1,000億港元的綠色債券,然後呢? / HKD100 billion worth of green bond, THEN WHAT?

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問 Mostafa Monira Firdouse / Mostafa Monira Firdouse, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

眾所周知,香港政府計劃發行高達1,000億港元綠色債券,以資助「綠色基建工程」項目。根據該計劃,政府會推出250萬港元的試點債券資助計劃,以發展綠色債券市場。

為支持這項綠色融資計劃,金管局將在基建融資促進辦公室下設立一個綠色金融中心(CGF),作為一個能力發展和經驗分享平台,並將致力推動本地銀行業和金融業的綠色發展。CGF將與國際金融公司(IFC)緊密合作,以達至意識增強和知識共享。

根據金管局進行的一項調查顯示,香港銀行已購入200億港元綠色貸款和400億港元綠色債券。大約六成受訪者表示,他們計劃發展綠色和可持續銀行業務。

匯豐銀行前大中華區行政總裁黃碧娟在今年五月時表示:「分三階段的監管方法提供了明確的路線圖和全面的戰略,以增強香港作為亞洲領先的國際綠色金融中心的地位。」她透露,匯豐銀行迄今已將其三成的資本投放於可持續投資,並預計在2025年前進行1,000億美元的此類投資。

中國銀行(香港)副董事長兼總裁高迎欣則表示,促進綠色金融是中國內地銀行集團的重要業務之一。他預計銀行將對綠色貸款收取較低的利率,而金融市場可以為綠色債券投資者提供較高的息票利率。https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/185/76/81/1557238115020.html

以上所見,銀行業正採取著多項措施來攻佔綠色金融市場。問題來了,金管局準備好監管綠色債券了嗎?

管理框架會是怎樣?

哪些材料將被視作證據?

與可持續發展目標或負責任融資有任何橫向及縱向相關性嗎?

此外,什麼類型的投資組合應被視作綠色融資?例如,只將新的投資組合視為綠色投資嗎?還是將重點放在從不良行業中徹資和現有行業的漂綠上?

As we all know, Hong Kong government plans to issue up to HK$100 billion worth of green bonds to fund “green public work” projects. Under this initiative, government plans to launch HK$2.5 million as a pilot bond grant scheme to develop the green bond market.

To support this green financing initiative, HKMA will set up a Centre for Green Finance (CGF) under the Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office as a capacity building and experience sharing platform and will focus on green development of local banking and finance industry. CGF will work closely with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to build awareness raising and knowledge sharing.

According to a survey conducted by the HKMA, Hong Kong banks have acquired HK$20 billion of green loans and HK$40 billion of green bonds. About 60 percent of the respondents said they planned to develop green and sustainable banking businesses.

 “The three-phase regulatory approach provides a clear roadmap and a comprehensive strategy to enhance Hong Kong’s position as a leading international green finance hub in Asia,” said HSBC’s former Greater China Chief Executive Helen Wong Pik-kuen in May 2019. She revealed that HSBC has so far invested 30 percent of its capital in sustainable investments and expects US$100 billion in such investments to have been made by 2025.

Gao Yingxin — vice-chairman and chief executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) — said promoting green finance is one of the important businesses of the Chinese mainland banking group. He expects banks to charge lower interest rates for green loans, while the financial market can provide higher coupon rates for green bond investors. https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/185/76/81/1557238115020.html

As we see, banks are taking many initiatives to grab green finance market. And the question comes, how much HKMA is ready to monitor green bonds?

What is the monitoring framework?

What are the materials will be counted as evidence?

Any horizontal and vertical correlation with SDG and, or, with responsible financing?

Besides, what type of portfolio should be counted as green financing? Like; is that only new portfolio to be considered as green investing? Or, it will also focus on divesting in the bad industries and green washing for existing industries?

