Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations continue to accelerate for financial market participants at every level, from asset managers and pension plan sponsors to wealth advisors and retail investors. Many global investors already incorporate ESG factors into their evaluation of public companies across developed markets. We are now observing increasing interest in applying ESG considerations across a broader set of asset classes and regions.
A growing list of ESG data sources is emerging to support increasing market demand; however, data availability and reliability for certain asset classes remain challenging. In this article, we explore three areas in which investors are seeking more ESG data: fixed income, emerging markets, and private equity.
– Fixed-Income Investors Want More Reliable Sustainability Data
– Emerging Markets: Investors Are Looking More Closely at China for ESG Opportunities
– Investors Seek More ESG Disclosure from Privately Held Companies
To meet the growing demand for ESG data in the three areas discussed, Morningstar Sustainalytics has significantly expanded its analyst-based ESG Risk Ratings to more than 16,300 companies to support investors across their entire portfolio. This expanded universe offers wider coverage of analyst-based research and ratings and includes more coverage for fixed income issuers, private companies, and Chinese companies listing A and/or B shares. Asset managers, wealth managers and retail managers who incorporate ESG factors to guide their security selection, portfolio construction and reporting can now access a broader set of data across diverse asset classes and geographies.
Intertek Hong Kong co-exhibits with the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA) at the Eco Asia Expo 2022, themed “Green Innovations for Carbon Neutrality”, on Dec 14 – 17 at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre (HKCEC). Their Senior Business Development Manager, Samson Leong, speaks at the Expo, at the seminar “How to Consolidate Data on Carbon Emission to Meet Global Sustainability & ESG Reporting Requirements” on Dec 15.
Intertek’s CarbonZero certification enables companies worldwide to confidently market qualifying carbon neutral products and services as Intertek CarbonZero Verified, demonstrating tangible and auditable progress on the path to net zero carbon emissions. Furthermore, Intertek’s positioning throughout the value chain provides unique insights to performance target setting and ESG strategies, enabling companies to confidently communicate with their stakeholders. Through their global network of sustainability experts and integrated Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions, Intertek is uniquely placed to help organisations understand, achieve and validate their existing and emerging sustainability goals for their products, assets, facilities, systems, processes and environment.
Bringing quality, safety and sustainability to life.
Co-hosted by Allied Sustainability and Environmental Consultants Group Limited (“AEC Group”), the 2022 GRESB Regional Insights Event Hong Kong has drawn to a successful close, with around 200 participants joining in-person and online. Mr Dennis WU, CEO of AEC Capital acted as the moderator of the event, and Ms Grace KWOK, Chairman of AEC Group and GRESB Real Estate Standards Committee Member, Ir Dr Cary CHAN, Executive Director of Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) and Ms Quinnie LI, GRESB Representative of Asia ex Japan have delivered speeches, sharing their in-depth views on GRESB result highlights and net-zero solutions. In the panel discussion, heavyweight panellists including Ir Dr Cary CHAN, Executive Director of HKGBC, Ms Ellie TANG, Director of Sustainable Investing of Fidelity International, Ms Entela BENZ, CEO of Intensel Limited and Adjunct Associate Professor of HKUST SBM, Mr Johnny YU, Advisor to Chairman of Henderson Land Development and Ms Tracy WONG Harris, Head of Sustainability Finance Asia of Standard Chartered and Vice President and Deputy Secretary General of Hong Kong Green Finance Association started a thought-provoking interaction and reflection on the latest development of GRESB and how to enhance real estate sustainability.
