Boursa Kuwait partners with Sustainability Excellence to promote ESG disclosure among the listed companies

26th December 2017

Earlier this year, Boursa Kuwait became a signatory of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) demonstrating its commitment to encourage sustainability in financial markets.

Building upon this commitment, Boursa Kuwait has announced its action plan to promote sustainability internally and among its listed issuers, and thereby ensure Boursa Kuwait meets the obligations of its participation in the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE).

Initiating its sustainability action plan, Boursa Kuwait has held yesterday December 19 in its premises, a sustainability engagement session for its issuers in partnership with Sustainability Excellence, a leading regional sustainability advisory, reporting, and research firm.

This session covered the business case for ESG and sustainability, provided an overview of global investor assessment approaches to ESG, and presented Boursa Kuwait’s new voluntary sustainability disclosure guide to support listed companies report on ESG information.

The sustainability disclosure guide proposes an initial set of sustainability indicators that are in line the State of Kuwait's sustainable development ambitions as set out by the Kuwait Vision 2035 and the National Development Plan “New Kuwait”.

This guide is also aligned with the ESG recommendations of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSEI) and the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). In the same day, Boursa Kuwait and Sustainability Excellence have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising the deployment of series of strategic sustainability initiatives aimed at further enhancing transparency and disclosure of sustainability/ESG information among Boursa Kuwait listed companies.

Through this MOU, Boursa Kuwait aims to promote market education by deploying group and individual engagement sessions with the listed companies, encouraging dialogue between investors and listed companies on ESG issues, and developing research on the status of sustainability in Kuwait. Khaled Abdulrazzaq AlKhaled, CEO of Boursa Kuwait, highlighted Boursa Kuwait’s strong commitment to drive sustainability in capital markets.

He said: "Boursa Kuwait is fully committed to promote sustainability both internally and among our listed issuers. We have set a comprehensive sustainability action plan to engage with our companies and support their new sustainability journey”. During the event, Darin Rovere, Founder and CEO of Sustainability Excellence, presented the business case for sustainability adoption and its role in supporting companies identify new opportunities and hedge risks.

He said: "Companies that integrate sustainability issues in their core business operations are more competitive and financially outperform their peers.” Houssam Lahrech, Head of ESG Invest - provided an overview of how investors and ESG rating agencies use ESG information to inform their investment decisions. He said: “responsible investing is one of the fastest growing trends in financial markets in decades. Companies will need to address the demanding requirements of international investors and rating agencies in terms for ESG information”.

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Amman Stock Exchange and Sustainability Excellence sign a memorandum of understanding on mutual cooperation

28th November 2017

The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) and Sustainability Excellence have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote sustainability in the Jordanian capital market and among the listed companies.

The MoU sets the tone of cooperation between the two organizations and contains several activities that include: conducting training and engagement sessions on sustainability, providing guidance on sustainability disclosure for the listed companies, and developing corporate ESG performance assessments, among other activities.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Nader Azar, Chief Executive Officer of the ASE, and Mr. Darin Rovere, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sustainability Excellence.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Nader Azar, CEO of the ASE, said: "The signing of this MoU reinforces the efforts deployed by the ASE to raise awareness on the importance of sustainability in collaboration with Sustainability Excellence - a market leader in the sustainability advisory and reporting field. Through this partnership, the ASE will engage with the listed companies and other relevant stakeholders to promote the business case of sustainability."

He also added: "the ASE has joined the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSE) in 2016 - an initiative that aims to raise awareness on sustainably and promote sustainability and environmental, social, governance (ESG) disclosure."

Mr. Darin Rovere, Founder and CEO of Sustainability Excellence, added: "Integrating sustainability factors in the core business operations of listed companies will certainly contribute to enhance their competitiveness and financial performance. We are delighted to support the ASE's ambition in driving ESG disclosure in financial markets, satisfying international investors' requirements for ESG information and sustainability reporting."

About Amman Stock Exchange

The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) was established in March 1999 as a non-profit independent institution; authorized to function as a regulated market for trading securities in Jordan. In February 2017, the ASE has been registered as a public shareholding company completely owned by the government under the name "The Amman Stock Exchange Company (ASE Company)". The ASE Company shall be the legal and factual successor to the ASE. The ASE Company aims to operate, manage and develop the operations and activities of securities, commodities, and derivatives markets inside and outside Jordan. The ASE seeks to provide a strong and secure environment to ensure the interaction of supply and demand forces for trading in securities in proper and fair trading practices. The ASE is an active member of the World Federation of Exchanges, the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges and the Arab Federation Stock of Exchanges. The ASE is listing a verified range of securities such as stocks, bonds and right issues. The ASE has market for Over-the-Counter securities.

About Sustainability Excellence

Sustainability Excellence is the Arab region's leader in sustainability advisory services, sustainability reporting, and ESG assessment services.

Sustainability Excellence supports regional companies achieve sustainability leadership through effective strategies, reporting, and immediate performance gains.

Sustainability Excellence's clients account for half of all sustainability reporters in the Arab region. Sustainability Excellence helps companies, governments, and non-profit organizations report on their sustainability performance in accordance with international sustainability reporting standards.

For more information, please visit Amman Stock Exchange:

GRI Standards to Usher in a New Wave of Sustainability Reporting in the Region

September 19, 2017

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) held a regional launch of the new GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards in Abu Dhabi on the 19th of September 2017. Attended by companies, government entities and NGO’s from across the region, the launch event was a call to action for organisations to start disclosing their sustainability performance.

The event was hosted by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, sponsored by Union National Bank and was organized in partnership with regional advisory firm Sustainability Excellence.

During the event, organisations that attended gained an in-depth understanding of the importance of sustainability reporting and how to use the new standards. GRI also announced that it received sponsorship from Zamzam Society for Charitable and Voluntary Health Services and from the Saad and Abdul Aziz Al-Mousa Endowment to translate the new standards into Arabic in 2018.

Attending the event from the GRI and presenting the new GRI Standards was Juliette Gaussem, Stakeholder Relations Manager for the region. She said: “The GRI Standards Launch event in Abu Dhabi was a great opportunity to connect experienced and first-time reporters, as well as pioneers of the new standards, in a way that will increase the number of companies disclosing their sustainability performance across the region.”

Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Executive Director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar spoke at the event, saying: “Since its inception Masdar has led the adoption of sustainability best practice in the region. Our approach to sustainability reporting in accordance with the GRI framework, embracing the principles of economic, social as well as environmental sustainability, is evidence of such leadership, with sustainability reporting today a key pillar of our stakeholder engagement.

“It is also fully aligned with the UAE’s national strategy to encourage the private sector to demonstrate greater accountability, transparency and a culture of community responsibility through the mandatory adoption of CSR initiatives. I’m confident that the flexibility and responsiveness of the new GRI Standards will help many organisations in the region achieve a higher standard of sustainability reporting.”

As one of the GRI Standards Pioneers, Union National Bank, launched their 2016 sustainability report at the event. Keen to share their experience as one of the first companies in the region to use the new GRI Standards, Mr Ali Khaled Alhashimi, Senior Vice President at Union National Bank, said: “Over the past few years, the practice of corporate sustainability disclosure has increased dramatically, as has stakeholder demands for sustainability data. The GRI Standards have provided detailed guidance and metrics at an international level that have improved our ability to prepare sustainability reports and disclosures that are meaningful to stakeholders.”

After presenting the main regional trends in sustainability reporting, Darin Rovere, Founder and CEO of Sustainability Excellence, moderated a panel discussion focused on how the GRI Standards could help inspire a new wave of sustainability reporting. He said: “Companies are experiencing more and more requests for sustainability information from rating agencies, investors, regulators, clients and even the public. They are also increasingly expected, along with government entities and civil society, to align with national visions. Digital reporting using the GRI Standards is a great way to better satisfy these requirements. We anticipate leadership companies and organisations will rapidly adopt this approach.”

The event concluded with three parallel workshops moderated by the GRI’s Certified Training Partners for the region. These sessions focused on examples of best practice in GRI reporting in addition to providing a step-by-step guide on how to transition to the new GRI Standards. Attendees were also provided with insight on how to deliver award winning reports.

The Global Reporting Initiative

GRI is an international independent organization that has pioneered corporate sustainability reporting since 1997.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)

Masdar is a commercially driven renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and is a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company.

Union National Bank

Established as a Public Joint Stock Company in 1982, we are one of the leading domestic banks in the United Arab Emirates and are headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

Sustainability Excellence

Sustainability Excellence is a recognized leader in sustainability advisory services, sustainability reporting, and ESG assessment services in the Arab region.

GRI to Hold Regional Launch of New Global Sustainability Reporting Standards

September 10, 2017

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international independent organization that has pioneered corporate sustainability reporting since 1997, will hold the regional launch of the new GRI Standards in Abu Dhabi on 19th September 2017. The launch event is being hosted by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, Masdar, is sponsored by Union National Bank and has been organized in partnership with Sustainability Excellence.

The new GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) are the latest evolution of GRI’s reporting disclosures, which have been developed through more than 15 years of a robust multi-stakeholder process. As the world’s first global standard for sustainability reporting, they provide companies, NGOs and government entities with a common language for disclosing non-financial information.

The launch of the GRI Standards is expected to drive a wave of new sustainability reporting in the region, enabling companies to be more transparent about their impacts on the economy, the environment and society. The GRI Standards are also designed to help organizations make more sustainable decisions and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

During the launch event, attendees will hear directly from representatives from GRI, who will speak about how any organization can immediately begin using the GRI Standards to disclose critical sustainability information to any of their stakeholders, as well as the timeline for the translation of the GRI Standards into Arabic.

