Financial authorities vow to enhance ESG disclosure system

Financial authorities vow to enhance ESG disclosure system

Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Koh Seung-beom speaks during an ESG-themed seminar hosted jointly by the FSC and the Korea Exchange (KRX) at Fairmont Ambassador Seoul, located in Seoul’s financial district of Yeouido, Tuesday. Courtesy of KRX

By Anna J. Park

Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Koh Seung-beom stressed the need to improve the country’s corporate disclosure system for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues to meet global standards, during a congratulatory speech, Tuesday, at a seminar hosted by the commission and the Korea Exchange (KRX).

“ESG-related corporate disclosure is a core axis that facilitates companies’ ESG-principled management, as the disclosure information provides investors objective grounds for evaluating the businesses’ ESG activities,” Koh said. “Given that corporate sustainability disclosure standards are increasingly becoming international criteria, now is the crucial period where Korean businesses, the government and related institutions are all required to seek appropriate responses regarding the matter,” the top financial policy maker stressed.

Koh also explained that global leaders from 197 countries agreed at COP26 last month to launch the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in order to come up with a universal corporate disclosure criteria on sustainability by the end of 2022, while the Korean government also wants the standards board to reflect the voices of local businesses.

The FSC chief also vowed to keep improving Korea’s ESG disclosure system.

Currently, ESG-related corporate disclosures are voluntary, but it will become compulsory for listed companies gradually between 2022 and 2030. As of the end of last month, a total of 70 companies have started publishing sustainability reports on a regular basis.

“As corporations’ ESG reputations are becoming more important, the importance of setting objective evaluation standards is ever more significant,” KRX Chairman Sohn Byung-doo said during the seminar.

“The exchange plans to open up a digital platform where various ESG-related corporate disclosures, ranging from ESG reports to greenhouse gas emissions, could be searched through a one-stop process.”

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