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Home / case studies / Case study: How Kerry Properties promotes fair operating practices

Case study: How Kerry Properties promotes fair operating practices

As a world-class property company, developing high quality residential and mixed-use developments including hotels, shopping malls, office towers and apartments in prime locations, Kerry Properties is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance and business integrity, in all its business activities.

This case study is based on the 2017 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 seeks to maintain high ethical standards integral to its corporate identity and business operations  Tweet This! and has, accordingly, adopted a number of corporate policy statements, available to the public on its corporate website. In order to promote fair operating practices Kerry Properties took action to:
  • protect customer data
  • implement an Anti-corruption Policy
  • promote fair competition
  • foster responsible marketing communications
  • train security personnel on human rights

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Kerry Properties identified a range of material issues, such as quality management and after-sales service, customer health and safety, employee diversity and equal opportunities, discharge, handling and disposal of effluent and waste. Among these, promoting fair operating practices 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
Employees
Residents
Tenants
Contractors and suppliers
Community

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Kerry Properties engaged with over 850 internal and external stakeholders (employees, contractors, suppliers and tenants) through an in-depth interview, workshops, focus group discussions and surveys.

What actions were taken by Kerry Properties to promote fair operating practices?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Kerry Properties reports that it took the following actions for promoting fair operating practices:

  • Protecting customer data
  • Kerry Properties makes every effort to protect customers’ personal data, including their personal information, communications, bank account/ credit card information and use of the Internet and digital applications as customers access Kerry Properties’ information, products and services. Guidelines on handling paper documents and digital documents are available to all staff. In addition, Kerry Properties implements a Personal Data (Privacy) Policy, stating the types of information it collects, the purpose for which it collects personal data, and to whom it may disclose such data. Customers can get in touch with Kerry Properties’ data protection officers by email or in writing, to request access to and/or correction of their personal data or to inquire on Kerry Properties’ privacy policy and practice.
  • Implementing an Anti-corruption Policy
  • To ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations such as the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance of Hong Kong, Kerry Properties implements an Anti-corruption Policy. The policy states that all employees must not engage in any form of corruption activity, including bribery, extortion, fraud and money laundering. Additionally, Kerry Properties’ Whistleblowing Policy enables employees and any person dealing with the Group to raise concerns on possible improprieties within the Group, in confidence. The Chairman of the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for overseeing this policy, carrying out independent investigations and taking appropriate follow-up actions. All records are handled with confidentiality and whistleblowers’ identity is not revealed without their consent. In 2017, in addition to the anti-corruption training provided for all new employees, Kerry Properties invited expert speakers from the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to arrange a series of seminars for nearly 200 employees from the property services, sales and marketing, as well as the finance teams in Hong Kong. To manage corruption risks in its supply chain, Kerry Properties’ Vendor Code of Conduct states that no vendors and subcontractors shall accept any forms of corruption or bribery, including any payment or other forms of benefit conferred on any government official.
  • Promoting fair competition
  • Kerry Properties is committed to promoting fair competition and carrying out procurement and tenders for products and services in a fair and transparent manner. Guidelines and standard work procedures provide definitions about restrictive agreements with competitors, price fixing, market sharing, output limitation, bid rigging and information exchange. All directors and employees have to adhere to these guidelines.
  • Fostering responsible marketing communications
  • Kerry Properties seeks to ensure that its marketing communications are truthful, geared to the interests of customers, and measured up to rigorous ethical standards. Accordingly, Kerry Properties has developed a set of internal procedures to make sure its sales brochures and marketing materials are fully compliant with the Hong Kong Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance.
  • Training security personnel on human rights
  • Kerry Properties is committed to respecting and promoting human rights across its business activities. Accordingly, for its property management business, all security personnel, including security guards hired directly or from security service companies, have received training and attained relevant certifications before reporting for duty.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 205-3 Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken

2) Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices

3) Disclosure 410-1 Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedures

4) Disclosure 417-3 Incidents of non-compliance concerning marketing communications

5) Disclosure 418-1 Substantiated complaints concerning breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data

 

Disclosure 205-3 Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken corresponds to:

  • 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: Anti-corruption

Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices corresponds to:

  • 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: Compliance with laws and regulations

Disclosure 410-1 Security personnel trained in human rights policies or procedures corresponds to:

  • 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: Security

Disclosure 417-3 Incidents of non-compliance concerning marketing communications does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 418-1 Substantiated complaints concerning breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data corresponds to:

  • 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: Compliance with laws and regulations, Protection of privacy

 

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

 

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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