“More Services Needed For Elite Athletes in Hong Kong”

Written by:  Frank H. Fu, BBS, MH, JP, Professor Emeritus, Hong Kong Baptist University

Posted on:   30/8/2021 SCMP A12

In the Tokyo Olympic Games, Hong Kong won one gold, two silver and three bronze medals – a remarkable achievement for a city with only 7.4m residents.

The Chief Executive reacted promptly, indicating that more resources would be allocated to support sport and local athletes.

Besides bringing glory and recognition to Hong Kong, medal winners were also given incentive awards by commercial sponsors.

But how about those who did not win any medals? They also sacrificed their personal lives, deferred their education and career, and might also be prone to suffer psychological and injuries-related health problems.

While placement programmes were coordinated by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Sports Institute, several athletes told me these placements failed to meet their expectations and that they wanted to have better careers than serving as interns/apprentices or supply teachers/helpers in schools.

The local universities were very supportive in admitting elite athletes, provided them with scholarships and allowing them to defer their enrolment until they retire from competition. However, only a few of them have the expertise to counsel retired elite athletes and to match their talents with their expectations in life.

It was thus timely for us to consider setting up a Hong Kong Elite Athlete Professional Development Centre to serve elite athletes (both abled and disabled) who would be retiring within a year and with a follow up of the next 5 years if needed.

The terms of references could be to offer education and job training, to provide professional job counselling and placements and medical and health services, to provide a clearing house for all matters related to retired athletes, to provide and develop a network of supportive local corporations, tertiary institutions and sponsors, and to provide a permanent facility with offices, hostels and training/detraining.

The Center should be set up and funded by the Home Affairs Bureau, ideally with an endowment fund from the Government and Hong Kong Jockey Club and a permanent venue with facilities.

[SERA Special] “Tomorrow is Now” Ep.5: Revealing Logistics Industry-Big Data Era

“If you don’t study hard, you would have to bitterwork hard as logistic labour. ” 🚛🚚

It turns out that working in logistic industry can also be thrillingly prosperous? !

Today, we are honored to be able to invite Dr. Henry Ko, who is not only studying hard when he was young but also engage in the logistic industry, to participate in our interview with the host, Ms. Bonnie Liao, the Executivr Director of SERA, to unveil the secret of success in logistic industry. 🌉

“Sustainable Enterprise Development- Nurturing Talents” (Translated version)

Dr. Lau Yun Cheung, SERA Honorary Vice Chancellor and Director of the Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises Holding, participated in the filming of SERA’s Social Sustainability Project-“Tomorrow is Now”, and shared about the difficulties and challenges faced by the Seafaring industry, as well as some views on the future discoveries of the industry. Dr. Lau even wrote an article titled “Sustainable Enterprise Development-Nurturing Talents”, sharing his views and suggestions on sustainable enterprise development and talent cultivation. Please see the following for the article:

“Sustainable Enterprise Development- Nurturing Talents” by Dr. Lau Yun Cheung (Translated version)

In the recent years, Hong Kong is facing severe manpower aging, difficulty in attracting the new generation to join the industry, simultaneous retirements, shortage of hands, and lack of access to the problem of hand shortages in technical, labor, and service types of work in Hong Kong; in addition, a large number of infrastructure projects are currently undergoing. And the development of some large-scale maritime infrastructure (for example, the third runway project of the airport) has also created a strong demand for local labor.

To achieve sustainable development, education must be reformed. The current education lacks self-inspiration and exploration of personal potential/capabilities. On the other hand, for the young generation to grow up in primary and secondary schools, they only focus on lessons in books and pursuing scores. Career planning is only oriented to professionals-such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, or other more “prestige” occupations, etc…. But this can only cater for less than 5% of the students and their needs. For most students who failed to enter the professional industry, they are lacking of the career orientation for jobs from other industries. At the same time, there is a complete lack of opportunities to provide students with engineering learning and other development opportunities. As a result, most of the younger generation are being neglected unless they are outstanding students, which only a few can achieve. The neglected ones could not use their own potential/capabilities to find a more possible development path and would not have the idea to invest in jobs of different classes and different industries in the future.

