ESG Risk & Investment Asia 2022

On 5 October 2022, Regulation Asia hosted an online day of ESG Risk & Investment Asia, to provide regulatory, risk and investment professionals a comprehensive view of the evolving ESG landscape with keynote addresses from regulators across the globe, and insightful panels on topics such as taxonomies, ESG data/ratings standardisation, active engagement and more.

Regulatory Keynote Address: A Common Standard for a Shared Vision

The keynote address “A Common Standard for a Shared Vision” was delivered by Mr Tim Lui, Chairman, Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong

Keynote Regulatory Address: How Our ESG Journey Will Continue – From a Risk and Regulatory Perspective

The keynote address “ How Our ESG Journey Will Continue: From a Risk and Regulatory Perspective” was delivered by Mr Satoshi Ikeda, Chief Sustainable Finance Officer, Financial Services Agency of Japan.

Panel 1: Global Challenges, Local Solutions: ESG Taxonomies in Asia

Jurisdictional inconsistencies in data and regulation throughout the global ESG market has signalled a need for a harmonisation of taxonomies. With the implementation of the China – EU Common Ground Taxonomy, there appears to be merits to harmonising complementary taxonomy systems. By looking at the nuances between the EU and ASEAN Taxonomy and the ESG disclosure rules in the US, this panel will dissect how these taxonomies and disclosure rules can complement each other to potentially create a cohesive taxonomy system that can help nation states, FIs and corporates reach their ESG goals.

Linda Romanovska, Sustainable Finance Expert, Advisor to ASEAN, Australian and European Taxonomies
Evan Lam, Partner, Financial Regulation, Ashurst LLP
Kamran Khan, Managing Director, Head of ESG Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank
Chaoni Huang, Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Capital Markets APAC, BNP Paribas

Moderated by Nick Wakefield, Co-Founder, Regulation Asia & ESG Investor

Panel 2: Regulation & Standardisation: A Global Push towards Transparent ESG Data and Ratings

To increase oversight and accountability, regulatory bodies such as IOSCO and the FCA have proposed the standardisation of ESG data and ratings. With good governance, rules and regulations to decrease operational risk, this panel will dissect how new standards can impact banks and financial institutions in their ESG data analysis and reporting.

Mervyn Tang, Head of Sustainability Strategy, APAC, Schroders
Leesa Soulodre, Founder & General Partner, R3i Capital
Alexander Chan, Head of ESG Client Strategy, Asia Pacific, Invesco
Michelle Cameron, Sustainable Finance and Investment Sales Director, LSEG

Moderated by Manesh Samtani, Editor, Regulation Asia

Fireside Chat: Mitigating ESG Reputational Risks

This session will look at how financial institutions are managing the reputational risk incumbent upon navigating the growing relevance of ESG issues within their wider businesses. Approaches vary by region, indeed opportunities and new regulations are emerging everywhere, with many new trends playing out which will be discussed in this session.

Professor Cary Krosinsky, Lecturer, Yale & Brown University

Hosted by Chris Hall, Founding Editor, ESG Investor

Panel 3: The Role of Data and Tech in Assessing and Managing ESG Risk

As the world emerges from the pandemic and faces threats from all angles including the war in Ukraine, extreme climate and difficult macro-economic headwinds, understanding the risks on the balance sheets will be critical. This panel will look at how banks and governments are implementing ESG in their risk management processes and existing ESG stress testing models and the data and technology needed to quantify risks.

Carlos Sanchez, Executive Director, Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment
Zoe Whitton, Managing Director, Head of Impact, Pollination
Prashant Joshi, GM APAC Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas
Stephan Wolf, CEO, GLEIF

Moderated by Nick Wakefield, Co-Founder, Regulation Asia & ESG Investor

Fireside Chat: Quantifying Real-world Impacts – Pricing ESG Risk

Long term, climate risks can lead to scarcity in supply chains, a significant impact on communities and a threat to biodiversity. The IEP suggests that by 2050, 1.2 billion people could be displaced as a result of climate change. This session looks at best practice approach to understanding the real-world impacts of climate change on their portfolios and how best to measure, manage, quantify and price these risks.

