2018 Sustainability Report

Sustainable materials

SWIRE THRIVE - Source materials sustainably

Responsible sourcing

We rely on natural materials to create our products and services. By 2030, we aim to source all our materials responsibly and sustainably. Our operating companies will continue to be responsible for managing their own supply chains. They have identified their key materials. Specific plans and targets are being developed to meet our 2030 aim.

We rely upon many materials to enable the creation of our products and services, and are committed to ensuring that we source these responsibly, and ultimately, sustainably.

Supply chains are becoming longer and more complex. The severity and frequency of supply chain disruptions is increasing.

Transparency of origin is important to consumers. We need to know more about the sources of our materials. We want to obtain them in a way that does not degrade nature, and with the people who produce them being treated with dignity and respect. This is expected of us. Sustainable sourcing limits the risk of supply chain disruptions and protects our reputation.

In 2016 we committed to sourcing our materials responsibly and sustainably. By 2030 we want to achieve our goal of 100% sustainable sourcing of all the key materials we use.

The Sustainable Materials Working Group

Our operating companies are supported by our Sustainable Materials Working Group, which shares best practices and develops sustainability policies and guidelines for suppliers. The working group is made up of senior procurement managers from our operating companies. The seniority of the group’s members demonstrates the seriousness of the issue to our group.

The working group believes that sustainable procurement will give a competitive advantage to our operating companies. It will strengthen our security of supply, enhance the quality of our goods and services, enhance our corporate reputation, strengthen and protect the perception of our brands and limit our impact on the environment. Our supply chain will also benefit.

The working group considers that joint procurement will encourage sustainable procurement. We intend to do more of it. Joint procurement of green office supplies and paper could save us approaching HK$1 million a year.

Sustainable procurement

Our operating companies are subject to our supplier corporate social responsibility code of conduct. It deals with regulatory compliance, forced and child labour, health and safety, environmental issues, compensation and working hours, human rights, subcontractor management, ethics and reporting. Suppliers’ compliance with the code is assessed. Our operating companies use a risk matrix based on the code with a view to managing and mitigating risks. Attention is focused on high risk suppliers. The results determine which suppliers need to be audited to ensure compliance.

Under our sustainable procurement policy, our operating companies are required to purchase, where possible, products which do not adversely affect the environment, specifically:

  • Minimal use of virgin material in the product
  • Replacement of disposables with reusables or recyclables
  • Minimal environmental impact over the life of the relevant product or service
  • Minimal packaging or elimination of packaging
  • Reduced energy or water consumption
  • Toxicity reduction or elimination

Our guidelines reflect international standards. Our businesses include sustainability criteria in procurement decisions where possible.

Description of our supply chain by division

“We need to know more about the sources of our materials. We want to obtain them in a way that does not degrade nature, and with the people who produce them being treated with dignity and respect. This is expected of us.”

At Swire Properties, a green procurement monitoring system has been in place since 2015. The system tracks consumption of office supplies, building services equipment and building materials that meet specific environmental criteria, for example whether products have been certified or accredited by reputable, independent third parties. Swire Properties uses this data to evaluate its green procurement performance and identify opportunities for sourcing more sustainable products. In 2018, over HK$217 million of green products were procured. Swire Properties also tracks its consumption of timber, concrete and reinforcement bars.

In 2018, Swire Properties provided training on green procurement for its business units in Mainland China and intends to do the same in Hong Kong this year and to extend the green procurement system to its hotel business. Swire Properties subscribes to the Green Purchasing and Sustainable Purchasing Charters of the Green Council in Hong Kong.

In 2017, the HAECO group asked 75 key suppliers to complete a self-assessment survey about compliance with HAECO’s code of conduct for suppliers. This was followed by an assessment of the legal, regulatory, environmental, health and safety and other risks posed by these suppliers. The risks were low in all but one case. The supplier identified as being of medium risk agreed to submit an improvement plan within 12 months.

Swire Pacific Offshore is developing a guide to sustainable materials for new ships.

In 2018, Cathay Pacific Catering Services purchased 417 tonnes of certified sustainable seafood, representing 60% of its total seafood purchases, and 38 tonnes of locally grown vegetables, representing 23% of its total purchases of salad greens. For more information please see the Biodiversity section of this report.

Cathay Pacific

Swire Properties – Hong Kong’s top Sustainable Consumption Enterprise

In 2018, Swire Properties was named Hong Kong’s top Sustainable Consumption Enterprise at the first Sustainable Consumption Award Scheme. The scheme is organised by the Business Environment Council, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the Consumer Council, the Council for Sustainable Development and the Environmental Protection Department. It recognises Hong Kong companies for purchasing products and services that are good for the environment, people and society.

Looking ahead

In 2019 the Sustainable Materials Working Group will: