2019 Sustainability Report

Our guiding principles

Swire Pacific is committed to ensuring that our affairs are conducted in accordance with high ethical standards while upholding our values of integrity, endeavour, excellence, humility, teamwork and continuity.

We believe it is imperative to act with probity, transparency and accountability in striving to achieve our long-term objectives. It is our opinion that this approach will maximise long-term shareholder wealth and be to the benefit of employees, those with whom we do business and the communities in which we operate.

Our governance approach

Corporate governance is the process by which the Board directs and supervises the Group’s management in conducting its affairs, while promoting operational success. Our approach to corporate governance can be found in the Corporate Governance Code, Memorandum and Articles of Association, Board Diversity Policy, Corporate Governance Code in Appendix 14 and the 2019 Swire Pacific Annual Report.

We are subject to the Corporate Governance Code in Appendix 14 to The Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. Our governance practices are described in the Corporate Governance Report section of our 2019 Annual Report.

The governance of sustainability matters is an important element of our corporate governance. Our aim is to identify and benefit from sustainability opportunities and to manage sustainability risks, through appropriate policies, standards and systems.

Code of conduct and legal compliance

Our Corporate Code of Conduct requires employees to maintain the highest standards of business ethics and to deal appropriately with each other, those with whom we do business, and the communities in which we operate. The Code of Conduct includes operating principles covering business ethics, conflicts of interest, bribery, procurement, record keeping, whistleblowing, health and safety, the environment, equal opportunities, diversity and respect in the workforce and privacy.

The Code of Conduct and anti-bribery training is included in the induction programme of all employees. Our conditions of employment require compliance with the Code of Conduct.

It is our policy to comply in full with all applicable laws and regulations, including those governing the environment, employment (including laws prohibiting child or forced labour), health and safety, products (including their advertising and labelling), bribery, privacy and discrimination, whether or not any of these matters could have a significant impact on us. For descriptions, where relevant, of the ways in which such policy is implemented, please refer to the sections of this report: Our environment, Our people and Our communities.

Our corporate policies and sustainable development

Our Sustainable Development Policy aims to be consistent with the 1987 Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Through the Sustainable Development Policy, we aim to:

  • Reduce our carbon footprint by adopting industry best practices to improve energy efficiency and through increased use of renewable energy
  • Turn today’s waste into a resource for tomorrow, contributing to the creation of a circular economy where waste materials are no longer simply thrown away, but retained and reused as a future resource
  • Use water responsibly and sustainably and protect its watersheds
  • Be a good steward of the natural resources and biodiversity under our influence and to identify and manage appropriately the potential adverse impact of our operations on the environment
  • Safeguard the health and safety of our employees and others with whom we interact, with the ultimate aim of causing zero harm
  • Source materials responsibly and sustainably, including ensuring that our suppliers meet, and preferably exceed, the sustainability standards in our supplier code of conduct
  • Bring value to the communities in which we operate and respect their culture and heritage
  • Encourage our staff to engage actively in sustainable development matters at work and in the community
  • Monitor the company’s performance and report regularly

Our policies on climate change, biodiversity, sustainable supply chains, green buildings and health and safety are covered in the appropriate sections of this report. These can also be found in the Sustainable Development section of the Swire Pacific website.

Sustainable development governance structure overview

Sustainable development governance structure

Board oversight

Swire Pacific’s highest governance body is its Board, led by an Executive Chairman. Our corporate governance (including the operations of the Board and its committees, audit and communication with shareholders and investors) is addressed in the Corporate Governance Report in our 2019 annual report.

Our Board is ultimately accountable for sustainability matters. Information on sustainability risks and performance is reported to the Board via the Group Risk Management Committee (GRMC), which has eight members and is chaired by the Finance Director. The GRMC is advised by the Swire Group Sustainability Committee and by six working groups covering each of the six focus areas of SwireTHRIVE. The Swire Group Sustainability Committee meet three times a year to exchange information and best practices, with a view to developing specific policy recommendations, improving efficiency, reducing costs and engaging staff in sustainable development.

To provide additional oversight and direction, the Head of Sustainable Development reports annually to the Board on the Group’s sustainability performance. Division heads meet twice a year on sustainability matters under the Chairman of the Board. In 2019, division heads discussed the findings of a materiality assessment, the Group’s sustainability performance, revisions to the HKEx listing rules relevant to ESG matters and approaches to carbon target setting.

Group Sustainable Development Office

Our Sustainable Development Office, which reports directly to a member of the Board, is responsible for setting policy, monitoring the implementation of policy and for implementing our Group sustainability strategy, SwireTHRIVE. Policies are intended to reflect key sustainability trends and address major risks and opportunities in sustainability. The Sustainable Development Office co-ordinates the sustainable development committees and working groups. These committees and groups enable operating companies to exchange information and best practices with a view to developing specific policy recommendations, improving efficiency, reducing costs and engaging with staff. The SwireTHRIVE working groups met 11 times in 2019.

We work together with our operating companies and those with whom we do business with a view to maintaining an appropriate level of oversight and control over sustainability matters. The management of each operating company is responsible for its own sustainability matters. Each operating company is responsible for:

  • Assessing the sustainability issues faced by the company
  • Formulating strategy based on this assessment
  • Implementing this strategy through an appropriate organisational structure
  • Monitoring compliance (to confirm that appropriate action has been taken) and reporting on performance

Personal data

In 2019, we introduced a Group Personal Data Policy. Our policy is to comply with applicable legal requirements relating to the handling of personal data (including its collection, holding, processing, disclosure and use) and to respect the privacy of others and the confidentiality of information received in the course of business.

