Assemble international experts to navigate transition finance, social impact investments and decarbonization technologies
Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong gives keynote speech
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 4 October 2023 – More than 200 business leaders and ESG experts from different industries came together today at the ‘2023 ESG and Green Finance Opportunities Forum’ to discuss the theme of “Combating Climate-risks and Achieving a Sustainable Future: Transition Finance and Innovative Technology”. Organised by The Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies (‘CHKLC’) and title sponsored by Hang Seng Bank for three consecutive years, the Forum was officiated by Deputy Financial Secretary Mr Michael Wong, who delivered the opening address. CHKLC’s Chairperson Ms Catherine Leung and Hang Seng’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Ms Diana Cesar also spoke at the opening session.
Four themed discussion panels are scheduled to address regulatory update in response to more stringent climate-related disclosure requirements as well as exploring emerging issues of transition finance, social impact investments and decarbonization technologies to assist the attendees stay ahead of the game with their ESG plans in the abovementioned areas of discussion. Near 30 senior business executives and ESG experts spoke and shared experiences at the four discussion panels.
CHKLC encourages listed companies to transition to low-carbon business mode utilizing technology
CHKLC Chairperson Catherine Leung remarked, “The theme of today’s Forum is the use of green finance and technology to overcome Climate Risks and strive for sustainable development. Technology is an important catalyst in many aspects of our modern world, and a great number of mainland and Hong Kong enterprises have built a solid technology foundation, enabling them to produce products and services that meet international standards and are in demand. This not only generates revenue, and when applied to environmental industry sectors, will also make great contribution to the decarbonisaton efforts globally. I encourage listed companies to study the utilisation of technology in transitioning their business to low-carbon mode, or in venturing into new business areas, to further protect our climate and environment and explore new opportunities for shareholders and create more value.”
Hang Seng Champions Businesses in Transition Toward a Low-Carbon and Sustainable Development Model
In her opening remarks, Hang Seng Bank’s Executive Director and Chief Executive, Ms Diana Cesar, affirmed: “Hong Kong has a unique opportunity to play a major role in green finance. At Hang Seng, we’re leveraging our financial expertise to support sustainable growth. Through green loans and low-carbon investments, we’re partnering with our clients to usher in a new era of sustainable business practices.”
Transition Finance and Innovation Technology to support low-carbon transition
Managing climate risks is one of the most important challenges to businesses in recent years due to mitigation costs and tightening disclosures requirements. By January 2024, climate-related disclosures are proposed to be mandatory in listed firms’ ESG reports. Many traditional businesses with higher GHG emissions are getting eager to transition to low carbon, low emission operation through business transformation. Transition Finance is pivotal in the shift towards a low-carbon economy.
Social Impact Investments to connect with communities
As good corporate citizens, engaging with social needs and connecting with the community are also considered as alignments to ESG requirements. There has been growing advocacy among corporates to address social concerns on top of environmental needs, some even taking the lead in social impact investments. Decarbonization technologies have also been developed in response to climate risks and can be of great help to corporates in achieving low-carbon operations.
4 discussion panels to address hot ESG topics
All these compelling issues are thus the focus of discussions in todays’ ESG and Green Finance Opportunities Forum 2023 to be addressed in the following 4 panel discussions.
(1) Panel 1: Transition Finance – Trends, Opportunities and Challenges
Transition finance is to offer financial support which helps high-carbon companies to start implementing long-term changes to become greener. The characteristics and practices of transition finance, as well as how corporates in Hong Kong and GBA can best utilize it in their climate change endeavours were discussed.
(2) Panel 2: Social Impact Investments for Sustainable Growth
Going beyond decarbonization, financing should also be channeled to projects with positive social impact. This session introduced social impact investments as means to advance sustainable development goals and evaluate current endeavours in Hong Kong and GBA.
(3) Panel 3: Regulatory Updates on ESG Reporting and Climate Risks Disclosures
Representatives from regulators HKEX and SFC are invited to share updates on the latest climate-related rules and regulations to prepare local businesses for better compliance and reporting.
(4) Panel 4: Decarbonization Strategy and Technology Application
Experts shared innovative technologies and forward-looking strategies to help listed companies to attain low carbon low emission operations and meet their carbon neutrality targets.
Financial and ESG experts as panel speakers
Financial heavyweights, regulators and ESG veterans have been invited to speak at the 4 panels and share their valuable experiences. The list includes but is not limited to: Mr Paul MALAM, Head of Policy and Secretariat Services, Listing of HKEX; Ms Jennifer LEE, Director, Corporate Finance Division, SFC; Professor Simon HO, President of the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; Mr Frank HEUNG, Head of Structured Finance, Commercial Real Estate & Corporate Advisory of Hang Seng Bank; Mr Anthony CHEUNG, Supervisory Board Member, World Benchmarking Alliance; Mr Ricco ZHANG, Senior Director, Asia Pacific of International Capital Market Association; Ms Katherine KOH, Global Climate Lead for IFC Infrastructure; Mr Peter YAN, CEO, Cyberport, as well as senior ESG executives from listed companies.
(Conference speaker list and programme can be referred to
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About the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies (CHKLC)
Incorporated in September 2002, CHKLC is a non-profit organisation serving listed companies and other industry bodies in Hong Kong. The Chamber strives to promote sound corporate governance; function as an effective communication channel between listed companies and regulatory authorities; strengthen the linkage and foster cooperation among listed companies from Hong Kong and China and uphold Hong Kong’s position as an international financial and capital formation centre. Since 2007, the Chamber organises the annual “Hong Kong Corporate Governance and ESG Excellence Awards” jointly with the Hong Kong Baptist University to advocate best practices of corporate governance, ESG and recognize excellence.