Stock exchanges across the GCC region have come up with a unified set of ESG disclosure metrics for listed companies. 

The metrics, which are optional, will serve as guide for companies looking to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related performance, according to a statement by the GCC Exchanges Committee on Monday. 

The committee is comprised of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Boursa Kuwait, Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), Bahrain Bourse, Qatar Stock Exchange and Muscat Stock Exchange. 

The metrics include 29 standards that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and cover categories for greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water usage, gender pay, employee turnover, data privacy and ethics, among others. 

While the new metrics don’t replace existing ESG disclosure guidelines, they are an “important step” towards standardizing ESG disclosure across the region’s capital markets, the statement said. 

“[The metrics] are a valuable tool for encouraging regional issuers to provide information for investors, helping them assess listed companies more soundly in order to make responsible and smart investment decisions,” said Mohammad Saud Al-Qsaimi, CEO of Boursa Kuwait. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)