全球領導人齊呼籲採取緊急行動應對氣候變化 / Global Leaders Calling for Urgent Action on Climate Change

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

央行與監管機構綠色金融網絡(NGFS)是由一群批中央銀行和監管機構組成,旨在加快氣候和環境風險管理工作。在去年四月發表的第一份綜合報告中,它指出氣候變化是經濟和金融體系結構變化的根源。最近,歐盟公布的《歐洲綠色協議》談到其最新的增長策略,並以2050年或之前成為全球首個達至炭中和的大洲為目標 。同時,英倫銀行發布一份討論文件,提出了2021年氣候相關風險的兩年期探索性方案的建議,目的是測試大型銀行、保險集團和金融系統對不同氣候變化路徑的適應能力。可以按此連結了解更多全球相關政策。

究竟氣候變化怎樣跟財務風險扯上關係? 極端天氣狀況將破壞供應鏈並增加業務成本,並影響資本市場中金融資產的定價。因此,氣候變化無可否認是投資和企業面臨的最緊迫金融風險來源之一。根據國際能源署和國際可再生能源機構於2017年公布的數據,從總體上看,過渡風險造成的損失估計將高達20兆美元。遺憾的是,現時還是沒有很多人意識到或特別關注氣候變化。

在香港,證監會早前發布了《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》,指出大多數資產持有人期望資產管理公司為氣候風險進行識別、評估和管理。但是,在660間資產管理公司中,只有23%的流程能夠管理實際和過渡風險的財務影響。調查結果亦指出「氣候風險的討論幾乎不會出現在客戶參與過程和風險評估中。」

這個知識鴻溝,能通過更理想的資訊披露和加強對氣候變化相關風險及影響的認識而拉近。受益於法規事務的支持,披露要求現已得以提升,並從性質披露轉型至量化披露。另一方面,企業應開始研究自己的運營手法並分析自家公司的供應鏈和下游影響,例如,其業務是否會受到碳成本上升的影響,還是在容易遭受旱災或水浸等自然風險的地區運營?在了解並意識到風險後,他們將能進一步評估和量化財務風險。在投資方面,資產持有人、資產經理、投資經理和銀行應共同努力,評估他們在投資組合層面上與環境和氣候相關的風險。他們應該開始衡量風險、訂立指標和目標,然後參與並執行氣候變化政策。

總括而言,無可否認法規對於促進及支持有效的氣候政策及整合,扮演著一個基礎及獨特的角色。

The Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) is set up by a group of Central Banks and Supervisors with the aim to accelerate work on climate and environmental risk management. In its First Comprehensive report launched last April, it stated that climate change is a source of economic and financial risks. Recently, European Union published its European Green Deal which stated as its new growth strategy, it also targets to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.  In the meanwhile, Bank of England circulated a discussion paper setting out the proposal for the 2021 Biennial Exploratory Scenario on climate-related risk, with the objective to test the resilience of the largest banks, insurers and the financial system to different possible climate pathways. Please refer to this link for an overview on related global policies.

How climate change is related to financial risk? In simple terms, extreme weather events would disrupt supply chains and increase business costs, which will impact the pricing of financial assets in capital markets. Hence, climate change is undeniably one of the most imminent source of financial risks for both investments and businesses. According to IEA and IRENA (2017), the estimates of losses from transition risk would reach up to USD 20 trillion when looking at the economy broadly. Regrettably, not many people are aware of or paying enough attention to climate change.

In Hong Kong, SFC published the Survey on Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and Climate Risks recently, in Asset Management, and stated that majority of asset owners expect asset management firms to identify, assess and manage climate risk. Nevertheless, only 23% of the 660 asset management firms have process in place to manage the financial impact of physical and transition risks. It also cited “discussion of climate risks is almost non-existent in client engagement and suitability assessment.”

