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.

Home / case studies / Case study: How Wharf REIC attracts and retains talented professionals

Case study: How Wharf REIC attracts and retains talented professionals

Wharf REIC is a leading real estate company in Hong Kong, holding a portfolio of six premier quality assets and promoting the economic growth of the city through developing, investing, and managing remarkable properties at important locations in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Lawfulness, fairness and transparency form the foundation of Wharf REIC’s human resources management, so as to provide equal opportunities to all talent regardless of gender, age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by Wharf REIC 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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Experience, ability and related qualifications are Wharf REIC’s selection criteria for recruiting talents.  Tweet This! In order to attract and retain talented professionals Wharf REIC took action to:

  • promote compliance
  • provide benefits
  • implement an Apprentice Training Programme
  • apply the Staff Recognition Programme

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Wharf REIC identified a range of material issues, such as customer privacy, socioeconomic compliance, marketing and labelling, environmental compliance, training and education. Among these, attracting and retaining talented professionals stands out as a key material issue for Wharf REIC.

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 Wharf REIC engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Shareholders, investors and financial analysts

 

 

·      General meeting(s)

·      Financial reports, announcements and circular(s)

·      Corporate communications and company websites

·      Focus groups

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) ·      Programme partnership meetings

·      Regular programme review and assessment

Employees

 

 

·      Surveys and focus groups

·      Town hall meetings

·      Intranet and internal publications

Government, regulatory bodies and industry associations ·      Regulatory task forces and committees

·      Industry operational meetings

·      Forums and conferences

Media

 

 

·      Media briefings and luncheons

·      Executive interviews

·      Instant internet updates

Customers

 

 

·      Surveys and focus groups

·      Social media platforms

·      Service centres and hotlines

Business partners (including suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors) ·      Tendering

·      Operational meetings

·      Contract and performance review

·      Focus groups

Local community

 

·      Community investment programmes

·      Company visits

·      Social media platforms

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Wharf REIC carried out an online survey among stakeholders, asking them to rank the materiality of various sustainability topics.

What actions were taken by Wharf REIC to attract and retain talented professionals?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Wharf REIC reports that it took the following actions for attracting and retaining talented professionals:

  • Promoting compliance
  • Wharf REIC’s employment policies strictly comply with laws and regulations including the Employment Ordinance (Cap.57), Employment of Children Regulations, Employment of Young Persons (Industry) Regulations in Hong Kong, and the Five Social Insurance and One Housing Fund of the People’s Republic of China. Wharf REIC also prohibits child and forced labour, as stated in the Labour Law of the People’s Republic of China.
  • Providing benefits
  • Wharf REIC offers a competitive salary with reference to employees’ experience and performance, and the market salary level. Full-time Group employees in Hong Kong are entitled to top-up MPF (Mandatory Provident Fund) contribution, paid leave, work-related group personal accident insurance, medical insurance, and long services awards according to BU’s policy, whereas full-time employees in Mainland China are entitled to the Five Social Insurance and One Housing Fund.
  • Implementing an Apprentice Training Programme
  • Wharf REIC has invested in the continuing education of its technical frontline staff through the Apprentice Training Programme since 2006. During the training period, Wharf REIC provides on-the-job training and sponsors the tuition fee and part-time day release for higher diploma and craft certificate courses in engineering. On completion of the four-year apprenticeship programme, the Apprenticeship Office issues a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship Ordinance (Cap.47). Staff with good performance are promoted as technicians. 
  • Applying the Staff Recognition Programme
  • Wharf REIC organised the Staff Recognition Programme to appreciate the contribution of employees in the Group. Under the programme, Wharf REIC established the annual Best Employee Award, Best Frontliner Award and Best Frontline Employee Award to provide recognition and encouragement to staff whose performance goes above and beyond the normal call of duty. Each awardee receives a cash prize and trophy during the annual Christmas party to appreciate their efforts and encourage them to keep being role models for other employees.

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

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 401-2 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

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 401-2 Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees corresponds to:

Disclosure 408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor corresponds to:

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

 

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.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Wharf REIC, 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 Wharf REIC: 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.