Starting next year, listed firms would be required to disclose their power and water consumption, as well as waste management, so investors can evaluate their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said on Tuesday.
The commission last year encouraged listed companies to volunteer the information, but not many did, so it has made it mandatory for all listed firms to disclose the data from next year, Securities and Futures Bureau Deputy Director-General Tsai Li-ling (蔡麗玲) told a videoconference.
The commission would revise the format of the appendixes of listed companies’ annual reports by the end of this year, and public companies must include the data in their appendixes from next year, Tsai said, adding that companies are required to release the reports seven days before their annual shareholders’ meetings.
The revised format has not been finalized, but three key gauges would be included — carbon emissions, water use and waste management — as they indicate how companies address vital environmental issues, Tsai said.
Given the mandatory disclosure, companies are expected to step up efforts to address climate change, as investors would be able to compare data, the commission said.
Companies also have to disclose the number of workplace accidents and injuries, and female workers as a percentage of total employees and management to help investors understand how they deal with social issues such as labor safety and gender equality, she said.
“Overall, we need public companies to be more specific when they introduce their ESG performance,” the commission said.
The FSC would also tighten requirements for information disclosure of ESG-themed funds, as some securities investment and trust companies have issued such funds without detailed information of their portfolios or investment strategies, Tsai said.
The new rules would be announced by the end of next month, she said, adding that the FSC would refer to rules set by Hong Kong regulators.
A total of 25 ESG-themed funds have been issued in Taiwan, with the combined asset under management totaling NT$121.5 billion (US$4.39 billion), FSC data showed.
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