ESG studies results revealed that listed companies should integrate ESG into corporate strategy and align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
An integrated regional perspective should be developed to align ESG reporting with global standards in order to seize opportunities presented by climate investment
Meaningful, accurate, timely and comprehensive disclosures of material ESG factors by listed companies are essential for financial professionals as part of their analytical and investment decision-making process. In 2019, CFA Institute published a report “ESG Disclosures in Asia-Pacific” – a review of the regulatory landscape of ESG disclosures in Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. The report noted that although the volume of ESG disclosures in APAC is growing, their quality lags. Disclosure regimes differ widely among the seven jurisdictions, but a trend can be observed towards tightening of the disclosure requirements. Solid disclosure practices take a long time to develop, but fast progress is possible, as Thailand’s success in boosting the quality of ESG disclosures shows.
On the other hand, the ESG Survey conducted by BDO, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, partnered with the School of Professional Education and Executive Development at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU SPEED) was released in November 2019. Leveraging the expertise and experience of both parties in the investment and academic arenas, the survey reveals the common phenomenon practices on ESG reporting in Hong Kong, reflecting that a number of companies have only partially met the new requirements and practices under the new Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) disclosure requirements.
In particular, the survey finds that companies tend to sidestep publicly reporting the less favourable issues and drawbacks to their stakeholders, which undermines the balance of ESG reporting and which requires investors and other stakeholders to exercise their own judgement about actual ESG performance.
500 listed companies’ ESG reports (issued on or before 30 June 2019) were evaluated based on 15 core subjects, including governance, assurance, materiality, quantitative, consistency, balance, transparency, environmental management, employment practices, occupational health and safety, development and training, supply chain management, customer support, anti-corruption and community investment.
In this upcoming webinar, representative of CFA Institute will first highlight key findings in the recent research on ESG disclosure regimes among major APAC markets, followed by representatives from BDO and Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) who will discuss about the objectives, scope and key findings of their recent research on ESG disclosures by Hong Kong listed companies. Implications and prospects of ESG integration into corporate strategies among the listed companies will be articulated.
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Mr. Piotr Zembrowski, CFA
Manager, Advocacy Research and Content, APAC
Mr. Piotr Zembrowski, CFA, is manager of advocacy research and content for Asia Pacific at CFA Institute. He conducts research into financial regulation, to support the advocacy team's development and promotion of capital markets policy perspectives in Asia Pacific. He is also responsible for content management and editorial aspects of Asia-Pacific Research Exchange (ARX), an online research-publishing platform. Piotr has 13 years of experience in the financial industry in Canada and four years’ experience as a financial journalist in Hong Kong. He earned his CFA charter in 2006.
Mr. Ricky Cheng
Director Head of Risk Advisory
Mr. Ricky Cheng is a director and head of risk advisory of the firm, with major responsibility in the area of risk advisory services. He specialises in assisting clients in managing their internal audit function and meeting corporate governance requirements in both China and Hong Kong. Ricky has over 20 years of risk and assurance experience. He worked for large international accounting firms and had commercial internal audit experience. He has hands-on experience in a various services such as Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, risk management assessment, compliance assistance, corporate governance compliance review, internal audit assistance, business process review, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) readiness and reporting support services review, stored value facilities (SVF) licence independent assessment review, etc. The portfolio of clients managed by Ricky comes from various industries including transportation, property development and construction, gaming and entertainment, etc
Dr. Artie Ng
Deputy Director, School of Professional Education and Executive Development
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR)
Dr. Artie W. Ng is Deputy Director with the School of Professional Education and Executive Development at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research and teaching interest is pertinent to sustainability performance of knowledge-intensive organizations and responsible financing. He has been a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo, Canada as well as Visiting Professor with University of Bergamo, Italy and Jinan University, China. He is currently a member of the Sustainability Committee in HKICPA. In addition, Dr. Ng is an International Associate of CSEAR at the University of St. Andrews -- a world-recognized, global community of scholars who engage with students, activists, practitioners, policy makers and other interested groups in order to generate and disseminate knowledge on social and environmental accounting and accountability.