Nasdaq has unveiled its 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report, highlighting how the company navigated through the uncertainties brought about by the global pandemic while maintaining focus on its sustainability strategy and enhancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Nasdaq also published its first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report, addressing risks and opportunities related to climate change.
“Nasdaq quickly mobilized its resources to respond and support its employees. We continued to proactively monitor the progression of COVID-19 throughout the world,” the report stated. “As the Covid-19 pandemic continues around the world this year, we remain committed to our efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, clients and other stakeholders.”
For the 2020 report, Nasdaq performed an updated sustainability materiality analysis to keep pace with evolving macro trends and ensure that its sustainability priorities are up to date and reflect stakeholders’ expectations. The updates include additional desk research, analysis of peer and competitor approaches to materiality, guidance from leading sustainability frameworks, such as Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, as well as insights from influential ESG ratings, including MSCI, Sustainalytics and S&P. The results reflect four distinct differences from the 2018 materiality assessment:
- Human-Centered – An increased prioritization from both internal and external stakeholders on employee-related topics like diversity, inclusion and belonging; employee engagement and satisfaction, as well as Human Capital Management
- Justice and Protection - Continued recognition from internal and external stakeholders of the importance of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity, Business Ethics, and Risk Management
- Transformative Business Models – An emerging perception of the growing opportunity and importance for ESG Products & Services, Anti Financial Crime and Money Laundering technology, as well as the creation of new marketplaces that unlock economic opportunity
- Reprioritization of Environmental Reporting - Consolidation of cost and operational aspects of environmental reporting to better address key issue areas (i.e., waste reduction, water and energy consumption, among others), and expansion of the strategic and transformational aspects related to climate change, by the addition of Climate Change Strategy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Nasdaq was carbon neutral for the third year in a row. For 2021, Nasdaq aims to refine our carbon neutrality status via the purchase of renewable energy certificates that support adding specifically new renewable energy to the energy distribution network and carbon offsets from projects that focus on carbon removal. To that end, Nasdaq recently announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Puro.earth, as the company expands its ESG solutions to support its corporate clients.
Diversity also remains a top priority for 2021, as Nasdaq strives to realize a greater balance of gender, race and other under-represented groups in its workforce composition at all levels. Beyond its own workforce, Nasdaq aims to advance board diversity through a proposal submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that seeks to standardize board-level diversity statistics through a consistent disclosure framework. The proposal includes a recommended diversity objective of two diverse directors through a ‘comply or explain’ framework and is subject to SEC approval.
“At Nasdaq, we are committed to advancing ESG initiatives. In addition to providing frequent and robust reporting on our Environmental, Social and Governance efforts and continuously working to identify emerging ESG trends, we encourage our employees to participate in our ESG initiatives and engage with our clients and stakeholders to pursue ESG-related opportunities and accelerate the ESG progress of corporate issuers,” the report stated.
Read Nasdaq’s 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report.
Read the TCFD Report.
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