ESG Guide

ESG Guide

5 November, 2012
Corporate disclosure
Best practices for business
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Companies are increasingly disclosing information about their activities, financial and non-financial, because stakeholders, whether they be NGOs, governments, activities, or bloggers, are asking for the information.  Organizations that are choosing to disclose, both the good and the bad, are doing themselves a benefit by increasing transparency and accountability to their stakeholders.  Through continuous improvement on environmental, social and governance measures, companies can reduce risk and open up new opportunities.
 
To help businesses with disclosure by raising awareness and equipping companies with tools for reporting, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited  (HKEx) has put out an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Guide.  Divided into four areas: Workplace Quality, Environmental Protection, Operating Practices and Community Involvement, the guide provides aspects, general disclosure recommendations and key performance indicators in each respective area.  The ESG Guidelines will become recommended practice for all members after the financial year-end on December 31 of this year.
 
At the recent WWF Hong Kong’s Corporate Membership Programme Award Presentation Ceremony, Ms. Ellie Pang, Assistant Vice President, Listing Policy and Secretariat Team of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, shared that some of the motivating factors for disclosure include risk management, employee engagement, reputation improvement and investor attraction while concerns include a lack of knowledge about relevant issues, lack of resources and added costs.  Andy Cornish, Director of Conservation, WWF Hong Kong, said that in the environmental arena, the key performance indicators on Emissions Data and Use of Resources are of particular interest and include guidelines on the types and amount of emissions produced as well as description of ways to mitigate emissions and measures of the results.
 
HKEx aims to take a step by step approach to raise the obligation level of listed companies.  An implementation review of the ESG Guidelines will take place in 2014 such that companies will potentially need to “comply or explain” by 2015.
 
For more information about the ESG Guide, visit: http://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/rulesreg/listrules/listsptop/esg/material.htm
 
To view the consultation conclusions on the ESG Guide published in August 2012 by the HKEx, visit:
http://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/newsconsul/mktconsul/Documents/cp201208cc.pdf
 

By: Ecozine Staff
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