Sustainable Investment in Turkey: The Case in Context - An Update, 2014 report is published



Sustainable Investment in Turkey: The Case in Context - An Update, 2014 report is publiahed by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum (SU CGFT).

The report is the final report of Sustainability Index Workshop Project organized jointly by SU CGFT and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative and sponsored by the British Government.

The report is a sequel to the “Sustainable Investment in Turkey, 2010” report (IFC, 2011). Although this paper provides an update to the relevant sections of the original report, its ultimate objective is to reflect on Turkey’s experience as a case study to assess the feasibility of sustainability indices in promoting Sustainable Investment in emerging markets.



IFC's report on 'The First 10 Years' of EMCGN is published



The report provides an account of the Emerging Markets Corporate Governance Research Network (EMCGN) and its first 10 years of activities. The paper describes the history of the EMCGN and its objectives—to stimulate research focused on corporate governance in emerging markets as well as transition and developing countries - its structure, which is a joint undertaking of corporate governance research centers and internationally recognized scholars with IFC Corporate Governance acting as its catalyst; and its modalities: organizing workshops, holding biannual conferences, and disseminating and communicating research.

As a summary, main purpose of the Emerging Markets Corporate Governance Network (EMCGN)’s is to stimulate research focused on corporate governance in emerging markets as well as transition and developing countries. The Network aims to raise the academic quality of corporate governance related research through fostering international exchanges among scholars in all regions, providing young and promising scholars with exposures to international experts, and exploring the common aspects of corporate governance issues across countries.


“Promoting Sustainable Development:  The Way Forward for a Sustainability Index in Turkey” report is published



The report summarizes the outcome of the Sustainability Index Istanbul Workshop, which was held on January 23, 2014 in Istanbul with the objective of facilitating a discussion between key stakeholders to ensure that the forthcoming Borsa Istanbul Sustainability Index will be beneficial to investors, issuers and the society. 

The report builds on the “background note” published prior to the workshop in January 2014 to help the workshop participants to prepare. The note provides a background review, against which Borsa Istanbul’s Sustainability Index Project unfolds, together with summary information on Turkey’s stock markets, the regulatory framework on sustainability indices constructed in other emerging markets, and the key sustainability issues in Turkey that are material for investors and other stakeholders. The relevant parts of the background note are included in this report to serve as a reference for interested readers. 

The purpose of the report is both to communicate the outcome of the workshop discussions and to offer our commentary regarding the issues highlighted during the workshop and our recommendations for moving forward.


Sustainability Index Workshop was carried out


'Sustainability Index Workshop', with the collaboration of Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum (SU CGFT) and United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE) and the welfare fund of British Embassy, was carried out at Sabancı Center on the 23th of January, 2014.

Sabancı University (SU) is actively supporting the project by providing intellectual support and by helping the rating process undertaken rating firm EIRIS. To help the process benefit from investors' and investment managers' input, SSE Initiative and SU are jointly organized the workshop in Istanbul and bring together the CEOs of top local asset management firms and investor relations managers of selected firms listed in BIST together with international institutional investors and BIST team.

The opening speech of the workshop was held by Borsa Istanbul Executive Vice President Mustafa Kemal Yılmaz. Then the director of the SU-CGFT, Melsa Ararat made her speech. The main speech of the workshop was carried by the Amra Balic general manager of the BlackRock, which is the biggest asset management company in the world. After speeches, participants of the workshop made three different roundtables. They discussed about the determined questions and the moderators of each table made presentations about the results from tables. At the end of the workshop Melsa Ararat made synthesis and the closing speech.  

The Stock Exchange Istanbul (BIST), the Capital Markets Board (SPK), international and local portfolio managers, index rating agency EIRIS, investor relations officers that are in the BIST 30 index within and sustainability in the description leadership of the companies, UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the British Embassy, Turkey Corporate Governance Association (TKYD), Turkey Capital Market Intermediary Institutions Association (TSAKB), Turkey Investor Relations Association (TÜYİD), Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Sustainable Development Association (SKD), the Central Registration Depository Institution (MKK) and the UN Global Compact network representatives of Turkey took place as workshop participant. 

