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The importance of Scope 3 emissions and human rights in upstream supply chains

The increase in ESG prioritisation among companies and those responsible for the supply chain comes as companies globally face increasing regulatory and stakeholder pressure to manage and report on a variety of sustainability factors, according to a new survey by global professional services firm Deloitte, up from […]

Insetting vs Offsetting?

Carbon insetting brings the carbon reduction process in-house rather than buying carbon credits from unrelated third parties.  Companies invest in carbon reduction or removal projects along their own supply chains. Whilst carbon offsetting has been in the mainstream for a lot longer, a new report from New […]

The Perils of Greenwashing

The risk of an accusation of “greenwashing” is now an important concern for many companies globally. Whilst still ill-defined, “Greenwashing” is increasingly a source of litigation, reputational destruction and regulatory scrutiny – with more expected. Tackling greenwashing to ensure market integrity and consumer and investor […]

Transition Financing in Asia – mobilizing capital to achieve net-zero

Emerging and developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region are facing difficulties in accessing capital to finance their green transition even as their financing needs grow. Climate change looms over the Asia-Pacific region. Of the nine countries worldwide facing the highest climate risks, five are in […]

Will the new ISSB Standards be the driver for change that we need?

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up to enable the move towards aligned global action on what companies report in late 2021, to combat the fear that transforming enthusiasm into impactful action on climate change was getting bogged down in bureaucracy and red tape. This […]

Value creation by aligning ESG, ERM and TPRM

One of the most talked about business challenges in recent times is environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. As more companies are being held accountable for their ESG performance by investors, consumers, communities, and regulators, the demand for greater transparency and accountability is increasing. Known […]

The growing focus on supply chain sustainability

In an EcoVadis June 15 report involving more than 62,000 companies across 159 countries, sustainability performance at companies across all geographic regions, sectors and sizes has improved over the past few years. Examining 4 core themes including Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics, and Sustainable Procurement, with size […]

Managing ESG Risk in the Supply Chain

From the largest global companies to smaller family-run businesses, managing risk in the supply chain is complicated by the number of trading partners and the dynamic nature of supply chain relationships. ESG supply chain risks are changing how businesses operate, driven by customers, investors, and […]

Are Hong Kong’s dietary habits falling behind in the race against Climate Change?

Hong Kong imports over 90% of the total food supply annually, according to the Hong Kong Government, yet the government’s climate action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 with no mention of the city’s food sector. Globally, food accounts for nearly a third of human-caused […]

Will the steady increase in TCFD disclosures continue in Asia?

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) established following its recommendations in 2017, reported in October 2022 that progress is continuing to be made globally, but Asia is still lagging behind. The Task Force reviewed publicly available reports of […]

Ascent Partners welcomes Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative, to an exclusive lunch in Hong Kong to discuss Sustainability

We were delighted to welcome Sean from the Climate Bonds Initiative to an informal lunch to chat with our clients and colleagues about the battle for sustainability in the region and globally. In a wide-ranging discussion, Sean highlighted several key points that need to be addressed and […]

HK latest triple tranche Green Bond oversubscribed 5X!

Hong Kong has raised almost USD6 billion through a triple-currency green bond offering consisting of eight tranches with tenors ranging from 2 to 30 years, denominated in US dollars (USD), euro (EUR) and Renminbi (RMB). Marking the largest issuance to date since the first government […]

Are transition bonds the answer to decarbonization?

Can transition bonds provide the answer for larger carbon-emitting industries like oil and gas, iron and steel, chemicals, aviation and shipping? The first question to answer is what are transition bonds and how do they differ from other energy transition finance instruments, such as green […]

Ascent Partners welcomed Felix Lam from JPMorgan to discuss ESG and company bottom lines

At our most recent Breakfast Briefing, it was my pleasure to welcome Felix Lam, Asia ex-Japan, Head of Investment Stewardship at J.P. Morgan Asset Management on Thursday 25 May to discuss why Asset Managers are increasingly delving into the ESG credentials to make investment decisions. Joined […]

Are green debt instruments the answer to Asia’s transitional finance shortage?

With green, social, sustainability, and sustainability-linked bonds now at the forefront of sustainable fixed-income strategies, having grown to $3trn (as of December 2022) from just $260m in 2018, Asia can take a leading role in the suitable transition strategy to sustainability. Collectively referred to as […]

Runways for Green Finance in Emerging Asia

It is estimated that the average annual demand for green projects will be US$200 billion per annum up to 2030 in Asia, with the annual volume of green financing in ASEAN has increased to an estimated US$40 billion recently. As Emerging Asian cities are expected to […]

Can Hong Kong really implement its Climate Action Plan 2030+ with Green Buildings?

‘Green building’ is an emerging hot topic on the green agenda but does this green dream truly exist, or is it yet another instance of greenwashing, distracting us from our climate reality in Hong Kong? Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities […]

How finance and ESG work hand in hand to drive business value

ESG is becoming an undeniably critical in the multi-stakeholder approach towards company values. It has become a strategic pillar that all companies must embrace to solve the challenges ahead. And the relationship between finance and ESG is becoming one of strongest relationships within a business. […]

New ADB initiative to raise billions in Climate Finance

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) new Innovative Finance Facility for Climate in Asia and the Pacific (IF-CAP) could be a groundbreaking initiative to kick-start the global pot for climate finance and taking their place as climate leaders instead of bit players. Announced at the recent ADB annual meeting […]

Is Climate overtaking compliance as a risk?

A worrying draft report from the United Nations in March highlighted that as of the end of 2022, just 12% of sustainable development goals (SDG) are on track to meet their 2030 targets. In Hong Kong, recent amendments to the SFC regulations have seen an increasing emphasis on ESG […]

Ascent Partners & Credit Suisse held a sold out Breakfast Briefing on 27 April

Ascent Partners was delighted to welcome John Woods, CIO of Credit Suisse to talk to our full house of 34 invited guests last Thursday over breakfast, in Central. John discussed how the current financial circumstances are making banks and other lending institutions wary about offering loans – as […]

Is ESG a drag on business performance?

According to an April 2023 report from IBM, a strategic approach to ESG does not drag on business performance: in fact, a properly structured and strategic approach to ESG delivers higher revenue, improved profitability, and deeper customer engagement. This was the somewhat surprising conclusion after analysing […]

HKEX to ramp up Climate Change reporting standards by early 2024

A newly released consultation paper from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange plans to make its listed companies quantify and reveal more about their climate-related risks by next year. Under the proposals, all issuers listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong will be required to […]

Will new voluntary quality standards remove skepticism in the carbon offsetting industry?

Last Thursday, new guidelines for a “good” carbon credit programme were announced by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), to help guide buyers to high-quality credits following widespread concern that many are just hot air. Carbon credits are used by major companies for […]

Has ESG replaced CSR?

ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) is the current buzzword globally, but before 2005 CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) was on everyone’s lips…. What has changed? Traditionally, CSR has been about doing good for good’s sake. It has focused on social accountability and community engagement offering qualitative […]

The Impact of Decarbonisation on the Financial Markets

Decarbonisation is touted as the solution to Climate Change, but moving away from over 200 years of industrialisation will not come easily. At the recent Bloomberg “BNEF Sustainability Series: Transitioning to Net Zero” discussion, held at the Asia Society in Admiralty, on Friday 24 March, Surendra Rosha, Co-Chief […]

Will Scope 3 emissions scrutiny accelerate in 2023?

The challenge to reduce Scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions by suppliers or consumers in an organisation’s value chain) will accelerate in 2023 as companies focus on their supply-chain partners and on how their products and services are used by customers. This is the prediction of […]

Do carbon offsets hide more than they reveal about some of the largest global polluters?

Carbon offsets are often hailed as a saviour for the planet. But are they actually getting to the root of the problem? Carbon credits or offsets work by offering regulated polluters the opportunity to increase their own emissions if they subsidise equivalent emission reductions in […]

Perceived barriers to directing capital toward a broader range of emerging market countries

In the aftermath of COP27 in November 2022, where the need to mobilise private capital for emerging economies was widely discussed, “innovative financing solutions” were widely touted a solution – but they appear to be proving the exception rather than the rule. Investors have said there are […]

4 key takeaways from our breakfast briefing on ESG regulation in China

Ascent Partners and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) recently held an informal breakfast briefing in Central to discuss the recent ICMA and the China Central Depository & Clearing Co (CCDC) on their recent “white paper on ESG practices in China” We were delighted to Ricco Zhang, Senior Director Asia […]