2019 Sustainability Report

Helping our communities thrive

“The funding will help support initiatives that collectively build a better Hong Kong and will reflect our long-term commitment to the city.”

Tina Chan
Head of Philanthropy at Swire Group Charitable Trust

Why was the Swire Group Charitable Trust (the Trust) established?

TC: Swire Pacific has a long history of philanthropic giving. The Trust was established in 1983 to make our charitable work more structured and well managed.

The Trust focuses on three areas – arts, marine conservation and education. Why were these areas selected?

TC: The areas were chosen on the basis of Swire’s history, culture and beliefs. We started as a shipping company, so marine was an obvious choice to conserve our oceans. Education and arts were chosen based on our beliefs in opportunity, diversity and creativity, as well as our wish to help underprivileged groups.

Tina Chan

2020 is Swire’s 150th anniversary in Hong Kong. What does the Trust intend to do to mark 150-year anniversary?

TC: We have a special budget set aside to give back to Hong Kong through the Trust’s three pillars of education, marine and arts. The funding will help support initiatives that collectively build a better Hong Kong and will reflect our long-term commitment to the city.

Helping our communities thrive

We believe that when our communities thrive, so do our businesses. We give grants to non-profit organisations in Hong Kong to benefit the people and communities in the city through our three pillars of education, marine conservation and the arts. In 2019, the Trust funded 23 programmes and distributed over HK$35 million.

In addition to funding community initiatives through the Swire Trust, we also contribute to the community directly through our operating companies. For example, Swire Properties has a Community Caring Fund which sponsors smaller non-profit organisations in Hong Kong nominated by its employees. The objective is to help these organisations plan and implement community-based initiatives and outreach projects. Since 2013, this fund has supported 112 community-based initiatives and outreach projects and has donated HK$12.7 million.

In 2019, through the Trust and the programmes of our operating companies, Swire Pacific spent HK$79 million on community activities (including the equivalent of HK$23 million in donations in-kind). Our volunteers contributed over 32,600 hours of voluntary service.

Swire Group Charitable Trust Property Aviation Beverages Marine Services Trading & Industrial
Total value of cash contributions HK$35,195,423 HK$10,454,043 HK$2,220,316 HK$6,728,122 HK$1,334,673 HK$12,695
Value of in-kind contributions N/A HK$8,791,353 HK$7,395,514 HK$7,101,69 HK$0 HK$190,372
Volunteer man-hours N/A 4,568 2,082 25,767 214 0
Community ambassadors changing lives

Swire Properties – Community ambassadors changing lives

In June 2019, Swire Properties community ambassadors from Hong Kong teamed up with colleagues from Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou for a five-day volunteering trip to Sichuan Province. During the trip, the Ambassadors assisted with a village house building project in Lezhi County, in partnership with NGO Habitat for Humanity. They visited the Sichuan Community Centre at Shuanghong Village in Guihua Township, Pengzhou City, where they donated more than 600 children’s books and took part in fun extra-curricular activities with children from the Fengle Nine-Year School. The ambassadors helped teach English to the school children through interactive games and singing English songs.

Head of Group Public Affairs, Cindy Cheung, who joined the trip, said about her house building experiences, “I have participated in community ambassador projects before, but building a house was quite a different experience as it is such a tangible way of giving service to the community... I think the project has not only transformed the farmer’s life, but mine as well, as I have come to realise that a little effort can have such a direct impact on another person’s life”.


Caring company

In 2019, Swire Pacific was awarded the 15+ Caring Company Award by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service for good corporate citizenship. Cathay Pacific, Cathay Pacific Catering Services, Swire Properties and Swire Coca-Cola also received recognition.

Cathay Pacific – Empowering change-makers

Since 2018, Cathay Pacific has introduced Cathay ChangeMakers and World As One, in collaboration with Social Ventures Hong Kong.

Cathay ChangeMakers recognises those who have made a positive contribution to the community and the environment. The 2019 awards went to Gigi Tung, founder of food rescue and assistance programme, Food Angel, Jeffrey Andrews, a registered social worker who is committed to helping ethnic minorities thrive, and Craig Leeson, director of the award-winning documentary “A Plastic Ocean”.

World As One offers young people an unconventional travel experience, including voluntary service and exchanges with local communities. It aims to promote understanding of social issues and to nurture empathy among the younger generation. It works with Voltra, a non-profit organization in Hong Kong, to make volunteering experiences available to the Hong Kong public.

The Swire Group Charitable Trust

The Trust is overseen by the Philanthropy Council, which is chaired by a member of senior management. It receives annual income from companies in the Swire Pacific group based on a percentage of Swire Pacific’s profit. The Trust is a Hong Kong charity exempt from tax under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

Guided by the Swire family motto - Esse Quam Videri - the Trust is motivated by altruism and acts for the direct benefit of society and the greater good.

