ESG reporting review 2018: The journey continues - Issue 1

ESG reporting review 2018 - Issue 1

Key observations of the current ESG reporting of Hong Kong listed issuers, with a focus on qualitative disclosures and possible next steps

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Following our first comprehensive survey conducted in 2017, KPMG China continues to review the quality of sample environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports from Hong Kong listed issuers to track the development of ESG reporting. 

The findings generally echo those highlighted by HKEX in its review of issuers’ compliance with the ESG Reporting Guide (“the Guide”) in their 2016/17 reports. The results and recommendations in the HKEX report are important indicators of what HKEX considers to be compliant with its requirements and good practices for ESG reporting. 

In the second year of mandatory ESG reporting under the Guide, we noted that some issuers have demonstrated advances in their reporting practices. Yet, there is considerable room for improvement in some important areas including:

  • ESG risks and relevance not widely discussed
  • Little information on ESG governance and board involvement
  • Limited details on how material issues are identified, and disclosures not focused on material issues
  • Lack of a balanced view, as the focus is mainly on positive results and achievements. 

In this issue, we also provide a checklist to help companies meet reporting requirements and expectations from stakeholders, as well as possible next steps. Issue 2 will focus on the review of key performance indicator disclosure quality. 

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