On November 10, 2015, China Social Investment Forum (China SIF) held the annual conference for the third consecutive year in Beijing. The initiators of China SIF, SynTao Green Finance and the Securities Times, together with the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative, Green Finance Committee (GFC) of China Society of Finance and Banking, and China Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Fund co-hosted the event.
The third annual conference focused on how to reach the balance between exchange-led voluntary initiatives and compulsory requirements in the stage of “new normal”. The conference also discussed how to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of listed companies through collective efforts of stock exchanges, investors and regulators, sharing global experience by introducing innovative green finance products and tools such as green indices, green bonds and Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The Deputy Editor in Chief of the Securities Times, Mr. Zhou Zhiyong, delivered the opening speech for the conference. He stated that China SIF had witnessed the significant improvement of the awareness of responsible investment since its first annual conference in 2013. Green finance has become the driving force of the economic transformation in the stage of “new normal”.
Dr. Ma Jun, the Chief Economist of Research Bureau in People’s Bank of China, and the director of GFC, addressed the first keynote speech “Establishing a green finance system”. He emphasized that information disclosure is the foundation of green finance. He also provide four suggestions for improving environmental information disclosure. Please click here for the full version of Dr. Ma’s speech (only available in Chinese).
As the coordinator of the SSE, Dr. Anthony Miller explained how stock exchanges could be a key player in promoting sustainability. SSE facilitates dialogues among stock exchanges around the world, and provides a multi-stakeholder platform for exchanges, regulators, policymakers, investors and companies. Dr. Miller also introduced the recent progress on ESG disclosure of exchanges. Please click here for Dr. Miller’s presentation on China SIF annual conference.
Professor Robert Eccles, the founding chairman of Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and a member of International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC), introduced the new trend of information disclosure. Concentrating on integrated reporting, he also mentioned the potential of community investing in China. Please click here for Prof. Eccles’ presentation on China SIF annual conference.
The first panel discussion “Sustainable stock exchange: global trends and China’s practice” was moderated by Dr. Guo Peiyuan, the general manager of SynTao. Panelists includes Dr. Anthony Miller; Mr. Dante Pesce, the Executive Director of VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development; Ms. Michiyo Morisawa, Head of Japan of PRI’s Networks & Global Outreach; Mr. Wayne Silby, Chairman of Calvert and SynTao; and Dr. Zhao Yonggang, the Deputy Director of the R&D in China Securities Index (from left to right). The panelists all emphasized the importance of information disclosure, and provided suggestions from their own perspectives. Information disclosure, no matter mandatory or voluntary, would generate impressive positive impact to green finance and sustainability. Dr. Guo Peiyuan concluded that, support from stock exchanges would influence the market significantly, and it is also good for the interest of investors. Information disclosure needs regulatory force and the raise of awareness of both institutional investors and individual investors.
Mr. Colin Crooks, the Prosperity Counsellor of the British Embassy, Mr. Gavin Templeton, the Head of Sustainable Finance in UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), and Mr. Jiao Xiaoping, the Acting director general of China CDM Fund launched the Chinese version of GIB’s Green Investment Handbook. As a practical tool, the handbook is used by GIB on a daily basis to assess, monitor and report the green impact of its investments and the Chinese version of the handbook is also one of the policy outcomes for the UK-China 7th Economic and Financial Dialogue.
Dr. An Guojun, Senior Economist of Institute of Finance and Banking in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, hosted the second panel discussion on the topic of “PPP: the practice of UK Green Investment Bank”. Ms. Chen Yaqin, the Market Development Division Chief of Environmental Finance Department in China Industrial Bank; Mr. Gavin Templeton; Ms. Tessa Tennant, Non-executive Director of GIB and a board member of SynTao; and Dr. Wen Gang, the Director of Research & Development Department of China CDM Fund (from left to right) had an in-depth discussion on the topic. Gavin further introduced GIB’s practices, and other panelists pointed out that PPP is an effective tool to drive the development of a standardized green finance market, as it is also a policy tool in China. PPP would encourage private capital to participate in the investment, construction and operation of green infrastructures. Please click here for Gavin’ presentation on GIB introduction.
Ms. Liesel van Ast, Programme Manager of Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), launched the Chinese summary report of the Corporate Bonds Water Credit Risk Tool “Integrating Water Stress into Corporate Bond Credit Analysis”. She stated that the current water price could not reflect the value of water in demand-supply conditions of different countries and locations. If a shadow price, including the benefits for agriculture, domestic supply, human health and environmental services, is counted in, the value of water would be much higher, especially in the areas of high water risk exposure.
Climate Bonds Initiative CEO, Mr. Sean Kidney, launched the Chinese version of the Bonds and Climate Change: State of the Market in 2015 report. This new Chinese language version carries an update on the most recent policy developments in China around green bonds and green finance.
Ms. Wang Yao, the Director of the Research Center for Climate and Energy Finance in Central University of Finance and Economics, stated that the definition and standard for green bonds is of great significance when the market for green bonds is booming. The water credit risk tool is also a good reference of the ranking of green bonds, which is a research focus of GFC.
The third panel discussion on green bonds is moderated by Ms. Tracy Cai, the CEO of SynTao Green Finance. Tracy mentioned that green bond, as an innovative approach for low carbon financing, is developing very fast in the market, and is gaining more and more favor from responsible investors.
Ms. Wang Yao; Mr. Sean Kidney; Ms. Simone Dettling, German International Cooperation (GIZ)’s green finance expert; Ms. Huang Chaoni, the Head of Business Development of Trucost in Asia; and Mr. Yang Ming, the Vice General Manager of Tus-S&T Service Group (from left to right) had a discussion on the definition of green bond and climate bond and the opportunities and difficulties in China’s market. The panelists also introduced the industries that would benefit from the green bond market. The green market can better serve the green transformation of China’s economic structure, and the third party is playing an important role in the market, too.
Mr. Zhang Wang, the Director of the CSR Center of the Securities Times, was the host the full-day event. He is an expert of responsible investment of Chinese capital market and non-financial disclosure of listed companies.
Around 150 participants including investors, asset managers, banks, insurance companies, governments, academia, consultancies and civil societies joined the third China SIF annual conference. Improving information disclosure and innovating green financial products have gradually become a consensus among different stakeholders in China.