The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to instill sustainability into the business practices of not only big companies but also the small and medium enterprises.

To achieve this, the SEC has launched a nationwide roadshow to promote sustainable practices among SMEs and large businesses.

The roadshow, which commenced in Cebu, seeks to institutionalize sustainability reporting in the corporate sector.

On top of introducing sustainability and sustainability reporting to SMEs and large firms, it also seeks to foster awareness, build capacity, develop measuring tools and establish monitoring schemes to embed sustainability into their business practices.

'Moving forward, we envision a future where sustainability is not just a matter of awareness but a standard practice for all SMLEs (small, medium and large enterprises),' SEC commissioner Javey Paul Francisco said.

'By embracing sustainability practices and introducing sustainability reporting, businesses can enhance their competitiveness, attract investors and contribute to sustainable development,' he said.

SMEs and large enterprises account for a total of 105,000 business establishments in the country, generating over 5.7 million jobs for Filipinos.

The SEC said ensuring that such entities adhere to sustainable practices plays a crucial role in achieving a more sustainable future.

To date, the commission said only publicly listed companies are required to submit sustainability reports to the SEC, as provided under SEC Memorandum Circular 4, Series of 2019.

The SEC said it is currently updating the guidelines to reflect the latest developments in global sustainability frameworks.

'Our world is facing complex challenges, from climate change to social inequality and businesses play a crucial role in addressing these issues,' Francisco said.

'Sustainability reporting is not just about compliance; it is about creating long-term value for businesses, society and the environment,' he said.

After Cebu, the SEC will be bringing the roadshow to Davao and Baguio in June and September, respectively.

This will be followed by the annual corporate governance forum organized by the SEC together with the Philippine Stock Exchange in November.


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