As the Hong Kong SAR marks its 25th Anniversary, BritCham is pleased to announce its upcoming Summit in October which will take a forward-looking perspective on the opportunities and challenges ahead for our vibrant and entrepreneurial community. The BritCham Hong Kong Summit will be one of the largest and most important events for the international business community in Hong Kong, bringing together senior leaders from all sectors. Held over two days from Wednesday 12 to Thursday 13 October 2022 we invite you to save the date. Hear expert opinions and gain valuable insights from a diverse range of Government officials, industry leaders and practitioners on the next 25 years for Hong Kong, and beyond. The Summit agenda will include an update on the latest developments with the GBA, together with an exploration of the ASEAN opportunities and the role that Hong Kong will play. Innovation and technology will be an integral part of this journey. A panel of experts will dissect the necessary developments that are needed to stay ahead of the curve and support the positioning of Hong Kong as a centre for Innovation and Technology. The Summit will also address Hong Kong’s response to climate change and the increasing war for talent. The speakers will be invited to share their feedback on these topics, the specific opportunities they could generate, and what we can do as a business community to further the success of Hong Kong as a catalyst for international business growth in the region. The format will allow attendees to dive deeper into key issues and sectors.
Calls to reduce, re-use and recycle in Hong Kong have never been stronger. At the start of 2022, it was estimated that over 100 million pieces of plastic items had been used and disposed of by hotel quarantine guests alone. It has been predicted that by 2030, Hong Kong will be sending 4.2 billion single-use takeaway containers to landfill every year.
While the long-term goal is to move away from single-use plastic, the city’s environmental organizations–such as V Cycle–view recycling as a critical short-term solution. Recycling redirects plastic from landfill, reuses plastic that has already been made and reduces the demand for new plastic to be produced. At HandsOn Hong Kong, we believe each of us has a critical role to play in this process.
Thanks to the generous support of ReThink HK 2022, we’ve been able to strengthen our commitment to help solve the excessive waste issue. 100% of delegate fees will fund a HandsOn impact project called Rethink Plastic.
‘Rethink Plastic’ kicked off in early September and empowers Hongkongers to correctly recycle their single-use plastic – by bringing volunteers together to take action during dedicated recycling sessions with V Cycle, as well as recognizing recycling efforts with volunteer hours.
It’s estimated that during the course of this half-year project, around 60 HandsOn volunteers will visit the V Cycle factory and sort and process more than 37,000 recyclables – that’s over 550kg worth of repurposed waste material.
On top of that over 1,000 volunteers will be inspired to join the ‘movement’ as we educate and empower others to correctly recycle and re-think the impact of their everyday choices. Sign up to pledge your commitment today.
Check out what the event this year is offering for, with and by 3,000+ key business leaders and sustainability practitioners on 05 & 06 October at Hall 3FG, HKCEC this year.
LAST CALL FOR SIGNING UP DELEGATE PASSES AT STANDARD RATES.
All Pass fees will increase starting 00:00 on 29 September (Thursday).
Check here to find all Pass options and delegate info.
The world is facing a sustainability crisis. Extreme weather and natural disasters are bringing devastating effects this year from ferocious heatwave in Europe to catastrophic floods in Pakistan. Facing climate change, the European Union (the EU) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government both set ambitious decarbonization target to strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This target cannot be achieved without clear action plans. In 2020, the EU announced the European Green Deal, the new growth strategy to achieve NetZero and transition the EU economy to a sustainable economic model. Last year, Hong Kong also introduced its own “Green Deal”, Hong Kong Climate Action Plan 2050, to outline strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Participation of citizens and communities is essential to maximize the impact of the Green Deals. Among them, youth is a key player that pursues sustainability without discrimination and prejudice. They should never be left alone to solve climate change. This debate would provide a platform to the youth to voice out their priorities and concerns in sustainable development, and vision on comprehensive Green Deals. Debaters will also take European Green Deal and experiences learnt from its implementation as a reference to understand Hong Kong’s “Green Deal”. Join us at Future Leaders Stage between 12:30 & 13:45 on 6th October 2022
After an almost 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Global Shapers Community Annual Summit is back at the World Economic Forum in Geneva! Hong Kong was one of the few cities from the Greater China region represented at the summit. The Global Shapers Community was created in 2011 by Prof. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, in order to harness the power of young people to create positive change. Specifically, the summit took place from Sept 2 to 4, which brought together innovators, activists and entrepreneurs from 500 hubs across 150 countries to discuss ways to create impact on protecting the planet, strengthening civic engagement, improving health and well-being, delivering basic needs, reskilling for the future, and creating inclusive communities. Specifically, Michael Chan from Hong Kong was invited to speak in a live-streaming panel discussion on driving social changes and personal well-being. Michael and other shapers including Fatima-Zahra Ma-el-ainin from Rabat, Morocco, E. Kwame Botchway from Cleveland, USA, and Dr. Noémie Le Pertel from Manhattan, USA, had a moderated discussion by the Head of Global Shapers Community, Natalie Pierce, on how young change-makers could take care of themselves before they take care of the community they are in, give space and credits to oneself, and shift mindsets on the speed of changes that usually happen in our own community. The journey of changemakers could be overwhelming sometimes, but having the chance to attend the Summit with a community of like-minded individuals continued to fuel Michael’s passion to drive changes in Hong Kong.