Eric Usher, Head, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative

Hosted by Nick Wakefield, Co-Founder, Regulation Asia & ESG Investor

Keynote Regulatory Address: Transition to Net Zero: A Regulator’s Perspective

The keynote address “Transition to Net Zero: A Regulator’s Perspective” was delivered by Mr Sacha Sadan, Director of ESG, Financial Conduct Authority, UK

Panel 4: The Rise of Sustainability Linked Bonds

With the introduction of Sustainability Linked Bonds (SLB) as an alternative to green bonds, there has been an increase in SLB-related debt from corporates who aren’t using their loans to fund sustainability-related projects. Considering ICMA’s guidelines on SLBs, are they helping to improve stability, or should there be more formal regulations enforced for the use of SLBs? This panel explores the strengths and potential limitations of SLB and ESG debt and measuring the performance of sustainability-linked projects to ensure companies are not engaging in greenwashing.

Simone Utermarck, Director, Sustainable Finance, ICMA
Mara Chiorean, Director, Sustainable Finance, ANZ
Henry Loh, Head of Asia Credit, abrdn

Moderated by Nick Herbert, Contributor, ESG Investor

Presentation: Setting a Global Baseline — Key Developments of International Sustainability Standards

A key announcement coming out of COP26 was buy-in from over 40 jurisdictions globally for the IFRS Foundation to establish an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). This session will cover the ISSB’s initial progress towards its goal to deliver a global baseline of sustainability disclosures for capital markets—including the feedback from capital market participants it received to date, and challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Katie Schmitz Eulitt, Director, Investor Relationships; Senior Market Co-leader, APAC, IFRS Foundation

Panel 5: The Case for Active Engagement

Immediately divesting from companies with a poor ESG-related track record isn’t always the answer to ensuring a just transition. Increasingly, banks and investors are making the case for active engagement, as well as escalation through voting at AGMs, noting that this is a more effective way of making sure that all companies change for the better and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable future. This panel will look at how active engagement can contribute to transition efforts globally, and, in instances where it fails, how divestment should be a last resort.

Eric Nietsch, Head of Sustainable Investing, Asia, Manulife Investment Management
Måns Carlsson, OAM, Head of ESG, Ausbil Investment Management Limited
Monica Bae, Regional Lead, Capital Markets (APAC ex-JP/CN/IN), CDP
Matthew Chan, Head of Sustainability & ESG Engagement, Asia Pacific, JP Morgan

Moderated by Emmy Hawker, Reporter, ESG Investor

Presentation: Mitigating ESG Risks in Managing Supply Chains

Third-party exposure to modern slavery, deforestation and nature-related risks can bring about a significant financial and regulatory impact. This session will dissect the issues surrounding due diligence for financial institutions in assessing, planning for and remediating the risks within supply chains.

Dennis Wan, Regional Lead, Corporate Engagement (SEA & ANZ), CDP

Fireside Chat: Regulating Carbon Markets

COP 26 heralded a push for more mandatory regulatory standards in the carbon market, but there have been blurred lines for corporates and private actors who are utilising voluntary carbon markets. This session will cover the challenges across different jurisdictions in building functional, efficient and standardised carbon markets, also looking at the various regulatory obligations, as well as the technology and venue capabilities.

Kris Nathanail, Senior Policy Advisor, IOSCO

Hosted by Bradley Maclean, Co-Founder, Regulation Asia

Panel 6: Transition Risks and Drivers for ESG Investing

Decarbonising portfolios might be a priority, but cutting emissions is far from straightforward. On the one hand, it is often hard for investors to compare the metrics provided by corporates or to understand which ones have the most significance across different industries. On the other, they know they must also consider where firms are going, often a more important factor than where they have been, through the transition plans that are increasingly being mandated by regulators. Increasingly the transition to the low-carbon economy is not necessarily linear. This panel looks at best practice approaches to understanding and managing the climate and broader environmental risks in investors’ portfolios and how can we ensure a just transition.

Arun Kelshiker, Advisory Board Member, Cambridge Sustainable Investment Partners
Rongrong Huo, Executive Director, Head of Investment Institute, Ninety One
Sherry Madera, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Government Affairs, Mastercard
Eleonore Dachicourt, Managing Director – Head of Sustainable and Responsible Investments, Asia, BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Moderated by Chris Hall, Founding Editor, ESG Investor

Fireside Chat: The Role of Sustainability Reporting

How are companies, reporting firms and their relative stakeholders embracing sustainability reporting? Join us as we look at the role of sustainability reporting in managing ESG risks, and the next steps taken in integrating frameworks and making them mandatory.

Yeo Lian Sim, Special Advisor, Diversity, SGX and Vice Chair, Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

Hosted by Nick Wakefield, Co-Founder, Regulation Asia & ESG Investor

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