The gap would potentially be bridged by better disclosures and deeper understanding on the associated risks and impacts from climate change. Thanks to the regulatory efforts, the disclosure requirements have been enhanced and transformed from largely qualitative to quantitative disclosure. On the other hand, businesses should start looking into their own operations and analyze their supply chain and downstream impacts, i.e. are their businesses subject to increasing carbon cost or are they operate in regions that are prone to physical risk like drought or flooding? After understanding and recognizing these risks, they would further assess and quantify them in financial terms. On the investment front, asset owners, asset managers, investment managers and banks should all work together to evaluate their environmental and climate related risks on portfolio-level. They should start measuring the risks, establish metrics and targets, then engage and implement their own climate change policy.

On top of these, and undeniably, the regulation will play a foundational and distinctive role in facilitating and supporting effective climate change policies and integrations.

修訂ESG披露 促進香港競爭力 / Amend ESG Disclosure to Maximise Hong Kong’s Competitive Power

意見交流園地 – Karen Ho / Idea Exchange – Karen Ho

上星期,我們聚焦綠色債券市場,討論香港以至全球的綠色金融發展。

今個星期,我將會講解一下在香港制定政策的官員如何提高股票市場發行人在環境、社會和管治(ESG)數據披露方面的要求。

去年12月,香港交易所發布了ESG報告指引的諮詢總結。他們將修訂上市規則加強ESG披露要求,新修訂將由2020年7月1日或其後開始的財政年度起生效。

要求發行人披露的主要修訂包括:

  1. 加設強制披露要求:
    .載有董事會對ESG事宜的考量的董事會聲明;
    .有關匯報原則──「重要性」、「量化」以及「一致性」的應用;及
    .解釋ESG報告的匯報範圍;
  2. 對公司產生影響的重大氣候相關事宜;
  3. 補充「環境」的關鍵績效指標,並須披露相關目標;
  4. 將所有「社會」關鍵績效指標的披露責任提升至「不遵守就解釋」。

這些改變的意義是什麼?

所有持分者,包括作為散戶投資者的你和我、強積金供款人、專業投資社群、或作為上市公司的供應商或客戶,都能受惠於ESG披露要求修訂,以作出更理想的投資或業務決策。大眾將因此而加深了解企業董事會在迎接「可持續未來」這個新時代中的準備程度、如何確定其業務的重大風險(例如與氣候相關的風險)以及是否設定了目標和指標、以適應不斷增長的ESG需求。

當世界各地的政策官員都將注意力轉向可持續金融,香港在此方面的積極發展將幫助我們在全球保持競爭力。

如欲了解更多資訊,請瀏覽以下網址:
https://www.hkex.com.hk/-/media/HKEX-Market/News/Market-Consultations/2016-Present/May-2019-Review-of-ESG-Guide/Conclusions-(December-2019)/cp201905cc.pdf?la=en
https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/policymakers-across-the-world-turn-their-attention-to-sustainable-finance/

In our blog last week, we discussed about the Green Finance development in Hong Kong and the rest of the world with a focus of the Green Bonds market.

This week we will learn more about how policy makers in Hong Kong has ramped up their requirements to issuers in the equities market in regards to their disclosure on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data.

In December last year, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong published their conclusion of the ESG guide consultations. They will strengthen the ESG disclosure requirement by making changes to the listing rule, effective for the financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2020.

Key changes on the required disclosure by issuers include:

  1. New Mandatory disclosure requirements:
    .a board statement setting out the board’s oversight of ESG matters;
    .application of Reporting Principles “materiality”, “quantitative” and “consistency”; and
    .explanation of reporting boundaries of ESG reports;
  2. Significant climate-related issues impacting the company;
  3. Additional “Environmental” key performance indicators (KPIs) to require disclosure of relevant targets;
  4. Upgrading the disclosure obligation of all “Social” KPIs to “comply or explain”

What does it mean to us?

All stakeholders, including you and me as retail investors, or MPF contributors, the professional investing communities, or as a suppliers or customers of a listed company, would now be empowered with improved ESG disclosure to help you make a better investment or business decision. All of us would be able to understand how prepared the Board of a company are in embracing the new era of Sustainable Future, how they identify material risk to their business, such as Climate related risk, and are they setting up targets and metrics and being resilient to increasing demands on addressing ESG issues.

