(Hong Kong, 18 July 2023) The “SME ESG Best Practices Recognition Programme” (“the Programme”) jointly organised by Dah Sing Bank, Limited (“Dah Sing Bank”) and Friends of the Earth (HK) (“FoE (HK)”) announced today that 19 small to medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) have received the Certificate of Recognition for taking the first steps in adopting environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices. Coming from the local construction and real estate industry and the retail and e-commerce industry, the 19 commended SMEs received guidance from the Programme’s “ESG Doctor” during the designated period, and managed to enhance their competitive advantages by putting their management resources to good use to practise sustainable development principles in various aspects of their businesses.

Recognising the opportunities and challenges that ESG presents to SMEs, Dah Sing Bank and FoE (HK) joined hands last year to launch this Programme which was the first-of-its-kind in Hong Kong to focus on the construction and real estate industry and the retail and e-commerce industry respectively. The Programme also enlisted the support of a professional “ESG Doctor” to provide free assessment and practical guidance to the participating SMEs. A veteran in promoting sustainable development principles, the ESG Doctor offered invaluable advice to the participating SMEs on how to integrate ESG principles into their business operations. The Programme was well received by SMEs, and after rigorous reviews by its judging panel (“Judging Panel”), 11 SMEs from the construction and real estate industry and eight from the retail and e-commerce industry were confirmed to have achieved significant overall ESG improvements within the designated period.

Ms Phoebe Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, Senior Executive Director and Group Head of Personal Banking of Dah Sing Bank, said, “SMEs form the core of Hong Kong’s economy, yet they tend to lack the know-how and resources to harness the growing significance of ESG. If more SMEs embrace ESG, that will certainly create a meaningful impact on the overall sustainable development of Hong Kong. We are pleased to see that the Programme has successfully inspired a growing number of SMEs over the past year to participate in the transition to a sustainable economy, helped them to recognise the challenges and opportunities in the trend towards a low carbon economy, and to make the necessary strategic adjustments to increase their competitiveness for long-term growth. We hope to see more SMEs embarking on the journey of sustainable development in the future.”

Mr Anthony Cheung, Vice-Chairperson & Green Finance Convenor of FoE (HK), said, “With the urgent need to respond to climate change, it’s crucial that every sector of society steps up to the plate. It’s no longer a question of whether large corporations or SMEs should take action, but rather a matter of when and how they will respond to manage the climate-related risks and opportunities. At the heart of it, SMEs have a unique opportunity to examine their inherent operating models and align them with global sustainable development strategies. SMEs can boost their competitiveness in the post-pandemic market and contribute to the world’s efforts to combat climate change.”

According to the Judging Panel, there is general consensus amongst businesses for sustainable development. However, faced with limited resources, most SMEs mistakenly perceive that ESG principles are difficult to implement. The Programme aimed to increase SMEs’ understanding and awareness of ESG, and to help them embark on their ESG efforts by first identifying the ESG factors of most importance to their businesses, and then by making gradual and systematic improvements. Benefiting from the help and sustained support from the Programme, the participating SMEs were able to enhance their operational efficiency through improvements in such areas as sourcing and procurement, supplier selection, warehousing and distribution, sales procedures, waste disposal, and talent acquisition.

Formed by academics and experts from sectors including public utility, real estate and construction as well as SME associations, the Judging Panel boasts strong rich expertise and experience in ESG. Leveraging the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) as its framework, the Judging Panel assessed the sustainable development strategies and policies of the participating SMEs and their ability to manage and promote sustainable development performance. Environmental, social and governance performances accounted for 30%, 40% and 30% of the scores, respectively. Environmental considerations focused on energy efficiency and waste management; social considerations stressed on employee health and safety, labour practices and human rights, while governance considerations concerned such themes as board diversity and independence and risk management.

The 19 commended SMEswill become ESG role models for other local SMEs. As Programme organisers, Dah Sing Bank and FoE (HK) sincerely hope that with the support of various trade associations, these SMEs will be able to deepen their ESG knowledge and passion on this sustainability journey, and that they will become torchbearers to accelerate Hong Kong’s sustainable development through collaboration and exchanges to create common benefits amongst various sectors in our society.

List of SMEs Recognised for ESG Best Practices

Property and Construction

Company Name
1Hong Kong BangMang Outsourcing Company Limited
2Hang Kei Engineering Service Limited
3Dehtlet Eco-System Ltd
4York Joint Design & Construction Co., Limited
5Ravia Global Appraisal Advisory Limited
6RHL International Limited
7Brilliant (Man Sau) Engineering Limited
8Riskory Consultancy Limited
9Sun Luen Shing Engineering Limited
10Million Yield Properties Limited
11Kudos Construction Limited

Retail and E-Commerce

Company Name
1Viva Goods Company Limited
2Chill In Mall
3W Cellar Limited
4StoryTaler HK Co Limited
5City Cut Hair & Beauty Salon
6Safe & Sound Solutions Limited
7Crown Gas Stoves (Holdings) Company Limited
8Diving Adventure Limited

Group photos of the awardees of the SME ESG Best Practices Recognition Programme