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 USD140 trillion per year.
The case for protecting and enhancing biodiversity is clear. Biodiversity is an important consideration the Group, and aspects of ecosystem protection are covered by our group priorities – 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). Where biodiversity is a material issue, our businesses have different approaches depending on what they do and where they are.
Our commitments are in the Group’s Biodiversity Policy. We expect our businesses to identify biodiversity issues relevant to their facilities, operations and value chains, and to minimise adverse impacts. Our Biodiversity Working Group helps our businesses to identify key biodiversity concerns and opportunities, to plan mitigations and to report.
Under our Sustainable Food Policy, unsustainable food items (such as shark fin, bluefin 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). 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.
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 has conducted assessments at all its existing properties and projects under development to determine the status of biodiversity and its importance to the places that it develops and the surrounding natural environment. None of its existing properties contain or are located adjacent to areas of globally or nationally important biodiversity. An urban biodiversity study was carried out in partnership with a professor at the University of Hong Kong for its Taikoo Place redevelopment project. Results have emphasised the importance of protecting local species and green corridors that support the movement of birds and butterflies between parks. These suggestions will be integrated into future planning and operations across our Hong Kong portfolio, and will inform guidelines for considering biodiversity in new developments.