This positive development in Hong Kong, would help us to stay competitive to the rest of the world, while all policy makers across the world has turn their attention to sustainable finance.

For more information, please visit:
https://www.hkex.com.hk/-/media/HKEX-Market/News/Market-Consultations/2016-Present/May-2019-Review-of-ESG-Guide/Conclusions-(December-2019)/cp201905cc.pdf?la=en
https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/policymakers-across-the-world-turn-their-attention-to-sustainable-finance/

綠色金融的回顧與前瞻 / Review and forward looking on Green Finance

香港地球之友董事 麥礎允 / Serena Mak, Board Member of Friends of the Earth (HK)

在2020年剛開始之際,藉著「回顧與前瞻」的主題,讓我們花點時間,看看綠色金融在香港乃至全球的進步。

在香港,令人鼓舞的是,金融機構終於開始向零售公眾發行與綠色金融相關的產品,這也與我們網誌的核心主題相互呼應 ―─ 隨著公眾意識的增強,市民對此類產品的需求將會日漸增加,而供應隨之而來,綠色金融的市場亦會有所增長。

現在同樣是一個良好時機,提醒大家於此網誌中曾不斷提及到的另一項信息―─ 關於綠色金融/可持續發展投資/ ESG(環境、社會與管治)和許多其他主題的標準仍需完善,到現時為止,將投資量化為「綠色/ 可持續」,仍然不像我們盼望般的那麼容易和透明。

也許我們能夠從中汲取教訓的,是綠色債券市場的發展。最近,我閱讀了國際貨幣基金組織 (IMF) 出版刊物中的一篇文章。綠色債券市場規模已顯著增長,單是2019年的上半年,綠色債券的發行量便超過1,000億美元。但是,一些被歸類為「可持續投資」的項目引起了一些懷疑(例如,歐洲石油公司出售的一些債券),投資者希望了解清楚他們的投資究竟有多少是確實投入到「可持續金融」計劃的。

針對此類懷疑,我們能從中學到的是,作為投資者,我們需要仔細選擇和審查綠色/可持續金融類別的投資項目,並確保自己了解投資對環境的影響,以便能投入資金來提供金融資源予真正對未來產生積極影響的項目。

如欲了解更多,可瀏覽以下網頁。

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2019/12/pdf/green-bonds-offer-lessons-for-sustainable-finance-beschloss.pdf

https://www.climatebonds.net/files/files/H1%202019%20Highlights_final.pdf

At the beginning of 2020, following the theme of ‘review and forward looking’, let’s also take a moment to look at how far Green Finance has progressed in Hong Kong and also around the world.

In Hong Kong, it is encouraging to see financial institutions finally started to issue Green Finance related products to the retail public, this echoes with one of the core themes of our blog here as well – with public’s increased awareness, the demand for such products will increase, supply will follow, and the market for green finance will grow.

It is also a good timing for us to be reminded about another message that resonated throughout our blogs – that standards around green finance / sustainability investing / ESG and many other topics, still need to be refined, so quantifying an investment to be ‘green / sustainable’ still is not as easy & transparent as we would like it to be.

Maybe one lesson we can learn from is the evolution of the market for green bonds. Recently, I came across an article from IMF publication. The market for green bond has grown significantly in size, and in first 6 months of 2019 alone, issuance of green bonds has gone above USD 100 billion. However, some projects that are classified as ‘sustainable investing’ has raised eyebrows (e.g. some bonds sold by European oil companies), and investors are asking questions on how much of their investments has really gone into ‘sustainable finance’ initiatives.

So lesson for us is perhaps that as investors, we need to carefully select and review the investments in the Green / Sustainable finance category, and ensure that we understand the environmental impact of our investment, so that we can all chip in to provide financial resources to projects that will really have a positive impact for the future.

More information can be found at these links.

