The first speaker in session one was Ms. Tereasa Ko (Senior Partner, Hong Kong and China Chairman, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Co-Vice Chair, IFRS Foundation) and her topic named “The pressing issue of our times – climate change and harmonizing reporting standards”. She introduced sustainability reporting and ISSB standard for developing global baseline. Finally, she concluded three key points.
i) ESG is not just paper work. It needs implementing in each company and integrated into operation.
ii) No longer accepted just claimed sustainability (No lip service).
iii) Following the work of ISSB standards which will be accepted by HKEX.
- 94% participants (141) agreed that Hong Kong company directors need to consider ESG matters to properly discharge their fiduciary and statutory duties.
- 85% agreed that organizations should consider the risks (and opportunities) posed by climate change and allocate resources to address these.
- 61% said their company have a strategy to decarbonize their business.
- 86% of participants think the pace of technology change is increasing in 2022 after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Bell shape was observed about confident that your organization is sufficiently managing and mitigating cyber risks. Assumption: C-suites and board members should set their company’s culture and tone for brand and reputation protection via a cybersecurity framework.
- 57% response that their organization have a Data Protection Officer (or similar role).
- 78% didn’t agree AI would replace human decision-making.
- 67% agreed that there would be a need for a board of directors with the onset of blockchain-based corporate governance.
- 44% under active consideration and 38% not need because they had already met the new HKEX requirement for independence and diversity.
- 56% participants voted less than 16% women in their board.
- 52% agreed that it is important for a board to be diverse in both gender and race.
- 67% selected diversity of socioeconomic background aside from gender.
- 53% believed by regulation/laws to incentivize good behaviors towards temperature rise within 1.5 degree Celsius.
Session Four: Enhancing Hong Kong’s competitive advantage
Prof. Frederick Ma Si-hang GBS JP (Chairman, FWD Group Holdings Ltd) was session chair and introduced speakers in the session.