Given the long-term nature of AIA’s products, sustainability is at the heart of how we operate and serve our Purpose to help people in Asia to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives. A sustainable environment is essential to human health, just as nature needs us to behave responsibly for it to thrive.
Almost one quarter of the 12.6 million annual deaths globally are linked to the environment and nearly two-thirds of these are attributable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and diabetes.
AIA Australia in June released The Environment and our Health, a report that looks at the scientific evidence of the bidirectional connection between our health and environmental factors such as air pollution and climate change.
Climate change can impact our health in many ways including via trauma related to extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves, or more indirectly through the long-term emotional distress triggered by threats to the current and future wellbeing of the earth and its people.
Air pollution causes almost one-third of cardiovascular diseases globally, with household air pollution (17 percent), ambient air pollution (13 percent), second-hand tobacco smoke (3 percent) and exposure to lead (2 percent) all negatively impacting our health.
Urbanisation and the built environment also have an influence on physical and mental health. Well-planned cities can promote health and wellbeing through initiatives such as green spaces, walking and cycling paths, recreational facilities, and sports infrastructure.
Damien Mu, CEO of AIA Australia, said that the impact of the environment on our health is a societal issue requiring urgent attention.
“We are at a critical point where we as a society need to take concrete steps to improve the way we interact with the environment. Governments and corporates need to embrace upstream preventative approaches that encourage policies and programmes that consider both the impact on the environment and how those then exacerbate NCDs.”
With our scale and influence across Asia, AIA has a responsibility to address material social and environmental challenges. In February 2022, AIA launched AIA One Billion, a bold ambition to engage a billion people to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives by 2030. AIA One Billion underscores AIA’s commitment to engage, educate and inspire communities across Asia to improve physical, mental, and environmental wellness while championing financial inclusion.
For more information on the research linking the environment and its impact on non-communicable diseases, please see the full report https://www.aia.com.au/content/dam/au/en/docs/reports/the-environment-and-our-health.pdf.
AIA Australia is part of AIA Group, the largest pan-Asian life insurance group with a presence in 18 markets.
Carbon emissions, which fell during the first year of the pandemic, rebounded last year and there has been a sharp increase in the use of coal.
Unless we are willing to make real changes to our current unsustainable way of life, we can expect hotter temperatures and more extreme climate threats in the future.
Long-lasting heatwaves struck many parts of the world in July, with daytime temperatures hitting and even surpassing 40 degrees Celsius in some places.
Hong Kong is not far from reaching such sweltering temperatures. The city broke 11 weather records last month; there were 21 “very hot days” and 25 “hot nights” in July, making it the hottest month since records began 138 years ago. The heat forced many people to leave their poorly ventilated subdivided units to spend the night at one of the 18 temporary heat shelters provided by the government for those in need.
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, but I have never experienced such unbearable heat in the city before. Last summer, I didn’t turn on the air conditioner even once during the day while working from home occasionally.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sustain my low-carbon practice last month; I found myself dripping with sweat if I didn’t switch on the air conditioner while working at home. Instead, I turned the air conditioner on for just a few hours with the thermostat set to 27 degrees, while pulling down my blinds to block out the burning sunshine whenever the external temperature rose above 33 degrees.
