Assessing materiality

The coverage of our annual sustainability report is determined by reference to a detailed GRI-aligned materiality assessment. The assessment identifies and evaluates the sustainability issues most important to our businesses and stakeholders, for the year under review, at the time of the assessment, and in the near future.

We review our materiality topics annually and conduct an in-depth assessment every two years. In 2023, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment that applied the concepts of double and dynamic materiality, which considers both financial materiality and impact materiality, and how these may evolve over a short- to medium-term time horizon. The approach determines topics that positively or negatively influence enterprise value (financial materiality), as well as those that reflect the impacts we have on the economy, environment, and people (impact materiality).

Our comprehensive assessment involved input from a range of external frameworks and stakeholder engagement was a key element of this approach, as recommended by GRI and ISSB. Our assessment had three key phases.

1. Identification

2. Assessment and Prioritisation

3. Validation

Materiality matrix

How the Group impacts on society and the environment through our material topics is described under SwireTHRIVE. This includes any impacts to be mitigated and topics on which we generate value for our stakeholders, and which may influence the decision making of our providers of capital.

The table below shows the most material issues identified, their definitions and the GRI Standards we reference, where applicable.

Topic Topic definition Material impact GRI reference
Climate change mitigation The reduction of carbon emissions delivered through energy efficiency of both direct and indirect energy consumed and emissions produced in our operations, production processes, transport, and the use of and investment in renewable energy sources.
GRI 302: Energy
GRI 305: Emissions
Climate change resilience The ability to prepare for and recover from physical and transition climate impacts in our regions of operations.
GRI 201-2: Financial and other climate risks
Natural capital and resource use The relationship our business has through its impact and dependency on natural capital, the stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, such as plants, animals, air, water, soils and minerals, and the ecosystem services they provide.
GRI 304: Biodiversity
Waste management and circularity The implementation of a systematic and life-cycle approach to identify, manage, reduce, and responsibly dispose of or recycle effluents and waste, at all stages of sourcing, production, sale, use and end-of-life; including food and packaging, as well as efforts to reduce effluents from operations and manufacturing facilities.
GRI 306: Effluents and waste
Water management To stimulate water conservation within our sphere of influence and contribute to water positivity through the implementation of a systematic approach to conserve, reduce use of, and reuse water in our operations and supply chain.
GRI 303: Water
Diversity, equity and inclusion A commitment to a workforce free of unlawful discrimination involving any distinction, exclusion, or preference that has the effect of nullifying equality of treatment or opportunity; and our efforts to ensure that the company workforce (at all levels, including the Board) reflects our business strategy and the diversity (in gender and age) of the workforce pool in our countries of operation.
GRI 405: Diversity and equal opportunity
GRI 406: Non-discrimination
Employee wellbeing The part of an employee’s overall well-being (physical and psychological) that they perceive to be determined primarily by work and can be influenced by workplace interventions.
GRI 403: Occupational health and safety
Labour practices and human rights Labour standards in working hours and conditions, wages, compensation and benefits, freedom of association and right for workers to negotiate contracts with their employers, and humane treatment of direct employees.
GRI 401: Employment
Local communities Process of diversification and enhancement of economic and social activity on a local scale in a territory where the company is operating or sourcing materials, including direct or indirect generation of employment resulting from our company’s activities and investing in local development of education and environmental preservation.
GRI 201: Economic Performance
Product quality and safety Products should be safe for consumers and manufactured in a way that meets appropriate quality assurance standards and applicable regulations.
GRI 416: Customer Health and Safety
GRI 417: Marketing and Labelling
GRI 418: Customer Privacy
Talent recruitment and retention Providing opportunities to promote professional growth and learning among new and existing employees, and matching employee skills with the needs of the business, to remain an employer of choice and retain key talent.
GRI 404: Training and education
Technology and innovation The use of technology and the corresponding impact on labour and human rights including AI to automate white collar jobs, to improve sales/marketing techniques, to enhance surveillance, as well as the impact of robotics and automation on manufacturing, the transportation industry, distribution channels and supply chain logistics.
