CARE2022 Hong Kong Conference

70 Achieving circular economy 6 Financing the Climate Transition Olympus Capital is a private equity firm19 with a long history in green/sustainable investments in Asia, having invested US$2.6 billion of equity capital on behalf of its funds and coinvestors in over 65 portfolio companies in the past 15 years. Olympus Capital focused on two categories of investments: • Sustainability projects that were (a) city based, or (b) finance based. In (a), projects had UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as providing water services and efficiency, waste management or recovery, or sustainable transport; and (b) projects were ones that assisted underserved communities, such as recycling and recoveries of e-waste so that reconditioned products could be used. • Projects that could show significant improvement in sustainability, such as in logistics, or use of sensors, that could reduce the use of natural resources. Olympus Capital invested in companies with strong management teams and required clear accountability through having KPIs, measurable baselines, as well as independent certification and auditing. Nurturing talent in sustainability Daniel M. Cheng, Dunwell Group In manufacturing, Dunwell Group (designs and manufactures wastewater systems and Group Chairman Daniel M Cheng was past chairman of Federation of HK Industries)18 emphasised the importance of decisions made in the coming years to transform production and sales. Manufacturing could no longer rely on making more and more products as the basis of profitability. Achieving Net Zero by midcentury required “drastic” re-tooling of global manufacturing. Financiers represented a vital lever because products were made because they could be financed. However, financing products designed to be easily reparable, reusable, and recyclable might not be a priority for traditional investors because they might be less profitable although the world must reduce the use of natural resources and logistics activities. There would need to be new sales business models too, such as minimising single-use products, and developing leasing or exchange models. The transition in manufacturing and business models would not happen on their own – they would need a new approach on the part of business coupled with the right policy tools from governments to help sustain financing so that achieving Net Zero timelines could be achieved. Making green investments Frederick Long, Olympus Capital The ability to define the specific sustainability skills needed is essential to develop the talent pool for finance and sustainability roles in the economy. HKUST used AI and machine learning to collect data since November 2021 to look at sustainability-related job postings to identify what skills were called for. The postings were very general in nature with no specifics about what skills were needed. For example, posting merely noted skills in “ESG”, “finance”, and various soft skills. Singapore’s regulators had outlined 12 competency Christy Yeung, HKUST