2019 Sustainability Report

Aligning with the
Global Reporting Initiative

The coverage of our annual sustainable development report is determined by reference to a detailed materiality assessment. The assessment identifies and evaluates the sustainability issues most important to our businesses and stakeholders, for the year under review and in the near future. We follow guidance from the GRI and adhere to external reporting requirements (GRI Standards and the HKEx ESG Guide).

The GRI requires us to identify and assess material issues and to report with reference to GRI standards. We define a material issue as an issue that could have significant economic, environmental or social impact on our businesses, or that substantively influences the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders.

Through the materiality assessment we aim to evaluate our sustainability performance in consideration of the expectations of those inside and outside our businesses, with whom we engage.

In-depth assessment

Our materiality assessment has three steps: identification, prioritisation and validation.


During the identification phase, a list of potential material issues was produced with reference to the following sources:

  • The GRI Standards
  • The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board Provisional Disclosure Standards
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • DJSI
  • CDP
  • Reports from MSCI and Sustainalytics
  • The sustainability reports of Swire Pacific operating companies


In the prioritisation phase, members of management were asked to consider material issues by reference to their influence on business success. External stakeholders were asked to consider material issues by reference to their importance to sustainability. We used a standard questionnaire to ensure consistent, systematic evaluation of material issues. An external consultancy conducted one-on-one interviews and focus group discussions.


In the validation phase, the finance and staff directors and those with management responsibilities for sustainable development, public affairs and legal matters, reviewed and confirmed the selection of material issues. The results are shown in the materiality assessment map below.

Importance of sustainability factors to the business and external stakeholders

Materiality matrix
Importance to stakeholders
Importance to business



Click on the materiality assessment map to view and learn more about the material issues

Material issues and aspects

The table below shows:

  1. The GRI indicators which correspond to the material issues identified for 2019
  2. Whether they have an impact inside our organisation, outside our organisation or both
  3. The Swire Group businesses where they have a material impact

For each of the 27 material topics, we have provided a section in this report which indicates why the topic was material in 2019, our approach to managing the risks and opportunities associated with the topic and our performance in relation to the topic.

Material issue GRI indicator Impact
Swire Group business
Economic performance GRI 201 All
Indirect economic impact GRI 203 All
Procurement practices GRI 204 All
Anti-corruption GRI 205 All
Anti-competitive behaviour GRI 206 All
Materials GRI 301 Swire Properties and Swire Coca-Cola
Energy GRI 302 Cathay Pacific, Swire Properties and Swire Coca-Cola
Water GRI 303 Swire Coca-Cola
Biodiversity GRI 304 Cathay Pacific and Swire Properties
Emissions GRI 305 Cathay Pacific
Effluents and Waste GRI 306 Swire Properties, Cathay Pacific and Swire Coca-Cola
Environmental Compliance GRI 307 All
Supplier Environmental Assessment GRI 308 All
Employment GRI 401 All
Occupational Health and Safety GRI 403 All
Training and Education GRI 404 All
Diversity and Equal Opportunity GRI 405 All
Non-discrimination GRI 406 All
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining GRI 407 All
Child Labour GRI 408 Swire Coca-Cola, Swire Resources, Qinyuan Bakery, Taikoo Sugar
Forced or Compulsory Labour GRI 409 Swire Properties, Swire Coca-Cola, Swire Pacific Offshore, Swire Resources, Qinyuan Bakery, Taikoo Sugar
Human Rights Assessment GRI 412 All
Local Community GRI 413 All
Supplier Social Assessment GRI 414 All
Public Policy GRI 415 All
Customer Privacy GRI 418 All
Socio-economic Compliance GRI 419 All

Against a background of global trade tensions and social unrest in Hong Kong, an unstable local and geopolitical context was identified as a new material issue in 2019.

Global pandemics were identified as a material issue during the validation phase. They are not included in the matrix because COVID-19 had not had a material effect during the identification and prioritisation phases. Because of the impact of COVID-19 on public health and economic activity, we have discussed pandemics in the Risk Management section of this report.

Our stakeholders did not rank the materiality of cyber security, workplace health and safety, management of water resources and waste management as highly as in previous years. These issues remain important to us. We have continued to report on them.

Talent recruitment and retention, employee wellbeing and non-discrimination did not score as highly as in previous years. However, we consider it important to report on these matters in order to demonstrate our commitment to remaining an employer of choice.

Our stakeholders did not consider human rights and biodiversity of material importance. However, they are reported on as they are considered to be emerging issues of material importance to the future sustainability of our businesses.


Lists of companies and parts of companies which have and have not provided information for this report can be found in our methodology document.

Performance indicators are reported on a 100% basis and therefore do not make reference to Swire Pacific’s shareholdings in operating companies.


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