Taiwan hosts international corporate sustainability dialogue

More than 80 guests from 65 companies met to discuss green finance

2019 Roundtable Discussion of International Climate and Sustainability Dialogue (Event photo)

2019 Roundtable Discussion of International Climate and Sustainability Dialogue (Event photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE), British Office Taipei, Center for Corporate Sustainability, and Taishin Financial Holdings jointly hosted the 5th Roundtable Discussion of International Climate and Sustainability Dialogue on September 18 at the Taishin Financial Tower Art Gallery.

This year's dialogue, which focused on sustainable investment, was held with the quarterly CSO Salon hosted by Center for Corporate Sustainability. Over 80 guests from 65 companies, including 27 members of senior management, attended.

Catherine Nettleton, representative of British Office Taipei; Guy Wittich, representative of Netherlands Trade and Investment Office; Gary Cowan, representative of Australian Office Taipei; Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella, deputy director-general of the German Institute Taipei; and Brenda Hu deputy, director-general of the Financial Supervisory Commission were invited to give their perspectives.

Taishin Financial President Welch Lin delivered welcome remarks to the guests, who represented local and foreign government agencies, chambers of commerce, academia, and corporations. Attendees had the opportunity to network and to exchange ideas about sustainable investments, and the dialogue was meant to foster the integration of local and international knowledge to further promote sustainable investment.

Guests at 2019 Roundtable Discussion of International Climate and Sustainability Dialogue (Event photo)

Corporations have become increasingly critical to combatting climate change since the establishment of the Paris Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Green finance was the main topic of the 2018 Roundtable Discussion, but this year's went a step further by featuring the global trend of sustainable investment.

The chairman of the TAISE, Ambassador Eugene Chien (簡又新 noted in his opening remarks that from the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), environmental, social, and corporate governance are key to businesses and investors in identifying risks and opportunities associated with climate change and sustainable development, noting that these factors are also critical to the investments of future generations.

Representative Catherine Nettleton of the British Office Taipei emphasized the importance of green finance and corporate climate risks. She expounded the concepts of "Greening Finance" and "Financing Green" which the United Kingdom is actively promoting.

In recent years, green finance has gained wider currency worldwide. Although Taiwan is still at an early stage of implementation, the Taiwanese government is currently establishing policies to build up Taiwan as Asia's hub for offshore wind power and promote corporate governance disclosure policies.

Experts from industry and professional service companies were also invited to speak about their experience in green finance. PwC Taiwan's managing director of Sustainability Service, Christine Chang gave a talk on TCFD; Sam S. E. Ang, head of Global Banking at HSBC Bank, spoke about HSBC’s work in promoting sustainability from a banking perspective; and Aon Taiwan CEO Ernest Leung explored the risks and opportunities of offshore wind power in Taiwan from an insurance angle.