September 2022 Events on Green Finance/ 2022年9月綠色金融活動一覽

Check out the above calendar for the fantastic green finance events for September 2022! Interested to join and learn more about Green Finance? Browse the links below to check out the upcoming events.


[1] PASS Seminar: Achieving 2060 China Net Zero with Ratings, Sustainable Finance, Carbon Trading

[2] Moral Money Asia 2022: Accelerating ESG Integration to Unlock Value and Drive Progress

[3] The role of sustainable bonds in reaching the SDGs

[4] Unlocking Capital for Sustainability 2022: The role of sustainable finance in a disrupted world

[5] SME ESG Best Practices Recognition Programme Industry Forum 2

[6] HKGFA Forum 2022: Integrating Sustainable Finance in GBA and Beyond

[7] Global Roundtable: Transforming Finance, Accelerating Change

The Rise of Social Pillar of ESG

Michele Leung, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Social pillar within ESG world, depending on the materiality and relevancy to the industry, would cover a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to labour management, supply chain labour standards, health and safety, product safety and privacy and data security. These social factors have often been downplayed or ignored, due to its nature of hard to quantify and the perception of social pillar is less financially relevant. 

While the measurement of social factors is still open for discussion, there is improving transparency of corporate ESG disclosure, hence more robust assessment can be done nowadays. For example, under labour management, the evaluation can be based on the number of employees (including part time and contract workers), turnovers and layoffs, percentage of workforce covered by trade unions, available benefits to employees, any events of strikes, and external recognition such as employer of choice etc. These indicators are being compared to the industry’s best practices, while taken into consideration of any controversies (defined as incidents negatively impact its stakeholders), then one would deduce whether the company outperforms or underperforms its peers within same industry group.

Regarding the financial relevancy, among many industry research papers, one found governance pillar scores proved to be far more significant than environmental and social pillars over a relatively short period in terms of their impact of profitability and systematic risk, yet the environmental and social factors were more significant over longer periods^. It explained the social factors are more related to event risks, such as health and safety or data privacy issues, witnessed in the stock plunges resulting from data breaches at Facebook and Equifax.  It also confirmed social pillar was the most significant in the consumer discretionary sector. In fact, when time got much stressful and tough, especially in the recent year, it is observed that social pillar has become an increasingly important consideration when analyzing the company’s financial performance.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 47 million Americans quitted their jobs in 2021, which was also known as the Great Resignation. The pandemic caused the workers to rethink about their pay, job satisfaction, health and safety, as well as career choices. It is a global issue and reflects the structural risk of the industry that depends on large work force. From cost perspective, these high turnovers and low retention would lead to higher operational cost and lower margin. It is also true that employees are more willing to help their employers when time is tough if they have been valued and treated well.

In fact, according to CFA Institute’s Financial Analysts Journal, from the period of 1984-2020, an equal-weighted portfolio of companies that treat their employees the best earns an excess return of 2% to 2.7% per year. The result seemed to suggest the stock market undervalues employees’ satisfaction.*

Closer to home, we are seeing some tech giants are being scrutinized by the regulatory on the privacy and cyber security issues. For example, with the China Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) that targeted at personal information protection, these tech companies are now required to have a robust data privacy framework. Coupled with the earlier anticompetitive crackdown and the order to remove the gaming and digital content that’s harmful to the minors, these clampdowns and social concerns have weighed on the stocks’ performances. There are also some textiles and apparel companies that being alleged of forced labour in Xinjiang region and North Korea. In addition to supply chain disruptions, they are facing reputational damage.  Investors that have strong opposition on modern slavery have also divested away from those companies as a result.

These impacts are real and does come with a cost from financial perspective. Social pillar within ESG world should not be ignored. On the positive side, we are seeing more corporates are now taking more social responsibility, from establishing better labour standards in regard to employee protections and benefits and supply chain management.

^ Deconstructing ESG Ratings Performance: Risk and Return for E, S And G by Time Horizon, Sector and Weighting – MSCI

*Employee Satisfaction and Long-Run Stock Returns, 1984–2020 (

Plastic waste – from threat to opportunities

(Photo Credit: Environment and Ecology Bureau, HKSAR Government)

The Hong Kong SAR government is proposing amendments, including higher levy, to the Plastic Shopping Bag Charging Scheme. While some may argue that higher levy cannot help reduce plastic waste, no one should deny the fact that plastics waste are harmful to our environment. Noticeably, plastic wastes was the third largest source of waste for Hong Kong, accounting for 21% of the city’s municipal solid waste. Plastic bags are just one form of plastic waste. The disposal of plastic bottles is another issue that the government needs to address.

When compared with other cities, Hong Kong has low plastic recycling rate. This could be explained by a few key factors including the lack of convenient recycling facilities in Hong Kong and the low financial incentives for plastics. For plastic bottles the recycling has been largely driven by the private sector and consumers. The government has been slowly reacting. We welcome the rollout of the Reverse Vending Machine Pilot Scheme by the Environmental Protection Department started last year. However the number of reverse vending machines on the market is limited and their geographical coverage is insufficient. Moreover, the financial incentive for recycling is unattractive at HK$0.1 per bottle, which is the lowest in the world according to Green Queen[1].

