Our SD governance framework builds on our strong foundations of good corporate governance and high ethical standards.
Our SD 2030 Strategy seeks to reinforce these foundations by integrating economic, social, and environmental considerations into all levels of our business decision making processes.
Our Board of Directors (“the Board”) is actively engaged in formulating and implementing our SD 2030 Strategy. The Board oversees our SD performance, with material SD issues and progress towards the key performance indicators (“KPIs”) reported to it by the Sustainable Development Steering Committee (“SD Steering Committee”) and discussed at our quarterly board meetings.
The Board provides oversight of our risk management, including our management of climate-related risks. Material SD risks are reported and discussed at quarterly board meetings. We also conduct regular risk identification, analysis and review management processes. These are summarised and reported in our Corporate Risk Register and reviewed by the Audit Committee.
Our SD Steering Committee is chaired by our Chief Executive. Other members are the Finance Director and five members of our senior management from the development and valuations, human resources and administration, portfolio management, and technical services and sustainable development departments.
The Chairman of the SD Steering Committee reports relevant SD matters to the Board, as appropriate.
In accordance with its terms of reference, the SD Steering Committee is responsible for reviewing the Company’s SD 2030 Strategy and ensuring that the Company’s operations and practices are carried out in line with the strategy.
The SD Steering Committee reviews the Company’s performance in terms of KPIs and SD initiatives that have been recommended by the SD working groups, which report to the SD Steering Committee on a regular basis.
Each SD Pillar is supported by a working group. In 2019, these SD working groups delivered on KPIs for 2020 (“2020 KPIs”) for each Pillar and are currently developing KPIs for 2025, which will be disclosed in our next report.
The members of each SD working group are carefully selected to ensure that employees with different backgrounds and varying levels of expertise, seniority and work experience are represented.
Our SD Communication and Engagement Committee identifies, prioritises and oversees the implementation of communication and engagement plans for initiatives that support our SD 2030 Strategy. It is chaired by our Director, Marketing & Communications. Other members are representatives from different functions within the Company.
Our Sustainable Development Policy (“SD Policy”) was first published in 2008 and has guided the Company’s operations for more than a decade. It reflects our belief that long-term value creation depends on the sustainable development of our business, our supply chain and the communities in which we operate. These factors are always considered during the inception, design, construction, occupation, and demolition phases of our development projects.
The SD Policy explicitly states that the Company will be a good steward of natural resources and biodiversity within our influence and that we will ensure that all potentially adverse impacts of our operations are identified and managed appropriately.
With respect to the environment, our basic approach follows the precautionary principle2 which states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty is not a valid reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
We strive to operate in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of all of the people with whom we work. We also strive to be an employer of choice by providing a working environment in which all employees are treated fairly and with respect so that they can realise their full potential.
2The precautionary approach is referred to in Principle 15 of The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
Our SD Policy is supported by the following related policies that focus on specific environmental and social impacts:
Support from our employees is vital to the success of our SD 2030 Strategy. In 2018, we modified our performance development review system to further engage our employees with SD. In 2019, we asked our office employees to align their annual performance goals with each SD Pillar, further engaging them in our SD 2030 Strategy.
In 2019, we continued to implement SD initiatives in our day-to-day operations and decision-making at both the asset and functional levels of all our major business units in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Miami, U.S.A.
All our major business units also incorporated SD considerations into their annual budgets and shared proposed budget allocations with the relevant SD working groups.
We have updated our Corporate Risk Register to incorporate additional SD-related risks to ensure SD factors are considered when conducting our corporate risk analysis. Our Corporate Risk Register now includes a comprehensive section on climate-related risks. In 2019, we also conducted a “top-down” risk identification exercise, facilitated by an external consultant. New risk areas were identified for further consideration and evaluation of their impacts to our business, whilst existing risks were also analysed from a different perspective.
We have launched various green financing mechanisms to fund our green building development and other projects. These include issuing our first green bond in January 2018 and entering into our first sustainability-linked loan in July 2019, the interest rate of which is indexed against improvement in the Company’s year-on-year environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) performance.
In 2019, we issued our second Green Bond Report, which provides information on green projects funded by the green bond and their estimated quantitative environmental impacts, including energy and water savings and renewable energy generation