Moreover, the new generation of society, their parents and the government have ignored “blue-collar” work and its functions and benefits in society. In addition, the excessive competition among enterprises in the past 20 years has greatly reduced the number of companies. Nonetheless, negative images of inadequate management, retrogressive services, and low wages in “blue-collar” industries created from the lack of building corporate image, service, attitude, training resources, making it more difficult to attract younger people to join the industry.

Therefore, if it is necessary to cater for the needs of sustainable development in society, the first priority is to develop a diversified and balanced education system to cater for the future needs of different students and society, and to provide future social leaders with opportunities from books to craftsmanship. The younger generation of students should be nurtured and trained in various aspects during their growth, so that they can respond to their own potential and craft their potential development path. In the future, they can invest in different types of jobs from all walks of life, so that the society can be balanced and sustainable.

Enterprises must also allocate additional resources to supplement the younger generation for their lack of career path guidance, so that they can find their own potential and inspire them to grow and mature to meet the needs of society and enterprises.

Therefore, it is necessary to continuously improve the corporate image in the enterprise. At the same time, it should be considered to have a certain amount of resources invested in corporate image, service, attitude, training, and wage costs, so as to maintain a positive image in the industry with value, to attract the new generation to join the industry. On the other hand, it is necessary to continuously promote the development and opportunities of the industry to the younger generation and even teachers through career planning lectures, so that the new generation can recognize and acknowledge the other paths that they can walk, instead of joining only the elite occupations.

Under the influence of the epidemic, the transformation of Hong Kong and the international community will have a short-term impact on basic services and types of work. Once economic activities resume, the recovery period of related industries is expected to be relatively fast and short, although the current operating environment is quite severe. But there must also be continuous resources devoted to personnel training and education, especially for the new generation. If there is no continuous training and education of the company, it is difficult for the younger generation to inspire themselves, discover their personal potential, invest and master their work as soon as possible, and give full play to their strengths! At the same time, companies can also borrow from this “crisis” (the epidemic) to transform it to “opportunity”, so to enable the industry to develop continuously.

“Tomorrow is Now” Ep.1: Revealing Seafaring Industry – Great Job that No One Knows?

As a city surrounded by the sea, why is the development of seafaring industry in Hong Kong so difficult?

Why is the number of captains trained by the sea school not enough to respond to market demand despite the high salary?

This time “Tomorrow is Now” will reveal the secrets of Hong Kong’s seafaring industry and tell you all about the traditional industries of Hong Kong.

Produced by the Social Enterprise Research Academy (SERA), we sincerely invited leaders of Hong Kong’s 6 traditional industries to join our Social Sustainability Project: “Tomorrow is Now”. The leaders have discussed with us the potential difficulties in different industries and their solutions, explore the new potential of each industry, and jointly promote the sustainable development of society.

This episode of “Hong Kong. “Now” we invited Dr. Lau Yun Cheung, SERA Honorary Vice Chancellor and Managing Director of New World First Ferry Services Ltd., Mr. Chan To-Pui, Acting Principal of Hong Kong Sea School, and Mr. Joseph Li, Administrative Director of Hong Kong Sea School, to discuss to one of the hosts of “Tomorrow is Now”, SERA Executive Chancellor, Professor Frank Fu, BBS, MH, JP, about the difficulties encountered in the seafaring industry, the innovative methods that they used to deal with the difficulties, and their hope for future development.

Watch “Tomorrow is Now” Ep.1 now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnHj2dPpOnA

From left to right: Prof. Frank Fu, Ms. Bonnie Liao, Mr. Chan To-Pui, Mr. Joseph Li, Dr. Lau Yun Cheung

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Perspective for “The New Circular Economy Goals Developing in India”, Horasis India Meeting from our Executive Director

Our Executive Director Ms. Bonnie Liao has been invited to join the Horasis India Meeting with the topic “The New Circular Economy Goals Developing in India”, which she shared her thoughts on how circular economy measures or models can actually retain the added value of goods as long as possible, while reducing waste and keeping the value of plastics in our economy, without harming our natural environment. Know more about her perspective and thoughts by reading her meeting speech!

