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Wednesday, 8 June 2022, 19:50 HKT/SGT

Source: Dah Sing Bank
Dah Sing Bank and Friends of the Earth (HK) Jointly Present: The SME ESG Best Practices Recognition Programme

HONG KONG, June 8, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - Dah Sing Bank, Limited ("Dah Sing Bank") and Friends of the Earth (HK) have jointly launched the "SME ESG Best Practices Recognition Programme" ("the Programme") today. The Programme encourages SMEs to adopt best practices in environmental, social and governance (ESG), enhancing their competitiveness while achieving sustainable development. The major initiative at today's kick-off ceremony was the "Partnership Commitment Signing Ceremony" to mark the contribution to the realisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). The Programme is the first ESG Recognition Programme targeting SMEs in specific industries. It is also one of the highlights of Dah Sing Bank's 75th-anniversary celebrations this year.

Ms. Phoebe Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, Senior Executive Director, Group Head of Personal Banking, Dah Sing Bank (Right); Mr. Anthony Cheung, Board Governor & Green Finance Convenor, Friends of the Earth (HK) (Left)

(From Right) Jude Chow, Deputy Chairman, FHKI; Simon Ng, CEO, BEC; Cheung Hau-wai, Chairman, HKGBC; Allen Shi, President, CMA; Anthony Cheung, Board Governor & Green Finance Convenor, FoE (HK); Phoebe Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, Senior Executive Director, Group Head of Personal Banking, Dah Sing Bank; Ophelia Lin, Founding President, SMESS; Michael Lai, Vice President, HKGCSMB; Andrew Kwok, Chairman, HKSME; Lotus Choi, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, CIC

Kick-off ceremony

With sustainable development becoming a mainstream trend, it has become necessary for SMEs to implement ESG practices to stay relevant and competitive. The Programme aims to provide SMEs with industry-specific knowledge to help them recognise the relevance of ESG practices in their industry ecosystem. Through the use of an easy-to-understand assessment framework, the Programme aims to raise their ESG awareness, encourage them to make appropriate improvements and to implement ESG best practices to improve the sustainability of their business.

Ms. Phoebe Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, Senior Executive Director, Group Head of Personal Banking of Dah Sing Bank, said, "Our Bank is committed to supporting SMEs. We want to help SMEs in their transition to a sustainable economy by enhancing their competitiveness and ability to embrace new challenges and opportunities. With ESG becoming a global mainstream agenda, large corporations in various sectors are already leading the way to implement sustainable practices. SMEs must act quickly to adapt to the changing business environment in order to maintain or even improve their competitiveness. Advocacy for sustainable economies and lifestyles and support for local SMEs are key focuses for us as we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year. Our collaboration with Friends of the Earth (HK) in this Programme aims to target SMEs with relatively fewer resources and know-how in implementing ESG practices, and is intended to equip them with a better understanding of ESG trends that are relevant to their business operating models. To encourage more SMEs to embark on their transition towards sustainable growth, participants assessed to have made the most progress with the adoption of ESG best practices will be commended for their achievements."

As ESG issues of concern tend to be industry-specific, there are no generalised recommendations for SMEs from different industries. As such, the Programme has specially designed a series of industry forums, inviting captains of industries to share expertise, enabling SMEs to understand the ESG factors that are relevant to their industry ecosystems. In particular, the Programme leverages the UNSDGs as a framework for evaluating the sustainable development strategies and policies of SMEs, including their ability to manage and promote sustainable development performance. If a certain level of improvement is attained within the specified period, the companies that uphold the best practices will be commended for their commitment and contribution. Furthermore, in order to encourage higher participation, all participants in the Programme and/or receiving recognition will be able to enjoy incentives offered by Dah Sing Bank, in the form of fee discounts and cash rebates. For details, please refer to the attached fact sheet.

Mr. Anthony Cheung, Board Governor and Green Finance Convenor of Friends of the Earth (HK), said, "We are honoured to cooperate with Dah Sing Bank to launch this best practices Programme as a means to further promote ESG to SMEs, so that everyone not only can practise ESG knowledge in business activities, but, more importantly, can better prepare for the new trends of green financing against ESG risks as soon as possible by joining the Programme".

He added, "Given the backdrop of immense macro-economic pressures and the ongoing impact of the pandemic at present, many SMEs are facing unprecedented external and internal challenges, including difficulties in securing orders, reducing costs, collecting payments and obtaining financing. Amid the ever-changing business environment, we believe now is the time for SMEs to review whether their existing operating models are in line with global long-term development strategies. Adopting the ESG agenda will help SMEs enhance their competitiveness and vitality in the face of adversity".

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Dah Sing Bank. A series of celebratory activities will be launched from June onwards to reach out to the community, SMEs and customers as well as to promote green lifestyles. Through these activities, the Bank hopes to thank and share its joy with the public and its customers, express its advocacy for sustainable lifestyles, and bring vitality to Hong Kong's communities and economy. For details, please visit the Bank's 75th-anniversary webpage at http://www.dahsing.com/75Anniv/en.

About Dah Sing Bank
Dah Sing Bank, Limited ("Dah Sing Bank") is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dah Sing Banking Group Limited (HKG:2356) which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Founded in Hong Kong 75 years ago, Dah Sing Bank has been providing quality banking products and services to our customers with a vision to be "The Local Bank with a Personal Touch". Over the years, Dah Sing Bank has been rigorous in delivering on our brand promise to grow with our customers in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and beyond - "Together We Progress and Prosper". Building on our experience and solid foundation in the industry, Dah Sing Bank's scope of professional services now spans retail banking, private banking, and business and commercial banking. Meanwhile, Dah Sing Bank is also making significant investments in our digital banking capabilities to stay abreast with smart banking developments in Hong Kong and to support financial inclusion at large.

In addition to its Hong Kong banking operations, Dah Sing Bank also has wholly-owned subsidiaries including Dah Sing Bank (China) Limited, Banco Comercial de Macau, S.A., and OK Finance Limited. It is also a strategic shareholder of the Bank of Chongqing with a shareholding of about 13%. Dah Sing Bank and its subsidiaries now have around 70 operating locations in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.

About Friends of the Earth (HK)
Friends of the Earth (HK), as a leading environmental advocate, focuses on protecting our local and regional environment, offers equitable solutions to help create environmentally sustainable public policies, business practices and community lifestyles and engages government, business and community to act responsibly. Friends of the Earth (HK) is dedicated to promoting green finance and cultivating ESG talents to transition HK and Asia Pacific region into a carbon-neutral economy. Friends of the Earth (HK) closely partners with SME associations in Hong Kong (with coverage >3,000 companies), as well as international associations (e.g., World Benchmarking Alliance), with strong access to ESG & green finance talents professionals in Hong Kong, through our CESGA alumni network.

Friends of the Earth (HK) launched the first Green Finance Roadmap of its kind in the APAC region in 2019. One of our key focuses would be on building capacity for industry practitioners and the general public toward green finance, and hence our events are centered around the "Green Finance Connect Education Series". Examples include Sustainability Leadership Seminars, and our Green Finance Symposium on ESG integration. We aim to work with all sectors of the community to build a sustainable society and environment.

Topic: Press release summary
Source: Dah Sing Bank

Sectors: Banking & Insurance
From the Asia Corporate News Network

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