Today, Friends of the Earth (HK) (FoE (HK)) and Center for Economic Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Finance, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (CESEF) jointly organized an online forum on Green Finance titled, “ESG Implementation in Hong Kong”.

Mr. Chan Ho Lim, Joseph, JP, Under Secretary, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and Wilfred Yiu, Head of Markets, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited delivered keynote speeches and analyzed the latest policy and regulatory system of environment, social and governance (ESG) development in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong’s status as the Asia’s leading international financial centre has well-positioned Hong Kong to be the ESG finance hub for raising green capital and offering green financial products in the region. We have seen green bonds gaining popularity and market traction in Hong Kong. The cumulative green bonds arranged and issued in Hong Kong amounted to USD26bn by the end of 2019, and the volume in 2019 is 2.5times of that a couple of years ago,” Mr. Joseph Chan said.

During the panel discussion, key financial practitioners examined the opportunities and challenges in promoting ESG.

ESG redefines value and purpose for an equitable and sustainable Future

Mrs Mei Ng, BBS, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth (HK) mentioned in her opening remarks, “ESG integration in policy-making, business decision-making and financial investing is key to catalyze a greener, cleaner, healthier and more equitable Future and Economic Recovery. ESG’s goal should be to redefine value and purpose and to redeem fair play, fair value, fair share, fair say and fair choice. Growth with No Woes, Invest with No Regrets.”

Obstacle to ESG promotion: Lack of awareness and guidelines

To enable the public to gain a deeper understanding of the current development and demands of ESG practitioners, Friends of the Earth (HK) previously commissioned CESEF to carry out focus group interviews. The results were published in today’s forum. The research included questionnaires and interviews with 46 respondents who were key ESG stakeholders with backgrounds from banking, asset management, investment fund, investor relations investor relation executives of Hong Kong listed firms, etc. The report revealed that 46% interviewees cited the lack of understanding of ESG as the main reason for the slow ESG implementation.

The current market is lacking representable and certified ESG references, thus industries have difficulties in measuring how to transform ESG performance into business values. The report also pointed out that 41% interviewees felt that there are insufficient comparable historic data. Without ESG data guidelines, systematic data analysis will hardly happen. In addition, near 40% interviewees were worried that ESG implementation will lead to negative returns for their companies. They were afraid that they will have unsatisfying ESG performance when compared with competitors.

Hong Kong needs to upgrade ESG quality, standards and monitoring

In light of the research, Friends of the Earth (HK) made three recommendations to the Government and regulators: Firstly, strengthen the disclosure of ESG performance from enterprises. Regulatory bodies have to understand the needs of ESG practitioners at different stages, so as to better monitor and enhance ESG disclosure quality. Secondly, to formulate various guidelines and indicators related to ESG performance. At the moment, the market lacks comprehensive guidelines, which makes it hard for the industry to evaluate ESG performance effectively. Thirdly, encourage greater promotion of ESG product choices and regulation. Product development and regulation must work in coordination to boost ESG development in the local market.

Build public confidence in ESG and incubate Green Finance human capital


“Public and stakeholder trust and confidence in ESG is a critical factor. Hong Kong needs to enhance the quality of data integrity and transparency, reporting standard and regulatory monitoring. That is why Friends of the Earth (HK) is promoting green finance education and ESG analyst certification to build public and stakeholder trust and to incubate green finance human capital.” Dr. Jeffrey Hung, Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Earth (HK) added.


Visit www.foe.org.hk for more news about Friends of the Earth (HK)!
Green Finance Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
FoE (HK) LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/


香港地球之友】連同香港理工大學可持續經濟與創業金融中心今日舉辦綠色金融網上論壇,主題為「ESG在香港的實踐」,邀請了財經事務及庫務局副局長陳浩濂先生香港交易所市場主管姚嘉仁先生為主講嘉賓,剖析本港市場在環境、社會及管治(簡稱「ESG」)發展上的最新情況,以及ESG的監管制度及進程。

陳浩濂先生表示:「香港作為亞洲領先的國際金融中心,有條件發展成ESG綠色金融樞紐,籌集綠色資本,為鄰近地區提供綠色金融產品。近年香港綠色債券深受市場歡迎,截止2019年,香港累計發行綠色債券總額增至260億美元,成交量較前幾年上升2.5倍。」

論壇同時邀請了業界代表,探討業界推行ESG的機遇與挑戰,助與會者緊握綠色大潮,共同出力應對環境氣候等各種危機。

 投資無後顧之憂 増長無污染全球

香港地球之友主席吳方笑薇女士BBS 致辭時提到:「ESG實踐在政策制定、商業決策和金融投資上,為促進更環保、更清潔、更健康、更公平的未來和經濟復甦發揮關鍵作用。ESG的目標應該是重新定義價值和目的,弘揚公平競爭、公平價值、公平配置、公平權益和公平選擇,投資無後顧之憂,增長無污染全球。」

業界難推ESG主因缺認識 缺準則

為了讓社會各界更了解ESG業內人士的情況及需求。【香港地球之友】早前委託香港理工大學可持續經濟與創業金融中心,以小組訪談形式進行業界ESG研究,並於本次論壇發表報告結果。研究以問卷及深入訪談形式訪問46名來自銀行、資產管理、基金業、上市公司投資者關係等ESG主要持份者。報告指出,46%的受訪者認為,對ESG認識不足是主要窒礙實踐ESG的主要原因。現時市場缺乏有代表性及具質量的ESG參考資料,令業界難以衡量如何將ESG表現轉化為企業價值。報告又指,41%的受訪者認為市場缺乏可比較的歷史數據,市場欠缺ESG數據準則,難以進行有系統的數據分析。另外有接近40%的受訪者擔憂推行ESG後,會為公司帶來負收益,擔心ESG表現不佳,遜於同行。

促監管機構提質量 定指標 重監管

有見及此,【香港地球之友】向政府及監管機構提出三項建議,加快推動業界實踐ESG的進程。第一,加強企業披露ESG表現。監管機構必須要了解ESG從業員在不同階段的需求,監管機構應監管及提高ESG披露的品質。第二,促請監管機構制定各種ESG表現相關的準則和指標。由於現時缺乏全面量度ESG表現的相關準則和指標,令業界難以有效地評估ESG表現。第三,鼓勵推出更多ESG產品選擇並進行監管。產品與監管必須互相配合,加快本地市場的ESG發展。

提升公衆ESG意識和培育綠色金融人才

香港地球之友行政總裁洪藹誠博士指:「公眾和業界對ESG的信心十分關鍵。香港需要在資料完整性、透明度、報告標準和監管方面提高專業水準。因此,【香港地球之友】正努力推動綠色金融教育,推出全港首個國際認可的ESG專業認證計劃(CESGA),建立公眾和業界的信任,培育綠色金融人才。」


瀏覽香港地球之友網頁 www.foe.org.hk 了解更多
綠色金融 Facebook 專頁: https://www.facebook.com/greenfinancefoehk/
香港地球之友 LinkedIn 專頁: https://www.linkedin.com/company/friends-of-the-earth-hk/