Since 2016, SwireTHRIVE has been a catalyst for greater focus and action on environmental issues common across the Group. At the time, we understood the need to extend its coverage to social issues and pledged to review it within five years. The 2020 expansion of SwireTHRIVE and the joint ownership of our strategy with other departments reflects how sustainability is increasingly embedded in all areas of our business.
COVID-19 resulted in reduced business activity in 2020. This was reflected in a 57% reduction in GHG emissions, a 3% decrease in water use and 19% less waste being generated compared with 2019. Our goal is to stop the numbers rebounding as much as we can when business activity returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.
We are developing a detailed roadmap to meet our stretching 2030 and 2050 environmental targets. We are digging deeper into climate change, in particular to understand the likely impact of climate risk on our businesses. This is against a background of increasing international agreements, regulations and expectations of the private sector. There is, as ever, much more we can do and need to do, but with SwireTHRIVE I believe we are on the right path.
COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Marginalised groups have been hit the hardest in Hong Kong. People everywhere have had to adapt to new ways of working. Our staff and people in the communities in which we operate have displayed courage, kindness and resilience in the face of COVID-19. But there is much to do.
Diversity and inclusion are not new for Swire. We have disclosed staff diversity metrics in our annual sustainability reports for some years. Since the establishment of my department in 2018, we have developed a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion. Now, as diversity and inclusion is part of SwireTHRIVE, we can strengthen our collaboration with other departments and can communicate a powerful message about how our diversity and inclusion objectives fit in with our overall sustainable development objectives.
Health and safety is a top priority for us as we strive towards our aspirational goal of achieving zero harm. In response to COVID-19, we have focused on the health of our people and of those who visit our premises, and on hygiene at our premises. Health is not just physical health. It includes mental health and wellbeing. SwireTHRIVE facilitates closer collaboration on this with our human resources department and medical teams.
We have a clear and robust safety reporting process which is overseen by the Board. We convene meetings of health and safety experts from our diverse businesses. Best practice is shared, with all benefiting from the safety expertise in our aviation and marine businesses.
COVID-19 has made us consider longer term external health and safety risks, including the impact of climate change on the health of our people. We will assess these risks and develop appropriate adaptation and resilience plans.
Swire Pacific has thrived with Hong Kong for 150 years. In 2020, we reaffirmed our commitment to the city by providing HK$150 million to the Swire Trust for TrustTomorrow. This was in addition to our normal annual contribution. We continued to support our core areas of education, marine conservation and the arts. But when COVID-19 hit, we also responded to the needs of the communities in which we operate. With our partners, we identified the problems faced by vulnerable groups and worked out solutions. At first, we addressed basic needs for food and hygiene. Later we supported family wellbeing programmes and built social capital. In 2020, the Swire Trust contributed HK$21 million to COVID-19 relief, benefiting more than 300,000 people. Our operating companies did great work too.
Giving back to the communities in which we operate is a key part of what we do. That is why it makes sense for communities to be a part of SwireTHRIVE. At group level, we can achieve more by sharing initiatives, goals and experiences.