Swire Trust

Our values


A flourishing world of diversity, equal opportunity and sustainable growth.

Value in Diversity: As a 200-year-old company, Swire’s diverse businesses are part of the long-term development of the communities and societies in which we operate. The Trust envisions a flourishing world of diversity where all members of society have opportunities for a meaningful life, and where growth and resources are sustained for future generations.


We aim to create positive change in education, marine and the arts through supporting non-profit organisations, primarily in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

To enhance education equity, quality and innovation for disadvantaged children and youth

Education equity
Provide access for the disadvantaged to achieve inclusive education
Education quality
Provide resources for educators and parents to improve learning environments
Education innovation
Support relevant, learner-focused and experiential learning programmes

To help create sustainable marine ecosystems in Hong Kong and Mainland China through policy change, public engagement and scientific research

Policy change
Appropriate industry and government policies and management for marine protection
Public engagement
Educate and engage the public for wider support for marine issues
Scientific research
Support marine science research to strengthen science-based information

To promote an inclusive arts sector and to use arts to address social issues

Arts education
Provide arts education for the disadvantaged and disabled
Arts accessibility
Provide access for the disabled and disadvantaged to enjoy art
Arts as a solution
Address social issues through art therapy and activities
Swire Trust – Sea for Future Project

Swire Trust – Sea for Future Project

The Trust is supporting a push by World-Wide Fund for Nature in Hong Kong (WWF-HK) for 30% of Hong Kong’s waters to be designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030.

As a partner in the charity’s Sea for Future project, which aims to safeguard marine life in Hong Kong, the Trust has helped WWF-HK to identify 31 areas, to date, of Hong Kong’s waters which merit special protection. MPAs are areas of the sea where human activity is restricted for the purposes of conservation. The idea is to give marine life the opportunity to rest and replenish itself. Only 2% of Hong Kong’s waters are protected in this way. 40% of Hong Kong’s land area comprises country parks or reserves.

Hong Kong waters are home to some 6,000 marine species, including critically endangered Chinese white dolphins, green turtles, horseshoe crabs, Chinese Bahaba (giant yellow croakers) and a rich diversity of coral types. Many of these species are under threat from over-fishing, marine traffic, land reclamation, major infrastructure projects and plastic pollution. As few as 47 Chinese white dolphins are believed to remain in Hong Kong waters.

Sea for Future conducts historical research at key sites. By measuring what has been lost, it is hoped to establish what needs to be done to protect marine ecosystems.

Group response to COVID-19

The Trust has donated over HK$ 12.8 million to support disadvantaged groups in Hong Kong to fight COVID-19. Working with St. James’ Settlement, over 5,000 individuals received hot meals and food support. The programme has received matching grant from HKSAR Gov to extend the service to 14 more districts in HK, benefitting 5,000 more people in need and doubling our impact. The Trust also provided hand sanitisers to disadvantaged groups through Hong Kong Council of Social Service and set up a $3 million fund for non-profits to continue supporting people in need.

RMB10 million has been donated by Swire Pacific to the Red Cross Society of China.

RMB1.5 million was donated by Swire Coca-Cola to the Hubei relief effort. Beverage products were delivered to frontline medical workers in hospitals in Wuhan, and other Mainland China cities, and to quarantine centres in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific flew essential medical and other supplies into Hong Kong and Mainland China and arranged evacuation flights to bring Hong Kong citizens back home.

Swire Properties provided frontline workers in Mainland China with sanitising products, hot drinks and lunch boxes. In Hong Kong, its volunteers call on and support elderly members of the community. Concessions have been offered to retail tenants.


The following grants were made or renewed during 2019:


Project name Partner organisation Project details Total grant Funds distributed in 2019
Supporting Unit for Special Education Needs (SuSEN) Phase 2 The Education University of Hong KongThe Education University of Hong Kong Continued support to SuSEN to enable it to develop into a regional special educational needs (SEN) knowledge transfer centre HK$2,990,000 + -
N/A (General Funding) Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP)Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP) Continued support for LEAP’s mission to prevent substance abuse by providing health-based education programmes for primary and secondary students HK$5,000,000 HK$5,000,000
DreamStarter Growth Foundation LimitedGrowth Foundation Limited Promoting an experiential learning journey to foster students’ ability to be creative for social good HK$2,700,000 HK$840,000
Brain Box Changing Young Lives FoundationChanging Young Lives Foundation Strengthening the learning capacity of children with learning difficulties at an early stage through diversified services and enhanced parental support HK$3,680,000 HK$1,680,000
SuSEN The Education University of Hong KongThe Education University of Hong Kong Putting SuSEN in a position to provide comprehensive clinical support to students with SEN and their families and training for student teachers HK$10,000,000 HK$2,500,000
N/A (General Funding) Taikoo Primary SchoolTaikoo Primary School Continued support to strengthen the school's English and Mandarin language teaching and for special projects HK$2,000,000 annually HK$1,454,204


