HK Stock Exchange releases an updated ESG report guideline to encourage disclosure of environmental information

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The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) published: (1) the findings of its latest review of listed companies’ corporate governance; and (2) updated guidance materials on environmental, social and governance (“ ESG “) reporting.

The implications of these materials are twofold. Firstly, SEHK reminds listed companies that the amendments to the Corporate Governance Code and related Listing Rules (“ CG Code amendments “) will take effect on 1 January 2019 . For a summary of the CG Code amendments, please see our client alert titled “ Corporate Governance Code will tighten INED’s independence assessment criteria in 2019″. Secondly, the updated ESG guidance materials address the increasing demand for ESG information disclosure.

SEHK encourages listed companies to develop an ESG strategy to cope with such international trends and provide practical tools to enhance the preparation of ESG reports. Listed companies can follow those steps and procedures voluntarily, or develop their own procedures in view of their specific circumstances.

What are the steps and procedures to prepare an ESG report?