The HKICPA conducted a study on ESG assurance among listed companies in Hong Kong. The adoption of external assurance has moderately increased, especially among large-cap companies. Smaller companies show slower adoption due to uncertainty about the business case and lack of confidence in data analysis. CPA firms are the major providers of ESG assurance, often the same as financial auditors. Climate change is the most pressing ESG issue, with larger companies setting clear carbon targets. Around 15% of listed companies have board-level ESG committees, with over 40% having a qualified accountant on the committee. The study emphasizes the role of qualified accountants in driving ESG strategy and reporting. The Institute recommends obtaining ESG assurance to build trust with stakeholders, establishing ESG committees, and setting measurable targets to demonstrate progress and avoid greenwashing. CPAs are a good option for assurance due to their financial knowledge and adherence to professional standards.
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