Meeting Speech:

Good morning everyone, I am Bonnie Liao, the Founding member and Executive Director of Social Enterprise Research Academy, I am glad to be joining you all from Hong Kong today to discuss on this meaningful topic of The New Circular Economy Goals Developing in India.

Social Enterprise Research Academy was established in 2014, with the mission statement of “Harness the Market to Bring Social Caring”, we aim to create a cross-sectoral platform with business, academia, social and political sectors to foster communications and to gather sustainability elites from various industries into one unparalleled high-value networking platform that foster social responsibility and sustainable development in Asian communities. Over the years, we have untied more than 10,000 business leaders and organizations via hosting international summits with world-class speakers and our presence is extending to 13 cities.

SERA  is dedicated to the continual social responsibility, development, promotion and application of Social Caring Pledge Framework and the 6 principles based on SDGs, and to broaden the international perspective of industry leaders and give back to our society.

Since we are one of the service providers of United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) since 2015, we aim to promote ESG, standing for environmental, social and governance issues into mainstream investment decision – making and ownership. Under huge imapct of the Covid 19 pandemic, we have customized our research and offline teaching materials to meet the huge market demand for ESG professionals worldwide through an unique online training program. Our Certified ESG Leader program (CESGL) provides profound knowledge to help CEOs and senior managers to establish the ESG management system, auditing and reporting. After successfully completing the online training program and assessment, the participants will be awarded our certified ESG Leader designation, (CESGL) for all professional purposes.

In fact, more and more stock exchanges are requiring ESG reporting to promote sustainability. However, there is a need for the development, implementation and maintenance of an ESG management system for improving the sustainable performance, rather than merely ESG reporting. In today’s topic, I would be mentioning how ESG management system could be contributing in the achievement of new circular economy too, based on the plastic industry.

In today’s discussion, we aim to look into how circular economy measures or models can actually retain the added value of goods as long as possible, reducing waste and keeping the value of plastics in our economy, without harming our natural environment. In the report called, Circular Economy Roadmap for Plastics in India, prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute in 2021, it strongly emphasizes that in order to achieve the transition to circular plastics economy in India, it requires extensive financial and regulatory linkages between key stakeholders, who are including regulators, policymakers, corporates, and financial institutions, supported by innovative technological and financial solutions. Why would the report be suggesting “Financial and Regulatory linkages”?

Looking from regulatiory wise, the Government of India through its Plastics Waste Management Rules, 2016 has mandated Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) that incorporates circularity by making manufacturers of products responsible for collecting and processing their products upon the end of their lifetime. The objective of EPR is to minimize the total environmental impact of waste materials from a product and encourage manufacturers to create markets for reuse or recycling of materials.

However, the policy push towards resource efficiency and circular economy in plastics is also relatively new and lacks a systematic approach. Specifically, there is not much emphasis on unlocking the market potential of secondary plastics (recycled plastics).

• it is lacking of strict enforcement of waste collection and disposal, then the EPR implementation is more like a CSR initiative. Open dumping and clogging of drains with plastic waste is still prevalent, segregation of waste at source and segregated collection, especially in rural areas, is non-existent.

The reason behind such unorganized, informal mechanical recycling regardless of policy in place is “financially” it is not well linked:

  • the lack of investment and funding to set up proper waste management infrastructure including operational costs of transporting waste for reprocessing;
  • Chemical recycling requiring large investments
  • Lack of market-based instruments and regulatory measures for effective functioning of business models
  • Economically challenging to set up standard prices of plastic waste as raw material and market for recycled products

In fact, to achieve a circular ecoenomy, it requires coorporation between stakeholders across the plastics value chain.

So the key question is how can the policy makers, environmental regulations and financial markets redirect capital flow from public-private-nonprofit sectors to finance for environmental sustainability and circular economy initiatives?