The results from the workshop will be published in a report by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum.

Please find the interview of SU-CGFT coordinator Melsa Ararat about Sustainability Index here.

Please, also watch the live broadcast that UN SSE coordinator Anthony Miller and Borsa Istanbul Executive Vice President Mustafa Kemal Yılmaz has talked about Borsa İstanbul Sustainability Index.

Diversity on Boards


Melsa Ararat, the director of Sabanci University Corporate Governance Forum and SOM faculty member,  will join a panel to discuss board diversity policy alternatives in a conference organized by De Nederlandsche Bank on 19-20 December in Amsterdam. The panel will include Joanne Kellemann , executive board member of De Nederlandsche Bank, Prof. Rene Adams and Hetahre Foust-Cummings, the research head of Catalyst. The conference will focus on dimensions of board diversity of banks. Please see the agenda here.



SU CGFT became a part of the Sustainability Platform which is established by an initiative of Istanbul Stock Exchange



The platform also includes the World of Business and Sustainable Development Society (SKD), the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB), Working Group on the Role of the Financial Sector on Sustainable Growth, Corporate Governance Society of Turkey (TKYD), Capital Market Brokers’ Association of Turkey (TSPAKB), TÜSİAD, Investor Relations Society (TÜYİD) and UN Global Compact Turkey Network.

Turkey’s “Sustainability Platform” was established among nongovernmental organizations working on sustainability and supporting sustainable development, initiatives related to the subject, and other stakeholders.

Established by an initiative of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, the platform aims to create synergy among sustainability efforts of different stakeholders. The Platform also seeks to improve media awareness of sustainability, create a better understanding of sustainability risks, and to create a common perspective towards the subject.

Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum and ‘Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)’ Turkey Director Melsa Ararat said, “To the extent that sustainability is the common goal of companies, investors and stock exchanges, economic development will be egalitarian, comprehensive and sustainable. We are impressed with the support given by Istanbul Stock Exchange to sustainability, and are prepared to assist the work of the platform from a scientific perspective both with our expertise in corporate governance and the knowledge we gained as the implementer of the Carbon Disclosure Project in Turkey.”



Melsa Ararat was involved in the opening launch of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility for All Project’


‘Corporate Social Responsibility For All Project’, funded by the European Union and led by Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TISK), aims to improve the capacity of enterprises in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility in South-Eastern Europe region employers’ organizations, where Turkey is located in. The opening meeting of the project was held in Ankara on April 18, 2013. In the opening meeting of the Project, which was started on 30 November 2012, and will last two years, the director of CGFT, Melsa Ararat made a presentation about ‘the present and future of CSR’. You can find further information about the Project here.



E-General Assembly, supported by also CGFT, has received the award under FSTech Awards


The Electronic Assembly System (E-GKS), which provides an electronic platform for electronic voting to the shareholders of listed companies in stock Exchange, has received ‘Best Use of Online Services’ award in the scope of FSTech Awards. Financial Sector Technologies (FSTech), which is one of the industry’s leading magazine and broadcasts mainly for employees of information technology, rewards successful projects each year by following the innovations and developments in the sector.

Providing data to CGFT, as well as advertising the system, and supporting the implementation of the E-GKS since the beginning, has not just only brought technological innovations, but also increased the transparency in stock Exchange and made a major contribution to eliminate the barriers in corporate governance. With this system, it is expected for Turkey to become much more attractive to global investors and to contribute to the Istanbul International Financial Center Project.



'Independent Women Directors' Project will be launched on 13 December 2012


The ‘Independent Women Directors’ Project, which aims to help publicly listed companies to give priority to women in nominating independent board members and help strengthen the position of women in decision making mechanisms, will be announced to the public and press with a launch event on 13 December 2012 at Conrad Hotel, Istanbul. Candace Johnson, Coordinator of the ‘Global Board Ready Women’ Project will deliver a key note speech at the event.

