Refocusing its annual awards on the importance of environment, social and governance (ESG), the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) is pleased to unveil its revamped Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards, previously known as the Best Corporate Governance Awards. Nominations are now open for the 2021 awards.
Given rising demands for ESG reporting in both the public and private sectors, HKICPA has made a timely move to revamp its annual award as Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards to recognize and encourage more sustainable and socially responsible companies.
Raymond Cheng, President of HKICPA and Chairman of Judging Panel of Best CG & ESG Awards 2021, points out that the renaming is designed to underscore the importance of effective ESG reporting, in addition to good corporate governance (CG) and financial reporting. “We hope to encourage companies and public sector organizations to integrate the oversight and implementation of their CG and ESG, as well as lift the standards of disclosure and practices in both areas.”
He adds, “We hold the view that, in the final analysis, you can’t have good CG without good ESG, and you can’t have good ESG without having a good CG regime in place.”
Integrating CG and ESG practices
First introduced in 2000, the Awards, formerly known as Best Corporate Governance Awards, are among Hong Kong’s most prestigious and sought-after awards. They set the benchmarks for Hong Kong’s CG and ESG practices and reporting, in both the private and public sectors.
“This year, the judges of the Awards will evaluate, among other things, whether companies have developed clear ESG strategies and objectives from the top down,” says Patrick Rozario, Chairman of the Review Panel of the Best CG & ESG Awards 2021. “Companies should also undertake an ongoing benchmarking with concrete targets and key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor how they are performing in terms of ESG.”
Supplementing Rozario’s advice, Loren Tang, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the Best CG & ESG Awards 2021, adds that this year’s top accolades will go to the most sustainable companies or organizations. “These will be presented to listed companies and public sector/not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate excellence in both CG and ESG practices, with equal weight being allocated to these two areas, as they move towards fuller integration of these two key aspects of reporting.”
This year, companies and organizations will continue to be judged in seven main categories, including categories for Hang Seng Index companies, and other listed companies based on market capitalization, and two categories for public sector organizations based on their revenue. The judging criteria focus on voluntary disclosures and practices that exceed the minimum statutory and regulatory requirements.
The Institute is now inviting listed companies and public sector / not-for-profit organizations to enter the 2021 Awards by 9 August 2021.
Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards