Scottish stock exchange to focus on global impacts

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Project Heather will channel money into projects supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

23rd September 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A consultation has been launched to investigate how a proposed Scottish stock exchange would track issuers’ records on global sustainability.

Project Heather is set to be the first exchange in Scotland since 1973, and will be the first in the world to mandate the annual reporting by issuers of the social and environmental impacts of their business.

Founder and CEO Tomás Carruthers hopes the exchange will be used to channel money into projects and causes that support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking ahead of the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, Mr Carruthers announced a consultation will be held into the best way to achieve these goals, as well as gathering data on key elements underpinning the impact reporting requirements of an issuer.

He said: “Our mission at Project Heather is to make the Sustainable Development Goals, and beyond, feasible and achievable. Project Heather integrates the routes most likely to move capital at the greatest speed and scale to the kinds of projects that most urgently address risks to stakeholders captured in the SDGs.

“As a project we have spent considerable time working on what a potential issuer on our proposed new Scottish stock exchange might look like, but now it is time to call on the global impact community to help. We invite them to join our consultation and hold us to account. This is a call to act now – we don’t have much time left to achieve the SDGs.” 

Jamison Ervin, United Nations Development Programme global manager on nature for development, UNDP, said it was now “widely acknowledged” that the Global Goals cannot be achieved without private sector involvement.

He added: “While impact investing is growing in some sectors, it is yet to penetrate capital markets. In seeking to change how capital markets value natural capital, we see Project Heather’s goals for an impact-focused stock exchange as a game-changer for our planet.”