The month of July has been met with sweltering temperatures around the globe. Mercury hit record highs in the United Kingdom, while persistent heatwaves have affected parts of Europe. Closer to home, Hong Kong recorded its hottest July ever, including the city’s hottest July day in 138 years.
Experts have linked these extreme temperatures with climate change and warn that more records will be smashed as extreme temperatures become a more frequent occurrence. It has become increasingly apparent that the well-being and sustainable development of the entire world is at stake.
Indeed, with this in mind, initiatives by corporations to become more sustainable and socially responsible has become all the more essential in getting us back on track. This month, the Institute was more than glad to announce the launch of the Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards 2022. With the environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements enhanced since last year’s edition, the awards recognize private and public sector companies that have achieved high standards of corporate governance (CG) and ESG and are taking steps to integrate the oversight and implementation of both CG and ESG within their strategy and operations.
It is important we identify role models that set good examples for other companies and organizations to follow, and work towards multiplying their efforts through inspiring others to follow suit. I encourage organizations to find out more about the awards and take part. Applications are now open for listed companies and public sector or not-for-profit organizations until 10 August. Don’t miss out.
Speaking of securing a sustainable future, I was pleased to deliver the keynote speech during the Inauguration Ceremony of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Young High-end CPA Talent Training Programme held at the Institute on 21 July. Co-organized by the Institute, Guangdong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Hong Kong Association of Registered Public Interest Entity Auditors Limited and the Union of Associations of Professional Accountants of Macau, the programme provides an important platform to produce high-calibre CPA talent who will become leaders equipped to drive the sustainable development of the Greater Bay Area. I was glad to see Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury and Li Xuhong, Deputy Director General of the Department of Administration and Finance for the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, as well as many of our esteemed colleagues attend to witness the beginning of this wonderful endeavour.
In July, we also saw the formal passage of the Professional Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2022, which seeks to enhance the election arrangements of the Institute’s Council. As a result of the amendment, which takes effect on 1 November 2022, the term of office of the 14 incumbent elected members of the Council will all be completed by the end of 2023. This means the Institute will not be holding an election during the annual general meeting at the end of the year. With the further reform of the regulatory regime of the accounting profession coming into effect this coming October, this will allow the Institute to focus our resources for the implementation of the new regime and prepare for the elections in 2023. Personally, it is certainly a privilege to serve for an additional year beyond my original term.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the latest addition to the Institute’s Council. Subsequent to Professor Nelson Lam FCPA (practising)’s resignation from the Council to take up his role as Director of Audit, the arising vacancy has been filled by the Council through the appointment of Frank Lam FCPA (practising) with effect from 20 July 2022. I look forward to working together with Frank and the rest of the Council to serve our members to the best of our efforts for the rest of our terms.
Loretta Fong CPA (practising)
“Initiatives by corporations to become more sustainable and socially responsible has become all the more essential in getting us back on track. This month, the Institute was more than glad to announce the launch of the Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards 2022.”