趕上全球ESG步伐為必要

黃思靈 香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

12月16日,香港證監會發表了「有關在資產管理中納入環境、社會及管治因素和氣候風險的調查」的結果:主要為了解持牌資產管理公司及主要的機構資產擁有人如何及在何等程度上考慮到 ESG風險,尤其是與氣候變化相關的風險,並探討未來路向。

12月18日,港交所刊發其「環境、社會及管治報告指引諮詢總結」,並公報將修訂「環境、社會及管治報告指引」以及相關上市規則條文,修訂將於2020年7月1日生效。

最近有關香港推動ESG的政策、報導都不少,但對比其他國家、城市,香港恐怕算是大落後;目前都還在追趕機構在ESG披露方面的監管,實際營運時該如何貫徹ESG考量的指引似乎仍然從缺。

之前提過全球最大養老金日本政府養老投資基金(GPIF) 在ESG方面領先很多,除了投資過程中百份之一百都考慮了ESG因素,日前更宣布將暫停從其80萬億日元(接近6萬億港元)的全球股票投資組合中借出股票,因為借出股票等同借出投票權,而在現有制度下,GPIF無法知悉最終誰人持有這些借出的投票,所以儘管借出股票可以賺到利息,GPIF認為這不符合責任投資準則的操作,不應該支持。

姑且勿論GPIF的做法是否影響股市生態,但一家具如斯份量的機構竟願意採取此等極端措施來堅持責任投資的理念,筆者個人是相當欽佩。聽說GPIF內部對拒絕借貨的決定存在分歧,最終由GPIF投資總監水野弘道(Hiromichi Mizuno)拍板。筆者有時候會想,要執行一些理念時,可能還真的需要一位「有心有力」的領導者,不然的話單純做個決定都得花個十年八載,人生會有幾多個十年呢?就算是sustainable investment,也不希望要跨世代來籌備嘛!

已經年底了,在此筆者謹祝大家have a happy and green 2020!

寫不好的《可持續發展報告》?

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

來到12月,是總結成績的時候,部分企業正在埋首整理年終資料,除了財務數據外,亦要一併整理非財務數據,為發表《可持續發展報告》作好準備。非財務數據的精髓不在於公司的盈利回報和短期收益,卻在於更立體地了解公司的發展方針和營運條件。投資者在評估公司表現的時候,財務數據固然需要相關知識才能看得懂,而學懂分析《可持續發展報告》亦同樣能避免資金錯配的問題。

董事會參與成企業管治關鍵

香港特許秘書公會於2019年10月公布調查報告《探討·現狀:香港與内地公司治理實踐狀況》,調查對象是400多名特許秘書及Chartered Governance Professionals(CGP)。內容顯示香港及內地企業均面臨著相同問題,往往公司的治理機制都是由高層定奪,中層和基層員工欠缺主導權。調查亦發現,企業的日常公司治理實踐受到不同參與者影響。除監管機構等外部持份者,企業內「最具影響力」的人士包括董事長(30%)、董事會(27%)及行政總裁(22%),亦由此可見集團的決策人基本上壟斷了公司的發展方向,當然包括公司可持續發展的議題和取向。

在現行的《環境、社會及管治報告指引》,雖然已標明董事會需要承擔企業所披露的環境、社會及管治策略及數據,但礙於《指引》並沒有就執行細節提供明確要求和後果,因此不少企業的董事們都選擇下放權力,由「可持續發展委員會」或環保專責部門代勞,若不正視,假以時日只會有更多的「漂綠」現象。某些在可持續發展表現較為突出的公司,皆會視ESG為一門專業,邀請相關專才成為董事會一分子,專門監測企業在有關範疇之執行情況。

社會數據分析企業內在條件

談到社會部分,並不是大額捐款到慈善機構,或是舉辦了數以百計的活動就是表現傑出,更重要是細看公司與社區不同群體的聯繫,有否恆常與持份者接觸,而涵蓋的範疇非常闊,包括供應商管理、員工關係拓展和維護、知識產權保障以及與社福機構支援弱勢社群等,有些公司更會定期組織活動,與區議會成員或是社區人員交流,聆聽意見再作改善。

一間公司得以長遠發展,擁有充足的人才儲備尤其重要,若細看《可持續發展報告》的人力資源數據便能得知企業在人才接軌的資源投入,例如不同階級員工的男女比例、管理層的分布比例等。曾經有企業,未有洞悉青黃不接的危機,直到將公司內部的人力資源數據按年齡層劃分,才發現約30到40歲的中層員工不斷流失,人數更大幅少於即將退休的一群老臣子,試問公司又如何可以將技術傳承?

