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Home / case studies / Case study: How Swire Properties promotes employee health and wellbeing

Case study: How Swire Properties promotes employee health and wellbeing

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Swire Properties is a leading developer, owner and operator of mixed-use, principally commercial, properties in Hong Kong and Mainland China, with a significant presence in Miami, U.S.A. Swire Properties employs over 5,300 people, and seeks to create an environment where its employees will be happier, healthier and more productive.  Tweet This! 

This case study is based on the 2017 Sustainable Development Report by Swire 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.

Layout 1Abstract

Swire Properties believes that the contributions of its people are critical to its success and supports employees in achieving their full potential, encouraging them to participate in a wide variety of activities, in and out of the office. In order to promote employee health and wellbeing Swire Properties took action to:

  • implement a Wellness Programme
  • create a rejuvenating space for frontline employees
  • encourage employees to keep fit
  • promote urban farming among employees

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Sustainable Development Report Swire Properties identified a range of material issues, such as green building construction/ renovation, climate change/ decarbonisation, community investment/ engagement, energy efficiency, local economic development. Among these, promoting employee health and wellbeing stands out as a key material issue for Swire 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 Swire Properties engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employee Groups

 

 

 

·      Surveys and interviews

·      Intranet forums and newsletters

·      Training sessions

·      Competitions and team-building activities

Community/NGOs

 

 

 

·      Community events

·      Joint projects

·      Working committees and consultations

·      Multi-stakeholder meetings/seminars on specific issues

Tenants

 

 

·      Joint projects

·      Community events

·      Surveys and interviews

·      Multi-stakeholder meetings/ seminars on specific issues

Regulators/Government

 

 

·      Joint projects

·      Working committees and consultations

·      Interviews

Joint Venture Partners

 

·      Surveys and interviews

·      Multi-stakeholder meetings/seminars on specific issues

·      Joint projects

Media

 

·      Annual gathering

·      Interviews

·      Feedback and responses to media enquiries

Industry Experts/Academia ·      Joint projects/research funds

·      Multi-stakeholder forums and partnerships

·      Seminars

Shareholders & Investors

 

·      SD benchmarks and indices

·      Interviews and meetings

·      Newsletters

·      Events

Customers/Consumers

 

·      Surveys

·      Customer service Apps

·      Community events

·      Joint projects

Suppliers

 

·      Supplier screening and assessments

·      Joint projects

·      Surveys

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Swire Properties engaged with its stakeholders through 22 qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey among more than 300 internal and external stakeholders.

What actions were taken by Swire Properties to promote employee health and wellbeing?

In its 2017 Sustainable Development Report Swire Properties reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee health and wellbeing:

  • Implementing a Wellness Programme
  • Swire Properties implements a Wellness Programme for employees in Hong Kong and Mainland China which, in 2017, included sharing sessions for frontline employees on a range of topics, such as mindfulness, maintaining work/life balance, good nutrition and healthy eating. With 280 participants across 6 offices, the programme also comprised lunch talks on low-carbon eating and coping with allergies, attended by 160 Additionally, in 2017, Swire Hotels launched a new Wellness Programme that involved a fitness challenge. Members of Swire Properties’ Central Support Office were offered personal fitness trackers and were invited to participate in a wide range of physical activities, from yoga and funky dance to jogging and hiking. In addition, Swire Properties cares about the mental health of employees, and provides relevant counselling services and learning opportunities through its Employee Assistance Programme. In 2017, Swire Properties hosted various sharing sessions, lunchtime talks and workshops for employees, aiming to address work/life balance and mental health issues in the workplace.
  • Creating a rejuvenating space for frontline employees
  • Swire Properties has created a dedicated space for members of its Taikoo Place building management and technical services departments, to relax and rejuvenate. The 4,500-square foot space opened in May 2017 and consists of a changing room, common room and gym, also including other amenities such as mobile-charging stations, a massage corner and a magnetic blackboard. The design of the new space incorporated employees’ suggestions, to make sure it met the needs of Swire Properties’ building management and technical services department members.
  • Encouraging employees to keep fit
  • In 2017, Swire Properties sponsored two sporting events, to promote healthy living, exercise and teamwork among employees. In February, Swire Properties’ Community Ambassadors and their families took part in Run for Survival, organised by the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong to raise funds for its marine conservation efforts. In September, 116 employees participated in Swire Properties’ annual sporting event by competing in 2km, 5km and 10km team and individual races.
  • Promoting urban farming among employees
  • In 2017, Swire Properties collaborated with social enterprise Rooftop Republic to develop three workshops aiming to teach employees how to live more sustainably:
    • Create Your Own Mini Edible Garden focused on how to grow greens at home, using recycled plastic drink bottles. Instructors showed planting techniques and offered tips, helping participants learn about the feasibility and benefits of urban farming.
    • Coffee Grounds Recycling instructed participants on how to make a body scrub suitable for their skin type, and explored the benefits of using coffee grounds to create homemade soaps and scrubs.
    • Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms taught participants how to use food compost and coffee grounds to grow non-toxic mushrooms in their own homes.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health

Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health does not correspond to any SDG.

 

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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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Swire 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 Swire 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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