For a long time, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues were considered box-ticking exercises by corporate boards, while investors tended to think of ESG as a “nice to have” in their portfolios. Those days, however, are over.
The importance of ESG has grown exponentially in recent years, frequently becoming the centrepiece of long-term sustainability planning for companies. For many investors, it has also become critical. ESG isn’t just about good PR or fulfilling reporting obligations, it’s about delivering business results and building a strong, resilient, and successful business.
HKEX Chairman Laura M. Cha has this week written a blog on ESG for the World Economic Forum that looks specifically at ESG standards around the world and the critical role boards and directors play in championing ESG. It also looks at how far ESG has come in Hong Kong and how far it has yet to go.