The findings of our Asia Funds ESG Survey 2022 reveal that many Asia-based fund managers are at an early stage of their ESG journey. Many have policies in place, but these may not be embedded in operations and decision‑making. This is potentially dangerous as Asia fund managers will increasingly be at risk of accusations of “greenwashing,” the same criticism applied to many businesses and investors in Europe and the United States, where regulators are now working hard to tackle such concerns.
In this podcast, we explore the lessons that Asia fund managers should learn from their European and U.S. counterparts to avoid future accusations of greenwashing and we summarize how regulators across the globe have stepped in with proposals for mandatory ESG reporting. This includes recently issued guidance in Hong Kong for SFC-authorized ESG funds to provide ongoing reporting and mandatory ESG governance disclosures.
The advent of regulated ESG reporting should serve to mitigate greenwashing; however, entities will continue to face stakeholder pressure and market risks if their ESG narratives are perceived to be insufficiently proactive.