The Accounting Research and Development Foundation launched the "2022 ESG Summit: C Environment, Society and Governance " at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall 1 Area B from June 24 to 25, under the guidance of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), with co-organizer Taiwan Financial Services Roundtable. The Chairperson of the ARDF is Dr. Doris Yi-Hsin Wang, the professor of Accountancy at National Taipei University. Dr. Wang made the opening remarks and thanked all sponsors including AWS, SHARP, Workiva, and other companies as well as Big 4 CPA firms, NPO and 14 outstanding USR universities.
At the opening ceremony, Chairperson Doris Wang invited Tien-Mu Huang, Chairman of FSC for the opening speech, and invited many distinguished guests, including Professor Dingwang Zheng from Chengchi University, Ms. Sue Lloyd, Vice Chairman of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Kao Shien-Quey, Deputy Minister of National Development Council, Sherman Lin, Chairman of Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corporation and Chen-Shan Chang, Director-General, Securities and Futures Bureau of FSC to kick off the two-day summit.
Dr. Tien-Mu Huang, Chairman of FSC thanked the Accounting Research and Development Foundation ( ARDF) for inviting all the business entities , NPOs and universities to participate this great event. Then the goal of Taiwan’s Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050 was announced by the Taiwan National Development Council mentioned in March 2022. Besides, the FSC announced a series of blueprints for sustainable development, which require the joint efforts of enterprises and non-for-profit organizations. Chairman Huang mentioned that companies should consider the impact of "double-materiality". In terms of "internal impact", companies should evaluate sustainability issues that affect the corporate value. Regarding to the external impact, companies should assess the impact of its activities and actions for external stakeholders. Therefore, the disclosure information should include both financial and non-financial information.
Lastly, Chairman Huang suggested that businesses should consider “Doing Good While Doing Well”: when pursuing profit, businesses should also consider how their business model can provide benefits to the society.
Moreover, Ms. Sue Lloyd, vice chairperson of ISSB, sent a video to celebrate the “2022 ESG Summit”. She mentioned “it is very important to consider technology as a solution when obtaining ESG information. “ Therefore, this is an area that is worthy of development in the future, and there are many activities in the summit to explore the interaction between technology and ESG information. She also explained that ISSB aims to develop new disclosure standards to provide investors with high-quality information on the impact of sustainable development-related risks and opportunities on corporate value. She looks forward to promoting ISSB with Taiwan to bring more benefits to investors and financial statements preparers.
After Ms. Sue Lloyd’s speech, Professor Dingwang Zheng reminded that ESG issues reflect the major crisis that our earth is facing. If companies can publish both financial statements and sustainability reports at the same time, the users could obtain not only monetary and historical accounting information, but also qualitative and forward-looking sustainability-related information. The combination of both information will provide more useful information for investors'' decision-making. However, Professor Zheng mentioned that the disclosure of sustainability information will face many obstacles, such as the difficulties in collecting Scope 3 greenhouse gas emission information, or the challenges for corporate governance to properly respond to the risks or opportunities related to sustainability issues. Lastly, Professor Zheng stressed that the preparation of sustainability report should not be an essay competition, and the report itself should not be a tool for greenwashing. How the authorities supervise the sustainability information will be a critical challenge.
As the ARDF Chairperson Doris Wang mentioned, "2022 ESG Summit: Environment, Society and Governance " includes a number of professional ESG forums and activities. It is expected that through these activities, the sustainable accounting standards developed by the International Sustainability Standards Board will be promoted to enterprises and investors to further enhance the consistency and efficiency of the disclosures of enterprises in Taiwan. The forums and activities will be the platform to demonstrate the current results of ESG practice of government agencies, business groups and colleges and universities. The ESG implementation in Taiwan will be feasible through joint participation and cooperation from all sectors of the society.