TCFD缺乏配套難以執行

環境數據貌似簡單,但在企業執行角度,往往卻是最困難的一環,特別是當業務不止香港一個地方,而業務性質橫跨不同行業,如何尋找統一的數據收集模式和運算方式,是對數據完整性的一大挑戰。

在香港聯交所2019年5月推出的諮詢文件內檢討《環境、社會及管治報告指引》及相關《上市規則》條文當中,多次建議商界參考受金融界廣泛響應的TCFD(氣候相關財務揭露建議)框架,雖然2019年陸續有香港機構對框架表示歡迎,但一直未能普及,其中一個原因是缺乏實際細節,讓企業不知從何執行,將可持續發展議題量化,與企業的財務指標掛鉤。TCFD框架長遠可方便投資者、貸款人、保險公司和其他持份者從財務角度,了解企業在相關範疇的表現,可惜宏大理想的背後,暫缺培訓和推廣行動,實在讓企業無所適從。還望監管機構提供配套,幫助本土企業以至香港市場與西方國家接軌。

怎樣進行綠色投資?/ How Can We Invest in a Green Way?

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問 / Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

毫無疑問,公眾近年對ESG(環境、社會與管治)的興趣一直在增加。現階段,一眾投資者在選擇和管理資產時,對於把環境、社會及管治標準應用到財務評估上,表示出極大的興趣。他們尤其有興趣評估如何將ESG完全應用到投資流程,並要求分析ESG因素以識別變化及充分發揮增加回報的潛力。要實現此目標,投資者可採用不同的策略將ESG完全應用到他們的投資流程中:1)合規篩選; 2)ESG融入流程; 3) 負面篩選和正面/最佳等級篩選; 4)影響力/社區性投資;5)可持續發展主題投資; 6)企業參與及持份者行動。

環境、社會與管治投資策略

1) 合規審查篩選

在ESG世界中,合規審查篩選意味著研究具潛力的投資機會和全球規範的兼容性,例如氣候保護、人權、工作環境和反貪污措施等,並基於國際規範的最低商業行為標準進行篩選。國際規範來源包括經濟合作暨發展組織(OECD)、國際勞工組織(ILO)、聯合國(UN)和聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)。此行動計劃能根據這些國際公約制定的標準和規則來評價企業的操守行為。

2) ESG融入流程

ESG融入流程,意即把ESG因素納入基準來與同行企業進行比較,或根據企業的ESG往積表現良好甚至最佳,從而確定其投資機會。此外,通過將ESG因素系統地及明確地納入財務分析,投資者可將ESG納入投資流程,從而作出風險和回報評估。

3) 負面/排除篩選和正面/最佳等級篩選

資產經理和資產擁有者可透過多種方式將ESG納入投資流程。一些人可能會積極尋求將具有更強ESG政策和做法的公司納入其投資組合,和/或排除或避免ESG往績差的公司,又或排除某些行業(如煤礦、煙草)或用類似做法進行篩選。

4) 影響力/社區性投資

在ESG投資領域中,影響力投資是指針對解決社會和環境問題的投資,例如社區性投資(資本針對服務不足的社區)。這包括將資金調配到傳統上欠缺服務的社區,或為具有明確社會或環境使命的公司融資的社區性投資。

