Hong Kong timber companies ‘need regulation’May 2009
Most listed forestry companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange that claim to be environment-friendly are so only by default, and this misleads investors, says Greenpeace China in a new report.
Greenpeace China complains that the stock exchange has no specific environmental guidelines or disclosure requirements for businesses in the sector.
The environmental group is therefore urging regulators to toughen their disclosure standards and listing requirements on forestry companies to cover deforestation, climate change and pollution.
Tam Man-kei, Greenpeace China’s finance campaigner, said: ‘In the midst of the global financial crisis, it is beyond question that regulators need to overhaul their existing regulatory framework. Such overhaul must pave the way to embrace higher and more transparent disclosure standards and to look into the growing environmental trend, in order to enhance investors’ due diligence and risk assessment in future.’
The report, In the Green or in the Red? Environmental Concerns and Risks for Forestry Listings in Hong Kong, analyses the listing documents of companies in the logging and paper and pulp sectors, including Nine Dragon, Shandong Chenming Papers and Samling Global.
On climate risks, the report says material disclosure and company policies for tackling the problem are lacking, even though tropical forest destruction accounts for about 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenpeace China adds that the regulators should listen to civil society and local communities when conducting their due diligence processes.
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