In 2019, as part of its commitment to Colombia’s economic, inclusive and sustainable development, bvc Group established a sustainability policy within its Good Governance Code. This policy is aligned with bvc Group’s mission, vision and corporate strategy, and supports our commitment to the country’s economic development, as well as our goal of promoting best practice in the markets we administer.
Scope and objectives
The policy supports the Exchange’s organizational mission to be a connection center between people and the growth objectives of businesses, while leading transformation in the capital market. The policy is designed to contribute to Colombia’s sustainable development, and facilitate the free movement of capital between those with resources to invest and those that need capital to innovate and grow, by ensuring the proper functioning of markets we administer within a regulated, secure, transparent and equitable environment.
The policy guides bvc Group’s long-term focus based on the following foundations:
Capital market development
We contribute to the country’s economic development by strengthening the scope, liquidity and entry of new players into the markets we administer, while guaranteeing high levels of integrity and transparency. This is based on strengthening our portfolio of client focused products and service, and generating greater efficiency through the use of cutting-edge technology that maximizes the cost-benefit relationship for market players.
Corporate performance and cultural transformation
We are developing bvc Group’s internal capacity to ensure that all our companies are profitable, sustainable, diversified and innovative; that they create value for their shareholders and interest groups; and that they operate with the highest standards of corporate governance. In addition, we are strengthening organizational culture, leadership styles, and equal opportunity personal and professional development for employees through cultural transformation and innovation.
The Exchange and its subsidiaries have ensured that sustainability policy is aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals:
To comply with this policy, bvc Group must:
Our work over the past seven years in implementing best practice in information disclosure, and our focus on ESG compliance in the Colombian markets, is gaining global recognition.
The Colombian Securities Exchange (bvc) was ranked eighth among the principal global exchanges in the Corporate Knights Measuring Sustainability Disclosure: Ranking the World’s Stock Exchanges 2019 report, released during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is the only Latin American Exchange in the top 10. The index evaluated 6,261 companies at 49 exchanges on quantitative indicators such as: energy consumption, carbon emissions, water usage, waste management, labour aspects, and others.
Over the years, bvc has developed an attractive, responsible investment market, in accordance with global parameters. Through our IR recognition program we promote best practice in information disclosure and investor relations, and help companies strengthen their relationships with interest groups and investors by taking more informed decisions.
In September 2019, bvc joined the TCFD initiative, and began to include climate change risks in the investment decision making processes. We encourage Colombian issuers to start familiarizing themselves with this type of disclosure as it is becoming ever more relevant in the majority of developed capital markets, and required by the world’s largest portfolio administrators.
In June 2019, two AAA issues were completed on the principal market for COP$531,350 million. These issues were 2.3x oversubscribed, confirming that Colombian investors have an appetite for sustainable bonds. The first was a Findeter sustainable bond issue valued at COP$400,000 million, to finance and refinance its clients’ green and social projects, that was 2.6x oversubscribed. The second was a Patrimonio Autónomo Titularización TMAS-1 (sustainable bond) issue valued at COP$131,350, to finance the partial renovation of Transmilenio public transport busses to natural gas powered vehicles, that was 1.6x oversubscribed.
Both Colombian indexes recovered in 2019. The IR recognition index, COLIR, composed of 32 companies grew by 25.5% YoY and was bvc’s second best performing local market index. The Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Alliance Index (COP) grew by 4.7% YoY, and is composed of 40 MILA market Companies and 9 Colombian companies.
Responsible Investment Task Force
In 2019, bvc, GRI and PRI created the Responsible Investment Task Force and engaged the following Colombian financial sector trade unions: ASOFONDOS, ASOBANCARIA, FASECOLDA, ASOFIDUCIARIAS, ASOBOLSA; government organizations: Colombian Superintendence, Finance Ministry, National Planning Department; and partner country organizations: UK Embassy, Swiss Embassy; the World Bank; and the WWF. The task force works to create synergies, align objectives and strengthen links that promote incorporating ESG and climate change risk into investment decision making and information disclosure standards. In 2019, the task force held monthly meetings to analyze market opportunities and challenges related to climate change and creating a greener Colombian financial system.
March 2019: Together with GRI we held a workshop for investors on “Better Information and Knowledge: What economic, social and environmental questions to ask at future meetings. The keys to being a better informed investor.”
May 2019: We held the third edition of Ring the Bell for Gender Equality, with the participation of the Vice President of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, and support from IFC, Deloitte, the Swiss Embassy, UN Women and USAID.
June 2019: We participated in the second Responsible Investment Colombia event organized by GRI and PRI.
Voluntarily, bvc is a signatory of the UN Global Compact initiative since 2012 and it keeps reaffirming its commitment, sending its fifth annual progress report as part of the integrated report under the GRI Standard. The Exchange is also part of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) since 2014 and participates in the Sustainability Working Group of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) since 2015.