Continuous heatwaves are a sign that the effects of climate change are becoming a lot tougher for humanity to cope with. After global carbon dioxide emissions fell during the first year of the pandemic, they rebounded in 2021, with a sharp increase in the use of coal in electricity generation for commercial, industrial and domestic activities.
The rise in the number of private electric cars in Hong Kong and elsewhere means the world needs ever more electricity to power these so-called zero-emission vehicles. In Hong Kong, the electricity used to power such status-enhancing cars still mostly comes from coal or gas-fired power generation. And as for making a serious switch to renewable sources, we are told we must wait a few more years.
As nations worldwide apply strong, but not necessarily sustainable, stimulus to drive post-pandemic economic recovery, and with the price of natural gas rising steadily since July 2020, there has been an increase in the use of coal. As a result, coal accounted for over 40 per cent of the overall increase in global carbon dioxide emissions in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency.
We must work much harder and faster than in the past to reverse the demand for fossil fuels by accelerating the zero-carbon energy transition, improving energy efficiency and investing in carbon capture and other emerging technologies which are quickly becoming scalable. Shifting into reverse gear in the middle of the decarbonisation journey is not simply unwise, but absolutely misguided.
Back to Hong Kong: why is the city still so hot at night when the sun has gone down? We can attribute this phenomenon to the urban heat island effect, where dense concrete jungles act as enormous heat sinks, absorbing solar radiation during the day and releasing it into the environment at night.
High-rise buildings packed closely to each other inhibit the dispersion of heat to higher up in the atmosphere. The problem is further intensified by the lack of trees in urban districts that would otherwise absorb heat emitted by air conditioners, vehicles and construction equipment.
Increasing green, open spaces and planting vegetation is an effective means, as the government well knows, of absorbing ambient heat and lowering temperatures. Therefore, urban and country parks are essential for regulating climate, and must be conserved and enhanced.
Those working in cool or even downright cold air-conditioned offices might not be aware of the threats posed by record-breaking heat as they can continue business as usual shielded by artificial cooling systems which themselves require a lot of energy to run and which emit carbon dioxide and heat. This is a vicious cycle we must break by rethinking our wasteful habits.
Humanity should be prepared to face even hotter temperatures and more extreme climate threats in the near future if we refuse to sacrifice our comfort a little and continue to only practise sustainable development superficially.
An SCMP article contributed by Mr Edwin Lau,
Founder & Executive Director of The Green Earth
The third edition of ReThink HK returns to the city on 05 – 06 October this year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to convene a two-day expo and gather business leaders, sustainability practitioners and like-minded delegates to explore sustainable developments and solutions from a Hong Kong context.
As Hong Kong’s best attended and most ambitious business event for sustainable development, ReThink HK will continue its mission to facilitate transformation and accelerate change towards a more sustainable environment, society, and economy through a series of content- and innovation-led events.
The Business Environment Council (BEC) is the exclusive Co-organiser of ReThink HK again this year. The robust partnership will strengthen stakeholders engagement and business synergy in the private sector to facilitate development of the circular economy and prepare for a net-zero Hong Kong.
To reach a broader community of local businesses and sustainability practitioners, ReThink HK 2022 has prepared the press release in English and in Traditional Chinese. Learn our 2022 event planning and ambitions!
2022 年 4 月 26 日 – 本港其一最具規模的可持續發展商貿博覽 ReThink HK 載譽歸來
Early-bird Delegate Passes are available now til 04 Septmber. Join us to #AccelerateTheChange by registering for your Pass here!
For more information about event passes and corporate group bookings, please checkhere.
All delegate fees will be donated to HandsOn Hong Kong, Charity Partner of ReThink HK 2022, to support immediate impact with local projects. As soon as you booked a Pass, impact starts!
Click here to download 2022 Event Brochure.
To explore ReThink HK 2022 sponsorship opportunities, please email to us at email@example.com
To get information about ReThink HK 2022 partnership opportunities and delegate registrations, please email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org