Sustainable Development Report 2020



Biodiversity loss is among the top global risks. The ecosystem services that biodiversity provides, including crop pollination, water purification, carbon sequestration and flood protection, are estimated to be worth up to US$140 trillion per year.

The case for protecting and enhancing biodiversity is clear. Our businesses have different approaches depending on what they do and where they are. Biodiversity is no longer a specific area under SwireTHRIVE but remains an important consideration for the Group. Aspects of biodiversity protection are covered by other SwireTHRIVE areas - nature-based solutions to reducing carbon (see Climate), watershed protection and replenishment (see Water), sustainable procurement (see Supply chain) and support for marine conservation (see Communities).

Our commitments are in the Group’s Biodiversity Policy. We support biodiversity in three ways:

Biodiversity assessment

We expect our businesses to identify biodiversity issues relevant to their facilities, operations and value chains, and to minimise adverse impacts.

Sustainable procurement

Sustainable Food Policy Under our Sustainable Food Policy, unsustainable food items (such as shark fin, blue fin tuna and black moss) should not be served at our own events, in our canteens or to customers. The policy is in line with the WWF Seafood Guide and the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES).

We encourage our businesses to use certified timber and seafood products from sustainably managed forests, fisheries and farms.

Sustainable transport

Airlines can play an important role in combating the illegal trade in rare or endangered wildlife and associated products. Cathay Pacific has a Sustainable Development Cargo Carriage Policy. It will not carry hunting trophies, shark fin, ivory, racing greyhounds or animals intended for testing.

Cathay Pacific Sustainable Development Cargo Carriage Policy Cathay Pacific is a signatory of United for Wildlife Transport (U4W) Taskforce Buckingham Palace Declaration. The declaration requires Cathay Pacific not to facilitate or tolerate the carriage of wildlife products which contravene CITES, to train employees and to share information and resources. Our Group Head of Sustainability chairs the Asia Pacific Transport Taskforce of U4W.

In 2020, we updated our Sustainable Food Policy. New species have been added to reflect the latest advice from WWF and the IUCN red list. The policy divides species into those to avoid and those where alternatives are recommended. The policy encourages procurement of sustainable food items certified by reputable bodies (the Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council) and of seafood recommended by WWF Seafood Guide.

Our Biodiversity Working Group helps our businesses to identify key biodiversity concerns and opportunities, to plan mitigations and to report.

In 2020, Cathay Pacific did 1,672 air cargo screenings (44% more than in 2019) on 151 freight forwarding agents.

Swire Pacific Offshore has identified biodiversity issues of concern and has a plan to mitigate adverse impacts. Its vessels have ballast water treatment systems, use TBT-free anti-fouling paints and its latest generations of vessels are certified by DNV for Clean or Clean Design notation (or equivalent) which have requirements to prevent oil pollution and reduce discharges to sea and emissions to air.

Swire Properties – Taikoo Place biodiversity study

In 2020, Swire Properties studied urban biodiversity at Taikoo Place before and after the completion of a redevelopment project. Conducted in partnership with a professor at the University of Hong Kong, the study revealed that a substantial landscaped area (35% of Taikoo Place) was created by the redevelopment project and planting large native tree species has been beneficial to urban biodiversity. The study will inform the master landscape plan for the site.