Turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s resource


Waste generated

Group waste footprint

Progress against targets1

1. Includes subsidiaries covered by our 2030 target and business expansion and acquisition in 2023. Excludes SCCU after date of disposal.

As the world’s population and affluence increases, so does waste. Landfills are reaching capacity. States are imposing regulations and financial penalties aimed at curbing waste generation. There is growing public awareness of recycling and the need for responsible disposal of materials. This is particularly true for plastics. There is a need to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources and keep resources in the loop for longer. Doing so will help address challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

By reducing and recycling our waste we lower the cost of packaging, waste management and disposal, and potentially create new revenue streams. We aim to turn today’s waste into a resource for tomorrow and to contribute to the creation of a circular economy. As a Group, we have set a goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2050. In 2023, we began the process of mapping out our Zero Waste to Landfill Roadmap to create a blueprint of how we get there. The outputs of this project will be completed by Q2 of 2024. Our Waste Management Policy sets out the Group’s approach to managing and reducing waste across its operations.

This is what we do:

Reduce waste at source

Promote recycling, reuse and recovery in order to divert as much waste as possible from landfill

Manage hazardous and potentially hazardous waste in an appropriate, responsible and transparent manner

Reduce the impact of our beverage packaging

Explore opportunities to contribute to the circular economy

Our Waste Management Data Protocol specifies our waste management hierarchy by which we evaluate and address our waste management approach.

In 2023, the Group generated a total of 91,116 tonnes of waste, 37% more than in 2022. Of this, 86% was non-hazardous waste and 14% was hazardous waste. In large part this was driven by Swire Coca-Cola’s total waste generated increasing by 74% in 2023 compared to 2022. This is predominantly from the recycling of batteries in fork lift truck. Companies included under our 2030 target generated 78,445 tonnes of waste.

Overall, 61% of the total waste generated by the Group in 2023 was recycled, reused, or recovered. Our Property and Beverages divisions accounted for 51% and 43% of the Group’s total non-hazardous waste in 2023 respectively.

Swire Properties’ waste diversion rate was 38% in 2023, compared to 35% in 2022. Tenants in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland were encouraged to reduce and recycle waste. Swire Coca-Cola’s waste diversion rate was 87% in 2023, compared to 90% in 2022. In 2023, Swire Coca-Cola’s Jinqiao bottling facility in the Chinese Mainland obtained UL2799 Zero Waste to Landfill validation with the highest platinum rating from UL Solutions – a leading global safety certification. This is a milestone achievement in our commitment to Zero Waste to Landfill. HAECO’s waste diversion rate increased from 62% in 2022 to 68% in 2023. A key contributor to this improvement is due to the New Recycling Scheme in HAECO Americas and HAECO Hong Kong. Trading & Industrial division’s waste diversion rate for 2023 slightly increased compared to 2022.

By 2030, we aim for 65% of our waste to be diverted from landfill. The target covers non-hazardous waste generated by operating companies, which together made up 99% of the Group’s total non-hazardous waste footprint in 2023. Hazardous waste is not included in the target. It is treated in line with local regulations. Subsidiaries covered by our target diverted 61% of their waste from landfill in 2023, an improvement from 59% in 2022. Based on our 2030 projections, we surpassed our 53% waste diversion target for 2023.

The 2030 target was set based on the scope of our reporting boundary in our target setting year of 2021. It does not include Swire Coca-Cola’s new markets or business expansion in 2023, which will be covered under a new target to be set in 2024.

Chart data Tabular data

Total waste generated by division

Total waste generated by division

2023 Waste disposed
Waste disposed
Waste recycled
Waste recycled
Waste reused
Waste recovered
Property 24,854 - 14,143 11 52 1,131
Beverages 4,507 154 20,577 10,486 - 8,853
Aviation 1,047 1,477 1,298 75 - 966
Trading & Industrial 29 350 1,014 86 8 -
Chart data Tabular data

Progress towards waste target
(% non-hazardous waste diverted from landfill)

Progress towards waste target
(% non-hazardous waste diverted from landfill)

  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2030 target
Group % waste diversion 38% 40% 42% 52% 59% 61% 65%

The easiest way to reduce waste is not to use single-use materials and packaging, where possible. We collect data about our waste. We try to take account of waste prevention when we design and buy things. We encourage employees and customers to minimise waste.

