Communications mandatory for ESG performance disclosure

We gradually see more countries imposing disclosure terms on a company’s environmental and sustainability performance. Authentic performance is of great importance to be the leader in your working industry. People who want to be the first in the world could lead by an invention, innovation, and creativity developed for products or services. It also could be the first move to enhance environmental practice through legislation. New Zealand makes climate reporting compulsory. In Hong Kong, a revised ESG Reporting Guide (“Guide”) has been launched by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, effective from 1 July 2020. Companies will need to extend their techniques to respond to the latest reporting challenges, such as how, when, and what they need to report. It is a move addressing the growing concern of climate change issues. An outstanding leader can act as a driving force to encourage good things to happen. ESG disclosure becomes a key factor for forward-looking companies and investor decisions.

The government policies issued worldwide have demonstrated the growing demand in disclosing decision-useful data. For industries, the environmental data has a significant advantage for national climate programs and economic instruments such as carbon taxes and emissions trading. Energy supplies and engird intensive companies are regularly criticised for their emission performance. Quantitative data is of great value in both sustainability factors and economic administration. Here below are few examples of climate-related data disclosures that increasingly common in reporting provisions since the 2000s (Carrots & Sticks Report, 2020):

  • Mandatory GHG Accounting System (2005), issued by Ministry of Environment, Japan
  • Green Posting System (GHG emissions and energy use) (2012), issued by Financial Services Commission, South Korea
  • GHG Monitoring Regulation (2014), issued by Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Turkey
  • Circular No. 52 Law N 20.780 / Carbon Tax (2014), issued by Ministries of Finance and Environment, Chile
  • Energy Transition Law (institutional investors, banks, and listed companies to report on climate risks, 2015), issued by the Ministry of Environment, France
  • National GHG Emission Reporting Regulations (2017), issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
Photo above: Carrots & Sticks report 2020

Besides the regulation and economic factors, communication between the companies and the stakeholders is a task that can never miss. This is the communication strategy to inform your investors, potential investors, and stakeholders about how you perform. The long-standing impression and reputation matter to the investors and potential investors when they are in a maze among investment options. It is also about community relations, which you find your operation area is at. Without utilising the diverse communication channel, the company could find it hard to engage stakeholders, investors, and potential investors thoroughly. Through various ways, the stakeholder engagement channels by annual reporting, periodic reports, investor briefs, newsletters, press releases, and web announcements and engagement events.

Photo above: (Form Carrots & Sticks Report) Disclosures venue referenced by reporting provision: 2013, 2016 and 2020 (expanded breakdown)

We are coming into the digital age, effective and efficient communications are the great interest the data and format would be delivered to stakeholders reliably, comparably, and timely. How to operate the communications for ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)? Here below are some tips for you:

  1. Green publishing – eco-friendly paper type and ink, graphic design optimisation, summary factsheet, sustainable packaging, and logistic methods.
  2. Digital engagement – mini-games through social media and web, Whatsapp stickers, web accessibility, and interactive PDF, video production, e-form, animated CSR report,
  3. Events and activities – staff awareness program,
  4. Gifts and premium – green lifestyle items
  5. Awards and recognition – standard achievement

ESG is more than data reporting. The reporting is a communication tool to engage stakeholders, inform stakeholders of the company performance. Beyond reporting, the company has to have actual action on the ESG attainment. If not, there will be no meaningful data to complete the ESG reporting. A consultancy service would benefit the company to comprehend the environmental status achieved more than a reporting scheme. A trustful consultancy service comprises a project manager, coordinator, and marketer in charge of planning, executing, controlling the timeline, being the focal point of communications, and engaging stakeholders by an integrated approach. From strategic advisory, gap analysis, and content analysis to raw data conversion into KPI by ESG Dashboard, these are decisive steps to guarantee ESG attainment’s excellence.

Photo above: ESG Dashboard assists the project owner in effectively organising all data in one reporting platform.
Photo above: The lecture – Effective ESG Disclosure Strategies Essential to Success aims to update the trends of ESG disclosure strategies with industrial, professional insights.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Technology inspired by ESG

It is not hard to see organizations taking International days as one of the topics for communications on social media with their audience. International Women’s Day, World Environmental Day, World Oceans Day are just a few of the examples. When we are looking into the meaning of these International days, they are addressing the area of ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance.

Photo above: International day promotion (https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6765090475234996224)

ESG is said to be an issue that countries must concern about. United Nations’ Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals set out to urge countries to action and to put effort into raising awareness. For traditional businesses, it is time to rethink their business and management approach; for listed companies, green financing and listing rules would be the points for them to repurpose their strategies. For Start-ups, ESG is a business opportunity.

Photo above: ESG development in the city 

The year 2021 has arrived. Reviewing the past, the year 2020 in Hong Kong is challenging, politically, socially, and economically. Still, the Year 2020 is the Hong Kong Exchange’s 20th Anniversary—Hong Kong’s ESG reporting reaches another milestone this year. After July 1st, 2020, the ESG Guide and related Listing Rules will be enhanced, with some changes being introduced. Two key differences are the amendment of the “Environmental” key performance indicators (KPIs) to require disclosure of relevant targets and the disclosure obligation of all “Social” KPIs to “comply or explain”.

What does it mean? Companies are now required to set the aims of their actions relating to the environmental aspect. “Comply or explain” rules the governance of the companies to address the social issues. Such rules upgrade directs the companies to necessarily care about ESG matter. At operation level, ESG data has to be authentically and recorded and provided for reporting, to communicate with the Investors about how the companies are doing.  

This underlies a business opportunity – ESG data will be stored and reported in a digital format, available for upload and download. This gives rise to an ESG Dashboard – to incorporate the ESG integration and help the listed companies to identify potential process across all ESG activities that can result in long-term value creation. Start-ups become part of the ESG development in igniting the technological change of organizations and societies to empower businesses and individuals to create sustainable positive change. ESG Dashboard is developed to assist listed companies with ESG reporting and risk management.

Photo above: ESG Dashboard

ESG Dashboard streamlines the collection of relevant data and information from the issuer’s business operations, enabling listed companies to monitor their ESG reporting progress. ESG Dashboard converts mass data into presentable environmental and social data which helps with the fulfillment of the requirements. All of these features make ESG Dashboard the indispensable ESG reporting tool.

What do we see for the future after all? Technology improves communication, accelerates the pace of green finance and ESG development, to boost sustainability for business and society as a whole.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)