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TALKING POINTS

Building a Better Tomorrow – How the Taikoo Place Community Does It

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Businesses today are increasingly aware of the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – socially and environmentally responsible companies don’t just resonate with like-minded consumers, but also engage employees on a deeper, more meaningful level. Most importantly, they’re taking the lead to create positive impact in society. Here, we look at how members of our Taikoo Place community are making a difference to build a better tomorrow.

Hugo Leung, CEO, Hong Kong, BNP Paribas

“As a bank, we are at the service of both our clients and the communities where we operate. A big part of this involves engaging our employees directly in our sustainable development efforts. For example, when our employees relocated to Taikoo Place, they were each given a welcome kit comprising reusable cutlery, a reusable cup and a bag for lunch. These kits have been very popular, and they help tremendously toward our Green Company 4 Employees (GC4E) programme – one of our key initiatives this year, to eliminate single-use plastics from the workplace and reduce our carbon footprints and wastage.

Another global programme we are running in 2020 is 1MillionHours2Help, an ambitious initiative to donate one million hours of our staff’s collective work time to volunteering. Our Hong Kong colleagues will of course take part in this meaningful programme, so we’ll be quite active in our community – with beach clean-ups, fundraising campaigns for charities and more.

We also have a Sustainable Development Goals Education Series, to connect staff across the region with practical knowledge about how the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to their lives and work. This year, aligned with the goals of GC4E and 1MillionHours2Help, the series will focus on volunteering activities that will engage employees to take action on the SDGs.”

Priscilla Li, General Manager, Taikoo Place, Swire Properties

“We recognise that the places we create and maintain have significant impact on society, so we’ve developed our Sustainable Development (SD) Vision – to become the leading sustainable development (SD) performer in our industry globally by 2030, and our SD 2030 Strategy – to facilitate the integration of  SD practices into every facet of our business. Our placemaking and placekeeping efforts have helped us achieve leadership positions in many acclaimed SD-related indices on the global stage. Last year, Swire Properties also became the first real estate company in Hong Kong and Mainland China to have our long-term carbon reduction targets validated and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

When it comes to responsible development, we focus on both the hardware and software of a community. Here at Taikoo Place, apart from optimising building performance, we also engage our tenants to minimise environmental footprints. For instance, we facilitate the collection of over 20 types of recyclables, including food waste and coffee grounds. Last September, we installed a smart beverage bottle deposit machine at The Loop, our sustainability exhibition centre at Devon House, and have since collected over 145,000 bottles for recycling. We are also working closely with tenants to reduce electricity use and water consumption through free energy audits and a new pilot scheme to help them install water flow restrictors and submeters.
In 2020, we’ll continue to offer programmes that promote a sustainable and balanced lifestyle – such as Books for Love $10 Charity Sale, Tong Chong Street Market, arts and cultural events at ArtisTree, community engagement initiatives like PROJECT AFTER 6 and Discover Taikoo Place, and many more – so watch this space!”

Stanley Wong, President, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, Chubb

“Citizenship is about responsibility, and responsibility isn’t just about talking the talk but also walking the walk. As an insurance provider, we express this responsibility in a way that reflects our core values and mission to build a better future – by supporting the communities in which we live and work, as we believe such positive contributions have long-lasting benefits for society, as well as our employees and business.

We’ve always encouraged staff to take part in charitable activities, such as the Raleigh Challenge to raise funds for young athletes, and the Green Power Hike to support environmental education in Hong Kong. Last November, as part of our annual Regional Day of Service, we partnered with St James’ Settlement to host a craft workshop for underprivileged children, which I found particularly impactful because children are the pillars of our future. During the workshop, we encouraged them to think about their future aspirations, which they then took as inspiration to decorate and draw on blank photo frames. I think the photo frames will serve as reminders of their dreams and motivate them to reach their goals.

This year is our 90th anniversary in Hong Kong, and we plan to do more to give back to the community. But first, we will conduct a survey to understand our colleagues’ preferences in order to provide volunteering opportunities that suit their passion and targets, which I hope will result in higher participation and engagement.”
Do you want to make a difference too? Consider these volunteering opportunities in Hong Kong.
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