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2019/12/pdf/green-bonds-offer-lessons-for-sustainable-finance-beschloss.pdf

https://www.climatebonds.net/files/files/H1%202019%20Highlights_final.pdf

締造「綠色金融圈」 ESG扎根資本市場

【意見交流園地】 團結香港基金副總幹事兼公共政策部主管 黃元山、助理研究員 江俊燊、助理研究員 羅文婷

氣候在變,時代在變——加州山火連連、威尼斯水浸不退,傳統逐利為本的企業即使對氣候危機視而不見,亦難以置身事外;與此同時,年輕一代逐漸接棒,成為新一代的投資者、消費者、勞動者,對可持續發展的企業往往青睞有加。適者生存,若企業墨守成規,一不小心就可能被時代淘汰。

面對時代變革,近年資本市場在投資管理中融入環境、社會及管治(Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG)因素的方法亦日漸成熟,引導資本流向可持續發展的企業和項目,逐漸形成一個綠色金融圈。

2018年,以ESG策略管理的全球資產規模已突破30萬億美元,較六年前增長了131%。不少投資銀行和資產管理機構均已明確表示對ESG投資的支持,當中不乏高盛、摩根大通、貝萊德、瑞銀等家喻戶曉的名字。

ESG經濟動機 回報 避險 新需求

在資本主義社會,一個理念得以成為全球主流趨勢,背後或多或少總有其經濟動機。綜觀不同機構投資者支持ESG的理由,大致有三:回報較佳、風險更低,以及迎合年輕世代的需求。

ESG表現出色的企業,其財務表現往往亦較佳。這通常與其聲譽良好、環保節能、員工高效、管治良好以及供應鏈管理成熟等因素息息相關。不少學術研究亦支持這個結論。

舉例來說,2018年布殊與弗雷德發表一份整合分析研究,涵蓋合共1,902個實證研究,指出企業ESG表現與財務表現呈正關係,當中ESG表現與生產力等營運表現指標的關係尤其顯著;分析更顯示ESG表現與財務表現之間,很可能存在一個良性循環——換言之,賺錢的企業固然有更充裕的資源改善ESG表現,但更優秀的ESG管理,亦能為企業進一步創造價值。

ESG表現良好股 股價波動率低

另一邊廂,愈來愈多投資者和企業亦將ESG管理視為風險管理的一部分。今年初加州最大能源公司太平洋瓦電因氣候風險而深陷破產危機,就令不少人正視氣候危機伴隨的財務風險。MSCI在一份2017年的報告中對超過1,600間MSCI世界指數成分股公司進行分析,發現ESG評級較高的公司風險管理能力亦較佳,帶來較低的預期資本成本和更高的估值。一篇2016年發表的期刊文章對157間道瓊斯可持續發展指數成分股公司與809間隨機選擇的非成分股公司進行對比分析,亦發現ESG表現良好的公司股價波動率,較同業平均低28.67%,反映ESG作為風險管理指標的價值。

美國千禧世代 6成有相關投資

在這一波ESG浪潮中,尤其關注環境和社會問題的年輕世代無疑是需求增長的重要動力。年輕人在購買一家公司的產品、成為一家公司的員工,或者投資一家公司的股票時,往往更為關心公司的環境和社會影響,因此企業的ESG表現對於銷售以及吸引人才和投資者將愈來愈重要。

摩根士丹利一項2019年的調查顯示,美國千禧世代中對ESG投資感興趣的比例高達九成五,而且逾六成已在進行ESG投資,遠高於美國平均水平。ESG的興起,正迎合新世代需求的轉變。

大行研發指數 助投資者分析

隨着資本市場愈來愈認真看待ESG議題,將ESG因素與傳統投資分析和決策結合的方法亦愈趨成熟。例如穆迪在企業和主權信用評級中已納入ESG分析,評估ESG因素對產品需求、聲譽、生產成本和財務實力的影響,真正將ESG與財務分析結合起來。市場上亦有不少服務供應商提供的第三方ESG工具,包括標普、富時和MSCI各自研發的ESG指數,以及Sustainalytics和Vigeo Eiris等提供的獨立ESG評級,幫助投資者將ESG納入投資分析。

