The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Hang Lung Properties supports employees’ growth

Hang Lung Properties is a leading Hong Kong property developer, possessing and managing top quality properties across Hong Kong and mainland China. With the ongoing expansion of its business, Hang Lung Properties seeks to continually develop its talent pool and aims to acquire top-class professionals, providing a wide range of incentives, including training and development opportunities.

This case study is based on the 2017 Sustainability Report by Hang Lung Properties 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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Hang Lung Properties aims to create a desirable work environment for its people, address their needs, and provide them with adequate support to seize future opportunities  Tweet This!, making them feel valued at work so that everyone is working together to further the company as a whole. In order to support employees’ growth Hang Lung Properties took action to:
  • promote learning and employee development
  • foster knowledge transfer

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Hang Lung Properties identified a range of material issues, such as legal compliance, ethics and integrity, energy efficiency, occupational health and safety, customer health, safety and security, risk and crisis management. Among these, supporting employees’ growth stands out as a key material issue for Hang Lung Properties.

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 Hang Lung Properties engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement





·      Biannual two-way performance appraisal

·      Biannual town hall meetings

·      Breakfast/ lunch with senior executives

·      Staff focus group discussions

·      Team building activities

·      Staff intranet and corporate newsletter

Investors & Shareholders ·      Sustainability reporting, benchmarks and indices

·      Investors interviews, meetings and site visits

·      Annual General Meeting

Tenants & Customers



·      Customer engagement surveys

·      Tenant satisfaction surveys and interviews

·      Social media and corporate newsletter

Suppliers & Contractors



·      Regular project meetings

·      Regular screening and performance evaluation

·      Focus group discussion

·      Online survey

Local Communities


·      Flagship community partnership programmes

·      Community events

·      Community consultation

·      Corporate newsletter

NGO partners, Academia and Industry Associations ·      Online survey

·      Sustainability Innovation Workshop

·      Conferences, seminars and networking events

Governments & Regulators ·      Regular meetings

·      Site visits by government officials

·      Government consultations



·      Media interviews and meetings

·      Media announcement and press release

·      Social media

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify material topics Hang Lung Properties conducted in-depth interviews with 14 representatives from key stakeholder groups that included senior executives, investors, tenants and NGO partners. To prioritise the topics, Hang Lung Properties carried out an online survey completed by 202 respondents from all internal and external stakeholder groups.

What actions were taken by Hang Lung Properties to support employees’ growth?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Hang Lung Properties reports that it took the following actions for supporting employees’ growth:

  • Promoting learning and employee development
  • Through its learning and development division, Academy 66, Hang Lung Properties provides diversified, internal and external training to employees to equip them with latest knowledge and skills so that they thrive in an ever-changing business environment. Types of training provided include:
    • Onboarding programme
    • Language skills
    • Customer service
    • Professional development
    • Leadership development
    • Health and safety
    • Regulatory compliance
  • In addition to face-to-face training, Hang Lung Properties provides interactive online courses for core modules such as crisis management and IT security, on its e-learning platform e-Academy 66, launched in 2016. This platform enables employees to access courses at any time, through their computer or mobile phone. In 2017, Hang Lung Properties also rolled out an online course on integrity, offering case studies and best practice guidelines to counter corruption at work. Responding to employees’ requests for more personalised training, moving towards tailored personal development programmes, Hang Lung Properties encourages employees and their supervisors to discuss and co-determine the types of training that are beneficial to the employees and the Group, in the one-on-one biannual appraisal. Hang Lung Properties’ Academy 66 then arranges customised training programmes, according to the priority training needs identified. Additionally, Hang Lung Properties provides sponsorship for employees to apply for membership of professional bodies and pursue external training that will enhance their performance and support their career development.
  • Fostering knowledge transfer
  • Hang Lung Properties seeks to strengthen its internal capacity by fostering knowledge transfer, sharing best practices and exchanging viewpoints within departments and across different levels of staff. In 2017, Hang Lung Properties organised two Group-level conferences, including legal and digital marketing. In addition, Hang Lung Properties accelerates the internal movement of staff with appropriate capabilities, nurturing them as future leaders. This facilitates Hang Lung Properties’ succession planning, particularly for key management team members. In 2017, Hang Lung Properties stepped up its efforts in knowledge management by rolling out Library 66 in Hong Kong, which houses collections that are instrumental to employees’ work, such as architecture, business, economics, history and politics for employees to borrow. Library 66 also plays a pivotal role in accumulating and passing on the past knowledge, experience and development history of the Group as Hang Lung Properties continues to expand the collections.

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.

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1) This case study is based on published information by Hang Lung Properties, 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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