Biodiversity and nature loss is among the top global risks. It is viewed as one of the fastest deteriorating risks over the next decade. Global wildlife populations are declining at pace, and without intervention, this is projected to continue.

To address the ongoing loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, 188 governments have agreed a new set of international goals for biodiversity. A key goal, ‘30 by 30’, aims to achieve the effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters, coastal areas, and oceans by 2030.

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. Companies will be expected to monitor, assess, and disclose the impact on biodiversity of their operations, supply chains, and portfolios.

Nature and biodiversity are important considerations for the Group. Aspects of ecosystem protection are covered by our Group priorities – nature-based solutions to sequester carbon (see Climate), watershed protection and replenishment (see Water), sustainable procurement (see Supply Chain), and support for marine conservation (see Communities). Where nature and biodiversity are a material issue, our businesses have developed approaches relevant for 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. We also work collaboratively with partners to support relevant biodiversity and conservation initiatives, as well as raising awareness of biodiversity and conservation issues among our employees, customers, suppliers, and partners.

We have developed an impact and dependency tool for use within our operating companies to capture our ecological relationships and inform decision making. We have conducted industry-level assessments for the industries in which we operate using the open source tool ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks, and Exposure). We have also conducted site-level assessments on 83 assets across our portfolio using the IBAT tool (Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool). Please see ‘Our actions’ section for more details.

The executive management of each company in which Swire Pacific has a controlling interest will pay due regard to sustainability considerations in food items that are produced, prepared, and purchased by the company, and consumed at company functions, or served by catering services provided or managed by the company.

Our Sustainable Food Policy guides how the Group sources, produces, sells, offers, and consumes food products to support the sustainable use of natural resources, to avoid contributing to climate change, and to protect biodiversity. Under the 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.

To support our businesses as they pursue net zero emissions, we have developed carbon offset guidelines that prioritise the purchase of verified high-quality carbon offsets that offer co-benefits such as protecting or enhancing biodiversity in addition to neutralising emissions.

Swire Pacific has conducted a high-level industry risk assessment across Aviation, Beverages, Properties, and Trading & Industrial divisions using Natural Capital Finance Alliance’s Encore tool. For each of these industries, material issues rating from very high to very low have been identified for both dependencies and impacts. By providing insight into how our operating companies potentially depend on and impact on nature, and how these potential dependencies and impacts might represent a business risk, we are better positioned to inform decision making. Whilst not all the issues found to be material at an industry level will be material for the specific operations and geographies of each operating company, this assessment provides a direction for further inquiry.

Further developing the risk assessment exploration, an initial 83 high-priority water-withdrawal sites were selected for site-level assessments using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT). Within 50km, 63% of sites were found to have at least one Protected Area, and 72% were in proximity to Key Biodiversity Areas. The number of species assessed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species that potentially occur within 50km of each site has also been assessed.

The findings from the initial biodiversity assessment revealed that up to 73% of sites require further assessment to confirm if they are conclusively located in close proximity to areas of critical biodiversity. In 2024, we will conduct a more in-depth analysis. This will also be extended to cover the entire Swire Pacific asset list to guide further assessment and decision-making. Around 10% of our assets were included in the initial IBAT assessment.

The table below shows the material issues for nature-related impacts and for the selected sector, sub-industry, and production process most relevant to the industries in which SPAC operates, as indicated by ENCORE.

Impact and dependency by industry

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 to the surrounding natural environment. None of its existing properties contain, or are located adjacent to, areas of globally or nationally important biodiversity. Swire Properties also extended this assessment to its upstream value chain and conducted a pilot biodiversity risk assessment for its sourced materials.

It has guidelines to integrate biodiversity considerations into new developments and targets a minimum 20% site coverage of greenery. These include examples and checklists that will help project teams and management offices with ways to enhance biodiversity in its properties and new projects. It enacted several transformational strategies to reach its 2030 SBTs, including adopting nature-based solutions that capture carbon emissions, benefit local communities and improve biodiversity. In support of this, an urban biodiversity study was carried out in partnership with a professor at the University of Hong Kong for its Taikoo Place redevelopment project. Findings will be integrated into future planning and operations across Swire Properties’ Hong Kong portfolio. They will also inform the uses of the Biodiversity Guidelines to define the importance of, and the company’s approach to, protecting biodiversity across its developments.