GRI 401: Employment
Business ethics and anti-corruption Commitment to comply with voluntary and mandatory regulatory frameworks that are global in scope, as well as established local laws, regulations, standards, and ethical business practices that apply to the organisation including: promoting competitive behaviour; preventing anti-competitive practices; complying with regulatory authorities; working against corruption, extortion, and bribery.
GRI 205: Anti-corruption
GRI 206: Anti-competitive behaviour
GRI 419: Socioeconomic compliance
Cybersecurity, privacy and data protection Mitigation, response, and disclosure measures with respect to matters involving cybersecurity risk and incidents, including cybersecurity policies and procedures and the application of disclosure controls and procedures. Approaches to the way employee and consumer data is captured, stored, and transferred in a secure manner.
GRI 418: Customer privacy
Responsible lobbying Efforts to uphold high ethical standards and ensure transparency in lobbying activities.
GRI 415: Public Policy
Responsible sourcing Processes for sourcing external supplies, including supplier relationships and evaluation of suppliers’ environmental and social practices.
GRI 408: Child Labour
GRI 409: Forced or Compulsory Labour
GRI 308: Supplier Environmental
GRI 414: Supplier Social Assessment
Sustainability governance Corporate level sustainability governance with board level and executive oversight, and defined roles and responsibilities to manage sustainability related matters, including through dedicated functions and teams.
GRI 2: General Disclosures 2021
Pillar Topic Impact outward Impact inward
Climate change mitigation Due to the diverse nature of our Group, our reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in our operations and value chain, including transport, and the use of and investment in renewable energy reduces the emissions profiles of our operating companies’ customers. Our stakeholders recognise the increasing risks associated with climate change. Climate change mitigation is particularly important with regards to financial impact as two of the main divisions – Properties and Aviation – are challenging sectors in which to reduce emissions.
Climate change resilience Stakeholders value efforts to enhance infrastructure resilience and adopt adaptive measures to ensure business continuity in the face of climate-related challenges. Water security is a resiliency issue that Swire Coca-Cola manages well, and with Swire Pacific has set targets to replenish 100% of the water it uses. The changing climate can potentially impact on our assets, and business continuity due to extreme weather events.
Waste management and circularity Manufacturing, production and construction can be waste intensive. Waste diverted from landfill can support the circular economy and reduce its negative environmental and health impacts. Waste Management and Circularity is seen to be increasingly important in some of Swire Pacific’s locations, particularly Hong Kong, where new legislation will be introduced in 2024.
Water management Withdrawal and consumption of water for agriculture, production and manufacturing, as well as wastewater discharge, can negatively impact the functioning of ecosystems and local communities’ access to water. Implementation of a systematic approach to conserve, reduce use of, and reuse water can stimulate water conservation within the Group’s sphere of influence and contribute to water positivity. Water security is a resiliency issue in parts of Chinese Mainland which may pose reputational or financial risk. Supply chains may be disrupted due to water scarcity that can impact on prices.
Diversity, equity and inclusion Swire Pacific has a commitment to a workforce free of unlawful discrimination involving any distinction, exclusion, or preference that has the effect of nullifying equality of treatment or opportunity. With our scale and as we operate in less gender-balanced industries, we can have a positive impact on our workforce. Increasing diversity in the workforce, leadership and Board results in increased diversity of thought and therefore strengthens Swire’s ability to develop and implement effective business strategies and innovate.
Health & safety Hazards in our operations, particularly in manufacturing plants and during road travel, can lead to injuries and fatalities. A culture of safety and robust OHS management can support employees to be healthy, safe, and more productive. Violations of OHS labour standards pose a risk of fines or litigation and to reputation. Maintaining healthy and safe workplaces could also lead to the opportunity that Swire Pacific achieves financial and strategic objectives.
Local communities Supporting the success of communities where we operate through community investment and volunteering positively impacts communities and stakeholders across multiple issues, and on education, marine, and the arts in particular. There are potential reputational and revenue benefits associated with strengthening local economies and stakeholders’ prospects for development through community investment projects, infrastructure, services, jobs, and capacity-building.