Listing Rules and Guidance: Contents


 
 

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Appendix 20 Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide
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The Guide

1. This Guide comprises two levels of disclosure obligations: (a) "comply or explain" provisions; and (b) recommended disclosures.
2. An issuer must report on the "comply or explain" provisions of this Guide. If the issuer does not report on one or more of these provisions, it must provide reasons in its ESG report. The issuer is encouraged, but not required, to report on the recommended disclosures of this Guide. For guidance on the "comply or explain" approach, issuers may refer to the "What is "comply or explain"?" section of the Corporate Governance Code and Corporate Governance Report ("Corporate Governance Code") in Appendix 15 of the GEM Listing Rules.
3. An issuer must disclose ESG information on an annual basis and regarding the same period covered in its annual report. An ESG report may be presented as information in the issuer's annual report, in a separate report, or on the issuer's website. Regardless of the format adopted, the ESG report should be published on the Exchange's website and the issuer's website. Where not presented in the issuer's annual report, the issuer should publish this information as close as possible to, and in any event no later than three months after, the publication of the issuer's annual report.

Overall Approach

4. This Guide is organised into two ESG subject areas ("Subject Areas"): Environmental (Subject Area A) and Social (Subject Area B). Corporate governance is addressed separately in the Corporate Governance Code.
5. Each Subject Area has various aspects ("Aspects"). Each Aspect sets out general disclosures ("General Disclosures") and key performance indicators ("KPIs") for issuers to report on in order to demonstrate how they have performed.
6. In addition to the "comply or explain" matters set out in this Guide, the Exchange encourages an issuer to identify and disclose additional ESG issues and KPIs, including recommended disclosures, that reflect the issuer's significant environmental and social impacts; or substantially influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders. In assessing these matters, the issuer should engage stakeholders on an ongoing basis in order to understand their views and better meet their expectations.
7. This Guide is not comprehensive and the issuer may refer to existing international ESG reporting guidance for its relevant industry or sector. The issuer may adopt international ESG reporting guidance so long as it includes comparable disclosure provisions to the "comply or explain" provisions set out in this Guide. The issuer may also consider obtaining assurance on its ESG report.
     ESG strategy and reporting
8. The board has overall responsibility for an issuer's ESG strategy and reporting.
9. In line with the Corporate Governance Code, the board is responsible for evaluating and determining the issuer's ESG-related risks, and ensuring that appropriate and effective ESG risk management and internal control systems are in place. Management should provide a confirmation to the board on the effectiveness of these systems.
10. The ESG report should state the issuer's ESG management approach, strategy, priorities and objectives and explain how they relate to its business. It would be useful to discuss the issuer's management, measurement and monitoring system employed to implement its ESG strategy. An ESG report should also state which entities in the issuer's group and/or which operations have been included in the report. If there is a change in the scope, the issuer should explain the difference and reason for the change.

Reporting Principles

11. The following Reporting Principles underpin the preparation of an ESG report, informing the content of the report and how information is presented:
(1) Materiality is the threshold at which ESG issues become sufficiently important to investors and other stakeholders that they should be reported.
(2) Quantitative: KPIs need to be measurable. Targets can be set to reduce a particular impact. In this way the effectiveness of ESG policies and management systems can be evaluated and validated. Quantitative information should be accompanied by a narrative, explaining its purpose, impacts, and giving comparative data where appropriate.
(3) Balance: The ESG report should provide an unbiased picture of the issuer's performance. The report should avoid selections, omissions, or presentation formats that may inappropriately influence a decision or judgment by the report reader.
(4) Consistency: The issuer should use consistent methodologies to allow for meaningful comparisons of ESG data over time. The issuer should disclose in the ESG report any changes to the methods used or any other relevant factors affecting a meaningful comparison.

Complementing ESG discussions in the Business Review Section of the Directors' Report

12. Pursuant to rule 18.07A(2)(d), an issuer's directors' report for a financial year must contain a business review in accordance with Schedule 5 to the Companies Ordinance. The business review must include, to the extent necessary for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the issuer's business:
(i) a discussion of the issuer's environmental policies and performance;
(ii) a discussion of the issuer's compliance with the relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer; and
(iii) an account of the issuer's key relationships with its employees, customers and suppliers and others that have a significant impact on the issuer and on which the issuer's success depends.
This Guide should complement the content requirements of the directors' report, as it calls for issuers to disclose information in respect of specific ESG areas.

Note: As regards "Subject Area A. Environmental", the upgrade of the KPIs to "comply or explain" will come into effect for issuers' financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2017.


Subject Areas, Aspects, General Disclosures and KPIs
  "Comply or explain" Provisions Recommended Disclosures
A. Environmental
Aspect A1 :
Emissions

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to air and greenhouse gas emissions, discharges into water and land, and generation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

Note: Air emissions include NOx, SOx, and other pollutants regulated under national laws and regulations.

Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

Hazardous wastes are those defined by national regulations.

 
KPI A1.1 The types of emissions and respective emissions data.
KPI A1.2 Greenhouse gas emissions in total (in tonnes) and, where appropriate, intensity (e.g. per unit of production volume, per facility).
KPI A1.3 Total hazardous waste produced (in tonnes) and, where appropriate, intensity (e.g. per unit of production volume, per facility).
KPI A1.4 Total non-hazardous waste produced (in tonnes) and, where appropriate, intensity (e.g. per unit of production volume, per facility).
KPI A1.5 Description of measures to mitigate emissions and results achieved.
KPI A1.6 Description of how hazardous and non-hazardous wastes are handled, reduction initiatives and results achieved.
Aspect A2:
Use of Resources

General Disclosure

Policies on the efficient use of resources, including energy, water and other raw materials.

Note: Resources may be used in production, in storage, transportation, in buildings, electronic equipment, etc.

 
KPI A2.1 Direct and/or indirect energy consumption by type (e.g. electricity, gas or oil) in total (kWh in '000s) and intensity (e.g. per unit of production volume, per facility).
KPI A2.2 Water consumption in total and intensity (e.g. per unit of production volume, per facility).
KPI A2.3 Description of energy use efficiency initiatives and results achieved.
KPI A2.4 Description of whether there is any issue in sourcing water that is fit for purpose, water efficiency initiatives and results achieved.
KPI A2.5 Total packaging material used for finished products (in tonnes) and, if applicable, with reference to per unit produced.
Aspect A3:
The Environment and Natural Resources

General Disclosure

Policies on minimising the issuer's significant impact on the environment and natural resources.

 
KPI A3.1 Description of the significant impacts of activities on the environment and natural resources and the actions taken to manage them.
B. Social
Employment and Labour Practices
Aspect B1:
Employment

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to compensation and dismissal, recruitment and promotion, working hours, rest periods, equal opportunity, diversity, anti-discrimination, and other benefits and welfare.

 














 
KPI B1.1 Total workforce by gender, employment type, age group and geographical region.
KPI B1.2 Employee turnover rate by gender, age group and geographical region.
Aspect B2:
Health and Safety

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to providing a safe working environment and protecting employees from occupational hazards.

 













 
KPI B2.1 Number and rate of work-related fatalities.
KPI B2.2 Lost days due to work injury.
KPI B2.3 Description of occupational health and safety measures adopted, how they are implemented and monitored.
Aspect B3:
Development and Training

General Disclosure

Policies on improving employees' knowledge and skills for discharging duties at work. Description of training activities.

Note: Training refers to vocational training. It may include internal and external courses paid by the employer.

 










 
KPI B3.1 The percentage of employees trained by gender and employee category (e.g. senior management, middle management).
KPI B3.2 The average training hours completed per employee by gender and employee category.
Aspect B4:
Labour Standards

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to preventing child and forced labour.

 











 
KPI B4.1 Description of measures to review employment practices to avoid child and forced labour.
KPI B4.2 Description of steps taken to eliminate such practices when discovered.
Operating Practices
Aspect B5:
Supply Chain Management
General Disclosure

Policies on managing environmental and social risks of the supply chain.
 





 
KPI B5.1 Number of suppliers by geographical region.
KPI B5.2 Description of practices relating to engaging suppliers, number of suppliers where the practices are being implemented, how they are implemented and monitored.
Aspect B6:
Product Responsibility

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to health and safety, advertising, labelling and privacy matters relating to products and services provided and methods of redress.

 














 
KPI B6.1 Percentage of total products sold or shipped subject to recalls for safety and health reasons.
KPI B6.2 Number of products and service related complaints received and how they are dealt with.
KPI B6.3 Description of practices relating to observing and protecting intellectual property rights.
KPI B6.4 Description of quality assurance process and recall procedures.
KPI B6.5 Description of consumer data protection and privacy policies, how they are implemented and monitored.
Aspect B7:
Anti-corruption

General Disclosure

Information on:

(a) the policies; and
(b) compliance with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the issuer

relating to bribery, extortion, fraud and money laundering.

 











 
KPI B7.1 Number of concluded legal cases regarding corrupt practices brought against the issuer or its employees during the reporting period and the outcomes of the cases.
KPI B7.2 Description of preventive measures and whistle-blowing procedures, how they are implemented and monitored.
Community
Aspect B8:
Community Investment

General Disclosure

Policies on community engagement to understand the needs of the communities where the issuer operates and to ensure its activities take into consideration the communities' interests.

 








 
KPI B8.1 Focus areas of contribution (e.g. education, environmental concerns, labour needs, health, culture, sport).
KPI B8.2 Resources contributed (e.g. money or time) to the focus area.