Commenting on the new standards, Chief Executive of the GRI Tim Mohin said: “The new GRI Standards establish a common language that any organization can use to communicate their sustainability impacts. By providing a consistent yet flexible reporting framework for companies, the GRI Standards create a virtuous cycle that drives results – ultimately serving the goal of sustainable development.”

Masdar is hosting and will officially open the event. Its CEO, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said: “We are delighted to be hosting the GRI for what is a vital global milestone in the evolution of sustainability reporting. Masdar has been using the GRI framework since 2013 in order to provide a transparent, internationally recognized benchmark from which to continually measure our progress. This important event will encourage more companies across the region to do the same.”

Union National Bank is sponsoring the event and is also one of the GRI Standard Pioneers. Their CEO Mohammad Nasr Abdeen said: “Sustainability reporting using the new GRI Standards is a great way for any company to better understand and improve its combined social, environmental and economic impact. We look forward to sharing our experience of using the new standards.”

The event has been organized in partnership with Sustainability Excellence, whose CEO Darin Rovere said: “The first sustainability report in the region to use the GRI reporting guidelines was released in 2007. Now, 10 years later, more than 100 companies have used the GRI to regularly report their sustainability performance. The new GRI Standards will contribute to accelerating growth in reporting over the coming years.”

For more information and to register for this event, please visit the GRI website:

The Global Reporting Initiative

GRI is an international independent organization that has pioneered corporate sustainability reporting since 1997.


Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company which works to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions.

Union National Bank

Established as a Public Joint Stock Company in 1982, we are one of the leading domestic banks in the United Arab Emirates and are headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

Sustainability Excellence

Sustainability Excellence is a recognized leader in sustainability advisory services, sustainability reporting, and ESG assessment services in the Arab region.

Middle East Sustainable Investment Forum (SIF) Launch Event Round Table

March 16, 2017 (9am – 11am)

Doha/Qatar- 16 March, 2017 – The Middle East Sustainable Investment Forum (MESIF) was launched today at the Qatar Stock Exchange, with the goal of driving the responsible investing movement in Qatar and across the Middle East.

Responsible investing takes into account environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities that can affect a company’s financial performance.

The meeting convened an influential group of leading banks, investment firms, and QSE-listed companies to explore the business case for ESG investing and to set a course of action for the SIF.

The Middle East SIF is initiated by Sustainability Excellence, a leading driver of sustainability management in the Arab region. CEO Darin Rovere said “We are delighted to launch the Middle East Sustainable Investment Forum. The Forum will support the growing interest in ESG among regional investors while alerting international investors to the ESG investment opportunity in the region. It will help embed sustainability into local markets and strengthen regional competitiveness.” There are more than 20 SIFs around the world that have played important roles in creating awareness of the key role of investors in driving sustainability practices through investment decisions.

Houssam Lahrech, Head of ESG Invest, the independent ESG ratings division of Sustainability Excellence, added “Investors worldwide increasingly recognize the positive relationship between sound environmental, social and governance performance, and a company’s financial performance. Responsible investing offers opportunities for long-term value creation for both investors and society as a whole.”

The surge in global investor interest, combined with the opportunity for improved performance for companies and their investors, were two key reasons why QSE joined the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI) in 2016. As part of the SSEI, QSE recently released its Guidelines on ESG Reporting to encourage ESG reporting by QSE-listed companies.

QSE’s role as lead sponsor of Middle East SIF and host of this inaugural meeting, builds upon these recent QSE efforts. QSE CEO Rashid Al Mansouri stated: "Qatar Stock Exchange strongly supports the ambitions of the Middle East SIF and believe that by joining this forum, we will be better equipped to promote the sustainability agenda among our investors, listed companies and the business community within the State of Qatar and thus contribute to the realisation of the National Vision.”

“Investors worldwide are increasingly incorporating sustainability factors into their investment decisions, and we are convinced that companies that effectively communicate their sustainability strategies will improve their capital raising abilities and have an overall competitive advantage”, Mr. Al-Mansoori added.

Mr. Hussain Al Abdulla, Director of Marketing and Communication at QSE, added “We believe that encouraging our listed companies to adopt ESG management and reporting will enhance their performance. We then want to ensure that investors reward that performance. The Middle East SIF will help attract foreign ESG investors while encouraging ESG investing by local investors.”

Globally, the leading advocate of ESG investing is the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). Graeme Griffiths, Global Network and Outreach Director for UNPRI and Adrian Bertrand, Head of Africa and Middle East of UNPRI also presented at today’s meeting and demonstrated how strongly ESG considerations are being factored and how extensively ESG-minded investing is moving into mainstream investment analysis.

The six Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. The Principles were developed by investors, for investors. In implementing them, signatories contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system. They have more than 1,700 signatories, from over 50 countries, representing US$62 trillion. Today’s meeting of the SIF was the first of a series of quarterly national roundtables and a regional annual forum.

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