Our Waste Working Group has developed an internal handbook on single-use plastics. It provides subsidiaries with information about different types of plastics and alternative materials, and guidance to inform procurement decisions. These include the need to consider whether the material can be recycled or composted, whether local recycling infrastructure exists to ensure it is recycled, and whether there is market demand for the recycled material, which would facilitate its collection and recycling. The handbook was also shared with members of our Supply Chain Working Group.

Swire Properties’ waste management policy deals with the design, planning, construction, and operation of its buildings. It evaluates the management of resources, analyses information about waste, and tries to promote the circular economy. Tenants and other building users generate over 90% of the waste generated in Swire Properties’ buildings. Engaging with tenants is critical to reducing waste. Swire Properties collects data about more than 20 types of waste produced by tenants, hotel guests, and serviced apartment occupants.

In July 2022 in Hong Kong, the Green Performance Pledge (GPP) was officially launched. It is a performance-based landlord-tenant partnership, focusing on creating a significant impact in terms of energy, water, and waste reduction. This performance-based programme gives users access to an array of “green tools” and enhances tenant-landlord collaboration. Tailored SD offerings include Hong Kong’s first smart waste reduction monitoring system. Swire Properties aims to engage 50% of office tenants in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland in the GPP by 2025. In Hong Kong, more than 80 tenants signed up from Taikoo Place, Pacific Place and Citygate Outlets, a fivefold increase compared with the GPP pilot year in 2021.

Swire Hotels: In 2022, Hotel Sustainability Technical Guidelines were rolled out.

Further, it retrofitted rooms with an in-room water filtration system, eliminating the need for plastic bottled water in rooms and reducing the use of bottled water by at least 30%.

The Temple House, The Middle House, and EAST Hong Kong removed all single-use plastics – replacing all straws, hampers, room amenity wrappers, and toothbrushes with products made from biodegradable materials.

It incorporated the updated Sustainable Procurement Policy and Sustainable Food Policy into purchasing procedure guidelines. This includes adhering to the three ‘R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) and purchasing fresh produce from local suppliers to reduce the carbon emissions from shipping food.

EAST Hong Kong also collaborated with a social enterprise dedicated to promoting urban farming in Hong Kong to build an urban garden in a corner of the hotel’s pool deck.

Swire Coca-Cola reduces the amount of plastic used in its packaging of bottled brands. In Hong Kong, Swire Coca-Cola continues to trial packaging-free delivery models. They have installed around 160 Bonaqua water refill stations at strategic locations around the city, which encourage consumers to bring their own bottles.

Swire Resources supports the Hong Kong Green Building Council’s Green Shop Alliance Programme. It avoids excessive promotional decoration and packaging. Since 2020, it has encouraged customers to bring their own bags on its “No Shopping Bag Day”. It will donate HK$0.50 to an environmental NGO for every bag-free transaction on the second Tuesday of each month. It also donates all shopping bag levies collected on that day.

Our Zero Waste to Landfill target largely falls under recover & recycle for waste hierarchy. We collect and sort different types of waste and work closely with recycling partners to provide credible outlets for the recyclables we collect.

We have implemented group standards for waste separation at source. They require the provision of separate receptacles for five main categories of waste: paper, metals, plastic bottles, general plastics, and general waste. Glass and food receptacles should be placed at strategic locations, where appropriate. Guidance on the density and placement of receptacles is provided. Three types of facilities are covered by the standards, including:

  • Customer facing operations including shopping malls and hotels
  • Non-customer facing operations including our offices, warehouses, and factories
  • Premises let to third parties (tenants)

Through our Waste Working Group, Waste Separation Guidelines have been implemented across all operating companies wherever possible, and many have extended separation to include food waste. Where local regulation around waste separation is already in place, which is the case in the Chinese Mainland, local regulation takes precedence. Having a consistent approach across the Group will prepare us for Hong Kong’s upcoming municipal solid waste charging scheme in 2024 and support materials supply to Swire Coca-Cola’s recycling joint venture New Life Plastics. We engage our waste contractors and landlords to send collected material to recycling facilities.

