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  • Stock Exchange releases conclusions to ESG consultation 联交所刊发“检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的咨询总结

20 Feb 2020

Stock Exchange releases conclusions to ESG consultation 联交所刊发“检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的咨询总结

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The Hong Kong Stock Exchange released its conclusions to its market consultation on proposed changes to the environmental, social and governance reporting guide (the ESG Guide) in Appendix 27 to the Main Board Listing Rules and Appendix 20 to the GEM Listing Rules. The proposed changes largely received positive feedback and will be implemented for issuers’ financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2020 (ie the changes will apply to ESG reports to be issued from July 2021 onwards).
香港联合交易所有限公司(“联交所”)就其《香港联合交易所有限公司证券上市规则》(“《主板上市规则》”)附录27及《香港联合交易所有限公司GEM证券上市规则》(“《GEM上市规则》”)附录20中的《环境、社会及管治报告指引》(“《ESG指引》”)的拟议修订刊发了咨询总结(“ESG咨询总结”)。是次修订在很大程度上得到了积极反馈,并将于2020年7月1日或之后的发行人财政年度开始生效(即,相关修订将适用于自2021年7月起刊发的ESG1报告)。

Key changes
关键变化

  • Timing of publication of ESG Report: An issuer will be required to publish an ESG within five months of its financial year end.
    刊发ESG报告的时间:发行人将被要求在其财政年度结束后的五个月内刊发ESG报告。
     
    The Stock Exchange had originally proposed to align the timing of publication of an issuer’s ESG Report with its annual report. The modified timeframe is in recognition that a significant number of issuers in practice do not publish their ESG reports in tandem with their annual reports and to strike a balance between the resources required to publish a meaningful ESG report and the timeliness of such report. Nevertheless, the Stock Exchange has stated that it may revisit this and require simultaneous publication of annual reports and ESG reports.
    联交所最初建议发行人刊发ESG报告的时间与其年报的刊发时间一致。修订后的要求是有鉴于联交所意识到,实际上有相当多的发行人既没有在刊发年度报告的同时发表其ESG报告,及需要在提升ESG汇报的及时性与发行人编制优质ESG报告时所面对的资源限制之间取得适当的平衡。尽管如此,联交所表示可能会重新审视这一问题,并要求相关发行人同时公布年报和ESG报告。
  • Mandatory disclosure requirements: The level of disclosure will be elevated. Whereas currently there are ‘comply or explain’ and ‘recommended’ disclosures, the changes will require disclosures to be ‘mandatory’ and ‘comply or explain’ so there will no longer be any ‘recommended’ disclosures. Mandatory disclosures include:
    “强制披露”要求:披露水平将提升。虽然目前有“不遵守就解释”和“建议披露”,但相关修订将改为“强制披露”和“不遵守就解释”,因此将不再有任何“建议披露”的事项。“强制披露”包括:
          
    • a board statement setting out the board’s consideration of ESG issues, containing at least (a) a disclosure of the board’s oversight of ESG issues, (b) the board’s ESG management approach and strategy, including the process used to evaluate, prioritise and manage material ESG-related issues (including risks to the issuer’s business), and (c) how the board reviews progress made against ESG-related goals and targets with an explanation of how they relate to the issuer’s business
      载有董事会对ESG事宜的考量的董事会声明,至少应包含:(a)披露董事会对ESG事宜的监管;(b)董事会对ESG事宜的管理手法及策略,包括评估、优次排列及管理重要的ESG相关事宜(包括对发行人业务的风险)的过程;及(c)董事会如何按ESG相关目标、战略检讨进度,并解释它们如何与发行人业务有关联
    • application of relevant reporting principles in ESG reports, namely: (a) materiality (the process to identify and the criteria for the selection of material ESG factors and, if a stakeholder engagement is conducted, a description of the significant stakeholders identified and the process and results of the stakeholder engagement); (b) quantitative (the standards, methodologies, assumptions and/or calculation tools used, and source of conversion factors used for the reporting of emissions/energy consumption); and (c) any changes to the methods of KPIs used or other factors affecting a meaningful comparison
      在ESG报告中适用的相关报告原则之应用,有关原则为:(a)重要性(甄选重要ESG因素的识别程序和标准;及,如果持份者参与其中,则应描述已识别的重要持份者及其参与的过程和结果);(b)量化(汇报排放量/能源耗用所用的标准、方法、假设及/或计算工具,以及转换因素的来源);及(c)对所用的关键绩效指标方法或其他经过审慎考虑的比较因素的任何改变
    • explanation of any reporting boundary and the identification process for including specific entities or operations in ESG reports.
      解释任何汇报范围及发行人挑选特定实体或业务纳入ESG报告的过程。

