• Register
Return to: Home > News > Standards > Hong Kong companies fail to report carbon emissions

Hong Kong companies fail to report carbon emissions

Less than 1% of the companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) disclose carbon information in accordance with international reporting standards, a survey has found.

The survey entitled Hong Kong Carbon Performance Report was compiled by Carbon Care Asia (CCA) and revealed also that of all companies in the Hang Seng Composite Index (HSCI), one of the stock's index, only 9% of have formal carbon reporting.

In addition, none of the 1,221 listed companies outside the HSCI have any form of carbon disclosure. In light of the findings, CCA chief executive Albert Lai said that Hong Kong listed companies needed bold action to tackle the climate change challenge.

"If the business sector is slow to act, everyone in Hong Kong will suffer," he said. "Carbon reporting is not only the first step towards a low-carbon economy, but also a wake-up call for company executives who have more influence and responsibilities than most of them would realize."

The report also suggested that one out of four companies in the Hang Seng Large Cap Index, another index of the HKEx, had formal carbon reporting, while only 2.8% of small cap companies disclosed carbon information in some forms.

"This indicated that smaller firms are largely unaware of their own carbon footprints, which makes it impossible for them to develop a proper strategy to face the uncertain future," CCA said in a statement.

The report also looked at sectorial performance and revealed that utilities was the best performing sector with two thirds of large cap companies producing formal carbon reporting.

The largest industries of Hong Kong's economy such as consumer goods, properties and construction and financials, were the worst performing sectors with less than 20% of reporting in each sector.

"If we look at the overall performance of all companies listed on the main board, less than 1% of Hong Kong companies reported their carbon emissions in accordance with international guidelines such as the Global Reporting Initiative, compared with over 3% in Singapore," Lai said.

Commenting on the survey findings, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants head of sustainability Sandra Rapacioli told The Accountant: "The key to getting organisations to report on carbon and other material sustainability factors is to understand the business case for sustainability."

She added that only in this way would companies stop seeing carbon reporting as a tick box exercise. "It's only when companies understand how financial performance is linked to environmental and social performance that they truly embed ESG [environmental, social and governance] factors into their strategy and decisions."

Rapacioli also said it's the accountants' role to demonstrate the business case for sustainability. "As integrators and navigators for their organisations, they need to account for all relevant factors and risks, and help their organisations incorporate economic, environmental and social factors at all levels of decision-making and reporting," she said. "Accountants have a crucial role to play as change agents in sustainable corporations."

Related articles

Carbon management: Measure, report, and reap the benefits

Editor's letter: Climate challenge for the profession

Emissions reporting debate heats up

What price the priceless?

Top Content

    Addressing tax challenges and the digitisation of the economy

    As the economy becomes even more globalised through digital sources, the tax systems currently in place need to be scrutinised to examine whether they are still fit for current and emerging business models. Joe Pickard reports on the OECD’s approach to this issue.

    read more

    Primary financial statements: a game changer in reporting?

    International Accounting Standards Board chair Hans Hoogervorst delivered a speech at the Seminario International sobre NIIF y NIF, organised by the Consejo Mexicano de Normas de Información Financiera in Mexico. The Accountant presents the highlights.

    read more

    FASB readies standards for the netflix generation

    The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has updated its accounting standard for entertainment, with a specific eye on keeping up to date with how episodic content, such as television programmes, is consumed in the modern world. Jonathan Minter reports.

    read more

    Brexit: why it takes two to tango

    Former TA editor Vincent Huck, now editor of Insurance Asset Risk, looks at why Brexit might unleash geopolitical intrigue in Europe’s accounting standard-setting scene – and why IFRS 17 will be an incredible source of opportunity for firms in the coming years.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.