SD Governance Structure

Swire Properties’ 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.

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors (“the Board”) is actively engaged in formulating and implementing our SD 2030 Strategy. The Board oversees SD and climate-related issues, while the Environmental, Social and Governance Steering Committee (the “ESGSC”) reports material SD and climate-related issues and the progress made towards key performance indicators (“KPIs”) to the Board. These are discussed at the board meetings where was held five times a year. Formerly known as the Sustainable Development Steering Committee, the ESGSC was renamed on 15 March 2022.
The Board provides oversight of our risk management framework and our risks related to SD and ESG, including climate-related risks. Swire Properties also conducts regular risk identification and analyses and reviews management processes throughout the year through the Audit Committee and our Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) system, including our Corporate Risk Register.

Environmental, Social and Governance Steering Committee

ESGSC is chaired by the Chief Executive of the Company. Other members are the Finance Director and six members of our senior management from the human resources and administration, portfolio management, projects, public affairs, and technical services and sustainable development departments. In 2022, an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company joined the ESGSC, who is also the Chairman of our Audit Committee.
The composition of the ESGSC is reviewed annually by the Chief Executive to ensure an appropriate balance and representation of expertise and experience; and the Chief Executive may appoint any person or persons from within or outside the Company as considered appropriate.
The Chairman of the ESGSC reports relevant SD and climate-related matters to the Board, as appropriate. In accordance with its terms of reference, the ESGSC is responsible for:
(a) Reviewing, and suggesting any changes to, the Company’s ESG Strategy in respect of ESG matters (the “ESG Strategy”), including approving targets or key initiatives recommended by the working groups;
(b) Ensuring that the Company’s operations and practices are carried out in line with the ESG Strategy;
(c) Reviewing the Company’s annual performance in achieving targets or key initiatives recommended by the working groups;
(d) Reviewing any significant risks, opportunities or investments that exist in connection with the implementation of the ESG Strategy;
(e) Reviewing and approving the annual Sustainable Development Report and any relevant ancillary public documents; and
(f) Through its Chairman, reporting relevant matters of significance relating to sustainable development to the Board.

SD Working Groups

Each Pillar is supported by a working group. In 2022, there were six SD working groups that continued to work on the KPIs and future targets set for each Pillar for 2025 and 2030. These are:
  1. The Places Working Group, chaired by the Director, Office;
  2. The People Working Group, chaired by the Director, Human Resources;
  3. The Partners Working Group, chaired by the General Manager, Projects (HK & SE Asia);
  4. The Performance (Environment) Working Group, chaired by the Director, TSSD & Facilities Management;
  5. The Performance (Economic) Working Group, chaired by the Finance Director; and
  6. The Sustainable Development Communication and Engagement Committee, chaired by the Deputy Director – Public Affairs.
The members of each SD Working Group are carefully selected to ensure the inclusion of employees with different backgrounds, types of expertise and varying levels of seniority.

SD Communication and Engagement Committee

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 the Deputy Director – Public Affairs. This Committee also includes representatives from different functions within the Company. Read more about what this Committee accomplished in 2022 here.

Sustainable Development Policy

GRI 2-23, 2-24
Our Sustainable Development Policy (“SD Policy”) was first published in 2008 and has guided the Company’s operations since then. The Policy is reviewed periodically and was last updated in 2021. The SD Policy 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 continuously 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 the 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 approach follows the precautionary principle1 which states, “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation”.
We strive to operate in a manner that protects 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 in order that they realise their full potential.
The precautionary approach is referred to in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

Integrating SD into our Business Operations

Employee Engagement

Support from our employees is vital to the success of our SD 2030 Strategy. In 2018, our performance development review system was updated to engage employees in our SD Strategy on a deeper level. Since then, our office employees have continued to align their annual performance goals with each Pillar and the Company’s SD vision.
We have also established corporate SD performance metrics that are linked to variable compensation for our Chief Executive and the general managers of our portfolios. The Chief Executive has performance targets that are linked to health and safety throughout the Company’s operations, while the general managers’ performance targets relate to energy management in their respective portfolios.

Business Integration and Budgeting

In 2022, 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 and the Chinese Mainland. All our major business units now incorporate SD considerations into their annual budgets and shared proposed budget allocations with the relevant SD Working Groups to ensure adequate resources are made available to realise our SD 2030 targets. The budgets are reviewed and approved by the Board.
In 2023, Swire Properties will pilot the use of internal carbon pricing (“ICP”) to determine the potential impacts of carbon emissions from our investments, quantify carbon risks to our business operations It will take place as an internal carbon fee which links each unit of CO2 emissions to a fixed cost, allowing better reallocation of capital towards low-carbon investment and activities.
A total of HKD 3,159 million has been budgeted as the future three-year (2023 to 2025) forecast expenditure for climate-related projects, including funds generated from ICP.

Corporate Risk Management

Our Corporate Risk Register (“CRR”) incorporates ESG-related risks, such as climate-related risks. We have also integrated SD and ESG factors into our corporate risk analysis.
In 2022, we began digitalising the CRR dashboard and risk scoring model. The new digitalised CRR platform offers a standard template for updating risk details, risk scoring and risk mitigation measures, making benchmarking across the Swire Group easier. In the next phase, we plan to optimise the system and the reporting protocol. Swire Properties’ management will continue to monitor and conduct regular review of risks and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. External risk advisors will also be regularly consulted for their risk management experience, allowing us to keep abreast of industry best practices.

Green Financing

Swire Properties is committed to integrating sustainability considerations into our financing mechanisms. By obtaining green financing, we reaffirm our commitment to sustainable development, and to designing and developing sustainable projects that improve the wellbeing of building occupants and local communities.
Beginning in 2018, Swire Properties launched various green financing mechanisms to fund green building developments and other projects. These have included our first green bond, issued in January 2018, and our first sustainability-linked loan, obtained in July 2019, the interest rate of which is indexed against improvements in the Company’s year-on-year ESG performance. Since the launch of these mechanisms, Swire Properties has received reductions in the interest rates of all our signed sustainability-linked loans by achieving predetermined sustainability-linked performance targets.
In 2022, we secured sustainability-linked loan facilities totalling HKD11.8 billion. As of 31 December 2022, approximately 60% of our bond and loan facilities are from such green financing instruments as green bonds, sustainability-linked loans and green loans. We also continued to update our investors and analysts about our SD performance through a comprehensive ESG webinar and question-and-answer session.
In 2023, we issued our fifth annual Green Finance Report 2022, which provides information on projects funded by the green bonds and the green loan and their estimated quantitative environmental impacts, including energy and water savings, renewable energy generation and wastewater management impacts.

Swire Properties
Sustainability Report 2023
is released.

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