Nasdaq’s 2021 Sustainability Report Highlights Impact for All Stakeholders


NOTasdaq released its 2021 sustainability report, which illustrates how the company advanced and executed its sustainability strategy in the midst of a global pandemic and highlights the sustainability impact of the Nasdaq on the broader financial ecosystem and the communities it serves. Along with the sustainability report, Nasdaq also released its second annual Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report, which focuses specifically on managing climate change risks and opportunities.

This year’s comprehensive report aims to increase transparency around Nasdaq’s ESG journey, demonstrating its commitment to continuous improvement in its practices and reporting.

“We have achieved carbon neutrality for the fourth consecutive year. Our employees have given back to their communities through nearly 1,300 hours of service. And we have once again been recognized for our efforts by numerous third-party validators, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index and the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index,” said the CEO. Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman.

Through a cohesive story, the Nasdaq describes its actions in innovating for environmental sustainability and promoting excellence in governance, as well as promoting inclusive growth and prosperity. Specifically, some of the highlights in these three areas include:

High commitment to reduce GHG emissions:

  • Hired a third party to verify the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Nasdaq emissions
  • Committed to setting and submitting net zero carbon targets with the Science Based Targets Initiative
  • Achieve carbon neutrality for the fourth consecutive year

“Climate change poses fundamental threats to society as well as businesses, and Nasdaq believes that concerted global action is needed to limit global warming below the 1.5° goal,” said Ann. Dennison, chief financial officer of the Nasdaq. “Nasdaq’s environmental strategies are designed both to minimize environmental impact in our own organization and operations, as well as to continuously innovate in support and alongside our customers and partners to develop market solutions for help achieve their own ESG objectives.”

Increased responsibility towards employees:

  • Continued support and expansion of Nasdaq’s Employee Action Networks as they empower employees, drive professional development through mentorship, support their communities, and provide internal and external advocacy opportunities
  • Established an annual analysis of pay gaps, with corrective actions to be implemented if necessary
  • Implemented “Conscious Inclusion” training for all global managers and leadership team to recognize biases and execute a hands-on approach to embracing diverse thoughts, beliefs and behaviors

“Guided by our purpose of championing inclusive growth and prosperity, we are committed to creating an environment that speaks to all employees and cultivates growth, innovation and collaboration,” said Bryan Smith, chief resources officer human beings on the Nasdaq.

Advanced information on governance and transparency:

  • Improved information on policies, training programs, and other initiatives, including the Nasdaq Ethics and Whistleblower Program
  • Annualized ESG reports, reflecting updated TCFD guidelines and committed to new frameworks, such as the WEF Index
  • Increased Diversity of the Nasdaq Board and Board Committees

“We believe in principle-based, ethical and proactive governance practices, transparent disclosures and the overall benefits of board effectiveness, as this not only benefits our shareholders, but also our employees, customers and to the communities around us,” said Nasdaq’s chief legal, risk and risk officer. Regulatory Officer John Zecca.

The Nasdaq has focused in recent years on developing ESG solutions for the business and investor communities.

“Our reporting team has used both our ESG advisory program and OneReport offerings, important components in successfully delivering our reports to our stakeholders,” said Heather Shand, director of ESG reporting at Nasdaq.

Nasdaq believes that by establishing a dedicated reporting team, identifying and building relationships with key internal stakeholders and subject matter experts, and then using that expertise to create a report, all stakeholders, from customers communities, will have greater transparency on a company’s impact on sustainable development.

“Make no mistake: a more sustainable and equitable world is within our reach. But seizing it will require moving from commitment to action that prioritizes accountability and results,” Friedman said. “Because of its position at the intersection of capital markets and technology, the Nasdaq plays an important role in managing this change for our clients, for investors and for ourselves.”

Read the Nasdaq 2021 sustainability report.

Read the 2021 TCFD report.


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