We operate in cities, on coasts and in the country. Biodiversity is vital for a resilient natural environment, which is vital for the sustainable development of our businesses.
It is our policy that our operating companies pay due regard to biodiversity. We ask them to identify key biodiversity risks and to take steps to mitigate them.
Biodiversity is key to a resilient natural environment. We need to protect and enhance the ecosystems we operate within, and impact upon, to help nature flourish.
The United Nations has estimated that human activities cause the extinction of three animal or plant species every hour – or 30,000 species a year. We are dependent on biodiversity. Up to 40% of the global economy is based on biological products and services. Ecosystem services provided by nature (pollination, climate regulation and leisure) have been valued at up to USD$145 trillion per year.
Biodiversity is a key element of SwireTHRIVE because its loss affects our business. We take positive steps to protect it. Swire Pacific Offshore has equipped its vessels with ballast water treatment systems. Swire Properties uses sustainably certified timber in its developments. Cathay Pacific has stopped carrying ivory and shark fin.
“We can always do more. We can design buildings so that they better support wildlife. We can help to combat the trade in endangered species.”
As part of SwireTHRIVE, we have adopted a Biodiversity Policy. It is the policy of Swire Pacific to:
We have catering, food manufacture and hospitality businesses. Our food procurement practices need to be sustainable. We can conserve biodiversity by not purchasing unsustainable food items.
Our Sustainable Food Policy gives guidance about foods that should not be served at our own events or to customers. We do not serve shark fin, blue fin tuna or black moss. The policy is in line with the WWF Seafood Guide and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Many animals and plants are threatened with extinction because of the international trade in rare or endangered wildlife and associated products. Airlines can help combat these threats. Cathay Pacific does not carry ivory, hunting trophies, shark fin or racing greyhounds. It has a cargo policy designed to prevent the carriage of illegal or endangered species.
Cathay Pacific has made the WildAid Global Shark Pledge. WildAid supports shark conservation efforts and calls on business leaders and corporations in Hong Kong to join the Global Shark Pledge and help create a shark fin-free Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific first banned shark fin soup in 2002 and in 2012 was the first airline to ban shark products as cargo.
Cathay Pacific is a signatory to the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration, which aims to reduce the illegal trafficking of wildlife with the support of aviation and shipping industry companies and organisations. As such a signatory, Cathay Pacific is committed not to facilitate or tolerate the carriage of wildlife products, where trade in those products contravenes CITES.
In 2018, the Swire Trust contributed over HK$5.5 million to academic institutions and NGOs to fund projects that support marine life and biodiversity. The Trust supports World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong’s Sea for Future project. The project aims to safeguard Hong Kong’s marine life and to restore fisheries by increasing marine protection areas to at least 10% of Hong Kong’s waters. 31 hotspots have been identified and assessed.
We are updating our sustainable food policy. We are putting in place a biodiversity risk assessment and reporting process for our operating companies. We are designing the process so as to help our businesses to identify key biodiversity concerns and opportunities, to develop mitigation plans and to report on their activities.
Our Head of Sustainable Development has been appointed as Chairman of the Asia Pacific Transport Taskforce for United for Wildlife, the first regional sub-grouping of this initiative. The taskforce aims to raise greater public and private sector awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking issues, and to encourage more transport companies to become signatories to the Buckingham Palace Declaration.