The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 severely impacted the global economy. According to multiple research reports, the pandemic has underlined the value and effect of environmental, social, and governance factors. In a variable-filled global environment, funds are still injected into companies with favorable ESG performances, showed that a company that is fully equipped with response measures and excellent risk management capability is more capable of surviving through various crises.
With the spread of COVID-19, ESG issues leapt to prominence in global investment studies, prompting governments and investment institutions worldwide to regard sustainable operation as a crucial evaluation indicator. In August 2020, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) took hold of opportunities to bridge the gap between Taiwan and the world, promulgating the Green Finance Action Plan 2.0 and the Corporate Governance 3.0: Sustainable Development Roadmap that strengthen the transparency and quality of ESG disclosures. Committed to sustaining the growth of Mega group and constructing a sustainable development roadmap, Mega Holdings cooperates with subsidiaries to co-create a business model that ensures economic growth without compromising the environment, and focuses on sustainable finance to realize the goals of corporate sustainable operations.
Mega Holdings responds to the challenges of the pandemic by adopting the Change-Challenge-Chance (3C) strategy (i.e., embracing change, taking on challenges, and seizing opportunities). Drawing on existing business foundations, we take ESG factors into consideration when making decisions and actively vying for new profit-making opportunities to live up to the expectations of our stakeholders. In 2020, Mega Holdings was again selected as a constituent stock of the Taiwan Corporate Governance 100 Index and FTSE4Good TIP Taiwan ESG Index. We also won the Commonwealth Magazine’s Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, the Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Awards (TCSA) - Corporate Sustainability Report Award, and multiple other awards, which showed the affirmation of our sustainability practices.
With respect to environmental sustainability, Mega Holdings signed the TCFD in 2020 as part of our efforts to formulate strategies in response to risks and opportunities identified in relation to climate change. To achieve the group’s carbon reduction goals, Mega Holdings purchased another 352 renewable energy certificates in 2020, which is 141% more than the previous year. We also conducted ISO 14064-1 greenhouse gas inventory on 192 operating units across Taiwan and passed third-party verification. Our Mega Chi-Lin Building was the first to adopt ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Beginning in 2021, the scope of this certification is expected to include Mega Holdings and all subsidiaries over a three-year period. The Company has continued implementing the green procurement plan, making a purchase of NT$69.395 million in 2020. Mega Bank was a three-time winner of the EPA’s Outstanding Green Procurement and Green Consumption Organization Award and the Private Sector Green Procurement Award, which was organized by the Department of Environmental Protection, Taipei City Government.
In terms of sustainable finance, Mega Group exerts positive financial influences by issuing/undertaking green bonds, investing in renewable energy technologies, issuing green credit cards, reinforcing SME loans, and providing microinsurance and agricultural insurance products. In Q3 of 2021, Mega Bank expects to sign the Equator Principles (EPs), at which point the bank will incorporate ESG factors in its review procedures and take into consideration the potential environmental and social risks of applicants so that businesses are prompted to align their ESG efforts with international trends. In March 2021, Mega Holdings introduced the Sustainable Finance Policy upon the approval of the Board of Directors. The purpose of this policy is to prompt all subsidiaries to implement ESG programs and goals.
Concerning mutual prosperity in society, numerous human rights issues have resurfaced during the pandemic, including employee health and safety, customer information security and personal data protection, significant wealth inequalities, and infrastructure issues etc. In response, Mega Holdings continued to organize health examinations for employees and various occupational safety and health events. Each subsidiary was asked to form emergency task groups to quickly gather information on employee safety and effectively resolve emergencies. To protect customer privacy, Mega Holdings convenes group-level Information and Digital Business Meetings to periodically review and discuss matters pertaining to digital technologies and information security management. Particularly, our subsidiaries Mega Bank, Mega Securities, and Property Insurance have adopted ISO 27001 and passed third-party verifications. In terms of social development issues, more tangible support is provided to social education, sports, arts and cultural, and disadvantaged groups through the resources and power of Mega Charity Foundation and Mega International Commercial Bank Cultural and Educational Foundation.
In the aspect of corporate governance, Mega Holdings upholds the business philosophies of integrity, transparency, and responsibility, abides by local laws, regulations, and policies, and adopt the principles of fairness and ethical management. To prevent anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing, educational training and compliance testing are held from time to time to impart professional knowledge and skills. In 2020, Mega Group reported a training completion rate of 100%, satisfying the regulatory requirement for training on anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing. Moreover, Mega Holdings also actively strengthens board operations and directors’ functions. Re-election of directors will be carried out in 2021 to comprehensively increase gender equality and the proportion of independent directors, thereby ensuring that the board is independent and diverse enough to effectively monitor the promotion of sustainability projects.
The year 2020 was a challenging year. In 2020, Mega Holdings reported NT$60.8 billion in net revenue, down 6.84% compared to 2019. Nevertheless, as the pandemic slows and the economy recovers in 2021, Mega Holdings will confidently restart our profit growth momentum. By practicing ESG-based management and capitalizing on the business strengths of Mega Holdings in the financial industry, we strive to achieve the UN SDGs and join hands with our stakeholders to co-create a better future.