Tel-Aviv, July 20, 2021 - The Maala Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization published this morning the Maala ESG Rating for 2021 in a live feed on social media, which was concluded with the virtual opening bell ceremony of trade on TASE. The digital event was attended by the Minister of Environmental Protection, Tamar Zandberg, the Minister for Social Equality, Meirav Cohen; the Chairperson of Strauss, Ofra Strauss; the CEO of Teva, Kåre Schultz; the CEO of Ayalon Highways, Itamar Ben-Meir; EVP and Head of Trading at TASE, Yaniv Pagot and dozens of other heads of rated companies.
Among this year's new rated companies are: Isracard, Enlight, the Fattal chain, Ayalon Insurance Company, and digital insurance company, Libra - which is included in the new category of growth companies. The newly rated also include private companies and companies listed overseas: Tnuva, Micro Focus, Babcom, Kone and Delek Israel.
Momo Mahadav, CEO of Maala, said: 'The transition to the term ESG in the 2021 rating is a natural extension of a deeper process that is taking place in Israel and globally, of a shift to a more coherent and measurable term that supports the expansion into fields and dimensions that we would like to see the companies engage in. We have seen an expansion of corporate social responsibility both within companies and in terms of the number of adopting companies. Surprisingly, it is on the backdrop of the coronavirus that we are seeing a 70% rise in the number of companies that published ESG reports, 30% companies that have increased their donation amounts, as well as an improvement in what has been so far the weakness of Israeli companies - a growing number of Israeli companies have undertaken long-term objectives in this field.'
Yaniv Pagot, EVP, Head of Trading at TASE, said: 'The Maala Index was launched as early as 2005 to increase the exposure to Environmental, Social, and Governance responsibility and encourage public companies to join the Maala rating and develop corporate social responsibility norms. In 2017, TASE also lunched two SCR bond indices: Tel Bond-CPI Linked Maala and Tel Bond-Shekel Maala, in order to further strengthen the important ties between the capital market and the community. Corporate social responsibility is significant for all of us in the capital market and in Israeli society. The capital market learns how to better price companies that are properly managed, from a long-term strategic perspective, and I believe that we will be seeing more companies take up corporate social responsibility.'
The field of ESG has surged in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, with 30 new companies, of which some are already included in the 2021 rating and others are in various stages of studying and preparing for the 2022 rating. The field has recently become a more central component of the economic-social agenda as part of the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis and the rising importance of social and environmental issues. In addition, Israeli regulation has increased its involvement and several institutional investors, most notably Migdal Insurance Company, have voluntarily adopted ESG investment principles. Moreover, the companies themselves are placing greater emphasis on social and environmental issues, due both to the social implications of the coronavirus crisis and to the maturing of processes initiated in the past.
In the picture - few of the heads of companies that participated in the virtual Opening Bell Ceremony