“These new tools feature easy navigation and are catered for the local market,” she said. “We encourage market participants to make use of the tools to improve sustainability practices and enhance market transparency.”

The calculation tool enables users, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to calculate greenhouse gas emissions based on their actual activity levels. There are more than 360,000 SMEs in Hong Kong, accounting for more than 98 per cent of enterprises and employing around 45 per cent of the private-sector workforce in the city, according to government figures.

The tool helps companies calculate their Scope 1 emissions, which refers to those emitted by facilities controlled by firms, based on the input of their fuel consumption from business operations. Inputting companies’ electricity bills lets the tool calculate the firms’ Scope 2 emissions, which arise from energy they have bought.

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“Hong Kong’s financial regulators have provided a tool for SMEs with a simple interface [and] high-quality greenhouse gas emissions data,” Grace Kwok, chairman and executive director of the Allied Sustainability and Environmental Consultants Group, said at the event.

“This is very important, especially for Scope 3 emissions reporting in the future,” she said, referring to emissions related to the activities of firms’ suppliers and the consumption of their products.

Scope 3 reporting is set to become mandatory for listed companies in the city, as part of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s new climate-related disclosure requirements, which take effect on January 1, 2025.

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All of the roughly 2,600 Hong Kong-listed companies are already required to publish annual sustainability reports alongside mandatory periodic financial reports.

“With this calculator – as we know the emissions factor and other calculations are robust – this will not only help SMEs but also large corporations, as they know that their upstream and downstream suppliers are using reliable emissions factors and calculation methods to come up with their emissions,” Kwok said.

A separate estimation tool enables users, primarily financial institutions, to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions of their investees or borrowers where data of underlying companies is limited.

“These easy-to-use tools represent an early step by Hong Kong to assist SMEs to periodically estimate their carbon footprints, so that they can disclose it to stakeholders,” said Christine Loh, chief development strategist at the Institute for the Environment at HKUST.