Swire Coca-Cola aims to send no waste to landfill or incineration from its core operations by 2025 and for co-packers by 2030. This does not include waste generated from finished goods. In 2023, the waste diversion rate from core operations reached 87%. As mentioned, in the Chinese Mainland, Jinqiao bottling facility obtained UL2799 Zero Waste to Landfill validation with the highest platinum rating from UL Solutions – a leading global safety certification company. It is the first bottling plant in the Chinese Mainland Coca-Cola system to receive this esteemed recognition. To attain the platinum rating, companies are required to achieve a 100% waste diversion rate from landfills.

Redesign is also a key part of our reduce, recover, and recycle strategies. Swire Coca-Cola’s goal is for 100% of its primary packaging to be technically recyclable by 2025. It now offers 600ml or below sparkling drinks packaged in 25% rPET in Hong Kong. Further, recycled aluminium can now be used in Chinese Mainland. After three years of work led by the China Bottlers Procurement Consortium (CBPC) and Swire Coca-Cola, the ban on food-grade applications for recycled aluminium (rAL) in the Chinese Mainland has finally been lifted. The cross-industry association issued a rAL quality standard. SCC targets to use rAL for its cans in Chinese Mainland in 2024.

Swire Coca-Cola packaging and waste

By 2025 its primary packaging will be 100% recyclable.
99% achieved

By 2030 its primary packaging will contain 50% recycled material.
9% achieved

By 2030 it will collect and recycle one bottle or can for every one it sells.

PET collection:
12% (HK) to 100% (Cambodia)

Can collection:
60% (HK) to 99% (Chinese Mainland)

2. Relating to legacy markets. It does not include changes to our boundary that occurred in 2023.

Swire Coca-Cola – Zero Waste to Landfill Platinum Certification

Swire Coca-Cola’s Shanghai Shenmei Jinqiao plant received UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill certification, platinum level, the first of its kind in the Coca-Cola system in the Chinese Mainland. The plant established a dedicated cross-functional project team including representatives from manufacturing, logistics, finance, and administration departments, with technical support from the regional sustainable development team.

It has been collecting waste data for many years, but this marked a concerted effort to focus on turning significant but hard to recycle waste types including sludge, solid waste, food waste, and activated carbon into resources. In 2021, the plant diverted only 26% of its waste, and the rest was sent to landfill. By 2022, 94% of the waste was recycled or recovered, and the remaining 6% was sent to waste-to-energy facilities.

Staff engagement was essential. As were signed environmental declarations with our various waste processors, which detailed collection and classification of waste at the plant and restrictions on how waste was handled and where it ends up once it leaves our facility. The certification marks a significant achievement for Shanghai Shenmei and serves as an example for other Swire Coca-Cola bottling plants in the Chinese Mainland to strive towards their zero waste goals.

In 2023, Swire Properties diverted 26.1% of its commercial waste in its Hong Kong portfolio, and 45.7% of its commercial waste in the Chinese Mainland portfolio. To prepare for incoming municipal solid waste (MSW) charging in Hong Kong, it engaged the Hong Kong Productivity Council to review the waste management facilities, workflow and practices at Pacific Place and Taikoo Shing, and conducted extensive stakeholder interviews with cleaning contractors, tenants, residents’ representatives and its Management Office teams. The study will contribute towards implementation guidelines and dissemination sessions for key stakeholders. In 2023, it also engaged the Business Environment Council to conduct comprehensive waste audits at Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets to help tenants identify waste reduction and recycling opportunities. Insights from the audits will help strengthen communication with tenants regarding waste reduction and help guide tenants on their waste reduction journey. In 2024, Properties will use the data gathered in this project to explore new smart waste technologies with support from the Swire Pacific Sustainable Development Fund.

