Hong Kong 29 May 2014 - Business Environment Council Limited (“BEC”) is pleased to announce the release of the BEC Handbook: Understanding Materiality for Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting (“BEC ESG Handbook”). This Handbook is written with reference to Appendix 27, titled ‘Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide’ of the Main Board Listing Rules, which was issued by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEx”) on 1 January 2013.
The BEC ESG Handbook identifies reporting elements that are global best practice among leaders in ESG disclosure across different industry sectors and is intended to help listed companies understand which elements of the HKEx ESG Reporting Guide to report based on what is ‘material’ to their business and hence be better equipped to respond to the HKEx ESG Reporting Guide.
“ESG Reporting has an important role to play and is rapidly becoming an essential business management tool, the importance of which is recognised by companies and regulators alike. It is a means by which businesses can better understand the impacts of their activities, mitigate risks and identify opportunities. Simply put, ESG Reporting supports informed decision-making,” says Prof. John Chai, BEC Chairman.
“We hope the HKEx ESG Reporting Guide will help our listed companies begin ESG reporting and will serve as an important step towards adopting international best practices. The Guide is not designed to be comprehensive so we encourage companies to consider other resources. This BEC Handbook should prove useful for issuers in understanding how to focus their ESG disclosure efforts,” comments Mr. David Graham, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing, HKEx.
The BEC ESG Handbook was launched at BEC EnviroSeries Conference on ‘ESG Management: From Niche to Mainstream’ held at The Exchange Auditorium on 23 May 2014, in which distinguished speakers from HKEx, Office of the European Union to Hong Kong and Macao, British Consulate-General Hong Kong, listed companies, asset owners and investors communities and professional bodies discussed key issues and trends in ESG reporting and management in Hong Kong.
The BEC Handbook is available for download on BEC website:http://bec.org.hk/about-us/bec-esg-advisory-group
 Appendix 27 of the Main Board Listing Rules is available for download here: https://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/rulesreg/listrules/mbrules/documents/appendix_27.pdf
(1) Mr Richard Lancaster, BEC Board Member and CEO of CLP Holdings Limited delivered the welcome speech for the BEC EnviroSeries Conference and announced the launch of the BEC ESG Handbook.
(2) Mr Richard Lancaster, BEC Board Member and Ms Agnes Li, BEC CEO, presented Carbon Credit Certificates to thank the Conference sponsors, namely HKEx, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hysan Development, Kimberly-Clark, Nissan, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Swire Properties and Asia Pulp and Paper Group.
(3) Distinguished speakers for a panel discussion on the ‘Business Case for ESG Risk Management’ (from left to right) were Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Executive Director of Hermes Equity; Dr Kelvin Wong, Chairman of HK Institute of Directors; Dr Thomas Tang, Director for CS of AECOM Asia; Mr Mark Devadason, Global Head of Sustainability of Standard Chartered Bank; Ms Pru Bennett, Director of BlackRock and Ms Wendy Yung, Executive Director of Hysan Development.
(4) Mr David Graham, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing of HKEx, noted the growing importance of ESG performance and reporting and that companies listed on HKEx should keep abreast of developments in both areas.