Friends of the Earth (HK)-PolyU Partnership for ESG investment initiative 2019
Friends of the Earth (HK)-PolyU Partnership for ESG investment initiative 2019
Friends of the Earth (HK) Charity Limited (FoE) and PolyU’s CESEF Center have formed a partnership program to promote the understanding and application of ESG investment practices among asset owners and investment professionals, which we will benefit Hong Kong and the investment community. The ultimate goal is to advocate institutional investors to adopt ESG/SRI principles such as the SFC’s Principles of Responsible Ownership or principles of higher standard. The program will first involve focus groups to gather knowledge and wisdom. Next, we will jointly produce a summary report from the findings of the focus groups to disseminate our findings to the stakeholders and the public.
Final Report: FoE (HK) Focus Group Report 2019
Focus Group Topic:
What are the main challenges faced by asset owners and managers to execute ESG investment strategies
Industry Support for the ESG initiative:
We have received support from the following organizations to participate in our focus groups:
CFA Institute/Hong Kong Society of Financial Analyst (HKSFA) – CFA Institute is the premier global association for investment management professional. HKSFA is the Hong Kong local CFA Societies. Members of CFA Institute/Hong Kong Society of Financial Analyst (HKSFA) is a good representation of mainstream asset manager (including: ESG investment). Their opinion can represent the view of investment community.
Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK) – IFPHK is the leading organization in Hong Kong for advancing professional financial planning standards and promoting the importance of financial planning. Members of IFPHK is a good representation of professional advisor to non-institutional investors ranging from high net-worth individuals to retail investors. Their view can reflect the position of wealthy individual investors.
Hong Kong Investor Relations Association (HKIRA) – HKIRA is a professional association comprising investor relationship practitioner and top-level corporate officers responsible for communication between corporate management and investment community. Members of HKIRA is in the forefront of interaction between asset owners and corporate manager. They can provide an accurate view on investor behavior on a particular subject matter (including: ESG).
Current status of the Focus Group meeting:
1st Focus Group was successfully conducted on March 15, 2019 (Friday)
2nd Focus Group was successfully conducted on May 3, 2019 (Friday)
3nd Focus Group was successfully conducted on July 26, 2019 (Friday)
4th Focus Group was successfully conducted on October 11, 2019 (Friday)
Bhutan Sovereign Green Bond
Coordinated by The UN ESCAP, a team of four experts from the PolyU CESEF Center has participated in a National workshop on Capital Market Development in Bhutan during December 18-19, 2019. As a part of ESCAP’s technical assistance to Bhutan, this national workshop aimed to engage with the Ministry of Finance, various Government agencies, and key stakeholders to help facilitate the issuance of Bhutan’s first sovereign bonds. The major objectives of this workshop were to discuss and assess the progress made following the 2018 Workshop on Supporting Asia-Pacific LLDCs and Bhutan in Mobilizing Resources for the SDGs with a focus on the following:
- The latest trends and issue in the development of domestic capital markets.
- Key progress and challenges on Bhutan’s efforts towards the issuances of sovereign bonds.
- Capacity building and engaging with the Ministry of Finance and various Government agencies, banks, institutional investors and key stakeholders to help facilitate an issuance of Bhutan’s first sovereign bonds.
- Inclusive feedback from relevant Government officials, policymakers and private sector.
This meeting included presentations given by government officials, experts, practitioners of Bhutan related development cooperation, along with the representatives of relevant international and/or regional organizations. Government officials and policymakers from the following institutions will be targeted: (I) Ministry of Finance, Economy and Planning; (II) National Development Banks and financial institutions; (III) Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan Ministry of Foreign Affairs; (IV) Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan; and (V) Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The workshop was successful and feedbacks from both Bhutan Government and UN ESCAP indicate that they are pleased with the advice from the PolyU CESEF team. It is indicated that CESEF will be invited to participate more in the Sovereign Green Bond issuing process, which is being considered by the Bhutanese Government.