Project name Partner organisation Project details Total grant Funds distributed in 2019
Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) The ADM Capital Foundation LimitedThe ADM Capital Foundation Limited Support for HKSSC’s promotion of responsible seafood sourcing in Hong Kong HK$2,250,000 + -
Sea for Future Phase II World Wide Fund for Nature Hong KongWorld Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong Engaging local experts and communities to conserve and revitalise marine habitats HK$2,998,802 ~ -
Hong Kong Reef Fish Survey Bloom Association Hong Kong LimitedBloom Association Hong Kong Limited Establishing baseline knowledge of reef fish in Hong Kong through scientific underwater surveys by citizen scientists HK$2,700,000 HK$655,750
Waterbird Census and Wetland Conservation in China The Hong Kong Bird Watching SocietyThe Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Enabling local conservation groups to help to conserve intertidal wetlands in Mainland China through a bird census and public education HK$2,159,000 HK$816,500
SWIMS-Fishbase The University of Hong KongThe University of Hong Kong Improving the databases of fish and non-fish marine animals HK$1,004,000 HK$351,000
Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Rearing Programme Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong KongOcean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong Raising awareness of and encouraging participation in biodiversity and habitat conservation HK$1,572,000 * -
SWIMS Expansion The University of Hong KongThe University of Hong Kong Expanding and upgrading SWIMS facilities HK$30,000,000 ^ -
Dongshan Swire Marine Station (D-SMART) Xiamen UniversityXiamen University Supporting the design and construction of a marine station RMB5,600,000 =HK$7,031,380 * -
Ocean Asia Project II The ADM Capital Foundation LimitedThe ADM Capital Foundation Limited Promoting sustainable fisheries in Hong Kong and Mainland China with a focus on fostering a sustainable seafood market in Hong Kong HK$2,860,000 * -


Project name Partner organisation Project details Total grant Funds distributed in 2019
Art in Your Life / Yoga in Your Heart The Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan DiseaseThe Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease Providing arts and yoga therapy sessions to children with rare diseases and special needs to address their physical, social and emotional needs HK$1,999,000 HK$999,500
N/A (General Funding) The Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Limited (Grant 5)The Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Limited (Grant 5) Supporting the orchestra’s mission, development and activities, so as to inspire and expand musical appreciation in Hong Kong HK$46,377,000 HK$15,349,750
N/A (General Funding) Arts with the Disabled Association Hong KongArts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong Continued support to promote the arts and artistic talent among persons with disabilities, so as to create equal opportunities for them in the arts sector and to foster social integration HK$1,500,000 annually HK$1,500,000
The Magic of Audio Description The Hong Kong Society for the BlindThe Hong Kong Society for the Blind Enhancing cultural experiences for the visually impaired through specialised audio description HK$3,074,000 HK$1,074,000
Spark! Arts Programme for Children at Small Group Homes Hong Kong Youth Arts FoundationHong Kong Youth Arts Foundation Providing free, high-quality visual and performing arts activities for children in small group homes HK$2,306,000 HK$656,000
N/A (General Funding) Hong Kong Maritime Museum LimitedHong Kong Maritime Museum Limited Providing transport costs for pupils at disadvantaged schools to participate in the museum’s education programme HK$1,000,000 HK$157,875
Arts Access Fund Various NGOs Providing financial resources for disadvantaged persons to access arts and cultural events in Hong Kong HK$250,000 annually HK$143,950
Drum Fun Music Children Foundation LimitedMusic Children Foundation Limited Providing free Chinese drum classes to low-income primary students in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong HK$809,000 * -

+ New project approved in 2019, commencing in January 2020
* 2019 active projects, but with the last payments made in previous years
~ 2019 active project but payment deferred due to a change in the reporting timeline to 2020
^ Deferred payment of remaining balance of HK$5m for SWIMS expansion project, subject to construction work

Yoga In Your Heart (AIYL) Programme

Swire Trust – Art In Your Life | Yoga In Your Heart (AIYL) Programme

The Joshua Hellmann Foundation (JHF) assists children aged 0-19 years with rare diseases and special needs, regardless of their socioeconomic background. JHF’s mission is to advance the awareness, diagnosis, treatment and research of orphan diseases, and to improve the welfare of children with orphan diseases in Hong Kong. In 2019, the Trust started to fund a two-year project to provide an arts therapy and yoga therapy programme, to improve the quality of life of children with rare diseases and special needs.

Arts therapy provides a means for the children to express themselves through therapeutically designed activities that stimulate intellectual and creative functions. Yoga therapy helps to improve gross motor planning, boosts circulation and digestion, reduces stress-inducing hormones and enhances mood and self-confidence. Mindfulness and meditation help with emotional regulation and resilience.

The funding will support between 24-30 beneficiaries.

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