WASHINGTON: The London Stock Exchange has signed up two high-profile US clients to its "Corporate Responsibility Exchange" (CRE) tool, which gathers a wide array of CSR reporting in a single online destination.
The exchange announced at a conference early this month that Hewlett Packard and Pfizer have decided to adopt the tool. In Europe, 164 companies have started using CRE since it was rolled out a year ago.
Fred Stone, the head of IR solutions for the exchange, said the creation of the tool was spurred by a study that showed a "rising tide of questionnaires" was creating fatigue among corporations, as they struggled to complete their CSR reporting to a host of different research agencies. Research also indicated that the bulk of investment decisions were based on extra-financial information, making such reporting crucial to achieving business goals.
The Exchange's CRE program is not itself a ratings service; rather, it allows companies to deposit all their extra-financial information on a website, and control who gets to access it.
"What we were not going to do was encroach" on the business of the ratings agencies, Stone said. Instead, the CRE tool was aimed at "helping companies maximize the benefit of being a listed company."
HP and Pfizer both sought out the Exchange to sign up for the CRE tool, Stone said. He expects more US companies to adopt it in the coming months.