In 2018, Cathay Pacific discovered unauthorised access to some Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon passenger data. Immediate action was taken to contain the event and commence a thorough investigation. There was no evidence that any personal information was misused. The information systems affected were separate from flight operations systems. There was no impact on flight safety.

In 2019, the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data found that this incident contravened the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and required Cathay Pacific to implement certain measures. Cathay Pacific has provided evidence of compliance with the requirement.

Cyber security

Swire Pacific has, and monitors compliance with, a cyber security and information security policy. It has adopted the US National Institute of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework.

Regular cyber security reports are provided to the GRMC and to the Audit Committee. Our Information Technology Committee oversees the cyber security programmes of our operating companies. These programmes include the regular testing and monitoring of systems. A working group of cyber security professionals meets regularly to promote the sharing of cyber security best practices and to enhance cyber security awareness.

External initiatives and ESG related charters


  • Advancing Net Zero – Hong Kong Green Building Council
  • Energy Saving Charter – Environment Bureau and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Hong Kong SAR Government
  • Green Event Pledge – Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR Government
  • Manifesto for Energy Efficiency in Buildings – World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Procurement Charter – Green Council


Cathay Pacific
  • The Buckingham Palace Declaration – United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce
  • Drink Without Waste – Single-Use Beverage Package Working Group
  • Global Shark Pledge – WildAid
  • The Racial Diversity & Inclusion Charter for Employers – Equal Opportunities Commission
  • The Racial Diversity & Inclusion Charter for Employers – Equal Opportunities Commission


  • Drink Without Waste – Single-Use Beverage Package Working Group
  • New Plastics Economy Global Commitment – Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Green Event Pledge – Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Marine services

Swire Pacific Offshore
  • Sustainable Shipping Initiative
  • Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative

Trading & industrial

Swire Waste Management Limited
  • Drink Without Waste – Single-Use Beverage Package Working Group
  • Green Event Pledge – Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR Government
Swire Resources Limited
  • No Fakes Pledge Scheme – Intellectual Property Department, Hong Kong SAR Government

Public policy and political contributions

Swire Pacific, as a normal business activity, will lobby government entities either directly or through trade associations to promote policies that encourage business and achieve workable legislation. All our public policy work must meet the ethical standards set out in our Code of Conduct and (where relevant) reflect our public sustainability commitments.

Membership of trade associations

Some of our public policy work is conducted via trade associations and industry groups, which can help to increase the impact of our policy messages. We work with these groups because they represent our industries and the wider business community in debates led by governments, and others, and because they help the industries reach consensus on policy issues. We are members of numerous industry and trade groups.

For a list of industry and trade groups of which we and our operating companies are members please see below. The top trade associations and industry groups (on the basis of fees paid by the Group) are highlighted in bold.


  • BEAM Society – Founding Member
  • Business Environment Council – Board of Directors and Council Member
  • China Green Building Council – Corporate Member and Committee Member
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – 2019 CTBUH Organisational Membership
  • Green Cross – Occupational Safety & Health Council – Group Member
  • Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce – Member, Real Estate & Infrastructure Committee
  • Hong Kong Green Building Council – Platinum Patron Member
  • Urban Land Institute – Regional Corporate Sustaining Member
  • U.S. Green Building Council – Gold Member
  • WWF-Hong Kong – Pearl Member


Cathay Pacific
  • Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) – Environmental Working Group Member
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel User Group – Member
  • Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) – Member
  • Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) – Member
  • WWF-Hong Kong – Corporate member (Pearl)
  • Aeronautical Repair Station Association
  • Business Environment Council – Member
  • International Airline Technical Pool
  • Piedmont Triad Partnership
  • 廈門市環境保護產業協會 – Member
  • 廈門市安全生產管理協會 – Member
  • Xiamen Energy Conservation Association – Member
Cathay Pacific Catering Services, Cathay Pacific Services Limited, Hong Kong Airport Services, Vogue Laundry
  • Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence – Member


  • Coca-Cola Bottlers Association – Member
  • The Hong Kong Beverages Association – President
  • China Beverage Industry Association – Director
  • Taiwan Beverage Industry Association – Corporate
  • American Beverage Association – Member
  • Arizona Restaurant Association
  • Washington Beverage Association
  • New Mexico Beverage Association
  • Xiamen Energy Conservation Association – Member
  • Utah Safety Council – Member
  • Network of Employers for Traffic Safety – Member

Marine services

Swire Pacific Offshore
  • WISTA Singapore – Member
  • World Ocean Council – Member
  • British Chamber of Commerce (Singapore) – Member
  • Singapore Shipping Association – Member
Hongkong United Dockyards
  • Maritime Services Training Board of Vocational Training Council – Member
  • Occupational Safety & Health Council – Member
  • Marine Department of the Hong Kong Government – Member, Pilotage Advisory Committee

Trading & industrial

Swire Resources Limited
  • WWF-HK – Silver member
  • The Hong Kong Management Association – Corporate member
  • Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management – Corporate member
Swire Waste Management Limited
  • Hong Kong Waste Management Association – Organisational member
Taikoo Motors
  • European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan – Member
  • British Chamber of Commerce in Taipei – Member
Taikoo Sugar
  • China Sugar Association – Member
  • 廣東省食品安全學會 – Member
  • 廣州市黃埔區食品安全協會 – Member
  • 上海市食品化妝品質量安全管理協會 – Member
Risk management

Securing long-term business viability