The use of plastics and the associated wastes generated is threatening our environment and the sustainability of our economy. But these threats could be translated into opportunities. To address the challenges from the plastic waste, we need to mobilize capital in both the private sector and the public sector. The role of government is critical. With the right regulations, the supportive policies and proper public finance mechanism, private investments would be incentivized to tackle the issues. The Global Plastic Action Partnership published an investment toolkit to demonstrate a series of case studies of cooperation between private and public sectors to create circular economy for plastics.[2]

In general, we urge the Hong Kong SAR government to step up up its efforts not only in tackling plastic wastes but also in other environmental challenges. We are looking forward to the government’s sustainability strategy, plan and execution roadmap for the medium and long term.

[1] Hong Kong’s Plastic Bottle Bill Looks Set For Failure, Here Are 8 Reasons Why. Green Queen. June 2021

[2] Global Plastic Action Partnership. February 2022


相片來源 : 香港特別行政區 環境及生態局

香港特別行政區政府正商議修訂膠袋收費計劃,包括提高徵費。雖然更高徵費是否能幫助於減少塑料垃圾具爭辯性,但塑料垃圾對環境有害應該是沒有異議的事實。值得注意的是,塑料廢物是香港第三大廢物來源,佔全港都市固體廢物的 21%。膠袋只是其中一種塑料垃圾。膠樽的處置是政府另一個需要解決的問題。

與其他城市相比,香港的塑料回收率偏低。這可以歸究於幾個原因,包括缺乏便利和足夠的回收設施以及對塑料回收的財政激勵不足。對於膠樽,回收主要由私營公司和消費者推動。政府在這個問題的回應上缺乏積極性。我們歡迎環境保護署從去年開始推出的逆向自動售貨機先導計劃。然而,市場上的逆向自動售貨機數量有限,地理覆蓋範圍不足。此外,回收的經濟激勵措施也沒有吸引力,根據 Green Queen 的報導[1],香港政府的膠樽回收價(每個0.1 港元)是世界上最低的。

塑料的使用和所產生的相關廢物正在威脅我們的環境和經濟的可持續性。但這些威脅可以轉化為機遇。為了應對塑料垃圾帶來的挑戰,我們需要在私營部門和公共部門調動資金。政府的作用至關重要。有了正確的法規、支持性政策和適當的公共財政機制,將激勵私人投資來解決這些問題。Global Plastic Action Partnership發布了一個投資工具包[2],展示了一系列私營和公共部門合作創建塑料循環經濟的案例研究。


[1] Hong Kong’s Plastic Bottle Bill Looks Set For Failure, Here Are 8 Reasons Why. Green Queen. June 2021

[2] Global Plastic Action Partnership. February 2022


【ESG分析師洞見分享】Ryan Fung, CESGA

偽命題,就是要在「有氣水」(Sparkling Water)和「蒸餾水」(Distilled Water)之中 2 選 1,卻沒有想過其他更好的選擇。香港政府推動發電的能源如是,一直推銷的所謂「淨零發電」,其實不夠綠(當中隱含核能),沒有告訴外界香港並不重視「可再生能源」,這在未來能源組合中只是微乎其微的佔比,似乎無心戀戰。

發電是香港最大的溫室氣體排放來源。長遠來說,香港必須徹底淘汰化石燃料,擁抱可再生能源,而非核電和天然氣,達至真正的碳中和,讓香港與國際接軌。加上面對香港人口持續增長,對電力的需求亦相應提升,但仍未見香港急起直追,可再生能源佔日常發電比率不足 3%,遠低於內地的 29.8%。


以中國為例,經過多年來的政策補貼,如自 2013 年發表「關於促進光伏產業健康發展的若干意見」,從價格、財政補貼、稅收、項目管理和併網管理等多方面,帶動整個可再新能源產業壯大發展,甚至在太陽能業問鼎全球最強地位

事實上,早前香港的氣候倡議組織「日出社區」也表示,如在天台、水塘及閒置土地上都安裝太陽能板,估計至 2030 年最高可滿足本港電力需求的 21%,評估本港潛力一定不止 3% 至 4%。

雖然政府已於 2018 年與 2 間電力公司引入上網電價,推動太陽能發電系統的發展,但之前也提過,在綠色能源未竟全功之際,政府就削減上網電價,可謂逆行倒施,打擊市民支持可再生能源的意欲。

相反,要鼓勵使用再生能源,政府應考慮延長計劃的時效。目前,有關計劃將於 2033 年底完結,但太陽能發電系統的投資成本高,若安裝數年後便要拆除,會令不少有意者卻步。


  1. 取消發電容量 1 兆瓦的上限,以鼓勵發展更多大型太陽能項目,提升效率。
  2. 以創新思維處理在閒置農地、堆填區等地方,設置太陽能發電系統申請,包括豁免補地價、成立專責小組協調各部門,如地政署、屋宇署、環保署等的要求,加快整個流程。


但有趣的是,新任環境及生態局局長謝展寰似乎有點「遠視」:一蹴而就聲稱會探索氫能在重型車的應用,但就未有先解決減碳的燃眉之急;提出如何集中資源,做好電動車相關的政策,似乎繼續抱陳守舊;計劃在 2035 年或之前停止新登記燃油私家車,卻未有正視公共運輸系統的碳排放問題。

不應對氣候危機,香港不單止要飽受高溫折磨,沿岸地區更會被淹沒。可是,上屆政府提出的「香港氣候行動藍圖 2050」,所提到的幾項措施最終也是捉襟見肘。當中也未有提及如何在香港發展可再生能源上,好好利用太陽能。再者,所謂關注氣候問題的政府官員,永遠只懂得詭辯,活像一個「氣候演員」,嘥鬼氣。