Swiss SMEs and Enabling Global Cities to access East Asian Markets in Sustainable Development Technologies
- Joint applied research project between HK PolyU Center for Economic Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Finance (CESEF) and School of Management Fribourg, Switzerland
- Focus on Swiss niche SMEs specialized in technologies for sustainable development
- Central objective : How Swiss niche SMEs use business networks & services concentrated in global cities (Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai) to access East Asian markets for sustainable development?
- Identification & quality profile of public/private and financial/non-financial enabling services accessible or not to Swiss niche SMEs targeting East Asian markets in sustainable development
On Oct 28, 2015, CESEF signed a collaborative research agreement with School of Mangement, Fribourg (represented by their dean Prof. Rico Baldegger) on the project “The Internationalization of Swiss Blue SMEs and the Role of Global Cities” at Swiss Pavillion at Eco Asia Expo with the presence of Mr. Andrew Lai, J.P., Deputy Director of Environmental Protection Department of HKSAR government, Mrs. Sophia Chong, Assistant Executive Director of HK Trade Development Council, Mr. Simon Tsang, Head of Innovation and Technology, HKSAR government, and many Swiss blue SME representatives.
Eco Expo Asia is Asia’s leading environmental protection fair. This 2 year collaborative project is a qualitative study that focuses on Swiss niche SMEs specialized in technologies for sustainable development. Its central objective is to study how Swiss niche SMEs use business networks & services concentrated in global cities (Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai) to access East Asian markets for sustainable development. We will Identify & make quality profile of public/private and financial/non-financial enabling services accessible or not to Swiss niche SMEs targeting East Asian markets in sustainable development.
IDEAS Project—Bring Innovation to Students and Staff through a Focus on Environmental Awareness
This project brings innovation and environmental awareness together by engaging our staff, students and industry partners to ‘discover’ the state-of-the-art research and practices in the application of environmental management accounting (EMA) system and environmental performance analyses (EPS) for Hong Kong companies. In accordance with this aim, our expected deliverables include: (1) an online EMA and EPS resource platform that facilitates generation of innovative teaching cases and pedagogy that can effectively engage our students and disseminate best practices to industry partners who share the same value. (2) the constructing of a ‘greenness’ index for assessing and monitoring the environment-related performance and reporting of selected Hong Kong companies. The data collected through the operation of this index can be used for conducting frontier environment-related research and facilitating the provision of related services. Through this project we increase students’ awareness of environmental management accounting and performance, thereby preparing them to become future responsible leaders upholding the value of sustainability (PRME principles).
Hong Kong Electricity Market-A Review & The Way Forward (23/01/2015)
Striving for Green Electricity Generation in Hong Kong – Outlook & Challenges (06/03/2015)
Swiss SMEs and Emerging Markets the Enabling Role of Global Cities in East Asia (10/04/2015)
Mitigation and Adaptation are Not Enough: Turning to Emissions Reduction Abroad (04/06/2015)
The IDEAS Seminar was held by Dr. Aude Pommeret from School of Energy and Environment in City U and she presented her research paper “Mitigation and Adaptation are Not Enough: Turning to Emissions Reduction Abroad”.
How to tackle climate change— Mitigation or Adaption? The former refers to “an anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases”(IPCC, 2007). And adaptation concerns measures that reduce the vulnerability of natural and human system.
Mitigation/Adaptation an increase in ROWís emissions reduces mitigation and increases adaptation; a larger income may lead to a larger share of this income to be devoted to mitigation; contrary to what Benchekroun (2011) obtains, a more efficient adaptation does not necessary lead to a substitution of adaptation for mitigation. Mitigation/Adaptation/CDM: may be a means to reduce SS pollution, opening therefore the possibility to avoid an adaptation threshold.
Carbon Accounting Research
Dr Qingliang Tang, Senior Lecturer University of Western Sydney (since 2/1999).
Research Interests: Carbon Accounting/ Carbon Auditing/ Carbon disclosure and performance / The role of carbon accounting for emission trading scheme.