The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Swire Properties promotes sustainable business practices across its supply chain

Case study: How Swire Properties promotes sustainable business practices across its supply chain

Swire Properties is a leading developer, owner and operator of mixed-use, principally commercial, properties in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Seeking to be the leading sustainable development performer in its industry globally by 2030, Swire Properties works closely with a wide range of suppliers, to provide safe and respectful working conditions and promote sustainable environmental practices.  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 aims to develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with its suppliers, including architects, designers, consultants, service providers, contractors and vendors, so as to improve its environmental, social and economic performance. In order to promote sustainable business practices across its supply chain Swire Properties took action to:

  • implement a Supplier Code of Conduct
  • monitor compliance

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, energy efficiency, tenant / customer engagement, local economic development. Among these, promoting sustainable business practices across its supply chain 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 carried out 22 qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey among over 300 internal and external stakeholders.

What actions were taken by Swire Properties to promote sustainable business practices across its supply chain?

In its 2017 Sustainable Development Report Swire Properties reports that it took the following actions for promoting sustainable business practices across its supply chain:

  • Implementing a Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Swire Properties’ Supply Chain Sustainability Programme integrates sustainable development policies, procedures and goals into its supply chain management practices. At the core of this programme is the Supplier Code of Conduct (“SCoC”), which sets out minimum standards and practices regarding legal and regulatory compliance, environmental protection, health and safety, labour practices and other areas. In addition to having their own supplier codes of conduct in place, Swire Properties requires that its suppliers adopt and implement policies and procedures to prevent bribery, corruption and fraud in their own operations. To ensure proper respect for human rights throughout its business, including its supply chain, Swire Properties requires that its suppliers do not use any form of forced, coerced or bonded labour, and that legal minimum age requirements for employment are strictly observed. Swire Properties’ policy is that no person who does work for the company can be below 16 years of age, unless he or she is part of a recognised professional apprenticeship programme. This includes suppliers working on projects for Swire Properties. Suppliers who fail to comply fully with Swire Properties’ SCoC risk termination of their contracts and removal from Swire Properties’ contractors list.
  • Monitoring compliance
  • Swire Properties is working to enhance and streamline its contractor selection processes, and implements an e-contractor list management system that allows potential contractors to submit applications online. In order to be included on its contractor list, relevant new suppliers must complete self-assessment questionnaires to confirm that appropriate policies and systems are in place to manage environmental impacts and OHS (Occupational Health and Safety). Swire Properties’ technical services and sustainable development department carries out due diligence to verify the information provided. All suppliers who have been accepted onto Swire Properties’ contractor list are subject to compliance monitoring. Each year, Swire Properties selects key suppliers, based on highest total procurement spending to complete self-assessment questionnaires. In 2017, Swire Properties also completed a risk assessment of its 20 largest suppliers accounting for the majority of its procurement budget. Using its Enterprise Risk Management framework to evaluate the likelihood and severity of risks, Swire Properties determined that none of these suppliers were “high risk”. Swire Properties has enhanced its monitoring of key suppliers to strengthen risk management in its supply chain and, as part of the new process, may undertake site visits and/or request that key suppliers obtain independent certification in accordance with internationally recognised standards, such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System. In some cases, key suppliers may also be asked to submit environmental and health and safety management plans for Swire Properties’ internal review.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria

2) Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria

 

Disclosure 308-1 New suppliers that were screened using environmental criteria does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 414-1 New suppliers that were screened using social criteria corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Business theme: Workplace violence and harassment
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Labor practices in the supply chain
  • 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: Workplace violence and harassment

 

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 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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