Third year of this pioneering awards conferment show exemplary HK-listed companies are moving beyond their stakeholders’ expectation from ESG reporting in response to the revised HKEx guideline and rising interest in ESG across the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic
HONG KONG SAR – 23 February 2021 – BDO, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, announced and honoured today the winners of the third BDO ESG Awards (“the Awards”). This competition has been widely supported by many listed enterprises and winners of different awards have been selected from 88 nominations that showcased excellence in ESG reporting and disclosure.
Awardees are recognised for having implemented outstanding sustainability initiatives and they are selected by a panel of reputable and professional judges. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s BDO ESG Awards Presentation Ceremony was held online for the first time, where awards, our subscribers and the public were invited to witness the efforts of all awardees in relation to ESG reporting last year.
In addition to the three existing awards, ‘Best in ESG’, ‘Best in Reporting’ and ‘ESG Report of the Year’, two new categories have been added this year, namely ‘Theme Award’ in recognition of companies with outstanding performance in ESG under the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘ESG Report of the Year — Technology’ in recognition specifically of companies that demonstrate technological advancement in their business models and operations, and which perform well in the areas of ESG (see the full list below).
Dr William Yu, Chairman of the Judging Panel of the Best in ESG Awards, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting recently everyone’s life. Despite challenging times, we are glad to see that HK-listed companies have implemented various ESG measures with heightened consciousness. During these unprecedented times, appropriate initiatives should be adopted to help protect against the spread of Covid-19, while at the same time showcasing how to perform well and drive business continuity. We are pleased to see that companies are becoming more aware of the roles of ESG integration and are enhancing their reporting quality, especially with regard to governance, risk management, target-setting and transparency. Thanks to BDO for its continuous efforts in ESG engagement which has attracted more local and international companies to value the sustainability bandwagon.”
Dr Carlye Tsui BBS JP, Chairman of the Judging Panel of the Best in Reporting Awards, said, “This year, we see that the quality of reports competing for BDO ESG awards highlights companies moving beyond compliance and meeting rising expectations. Companies that have great regard for ESG values and active board leadership in ESG implementations for reasons more than just compliance are now enjoying competitive advantages. The Panel of Judges highly commends the award-winning companies for their earnest efforts. The awardees have demonstrated immense ideas of originality and thoughtfulness in organising a state-of-the-art ESG presentation.”
Professor Yuk-Shan Wong SBS BBS JP, Chairman of the Judging Panel of the ESG Report of the Year (Technology) Award and Theme Award, said, “This year was not normal for everyone, including the investment community. Under the COVID-19 pandemic, all industries have been impacted in varying degrees of severity. Yet, it is heartening to see companies had implemented effective sustainability initiatives and achieved high standards in ESG engagement. With the new Theme Awards, it recognised the hard work that companies have done and their achievement with outstanding ESG performance amid these unprecedented times.”
Mr Clement Chan MH JP, Managing Director of Assurance, BDO in Hong Kong, said, “This year marked the third year of the BDO ESG Awards and we are glad to see that more listed companies have raised their awareness of the importance of their contribution in ESG. In particular, the Hong Kong Exchange launched the Revised Guide in late 2020 which is stricter and stipulates more demanding requirements in terms ESG reporting deadline. Echoing the theme of this year BDO ESG awards as ‘Revive & Innovate”, and in view of the shifted market focus on technology company and COVID-19 measures, we have specially created two new award categories — ‘Theme Award’ and ‘ESG Report of the Year — Technology’ in order to expand the scope of the BDO ESG Awards and encourage more listed companies in various industries to enhance their ESG reporting disclosure. And we are happy to see companies had intensified efforts to adopt appropriate measures to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and at the same time sustain businesses. Going forward, we at BDO will continue to offer them support to help their companies raise ESG standards and performance and in turn contribute to overall ESG development in Hong Kong.”
Mr Johnson Kong, Managing Director of Non-Assurance, BDO in Hong Kong, said, “On behalf of BDO, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the judges who have committed precious time and their expertise in the judging process to ensure the credibility and representativeness of the Awards. Under the pandemic, we view that ESG issues will be increasingly central to investment decision making, and we are excited to acknowledge that not only large-cap companies but small mid-cap listed companies have increased their efforts in ESG and sustainability engagement. BDO, as a comrade of ESG facilitators, will remain committed as a keen advocate for continuous enhancements in the ESG and ESG reporting standards of Hong Kong-listed companies towards international standards, so as to promote Hong Kong as a green financial hub.”
Mr Ricky Cheng, Director and Head of Risk Advisory, BDO in Hong Kong, said, “Over the years, we have noted that ESG measure is a rising topic among Hong Kong and global investors to value listed companies and as an indication of a responsible and sustainable investment. Besides, with the Revised Guide that was launched last year, we expect more listed companies to wake up to the importance of ESG reporting in meeting not only stakeholders’ expectations but also those of investors and the public in the area of ESG performance. We are happy to see more and more companies appreciate the value of ESG reporting and are willing to put time and resources in various ESG areas. Riding on the trend, BDO will spare no effort to continue pushing ESG engagement and further strengthening the leading position of Hong Kong as an International Financial Centre.”
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