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Home / case studies / Case study: How Kerry Properties builds an inclusive and respectful workplace

Case study: How Kerry Properties builds an inclusive and respectful workplace

Kerry Properties is a world-class property company with significant investments in Mainland China and Hong Kong, developing high-quality residential and mixed-use developments encompassing office towers, apartments, shopping malls and hotels in prime locations. Kerry Properties seeks to create an inclusive, caring and fair workplace.  Tweet This! To achieve this goal, a Workplace Quality Policy and other guidance documents provide clear guidelines and regulations on employees’ compensation and dismissal, recruitment and promotion, working hours, rest periods, equal opportunity, diversity, anti-discrimination and welfare.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by Kerry 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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Kerry Properties endeavours to build an inclusive and respectful workplace, where fairness, equality and diversity are celebrated and every staff member enjoys equal opportunities. In order to build an inclusive and respectful workplace Kerry Properties took action to:

  • promote diversity and equal opportunity
  • enforce labour standards

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Kerry Properties identified a range of material issues, such as customer information and privacy, prevention of bribery, extortion, fraud and money laundering, customer health and safety, fair and responsible marketing communication and information. Among these, building an inclusive and respectful workplace stands out as a key material issue for Kerry 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 Kerry Properties engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Investors and Shareholders

 

·      Annual/Special General Meetings and Interim/Annual results announcements

·      Announcements and circulars

·      Annual and interim reports

·      Sustainability report

·      Company websites

·      Investor visits/briefings

·      Response to investor surveys and benchmarking exercises

·      Press and analysts’ conferences

·      Roadshows and investors’ conferences

Customers and Tenants

 

 

·      Customer satisfaction surveys

·      Customer service hotlines

·      Community events

·      Club and membership activities

·      Social media and company websites

·      Corporate magazines

Government and Industry Associations ·      Regular meetings

·      Public consultation

·      Conference, forums and seminars

Academia

 

·      Research studies

·      Student partnership programmes

·      Event venue sponsorships

·      Seminars

Media

 

 

·      Press conferences and releases

·      Media briefings

·      Feedback and response to enquiries

Non-governmental Organisation Partners

 

 

·      Focus groups

·      Partnership programmes

·      Award schemes and charters

·      Sponsorships and donations

·      Conferences and seminars

Employees

 

·      Orientation and training sessions

·      Team building activities

·      Recreational and volunteering activities

·      Lunch with senior management

·      Communication enhancement via latest information technologies

·      Employee Innovation Committee

·      Staff magazine “Art of Services”

·      Performance appraisal

·      Intranet and emails

Suppliers and Contractors

 

·      Surveys and meetings

·      Supplier enquiry hotline

·      Green Construction Site Award

·      Safety briefings

·      Tendering and procurement processes

Local Communities

 

·      Public/community events

·      Community initiatives

·      Employee volunteering activities

·      Company websites

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Kerry Properties engaged with both internal and external stakeholders through an interview, training, focus group discussions and surveys, receiving and analysing 824 valid questionnaires.

What actions were taken by Kerry Properties to build an inclusive and respectful workplace?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Kerry Properties reports that it took the following actions for building an inclusive and respectful workplace:

  • Promoting diversity and equal opportunity
  • Kerry Properties does not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, disability, family status, ethnic origin, race or religious belief in all aspects of employment, training and career development and spells out its responsibilities, providing guidelines on equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace in its Equal Opportunity Policy, Staff Handbook and Workplace Quality Policy. Additionally, Kerry Properties continues to improve diversity of the Board with the Board Diversity Policy and organises equality and diversity training for management staff from offices in Hong Kong and the Mainland. In the training sessions, staff are introduced to values of equality and diversity, and both international and local cases on issues such as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and gender discrimination. Kerry Properties protects individuals from any form of discrimination and harassment in the workplace as stipulated in the Policy and Procedures for Handling Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, and has also set up procedures and delegated responsible departmental personnel to guarantee a fair and timely investigation into any complaints. These policies, procedures and practices are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their effectiveness.
  • Enforcing labour standards
  • As stipulated in its Workplace Quality Policy, Kerry Properties prohibits any form of child labour or forced labour, including bonded labour, indentured labour, slave labour or human trafficking. Relevant terms have also been incorporated into Kerry Properties’ Sustainable Procurement Policy Statement and the Vendor Code of Conduct, to make sure that its contractors and suppliers acknowledge its commitment. To prevent the hiring of underaged employees, Kerry Properties follows established procedures to scrutinise the personal data of the applicants. Guidelines regarding overtime work, allowances and compensation leave are provided in Kerry Properties’ employment-related policies. Regular reviews are carried out, to eliminate all forms of forced labour. To raise employees’ awareness of labour rights issues, a training session was conducted in 2018 for a group of management staff from offices in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The training highlighted recent observations around the world as well as international guidelines regarding the prevention of child labour and forced labour in business operations. Kerry Properties abides by the relevant laws and regulations in relation to employment and labour standards and, during the reporting period, there were no confirmed cases of non-compliance regarding compensation and dismissal, recruitment and promotion, working hours, rest periods, equal opportunity, diversity, anti-discrimination, and other benefits and welfare, as well as preventing child and forced labour.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 406-1 Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken

2) Disclosure 408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor

3) Disclosure 409-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor

 

Disclosure 406-1 Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Business theme: Non-discrimination
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Non-discrimination
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Non-discrimination

Disclosure 408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor 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: Abolition of child labor
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Abolition of child labor

Disclosure 409-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labor 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: Elimination of forced or compulsory labor

 

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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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Kerry 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:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Kerry Properties: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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