The answer is Green Financing so as to increase proportionate transfromative investment at sectoral level to meet the country’s climate goals. Especially with slowdown created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has to find new and alternative ways to incentivize private sector participation to scale up investments for a sustainable and transformational impact. Therefore, identifying and analyzing key sources of finance, the instruments used for mobilizing and disbursing funds, and their ultimate beneficiaries become critical for diagnosis, planning and monitoring green investments in the country.

However, in the Landscape of Green Finance in India, undertaken by Climate Policy Initiative pinpoints the barriers in measuring green finance flows in India:

  • Non-availability of data on the disbursement of funds at multiple levels within the value chain.
  • Non-standardised reporting of data due to the lack of a harmonized green finance taxonomy in the country.
  • Large variations in granularity, format, and categorization of data at the state-level.
  • Data confidentiality issues arising from the absence of climate-related financial disclosure policy in the country.

There is a growing recognition amongst the plastic industry across the value chain to drive change upstream, midstream, and complement the efforts being made downstream. In the coming session, I would further elaborate some points on how can we overcome the barriers in green finance so as to achieve the circular economy goals.

  • India needs an integrated domestic measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system, similar to ESG system to streamline green finance attributes, identify financial constraints and enhance transparency. A comprehensive climate budget tagging framework should be developed to track climate-related expenditures in national budget systems to take advantage of already mainstreamed climate action through policy formulation, and help further mainstreaming.
  • We have to achieve it by law and similar to global stock exchange markets’ regulations, we have to disclose reports with taxonomy, that have definitions and indicators, so that we can do benchmarking and monitoring to foster the transformation process.
    The Indian taxonomy regulation can establish environmental objectives:
    1. The ban on certain single-use plastic products
    2. Phasing out certain types of plastics
    3. Setting waste reduction targets
    4. Recycling contents for key products
    5. Expanding the use of bio-based and compostable materials
    6. Improving waste collection and treatment
  • Most importantly, we have to set up independent Rating Agency, to resolve and rectify the current data granularity issue.

Public sector undertaking (PSUs) plays an important role in mobilizing and increasing green capital flows. The creation of dedicated Public sector undertaking PSUs has been a catalyst. PSUs are important channels for the disbursement of funds for the central and state governments, bond markets, and international development agencies. They also operate as a critical source of green finance themselves. Further utilizing this as a policy approach with enhanced responsibility for each Public sector undertaking PSU should be encouraged, but by explicitly adjusting the mandates and leveraging upon expertise and reach to enhance private sector participation.

Action Agenda for Sustainable Financing

  • Establish a unified India Classification system of sustainable economic activities for plastics.
  • Improve disclosure requirements on how investors integrate environmental objectives in their risk processes.
  • Create a new category of benchmarks which help investors compare the sustainable financial returns of their investments.
  • Protecting private investors by avoiding risks of greenwashing.
  • Providing the basis for further policy action in the area of sustainable financing, including standards, labels and any potential changes to prudential rules.

Sustainable Capital Market: Policy-makers 

  • Taxation
    • Tax incentives for sustainable development
    • Environmental tax for emission and pollution
  • Legal Obligation
    • Environmental laws
    • Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance
    • The license to operate
  • Disclosure
    • Stock market listing rule
    • Sustainability standards and reporting
  • Fiscal Policy
    • Government purchasing power
    • Sustainability projects and investment
  • Fiduciary Duty
    • Policy guidance for investors
    • Responsible code of practice
  • Partnership
    • Multi-stakeholder partnership
    • Cross Sector partnership
  • Sustainability Statistics
    • KPIs
    • Sustainability Performance
  • Sustainability Indexes
    • SRI index
    • ESG index

In Hong Kong, we are also need to reverse supply chain and recovering valuables: such as on energy and materials, extending product life and secondary applications. In one of the report by Greeners Action in 2019, saying over 46 Million single-use plastics are disposed in Hong Kong every week. Although there’s advocacy No Straw Campaign and Plastic Bag charges policy, I hope the impact could be extended to other Plastic utensils such as fork and cups etc.