    The mandatory disclosures all relate to the board’s approach to ESG-related issues. They will allow investors and other stakeholders to assess an issuer’s commitment to, and effort in, ESG-related matters.
    “强制披露”均与董事会处理ESG相关事宜的方法有关。它们将允许投资者和其他持份者评估发行人对ESG相关事宜的承诺和努力。

    All other disclosures will be ‘comply or explain’ disclosures. The social KPIs that are currently recommended disclosures will be elevated to ‘comply or explain’. For all items, issuers will have to either make a disclosure or give a meaningful explanation as to why such item is not material to it and the reasons for such an assessment.
    其余的披露责任为“不遵守就解释”,即建议将当前披露的社会关键绩效指标提升至“不遵守就解释”。对于所有项目,发行人必须作出披露,或作出经过审慎考虑的解释以说明该事项对其不重要的原因以及作出该评估的原因。

  • New aspect on climate change: A new ‘comply or explain’ item will be introduced in relation to climate change – specifically, policies on identifying and mitigating significant climate-change related issues and a description of those climate-change related issues and actions taken to manage those issues.
    新增有关气候变化的层面:有关气候变化所要求的披露责任,与《ESG指引》中的其他层面一样,属于 “不遵守就解释”条文;特别是识别及减缓重大气候变化相关事宜的政策,以及对这些重大气候变化相关事宜的说明,及其应对的行动。
  • Enhanced disclosures on environmental KPIs: The environmental key performance indicators will be revised to require disclosures of targets set regarding emissions, energy use and water efficiency, waste reduction and the steps taken to achieve them.
    提升环境关键绩效指标的披露责任:将修订环境关键绩效指标(如适用),要求发行人说明在排放量、能源使用和用水效益、减废方面设定的目标,以及为达到这些目标而采取的步骤。
  • Enhanced disclosures on social KPIs: Social KPIs will be enhanced to require disclosure of additional items such as number of work-related fatalities that occurred in the past three years, practices used to identify environmental and social risks along the supply chain, practices used to promote environmentally preferable products and services when selecting suppliers and description of anti-corruption training provided to directors and staff.
    提升社会关键绩效指标的披露责任:将提升社会关键绩效指标,以要求相关发行人披露更多事宜,如过去三年(包括汇报年度)每年因工亡故的人数,用于识别供应链每个环节的环境及社会风险惯例,用于在拣选供应商时促使多用环保产品及服务的惯例,以及向董事和员工提供反贪污培训的情况。

ESG approach generally
ESG汇报的总体方针

The Stock Exchange emphasised that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model for ESG reporting. Depending on the particular industry that an issuer is in, the issuer may consider certain ESG items material while others may not. In this regard, materiality is particularly important and, indeed, is one of the reporting principles underpinning ESG disclosures. As part of its mandatory disclosures, an issuer will need to explain in detail its assessment of materiality.
联交所强调,ESG汇报并没有“划一” 的模式。视乎发行人所处的特定行业,不同发行人对某些ESG事宜的重要与否均可能有不同的判断。对此,“重要性”(汇报原则)就显得尤为关键;事实上,它是支撑ESG披露的报告原则之一。作为“强制披露”的一部分,发行人需要详细解释其对“重要性”的评估。

For “comply or explain” items, certain items may be appropriate for disclosure for some issuers while for others it may be more appropriate to provide an explanation as to why such items are not material. A meaningful explanation as to why such item is not material including the assessment of materiality would suffice for this purpose.
至于“不遵守就解释”条文,某些事宜可能适合某些发行人披露;对另一些发行人而言,可能更适合解释为何此类事宜不重要。就这一目的,对该类事宜为何不重要(包括对重要性的评估)作出经过审慎考虑的解释就足够了。

 

ESG即“环境、社会及管治”的英文缩写。

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