Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) recently updated its own ESG Reporting Guide and adopted "comply or explain" provisions for certain disclosure obligations in order to assist companies in their goals of being more transparent and accountable to their stakeholders.
As many listed companies also use the GRI G4 Guidelines to communicate their sustainability-related performance and commitments on an international level, GRI has developed a Linkage and Gap Analysis Document between the HKEX ESG Reporting Guide and the GRI G4 Guidelines. This document aims to support those companies and avoid duplication of efforts to report against different standards. The document reinforces the compatibility of the two reporting instruments, and ensures consistency for organizations using both methods for reporting as it enables organizations to use the same data points in both reporting channels.
David Graham, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing, HKEX said, “Setting out the synergies and differences between the disclosures called for under HKEX’s ESG Reporting Guide and the GRI G4 Guidelines will help companies understand both guidelines, leading to more comprehensive reporting. Companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange should find the Linkage document a very useful tool for reporting on the basis of both sets of guidelines.”
The Linkage and Gap Analysis Document is beneficial to all listed companies for a number of reasons:
- It helps embed sustainability strategy within rooted international standards.
- Companies can demonstrate their commitment and actions in terms of policies, processes and disclosure.
- Companies can provide stakeholders with focused, comprehensive and credible information about sustainability impacts and performance.
- It helps to standardize sustainability reporting.
The document was launched in Hong Kong in June which convened speakers from HKEX, Business Environment Council Limited, John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Limited, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, , and NWS Holdings Limited. Ninety participants attended the event, mostly from reporting companies in Hong Kong and mediating organizations, from diverse sectors including finance, energy utilities, and real estate.