Swire Properties – Taikoo Place

Taikoo Place was used a test case for the World Business Council on Sustainable Development’s Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) pilot process, showcasing the development’s approach to identifying and managing opportunities to increase positive urban nature impacts through green building practices. The case highlighted how Taikoo Place integrates biodiversity considerations into its targets, policies and procurement processes, conducts biodiversity assessments before and during the redevelopment, and how it proactively seeks nature-based solutions during planning.

Informed by an urban biodiversity study in partnership with a professor at the University of Hong Kong for Taikoo Place, the study emphasised the importance of protecting local species and green corridors that support the movement of birds and butterflies between parks. In 2024, two new green spaces totalling approximately 69,000 sq. ft will be opened with native trees and vegetation and water features.

Swire Properties is one of the 40 Global Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Members. They are involved in the initiative’s Infrastructure and Real Estate Working Group and the Supply Chain Working Group, helping to formulate the overall framework and contribute to collective nature-positive goals. As part of the Taskforce it was one of only three Hong Kong companies to pilot the TNFD beta framework and was featured as a WBCSD TNFD pilot use case, sharing its approach to driving positive impacts by incorporating nature-inclusive designs in its buildings.

This year, Swire Properties conducted a screening of its global portfolio using biodiversity indicators to define a priority list and nature profile, and explore its business impact and dependencies on nature. They then began to develop a list of associated nature-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the LEAP (Locate, Evaluate, Assess, Prepare) approach – an integrated assessment process for nature-related risks and opportunities management.

Swire Coca-Cola returns a litre of clean water to natural water systems for every litre of water used in its beverages. It collaborates with The Coca-Cola Company on community and watershed protection projects to replenish water in the Chinese Mainland, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It has been investing in optimising the water use efficiency of its facilities, all of which meet the water quality requirements of TCCC and the World Health Organisation.

Further information is available in the sustainability reports of our operating companies.

Swire Coca-Cola – Collective action on biodiversity and climate action in the Wild Elephant Valley, China

Swire Coca-Cola’s Carbon Reduction Alliance Programme in the Wild Elephant Valley of Yunnan Province involves collaborating with value chain partners to reduce carbon emissions and create an eco-friendly community where biodiversity can be sustained. It is hoped the project will become a development role model for low carbon communities.

The project aims to reduce human elephant encounters and incorporate sustainability into the local agricultural industry through reforestation and the introduction of beekeeping. Over 230 acres of agricultural land has been cultivated with eco-friendly planting and 300 bee colonies have been established.

Paraguay Forest Conservation Project

The Chaco-Pantanal and San Rafael regions in Paraguay are rich in biodiversity and offer critical livelihoods to local communities. These biodiverse landscapes and their resources are threatened by climate change and activities such as intensive agriculture.

In 2022, Swire Pacific took ownership of a REDD+ project previously established by Swire Pacific Offshore. The Paraguay Forest Conservation Project protects the forests in a 4,750-hectare parcel of land in the Chaco-Pantanal region from the high risk of being cleared for cattle ranching and provides financial incentive to individual landowners in San Rafael to leave their land as untouched high conservation value forest. As a result, areas identified as refuges for endangered or vulnerable species, will be safeguarded.

The project aligns with our objectives to prioritise nature-based environmental solutions. It generates third party verified carbon offset credits that are dual accredited under the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard (CCB). Read more in the Climate section.

In 2024, the insights from third-party tools will feed into the development of an improved internal impact and dependency tool for use with our operating companies to capture our ecological relationships.

All assessment results will be incorporated into developing Nature & Biodiversity management plans, including mitigation hierarchy presenting the key best practice management measures applicable to the type of operational activity of Swire Pacific sites.

Nature and biodiversity will also be incorporated into our scenario analysis, to consider the interrelated impacts of climate and nature under different possible futures. Additionally, the Nature Working Group will start preparing for the adoption of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).