然而,將ESG與財務分析結合的方法再成熟,也需要成熟的數據供應支持,否則使用垃圾數據也只能得出垃圾結論。因此不少機構亦致力改善ESG披露,以支持ESG投資發展。例如在氣候變化方面,由彭博擔任主席的氣候相關財務資訊披露工作組(Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, TCFD)就提出一系列建議,改善氣候相關的管治、策略、風險管理以及指標和目標披露。截至今年9月,TCFD建議已獲全球共898個公私營機構簽署支持。

在聯合國環境署金融倡議TCFD試行計劃中,作為加拿大最大投資管理公司之一的道明資產管理(TD Asset Management)評估旗下全球股票投資組合氣候風險價值,發現在符合巴黎協議的2℃情景下,組合比重最大的金融類公司受影響較小,而比重第二大的工業資產則面臨較大風險。基於這種具前瞻性的氣候風險評估,道明可調整投資策略,減低投資組合面對的氣候相關財務風險。

浪潮非曇花一現 當局要行多步

另一值得留意的金融創新當屬可持續發展掛鈎貸款(sustainability linked loan, SLL),其特點在於將貸款利率與企業的ESG表現掛鈎,鼓勵企業改善ESG表現,同時有助貸款人管理信貸風險。2018年全球SLL發行量較2017年急升六倍,而在香港,太古地產、會德豐和新世界等亦已紛紛發行SLL,反映SLL的機制能滿足市場需要,甚受業界歡迎。

隨着全球ESG投資發展日漸成熟,環境和社會因素已逐漸深入、扎根於資本市場的各個環節,很難想像這一切只是曇花一現的風潮。事實上,當氣候變化、貧富懸殊等問題愈趨嚴峻,ESG因素對於投資者的重要性只會有增無減。

香港當前的ESG發展雖不至於乏善可陳,但仍落後於歐、美、日等地。政策制定者必須扮演好促進者的角色,讓ESG扎根於香港金融體系。例如氣候相關預測對氣候風險評估不可或缺,如商經局屬下的天文台能利用本地數據開發氣候模型,評估不同情景下極端天氣、海平面上升和山泥傾瀉等風險的變化和分布,並開放予企業和投資者使用,將有助氣候分析進一步融入金融和企業決策之中。

文章原載《香港經濟日報》2019年12月19日

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

https://bicontent.businessinsurance.com/3daa2c90-5901-48d9-b59f-9216cb5907ea.jpg

非財務數據

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

一向以來,我們習慣分析一間上市公司的好與壞,會看看他的市盈率、財務回報等數據,可惜財務數據只能看到過去表現,對未來表現沒有太大參考價值,財務數據亦只能反映公司的單一方面表現,未能有效而立體地對公司的管理能力及可持續發展的能力作出側面參考。

過去多年,很多學者也曾討論過,公司披露非財務數據,可使公眾更立體地了解公司,很多時候,我們往往能從非財務數據中,找出公司的很多管理問題,例如員工的流失率,就很能反映公司管理能力。但什麼才是有價值的非財務數據?

在討論過程中,學者們漸漸取得共識,有價值的非財務數據,必須符合數個條件,這些數據必須能指出重要問題,同時間,這些數據必須可精確計算及精確分析,可用作自我比較或與同一行業作出比較,這些數據亦必須具有客觀標準,如已統一的單位及計算方法。經多年討論後,在十多年前,我們開始得出了較統一的結論,學者們認為的理想披露,實際上與我們今天的ESG報告大致相同,事實上,歐盟現時要求大公司所作的社會責任報告,他們是完全以非財務報告的思維發展出來,但結論卻和我們現在的ESG報告基本上一樣。所以我們看ESG報告時,切忌認為這是環保人的浪漫,實際上,這同時是一份非常有實際投資參考價值的功利報告。