries where we operate,” Friedman noted.
This year’s report also includes enhanced environmental and customer privacy disclosures and an explanation of management’s approach to ESG, in addition to covering Nasdaq’s reporting practices, economic performance, stakeholder engagement, and ethics and integrity.
“As we near 2021, when Nasdaq will celebrate its 50th anniversary, we remain deeply committed to long-term ESG advocacy, oversight and philanthropy to engage with stakeholders at all levels,” Friedman concluded.