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CarbonCare® conference cum award ceremony links local sustainability reporting to the global agenda (1/12/2017)
Date: December 1, 2017

 Jointly organised by CarbonCare InnoLab and Carbon Care Asia, the CarbonCare® Conference cum CarbonCare® Label Award Ceremony 2017 was held in the Happy Valley Racecourse on 1 December 2017 to recognise 37 companies and organisations who are making tangible progress on carbon reduction and ESG reporting. The Climate CARD label, a new certification scheme from Carbon Care Asia, was also launched on the same day. The full day event drew over a hundred representatives from various business sectors and organisations.

The morning conference, titled “From ESG to SDG: Sustainability in Action”, featured six guest speakers from different sectors who explored the topic of sustainability from different angles and examined how to turn ESG reporting into concrete action, including the global trend of linking ESG reporting to the ‘big picture’ agenda for a better world envisaged by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In his welcoming remarks, Chairman of Carbon Care Asia, Mr Chong Chan Yau, said local businesses’ efforts towards changes promised globally in the SDGs can further position Hong Kong as a world-class city that shoulders its international responsibilities.

Our officiating guest, Secretary for the Environment Mr Wong Kam-sing said the Hong Kong government had increased the pace of climate change mitigation with measures which include a pilot programme for renewable energy, water consumption reduction and schemes to introduce waste charging.

In his opening speech, Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, expressed the view that the conference helped companies identify the most effective actions to fight climate change. He added that the Hong Kong Jockey Club is dedicated to transforming Hong Kong into a sustainable city and an international exemplar through its own actions as well as its programme of charitable fundings.

Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Care Asia, Ir Albert Lai, began his presentation by referring to an article about the way in which climate change worsens the problem of child marriage in Africa. In this he highlighted the inescapable links between environmental and social issues, and the importance of considering both when considering the full meaning of sustainability.

Mr Edwin S T Lai, Assistant Director of Hong Kong Observatory, revealed the risks faced by urban buildings and facilities by presenting statistics of extreme weather conditions in recent years in Hong Kong, including excessive rainfall and rising sea levels. He also pointed out that, by the end of this century, extreme weather conditions that were predicted every 50 years in the past could soon occur on a yearly basis.

With regard to the need to enhance the climate resilience of buildings, Mr Andy To, Managing Director, North Asia, of the U.S. Green Building Council added that despite the higher costs of construction, the development of green buildings has more advantages than disadvantages. Buildings account for 90% of the energy consumption in Hong Kong and green buildings are not only more efficient, they also reduce a range of investment risks related to climate change.

Mr Ivan Chung, Associate Managing Director & Head of Greater China Credit Research & Analysis, Moody’s Investors Service, said his organisation supports the inclusion of ESG factors into credit assessments and has so far conducted assessment of 86 sectors globally by calculating the exposure of major corporations to environmental risks. He also illustrated the impact of ESG performance on credit assessments with the help of case studies from different corporations and countries.

Discussing the relationship between corporate ESG performance and the public, Ms Kalina Tsang, Head of Oxfam Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Programme, shared the results of a survey which highlights the shortcomings of a majority of Hong Kong listed food companies in ESG disclosure. She noted that Oxfam Hong Kong will continue to urge the stock exchange and other organisations to improve the transparency of ESG reporting.

Mr Wilson Ang, Executive Director of Global Compact Network Singapore, said the UN Global Compact is currently present in 163 countries. The body works to encourage and assist businesses to meet the SDG targets through the four principles of human rights, labour, environment and corruption prevention.

GRI Stakeholder Council Member and Director of Carbon Care Asia, Mr John Sayer, gave a brief account of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) he recently attended in Bonn, Germany. He pointed to a number of climate issues that require further work before the Paris Agreement on Climate Change becomes fully functional.

At the award ceremony in the afternoon, our first officiating guest, Mr Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, said that the fight against climate change is a local task as well as a global issue which requires joint effort of sectors including businesses. The Hong Kong government made a promise to fight climate change, including the formulation of the “Hong Kong 2030+” report which aims to develop Hong Kong into a sustainable and livable city.

Our second officiating guest, Professor Peter Mathieson, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), declared that HKU makes efforts on a number of fronts to support sustainable development, from the banning of disposable plastic bottles to scientific research into topics of sustainability. HKU also liaises with businesses, the government and non-governmental organisations to promote academic development of sustainability-related issues.

In response to the huge impact of climate change on urban buildings and facilities, including increasingly frequent risks to assets and operations, Carbon Care Asia has partnered with U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification Inc. to launch the Climate CARD certification scheme that centers around the concept of climate safety as a platform for investors and companies to ensure the climate-proofing of their assets. “CARD” in Climate CARD represents “Compliance”, “Awareness”, “Resilience” and “Disclosure”.

To enhance participants’ understanding of sustainable development, Carbon Care Asia conducted three interactive workshops during the afternoon. The theme of Workshop One was ‘ESG Reporting Clinic’, where participants shared the practical challenges they met in ESG reporting and discussed solutions. Through the workshop’s sharing of best practices, participants gained reporting insight and ideas for improvement.

Workshop Two was titled ‘Corporate Action on the SDGs’. Participants identified which of the 17 SDGs were most relevant to Hong Kong and also those SDG targets for which Hong Kong could contribute to progress in other countries. At the corporate level, the workshop looked at international examples on how sustainability reporting and actions could link to the SDGs through corporate efforts in their core business strategies, value chain management, community engagement, and policy influence.

Workshop Three focused on ‘Enhancement of climate resilience to ensure asset safety’ and provided an opportunity for participants to discuss the climate risks faced by different business sectors and Hong Kong as a whole. Participants discussed how to implement adjustment and preventive measures in face of the risks from climate change in order to protect assets and minimise operational losses.  


Full list of 2017 CarbonCare® Label, CarbonCare® Action Label & CarbonCare® ESG Label Awardees


Hong Kong Economic Journal Special Supplement
CarbonCare® Label 2017 Award Ceremony
published on 11/12/2017
(By courtesy of Hong Kong Economic Journal)

Download full copy (Chinese Version Only)     

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