“ESG compliance is increasingly becoming a competitive factor, even for small and medium-sized enterprises. Budapest Stock Exchange, as a central player in the Hungarian capital market, considers supporting the domestic SME sector as one of its key sustainability efforts. Companies participating in our programs can familiarize themselves with corporate solutions aligned with sustainability goals and the background of ESG challenges. Additionally, they receive tailored ESG advisory services.”

Richárd Végh, CEO


Company Name:

Budapest Stock Exchange

Implementation Year:


Focus Areas:

Responsible Corporate Governance, Corporate Strategy

Program Objective:

It is increasingly evident that investors seek to prioritize environmental consciousness and social values in their investments. The adoption of ESG principles is also gaining momentum in Hungary.

Hungarian SMEs need solutions to enhance their competitiveness and contribute more effectively to sustainable development and increase their ESG readiness.

With our supported ESG services, we aim to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs and prepare them for ESG.

Program Measures and Commitments:

Following extensive market consultation, we released the ESG Guide in 2021. While primarily aimed at stock exchange issuers, it is accessible and applicable to any Hungarian company or consultant. The guide provides fundamental knowledge about ESG concepts and principles, steps in preparing sustainability reports, regulatory aspects, reporting standards, and rating systems.

Starting in 2022, the Budapest Stock Exchange initiated government-supported ESG training programs. As the executor of a training program that supports increased contributions to sustainable development goals and ESG readiness, we were designated.

  • Under the “ESG Training Program,” we supported SMEs in their ESG preparedness by providing ESG training offered by pre-accredited ESG trainers.
  • The ESG pilot advisory program demonstrates how the aspects of the Budapest Stock Exchange’s ESG methodology can be incorporated into the reporting processes and underlying operations of specific companies. This involves preparing businesses for sustainability and ESG mindsets and identifying necessary adaptation steps.

In December 2022, we completed an ESG methodology specifically designed for SMEs. We identified 30 environmental, social, and corporate governance performance indicators that most organizations are likely to provide for assessment and are expected to best align with market expectations. This enables organizations to determine whether their ESG readiness is at an entry, intermediate, or advanced level.

To enhance the understanding, interpretation, and application of ESG regulations in Hungary, we continuously organize professional forums, workshops, conferences, either independently or in cooperation with other organizations.

Program Impact and Results:

A total of 181 small and medium-sized enterprises participated in our ESG training program.

Surpassing initial expectations, 39 SMEs successfully applied for our ESG pilot advisory program. These SMEs not only gained the opportunity to participate but also secured European Union GINOP and KMR support totaling nearly HUF 475 million for covering advisory costs.

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ESG, training, advisory, reporting, guide