As everybody knows, land shortage has always been an issue in HK. In Feb 2021, HK Environmental Bureau issued Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong in 2035, it mentioned that we hope to have Less over-reliance on landfilling, so that enable optimal use of local land resources. I hope that could be achieved, and that by reducing carbon emissions, Hong Kong’s pursuit of the goal of carbon neutrality could be realized.

Please watch the meeting recap from this YouTube link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTwZ5vCovGI

Megasoft Limited successfully developed IoT technology drug delivery system

Thanks to Dr. Matthew Man, SERA Executive Vice Chancellor and Founder and CEO of Megasoft Limited for sharing this news with us!
Megasoft Limited, founded by Dr. Man, has successfully developed an IoT technology drug delivery system. In addition to effectively shortening the delivery time of hospitals and clinics, it can also reduce the burden of manpower. It is a suitable technology in Hong Kong, where the average age of the person is rising rapidly.

If you want to know more, please refer to the newspaper report (Chinese only).

Horasis Meeting in India

SERA is pleased to announce that Horasis India Meeting has ended! Our Executive Director Ms. Bonnie Liao has been invited to join this meeting for the topic of “The New Circular Economy Goals Developing in India”.
Horasis holds events that bring together highly influential groups of business leaders to discuss collaborative approaches to addressing sustainable growth. The meetings are the foremost annual gatherings of business leaders from emerging markets and their global counterparts. The events are open to the Chief Executive Officers of the world’s leading companies.
The meeting topic will be “The New Circular Economy Goals Developing in India”, as India signed a global accord to ban wastage of plastics. How will India achieve a new mind-set to eliminate plastic toys, and wrappings, and therefore meets its commitment triplet – eliminate, innovate and circulate?
On the other hand, how will India achieve the broader goals of a fully circular economy from birth to eventual recycling of its many objects? What is the deep desire for change? Can it achieve these goals by 2025?
This meeting details are as follow:
• Sunday Adeojo, Co-Founder, Biodry2Energy, United Kingdom
• Balasaheb Darade, Founding Partner, Magnate Inc, India
• Bonnie Liao, Executive Director and Founding Member, Social Enterprise Research Academy, Hong Kong
• Ullhas M. Nimkar, Chairman and Managing Director, NimkarTek Technical Services, India
Chaired by
• Venky Vembu, Executive Editor, IIT Madras Shaastra, India
Our Executive Director, Ms. Bonnie Liao has shared with us her meeting speech and we have posted it on Insights so that you can understand more from her point of view! (Click here to read her speech.) And you are welcome to watch this recap on YouTube too! (Click here)

“When Sustainability Meets Evolution” Seminar organized by JCI Hong Kong

SERA was glad to hear such good responses from the seminar!

We were the Idea Bank Partner of the “When Sustainability Meets Evolution” seminar, organized by JCI Hong Kong. We have invited our Fellows Mr. Pang Yiu Kwong, CEO of Far East Laundry Group Limited and Dr. Matthew Man Chun Sing, CEO of Megasoft Limited, as guest speakers to share in the seminar, on how top management make use of innovation and new technologies to benefit traditional business and increase efficiency.

The seminar focused on business sustainability in contemporary society while staying innovative and caring; and pitching experiences to partners, investors and other stakeholders for both new and traditional industries.

Dr. Matthew Man (left) sharing in the seminar.
Group photo of Dr. Matthew Man (middle) and JCI Hong Kong.
Mr. Pang Yiu Kwong did sharing through video.

HKRP Charity Coupon Book Fundraiser

Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power is a registered non-profit charitable organization in Hong Kong, and its main service targets are: physically disabled, chronically ill patients, ex-mentally ill and hearing impaired people. Adhering to the organization’s mission of “inspiring the development of people with disabilities”, we are committed to securing employment opportunities for members and integrating them into society.
Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power held this HKRP Charity Coupon Book fundraiser to raise 1 million dollars to improve the development and operation of the organization.
Charity Coupon Books is accepting orders now! Those who want to donate directly can also use the QR code on the poster (for donations above HK$100, you can apply for a donation receipt). Remember to support the Charity Coupon Book fundraising event on July 25th!
Click here to order HKRP Charity Coupon Book: https://hkrpcoupon.boutir.com/