For Swire Hotels, at The Temple House, EAST Beijing, and EAST Hong Kong, coffee drinkers now have the option of purchasing a reusable cup instead of a disposable one. The Eco-cup reduces cost and waste and saves customers money – when reusing the Eco-cup, they receive a discount on their drink purchase.

Swire Properties – Recycled Materials for the Taikoo Li Xi’an Office

The project site office at Swire Properties’ new Taikoo Li Xi’an project was completed this year. The office incorporated recycled materials in its design and construction stages, including terrazzo tiles and adobe bricks made from waste or recycled materials.

Terrazzo tiles used for the flooring were recycled and repurposed from discarded oyster shells, ceramics, and construction waste. Adobe bricks used for the reception backdrop were recycled from adobe, discarded ceramics, mineral slag, and green waste.

HAECO Hong Kong completed a waste audit in 2022 to map out waste composition and identify areas of improvement. It segregates waste and sends waste wood to a recycler. Over 171 tonnes of wood were recycled in 2023. It also sends waste lead acid batteries to specialised recyclers. Last year, HAECO Hong Kong completed a food waste collection scheme, which reduced food waste to landfill by 23 tonnes.

Working with NGOs, Swire Resources recycles Chinese New Year red packets, old books, clothes, and electronic waste.

Swire Coca-Cola does not control what happens to its packaging after consumption. But it wants to transform the way waste is dealt with and to promote a circular economy. It supports the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and The Coca-Cola Company’s (TCCC) World Without Waste goals.

In line with TCCC’s World Without Waste targets, Swire Coca-Cola has committed to collect and recycle one bottle or can for everyone it sells. With TCCC, it is working to put recycling instructions on its drink’s labels. It has formed a joint venture with ALBA Group Asia Limited and Baguio Waste Management & Recycling Limited to build and operate New Life Plastics, Hong Kong’s first food-grade ready plastics recycling facility.

This is what it does:

  • Reduces single-use packaging as much as possible by cutting its amount and weight and by using refill stations
  • Redesigns packaging so that it is easy to recycle, has value when recycled and includes recycled materials itself
  • Facilitates better recovery of packaging through clear labelling and disposal instructions
  • Recycles packaging materials into the highest value end-products as possible
  • Collaborates with government, industry, waste management companies, and non-profit organisations to promote the transition to a circular mode

In 2023, Swire Properties, Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong, and HAECO Hong Kong sent 1,339 tonnes of food waste and organic by-products to an organic resource recovery centre (ORRC) for conversion into compost and biogas.

Swire Properties collected more than 10,300 tonnes of food waste from its Hong Kong and Chinese Mainland portfolios and its hotels. In Hong Kong, Swire Properties continues to promote food waste recycling among tenants. In 2023, over 80% of food and beverage tenants (measured by lettable floor area) and 97 tenanted office floors in Citygate Outlets, Cityplaza, Island Place Mall, Pacific Place, South Island Place, and Taikoo Place participated in its food waste recycling programme. Most of the food waste collected in the Hong Kong portfolio and hotels was sent to the government’s O.PARK 1 facility for conversion into biogas and compost.

In June 2023, EAST Beijing participated in the “Pride on Our Plates” campaign which aimed to promote sustainable practices and reduce food waste at restaurants in the Chinese Mainland. During the campaign, a six-week food waste audit was conducted at the hotel focusing on pre-consumer food waste, customer plate waste and unconsumed cooked dishes. The data revealed that customer plate waste was found to be the primary contributor to food waste. The hotel then implemented food waste reduction measures such as adjusting food portion sizes and repurposing pre-consumer food waste into new dishes, which led to a 12% reduction in food waste by the final week of the campaign.

