The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How BOCHK promotes employee growth and professional development

Case study: How BOCHK promotes employee growth and professional development

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK) is a leading commercial banking group, one of the three note-issuing banks and one of the largest listed companies in Hong Kong. BOCHK considers its employees to be precious assets and, based on a people-oriented philosophy, constantly enhances its human resources management system so as to attract, identify and nurture talents.

This case study is based on the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by BOCHK published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database 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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BOCHK seeks to provide an ideal career development platform for its staff  Tweet This!, enhancing employees’ career development and strengthening their professional capabilities and sense of accomplishment through various means, in order to facilitate the mutual development of employees and the Group. In order to promote employee growth and professional development BOCHK took action to:

  • provide employees with continuing education opportunities
  • nurture young talent
  • promote on-the-job training

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report BOCHK identified a range of material issues, such as economic performance, compliance with labour laws and regulations, water resources management, product and service labelling, customer privacy. Among these, promoting employee growth and professional development stands out as a key material issue for BOCHK.

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 BOCHK engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement


·      Communications with front-line staff

·      Meetings with relationship managers

·      Contact centre

·      Customer satisfaction surveys

·      Collection of customer feedback

·      Corporate website

·      Customer relationship events (e.g. talks, seminars, fun days, etc.)

·      BOCHK iService 24-hour video banking service

·      Offi­cial WeChat accounts of BOCHK, BOC Credit Card and Southeast Asian entities

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews

Employees ·      Staff magazine, intranet and internal announcements

·      Department meetings

·      Chief Executive’s mailbox

·      Staff discussion forums to collect feedback and suggestions from employees

·      Staff hotline

·      Staff performance assessment

·      Staff training

·      Staff networking events

·      Cross-unit CSR Task Force

·      Awards and recognition activities

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews

Shareholders and the investment community


·      Company’s Annual General Meetings

·      Corporate communications (including annual reports, interim reports and announcements)

·      Results brie­fings

·      Corporate website

·      Investors’ emails and meetings

·      Global roadshows

·      Investor conferences held by investment banks

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews

Suppliers ·      Meetings and communications

·      Regular supplier reviews

·      On-site inspections

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews




·      Sponsorships and donations

·      Seminars, forums and sharing sessions

·      Meetings and communications

·      Diverse activities for the community (including tours, exchanges and visits)

·      Volunteer activities

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews





·      Press conferences

·      Media interviews

·      Corporate communications (including annual reports, interim reports and press releases)

·      Corporate website

·      Media enquiries

·      Stakeholder engagement surveys / interviews

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics BOCHK engaged with its stakeholders – including employees, customers, investors, regulators, professional institutions, charity partners, suppliers and media organisations – through interviews and online surveys.

What actions were taken by BOCHK to promote employee growth and professional development?

In its 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report BOCHK reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee growth and professional development:

  • Providing employees with continuing education opportunities
  • BOCHK provides staff with continuing education opportunities and draws up career development plans that align employees’ personal aspirations with the Group’s long-term development. In keeping with its “four-in-one” talent development culture, BOCHK encourages senior executives, department heads, human resources department and employees to devise training activities together in order to enhance employee performance and meet BOCHK’s business development needs, so as to further strengthen their professional knowledge and skills.
  • Nurturing young talent
  • Through the Management Trainee Programme and Graduate Programme, BOCHK globally recruits elite, high-potential university graduates who aspire to join the financial services sector. In addition, BOCHK fully supports and implements the national development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, recruiting elite university graduates in the Greater Bay Area through the Branch Trainee Programme. Under these programmes, systematic training including classroom training, on-the-job training, post rotation and other relevant schemes such as career mentorship and career planning programmes are offered, to help young professionals plan their career paths.
  • Promoting on-the-job training
  • BOCHK seeks to promote and facilitate employees’ on-the-job training and development. Different training courses are offered, covering product and business knowledge, customer service, operational management, compliance and risk management, key staff training, team management and leadership, etc. In 2018, the average training hours undertaken by each full-time employee exceeded 40. During the year, BOCHK also encouraged employees to take part in inter-departmental exchanges and provided mainland and overseas exchange opportunities for employees to enrich their business knowledge and broaden their horizons. Additionally, BOCHK developed internal training courses with reference to the Speci­fication of Competency Standards (“SCS”). So far, BOCHK has established six SCS-based courses, ranging from level three to ­five (equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree) under the Quali­fications Framework, that are recognised by the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifi­cations, thereby helping to enhance employees’ professional skills and recognition. To promote the development of its Southeast Asian employees, for the past three years BOCHK has arranged executives and key staff from its Southeast Asian institutions to go to Hong Kong to learn about best practices in the ­finance sector. This has helped to nurture international talent for the Group and enhanced its steady deve

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Employee training and education


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.

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1) This case study is based on published information by BOCHK, 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 original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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