5) 可持續發展主題投資

這個策略涉及選擇與可持續性特別相關的資產,以及選擇有助於應對社會和/或環境挑戰(例如氣候變化、生態效率與健康)的投資,尤其是針對這些挑戰的具體解決方案,譬如能確保糧食安全和營養的可持續林務及農業、食水處理和廢水再用處理、節約能源及保健產品。以上這些都能提高治療各種問題和包容性融資的成本效益。

6) 企業參與及持分者行動

最後,利用股東權力影響公司和管理層行為,及直接與高級管理層和/或組織董事會直接溝通,從而影響企業行為。持分者參與至關重要,因為股東可以利用多種方式來影響公司和管理人員負責任投資的行為,方法包括股東決議、周年大會(AGM)、媒體宣傳活動,以及股東與管理團隊之間的私下談判。

There is no doubt that interest in ESG is on the rise. Nowadays, investors have been taking an avid interest to integrate financial valuation with environmental, social and governance criteria in selection and management of assets.  Particularly, investors are interested in evaluating how ESG can be fully integrated into investment process and demanding analysis of ESG factors to identify change and fulfil the potential for accelerating returns.  In order to achieve that, investors can apply different strategies to fully integrated ESG into their investing process: 1) Norms-Based Screening;  2) ESG Integration;  3) Negative screening and Positive/ Best in Classes Screening; 4) Impact/ Community Investing; 5) Sustainability-Themed Investing; and 6) Corporate Engagement and Shareholder Action.

ESG Investing Strategies

1) Norms- Based Screening

In the ESG world, Norms-based Screening means to investigate the compatibility of potential investments and global norms as climate protection, human rights, working condition and action plans against corruption, screening against minimum standards of business practice based on international norms, such as those issued by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations (UN) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This strategy assesses corporate conduct in relation to standards and rules laid out by those international conventions.

2)  ESG Integration

ESG integration is to incorporate ESG factors to benchmark companies against peers or to identify companies selected for positive ESG performance with good track record or the best ones in terms of investment opportunities based on ESG issues. Moreover, investors can also integrate ESG factors into the investment process through systematic and explicit inclusion of ESG factors into financial analysis, as part of a wider evaluation of risk and return. 

3) Negative / Exclusionary Screening and Positive/ Best in Classes Screening

Asset managers and asset owners can incorporate ESG issues into the investment process in a variety of ways. Some may actively seek to include companies that have stronger ESG policies and practices in their portfolios, and/or to exclude or avoid companies with poor ESG track records or to exclude certain sector (i.e. coal mining, tobacco) or similar practices.

4) Impact/ Community Investing

In the ESG investment sphere, impact investing means targeting investment aimed at solving social and environmental problems such as community investing (capital directed to underserved communities).  This includes community investing, where capital is deployed to traditionally underserved communities, or financing to companies with explicit and clear social or environmental mission.

5) Sustainability Themed Investing

This strategy relates to the selection of assets specifically connected to sustainability, picking investment which contributes to addressing social and/or environmental challenges such as climate change, eco-efficiency and health, particularly, in specific solutions to those challenges, such as sustainable forestry and agriculture for food security and nutrition, treatment of water and wastewater for reuse and energy conservation, health products for improving health outcomes for raising the cost effectiveness of therapies and inclusive finance.

6) Corporate Engagement and Shareholder Action

Last but not the least is the use of shareholder power to influence corporate and managerial behavior and to influence corporate behavior through direct communicating directly with senior management and/or boards of organisations.  Shareholder engagement is vital as there are different methods at shareholders’ disposal to influence corporate and managerial behavior of investing responsibly, including shareholder resolutions, Annual General Meeting (AGM)s, media campaigns, private negotiations between shareholders and management teams.

最新《排放差距報告》的啟示 / Implications of the latest Emissions Gap Report

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問 / Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

上周,聯合國環境規劃署發布了第十份《排放差距報告》,強調按照目前的情況離《 2015年巴黎協定》的減排目標差距很大。令人遺憾的是,即使各國堅持四年前的排放承諾,平均溫度也將比工業化前的水平上升攝氏3.2度。這樣的溫度上升已經遠遠超過了《巴黎協定》所設定的2度極限,將對我們的生活造成不利影響。

為了達到最初設定的2度極限,政府和企業必須削減碳排放量,但實際上情況恰恰相反。儘管現在的形勢比以往任何時候都更具挑戰性,但我們仍然有解決方案,可以實現2030年將溫度的提升控制在1.5度以內的目標。為了控制氣候變化,我們必須迅速採取行動。排放量佔總排放量78%的世界領先國家―─ G20成員國必須帶頭。儘管其中一些國家採取了積極措施,但只有五個國家承諾實現長期零排放目標。

毫不奇怪,化石燃料的燃燒是造成氣體排放的主要因素,佔2018年釋放到大氣中的二氧化碳的68%。最新的《排放差距報告》呼籲全球能源系統進行根本性的轉變。用可再生能源發電代替燃煤發電廠是需要採取的主要行動。從傳統汽車轉向電動汽車是有助於減少排放的另一項發展。總體而言,世界能源系統必須從重碳到輕碳,再到無碳。

氣候風險確實存在,但氣候變化也帶來了機遇。我認為,綠色金融專業人士的一項關鍵任務是根據私人和公共實體對ESG的可持續性和績效的貢獻,協助其向私有和公共實體公平合理地分配資金。目前,在所有ESG問題中,氣候變化至關重要,它影響到社會中的每個利益相關者。

股票和債券的估值顯然沒有考慮到足夠的氣候風險,因此必須予以糾正。與那些忽略氣候問題並產生更多排放的實體相比,那些直接或間接幫助減少世界排放的公司和政府應該能以更低的成本獲得更多的資本。未能評估氣候風險和機會的投資者將落後於那些能夠揭示其投資組合績效差異的投資者。

詳細閱讀聯合國環境規劃署最新發布的《排放差距報告》:

https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2019

Earlier this week the United Nations Environment Programme issued its tenth Emissions Gap Report, emphasizing the failure of the 2015 Paris Agreement to cut global greenhouse gas emissions and halt global warming. Sadly, the average temperature will increase to 3.2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels even if countries hold themselves to their emissions pledges from four years ago. Such an increase in temperature will well past the 2 degree limit set by the Paris Agreement and will be hostile to our lives.

To reach the original 2 degree limit, governments and corporations have to cut their carbon emission but rather, they have done the opposite. While the situation is more challenging now than ever, we still have solutions to reach the target of controlling the temperature rise to just 1.5 degree by 2030. To bring climate change under control, we have to act promptly. The world leading countries – members of the G20 – which generate 78% of all emissions have to take the lead. While some countries among them have taken positive moves, only five have committed to a long-term zero emissions target.

Not surprisingly the burning of fossil fuels is the major contributor of gas emissions, producing 68% of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in 2018. The latest Emission Gap report calls for radical transformations of global energy system. Replacing coal-fired power plants with renewable energy power generation is a major action that needs to be taken. Switching from conventional cars to electric vehicles is another development that helps cutting down emissions. Overall, the world’s energy system has to transform from carbon-heavy to carbon-light to ultimately carbon-free.

Climate risks are very real, but so do opportunities emerge from climate change. In my view, a critical mission of green finance professionals is to assist the fair and proper allocation of capital to private and public entities based on their contribution to sustainability and performance in ESG. Among all ESG issues for the moment, climate change is so critical as it affects every stakeholder in the society.

Valuation of equities and bonds have clearly not factored in sufficient climate risks and this has to be and will be corrected. Companies and governments that are helping directly or indirectly in reducing the world’s emissions should have access to more capital at lower costs than those which ignore climate issues and generate more emissions. Investors who fail to assess the climate risks and opportunities are going to lag behind those who can with the difference revealing in their portfolio performance.

View the latest emissions gap report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme:

Photo Source : https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2019

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