In late 2023, Swire Properties began engaging with a new coffee grounds recycling partner, a local green enterprise committed to promoting eco-farming, sustainable organic stewardship of land and food, and healthy lifestyles. Coffee grounds collected from F&B and office tenants will be transformed into a high-quality organic compost. In parallel, Swire Properties is exploring opportunities to “close the loop” by applying this compost in landscaping projects across their portfolios.

EAST Hong Kong partners with a local brewery to turn surplus bread from its restaurants into its own branded craft beer. After the surplus bread is collected and delivered to the brewery, it is blended into crumbs and used to replace a portion of barley malt. Following a two-month fermentation process, the leftover breadcrumbs and grains are sent to a local farm to be used as animal feed and fertiliser, promoting the idea of circularity. This arrangement has saved approximately 40kg of surplus bread.

Swire Properties – The Loop and Urban Farming Programmes

In 2017, Swire Properties launched The Loop, a sustainability exhibition centre, in Devon House at Taikoo Place. In 2021, The Loop’s community engagement concept began to expand to four new locations across Taikoo Place, Pacific Place, Citygate and South Island Place, especially with a focus on promoting urban farming. In 2023, more than half a tonne of crops were harvested, half of which were donated to a Hong Kong registered charity, while the other half were shared among the workshop participants.

Going beyond waste management strategies and considering how to change business practices to become more circular are increasingly important for companies to consider. For example, the most sustainably progressive cities and companies consider how to address circularity through the full lifecycle of a building, including construction, maintenance and demolition. Construction waste and operational waste account for a huge proportion of total waste disposal. Designing out waste across the building lifecycle and emphasising durability, recycling and circular thinking in operations and across the supply chain are becoming increasingly important. Swire Properties has a Resource and Circularity Policy, putting greater emphasis on “designing out” waste and keeping products in use while continuing to enhance resource recovery and recycling across our operations.

As part of our Zero Waste to Landfill Roadmap project that commenced in 2023, Swire Pacific ran a workshop with our operating companies to explore the ways in which our businesses can become more circular.

Swire Properties – Circularity events benefitting the community

Taikoo Place is also a hub for community and sustainability-focused events that raise money for important causes. The “Get Redressed Pop-up #ShopSecondhand Summer Edition 2023” featured a collection of donated second-hand fashion pieces, with proceeds going to an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry.

“BOOKS FOR LOVE @ $10” is another popular annual fundraising event that aims to pass on the joy of reading and promote circularity by collecting and selling second-hand books donated by the public. This online and offline sale collects tens of thousands of donated books that are sorted and categorised by Community Ambassadors and volunteers from NGO partners, and then sold at a charity price of HKD10 each. BOOKS FOR LOVE @ $10 has grown in popularity over the years, raising more than HKD1 million in each of 2022 and 2023.

In 2023, Swire Pacific joined Eat Without Waste, a coalition of NGOs, F&B producers and property developers in Hong Kong organised by the ADM Capital Foundation. The aim is to reduce the amount of take-out waste going to landfills by working alongside four key stakeholder groups: F&B operators, consumers, policymakers, and packaging manufacturer and distributors.

Swire Coca-Cola works with other parties in the waste value chain. In Hong Kong, Swire Coca-Cola helped to establish Drink Without Waste (DWW), a coalition of NGOs, beverage producers and bottlers, retailers, and companies in the waste management industry. The aim is to reduce the amount of beverage waste and the amount of soft drinks packaging going to landfills.

Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong donated HK$1 million to fund a community plastic bottle recovery pilot programme run by DWW that engaged cleaners, residents, and property management offices in Tin Shui Wai. About 3.76 million bottles have been collected since October 2022.

Elsewhere, Swire Coca-Cola is supporting the China Beverage Industry Association’s research on post consumed bottles and sharing knowledge with other bottlers.

For more information, please see Swire Coca-Cola’s Sustainability Report 2023.

In 2023, we made steady process on our zero waste to landfill roadmap. Our Waste Working Group will utilise the outputs from the roadmap to refine the abatement levers for achieving our 2050 zero waste to landfill goal, and to continue to improve the collection and monitoring of our waste data.