Hong Kong launches consultation on ESG code for ratings and data providers

The Voluntary Code of Conduct Working Group (VCWG), sponsored by the SFC, will work with the Secretariat at the International Capital Market Association.

As Asia Pacific's financial community steps up its efforts to decarbonise society, a consultation on a voluntary code of conduct for environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and data products’ providers has been launched in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s ESG ratings and data products' providers in the Voluntary Code of Conduct Working Group (VCWG), sponsored by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), have agreed to work with the Secretariat of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) to form the code. Together they are aiming to develop a voluntary Code of Conduct for ESG ratings and data products providers.

The consultation, according to a statement on the ICMA website, launched on May 17 and will run up until June 17, 2024. 

The working group’s aim has been to develop and promote a globally consistent, interoperable, and proportionate voluntary code of conduct for ESG ratings and data products providers who deliver goods and/or services in Hong Kong, according to a notice form the ICMA.

The working group has taken into account the recommendations from the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) report on “Environmental, Social and Governance Ratings and Data Products Providers”, as well as existing industry standards.

Bryan Pascoe, chief executive of ICMA, said in the statement: “ESG ratings and data products are essential resources for the sustainable finance market. We are pleased to coordinate this important working group sponsored by the SFC to develop and promote a voluntary code of conduct. We will continue to contribute our considerable experience in bringing about industry-led standards and our global expertise in sustainable finance.”

Julia Leung, the SFC’s chief executive, added: “We are deeply encouraged by the progress made by the industry-led working group under the leadership of ICMA. The code, together with the self-attestation document, will be vital in fostering greater transparency, quality and reliability of ESG information, as well as comparability of products.”

The move comes as Asia Pacific continues to suffer from a series of record heatwaves and flooding events. Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines are just some of the countries in the region to experience record heat in 2024, with some governments forced to take emergency action, such as closing schools and warning their citizens to stay indoors. 

For more FinanceAsia analysis on sustainability and ESG matters in Asia Pacific click here.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media