The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How BEA promotes sustainability across its supply chain

Case study: How BEA promotes sustainability across its supply chain

The Bank of East Asia (“BEA”) is a leading Hong Kong-based financial services group, with an extensive presence on the Mainland and branches and partnerships in major centres in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. BEA seeks to act with integrity and comply with all applicable laws and regulations, and sets the same standards for its suppliers.  Tweet This!

This case study is based on the 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report by BEA, prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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BEA prefers to work with suppliers and vendors that have adopted ESG (environmental, social and governance) best practices. For suppliers that have not already made such commitments, BEA provides encouragement to make improvements and better manage associated risks. In order to promote sustainability across its supply chain BEA took action to:

  • implement a Supplier Code of Conduct
  • combat slavery and human trafficking
  • establish a supply chain risk assessment tool

What are the material issues the company has identified?   

In its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report BEA identified a range of material issues, such as customer data privacy, non-discrimination, occupational health and safety, employee benefits and turnover rates. Among these, promoting sustainability across its supply chain stands out as a key material issue for BEA.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups BEA engages with:  

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers

 

·       Customer feedback channels

·       Customer events

·       Sustainability communications via the Bank’s website and social media

Shareholders ·       Annual General Meeting

·       Corporate communications

·       Communications with representatives of ESG rating agencies and ESG indices

Regulators

 

 

·       Participation in industry events

·       Communications with regulator representatives

·       Responding to information requests

Employees

 

·       Bank-wide and division town halls

·       Focus groups

·       Employee surveys

·       Staff e-Newsletters

·       Sustainability communications via BEA’s intranet

Society

 

·       BEA Foundation programmes

·       Staff volunteering

·       Meetings with NGOs

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics BEA engaged with internal and external stakeholders through daily operations and targeted interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

What actions were taken by BEA to promote sustainability across its supply chain?

In its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance Report BEA reports that it took the following actions for promoting sustainability across its supply chain:

  • Implementing a Supplier Code of Conduct
  • BEA’s Supplier Code of Conduct is embedded within the procurement process such that all suppliers signing agreements and the Code with BEA are confirming they acknowledge compliance with the Code as a condition of business. BEA’s newly established Human Rights Policy, applicable to its suppliers, aligns with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and its business activities are guided by the UN International Bill of Human Rights, including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (“ILO”).
  • Combating slavery and human trafficking
  • BEA prohibits slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain. Suppliers must satisfy BEA’s requirement regarding social and ethical standards of conduct as well as conditions of employment including health & safety, wages, working hours, discrimination, harassment, and grievance mechanisms. BEA is committed to working with suppliers that showcase best practice, while encouraging others to develop and demonstrate improvement within these fields. BEA’s Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, published in line with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, is available via its website.
  • Establishing a supply chain risk assessment tool
  • BEA has established a tool for conducting a review of suppliers based on the inherent geographical and product risks for the items and services it sources. The risk assessment tool is deployed on purchase orders over a threshold value. It allows BEA to segment suppliers into four groups: priority, moderate, specialised, and minimum. Each segment has different due diligence requirements based on associated risks. In 2020, BEA worked with ELEVATE, a global business risk and sustainability solutions provider, to conduct a review of its sourcing procedures to identify areas for improvement. To help guide procurement staff through the responsible procurement process and ensure staff properly manage supplier relationships a Sustainable Procurement Toolkit was established, which contains related resources including the Procure-to-pay guidelines, Supplier Code of Conduct, procurement workflow, risk calculator, and training materials. The Toolkit is available to Hong Kong staff members via BEA’s

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria

2) Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria

 

Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified & IEMA recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

This case study is based on published information by BEA, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

https://www.hkbea.com/pdf/en/about-bea/corporate-social-responsibility/csr-reports/BEA_2020 ESG Report_Eng.pdf

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