The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has recently released the findings of its first analysis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure by listed companies. On 18 September 2018, Carbon Care Asia (CCA) and GenNex Financial Media Limited jointly organised a corporate seminar entitled “ESG Reporting Risks and Solutions” where CCA shared its insight on the HKEX analysis. Divided into the morning and afternoon sessions, the event was attended by more than a hundred company representatives, showcasing an enthusiastic response from various sectors.
Ms Chloe Mok, Director of Sustainability Strategy of CCA, started the seminar with an analysis of the impact of the HKEX report. She pointed out that the purpose of this report is to give meaningful guidance to issuers on possible improvement areas to focus when preparing their ESG reports so as to meet stakeholders’ expectations. Ms Mok identified twelve common pitfalls in ESG reporting as revealed by the report, and reminded corporate representatives in the audience to avoid these pitfalls.
Following Ms Mok’s sharing, Ms Bonnie Yip, Senior Sustainability Consultant of CCA, explained the gaps in ESG reporting by drawing examples from sustainability reports released by companies of different sectors and regions. She offered advice to the audience on how to avoid non-compliance and improve disclosure and reporting.
Accurate and reliable data is crucial to quality ESG reporting, particularly when the HKEX had upgraded the key performance indicators in “Subject A. Environmental” in the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide to the “comply or explain” level in 2017. As regards environmental key performance indicators, Mr Johnny Hui, Sustainability Consultant of CCA, went on to point out the requirements set out in the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide, the Global Reporting Initiative Standards, as well as the principles of carbon management and issues to watch out for in the collection and disclosure of report data.
The last part of the sharing was delivered by Ms Edith Yiu, Principal Sustainability Consultant of CCA, who focused on how an integrated internal control framework can ensure the reliability of ESG reporting data and prevent problems such as incomparability due to inconsistency or incompleteness. Ms Yiu also briefly introduced the Data Integrity Solutions developed by CCA and how it can assist clients in ensuring the reliability of ESG reporting data.
A panel discussion session moderated by Dr Lindsay Mak, Sustainability Consultant of CCA was held after the sharing. The CCA consultant team explored each topic with the seminar participants in greater depth, including the relationship between risk management and internal control, examples of stakeholder engagement and risk assessment conducted by local companies, corporate resources required for full compliance of the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide, case studies of carbon management and external benefits of improving internal control.
- The Corporate Seminar entitled “ESG Reporting Risks and Solution” has recorded an enthusiastic response from more than a hundred corporate representatives.
- A welcoming remark by Ir Albert Lai, Chief Executive Officer of CCA.
- Ms Chloe Mok, Director of Sustainability Strategy of CCA, analysed the impact of the HKEX analysis report.
- Ms Bonnie Yip, Senior Sustainability Consultant of CCA, explained the points to note in ESG reporting with case studies.
- Mr Johnny Hui, Sustainability Consultant of CCA, shared with the audience on ways to improve environmental performance and disclosure.
- Ms Edith Yiu, Principal Sustainability Consultant of CCA, discussed the various ways of ensuring the reliability of ESG reporting data.
- At the panel discussion moderated by Dr Lindsay Mak, Sustainability Consultant of CCA (1st right), the CCA consultant team conducted a more in-depth sharing on the theme of the seminar with the participants.