Following the message of Daniela Bankier, Head of Unit for Equality between Women and Men at the European Commission and the speech of Torkel Stiernlöf, Consul General of Sweden in Istanbul, Caroline Sundewall, an independent director of a number of Swedish firms, will be sharing the experience of Sweden that has achieved a relatively high percentage of women in boards without a quota. Dr. Melsa Ararat will follow with the results of ‘Women Directors in Turkey’s Publicly-Listed Companies 2012’ report with the participants. Closing remarks by Murat Yeşildere, the Head of Egon Zehnder International’s Istanbul Office and the event will end with a cocktail. Please find more information here. 



CDP Turkey 2012 Climate Change Report has released 


CDP Turkey 2012 Climate Change Report was announced  at the Seed at Sakıp Sabancı Museum with the launching meeting. At the launcing meeting, the result of CDP Turkey 2012 Report, with 60% rate of increase in last year have the response of 32 companies, was announced. Please find the CDP Turkey 2012 Climate Change Report here



New Working Papers 


Two working papers by CGFT fellow are issued. Please find the working papers here.



CGFT 2011 Annual Report was published


Find the report here.



CDP Turkey 2011 results and Carbon Disclosure Leaders Award were announced



CDP Turkey, carried out by Sabancı University and sponsored by Akbank, announced its 2011 results to the public with the participation of Fatih Birol, Chief Economist in International Energy Agency.

CDP Turkey has been conducted by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum of Turkey since 2010. As a part of the world’s most common and prestigious environmental initiative, CDP Turkey announced its second year results. Companies listed on ISE National-100 Index were invited to share their greenhouse gas emissions and risk management strategies about climate change with investors. As a result of this study, CDP 2011 Turkey-100 Report was published by Sabancı University with the contribution of Ernst & Young, indicating the climate change trends in Turkey and the analysis of the company reports.

In the opening speech, Hakan Binbaşgil, the Deputy General Manager of Akbank, expressed his gratification of Akbank supporting CDP Turkey for the past 2 years. The meeting continued with the conference of Fatih Birol, Chief Economist in International Energy Agency and Honorary Adviser of Istanbul International Center for Energy and Climate. During his speech, Birol said, “Unless the necessary precautions are taken, the world will face a temperature rise of 6 degrees Celsius. There is still time to reach the critical temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius; however, each year makes it more difficult to take the necessary precautions and each year the costs pile up.”



After the video screening about the opinions regarding CDP and climate change, Melsa Ararat, Sabancı University Faculty Member and CDP Turkey Director, indicated, “CDP Turkey will continue its operations with an increasing awareness of social responsibility, while taking these operations to the next level by carrying on its support to public projects.”

The participants in the panel “Climate Change and Emerging Markets” were Sue Howells, Head of Global Operations of CDP; Alexis Krajeski, Associate Director of Governance & Sustainable Investment at F&C Investments; Giorgio Capurri, Corporate Sustainability and CSR Manager of UniCredit; and Melsa Ararat, Sabancı University Faculty Member and CDP Turkey Director. The panelists emphasized that the damages climate change causes on earth has reached the point of no return and that the importance of companies which can provide financial resources in the climate change context is increasing.



The meeting ended with the Carbon Disclosure Leaders Award Ceremony that was given for the first time in this meeting. The companies which disclosed their greenhouse gas emissions and risk management strategies about climate change in the most transparent way to the public through CDP were chosen for the awards. According to Ernst & Young’s methodology with the usage of CDP data, Türk Telekom and Zorlu Energy Group were awarded as Carbon Disclosure Leaders 2011 by holding the highest scores. Türk Telekom received its award from Professor Nihat Berker, Rector of Sabancı University, and Zorlu Energy Group received its award from Mustafa Çamlıca, Ernst & Young Turkey Country Leader.

CDP Turkey - 100 Report 2011

Find the report here.



Carbon Disclosure Project 2010 Turkey-50 Report First Year Results Announced


Initiated by Sabancı University in January 2010 with the support of Akbank, the first year results of the Carbon Disclosure Project Turkey were announced at a meeting held in the Sakıp Sabancı Museum. More...