2019 Sustainability Report

Why sustainable materials matter

We rely on natural materials to create our products and services. The choices we make have an impact both upstream and downstream of our operations.

By 2030, we aim to source all key materials responsibly and sustainably, in a way that does not degrade nature and ensures that the people who produce them are treated with dignity and respect. This is what our investors, those with whom we do business and the communities in which we operate expect. Consumers are demanding responsible products and looking for supply chain transparency.

Why are sustainable materials material to us?

It is in our business interests to promote sustainable, fair and transparent supply chains. This includes obtaining evidence of compliance with relevant legislation and other regulatory requirements.

As supply chains become longer and more complex, sustainable sourcing limits the risk of disruption, protects our reputation and helps to ensure the continued availability of natural resources, on which our businesses depend.

We do not have a centralised procurement function. Each operating company is responsible for its own sourcing and for its own plans to meet our 2030 aim of sourcing all materials responsibly and sustainably.

Sustainable procurement in practice

Our operating companies are supported by a group level 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 its members demonstrates the seriousness of the issue to the Swire Pacific Group.

The working group believes that sustainable procurement will give our operating companies a competitive advantage. 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. Businesses in our supply chains will also benefit.

The working group aims to identify opportunities for joint procurement. In using our combined purchasing power, our aim is to encourage sustainable procurement and reduce the cost of switching to green alternatives.

In 2019, the working group started to consider how to align the ways in which our operating companies evaluate sustainability risks and opportunities in supply chains.

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

Our operating companies are bound by 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. The results determine which suppliers need to be audited to ensure compliance, with focus on those deemed high risk.

Swire Properties – Expanding sustainable sourcing

Swire Properties – Expanding sustainable sourcing

In its offices, Swire Properties uses toilet paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, office paper which is 100% recycled in content, biodegradable tea bags and organic tea. At Two Taikoo Place, timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and concrete, reinforcement bars and structural steel containing recycled content is used. At EDEN in Singapore, 80% of the bathrooms are prefabricated, reducing waste and construction time.

In its hotels, Swire Properties uses sustainable seafood that meets the WWF-Hong Kong Seafood Guide or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council guidelines. It offers plant-based meat alternatives and vegan, organic and biodynamic wines on its menus. Its toilet paper contains 90-100% recycled content.

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
  • 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
  • Reduced or eliminated toxicity
  • Avoidance of single-use disposable items
  • Using things which can be recycled

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

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 which have been certified or accredited by independent third parties. The data is used to evaluate its green procurement performance and to identify opportunities for sourcing more sustainable products. In 2019, HK$48 million of green products were procured.

Swire Properties tracks consumption of timber, concrete and reinforcement bars. It selects construction materials with lower embodied carbon to reduce its emissions across the lifecycle of its buildings. Earlier this year, it held a green construction materials forum for suppliers. New materials and government policies were considered. Suppliers were informed about Swire Properties’ science-based carbon reduction targets.

Swire Properties subscribes to the Green Purchasing and Sustainable Purchasing Charters of the Green Council in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific is making progress in finding sustainable options for materials sourced, for example, roasted peanuts made using palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Carpets in some aircraft are made from discarded fishing nets. Pillowcases and duvet covers in business and first class are made from 100% sustainably sourced cotton.

In 2019, Cathay Pacific Catering Services purchased 412 tonnes of certified sustainable, traceable seafood, representing 58% of the total volume of seafood purchased, and 33 tonnes of hydroponic vegetables grown in Hong Kong, representing 18% of its total purchases of salad greens. For more information please see the Biodiversity section of this report. All of Cathay Pacific’s hygiene-related paper products and stationery is eco-friendly (FSC certified and recycled material).

Swire Coca-Cola has set a target to source its key agricultural ingredients from sustainable sources by 2025. This is in-line with The Coca-Cola Company’s Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles. These principles deal with water, energy, waste, soil management and conservation of natural habitats and ecosystems, as well as worker’s rights. Supplier compliance will be verified by a third party.

Cathay Pacific – OmniPork

Cathay Pacific – OmniPork

Cathay Pacific serves OmniPork, a plant-based pork alternative developed by Green Monday, a Hong Kong company, on flights. It is made from pea protein, non-genetically modified soy, shiitake mushrooms and rice.

Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, accounting for nearly 40% of global meat production. Meat substitutes like OmniPork have smaller carbon footprints than meat and produce less waste. In October, OmniPork pasta was available for dinner in business class, on long-haul flights departing from Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has also served Beyond Meat, a beef alternative, in first class lounges in Hong Kong International Airport since October 2018. Experimentation with plant-based infight meals and collecting passenger feedback will continue.

Looking ahead

The Sustainable Materials Working Group will be:

  • Reviewing our Sustainable Procurement Policy and our Supplier Corporate Social Responsibility Code of Conduct, considering the publication of the sustainable procurement standard ISO20400:2017
  • Identifying critical suppliers and evaluating material sustainability risks in our supply chains
  • Working with procurement teams to introduce the Swire Pacific Human Rights Policy to our suppliers
  • Developing single use plastic guidelines with the SwireTHRIVE Waste Working Group


Protecting and enhancing biodiversity