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The Group has always upheld the principle of sustainability, and strictly adhere to high standards of corporate social responsibility. The Group recognises the needs of its stakeholders and values their concerns regarding the Group’s sustainable development as well as its business. Regular communications with stakeholders help ensure a better understanding of their expectations regarding the Group. The Group makes ongoing efforts to guarantee the implementation of different regulations and policies on sustainability during its daily operations.

This report aims to provide the Group’s stakeholders with an overview of the Group’s efforts regarding environmental, social and governance impacts arising from its daily operations.

Workforce

The Group believes that a motivated and balanced workforce is crucial for building a sustainable business model and delivering long-term returns.

As at 31 March 2017, the permanent employees of the Group totalled 1,750, working in the headquarters in Hong Kong, regional offices in Macau and mainland China, as well as in the hotel and hotel-related operations in Hong Kong and Macau.

By Region
Hong Kong 24%
Macau 68%
Mainland China 8%
   
  100%
Age Distribution
≤25 11%
26-35 36%
36-45 24%
46-55 19%
≥56 10%
  100%

The Group has a diverse workforce in terms of gender and age, providing a variety of ideas and levels of competency that contribute to the Group’s success. The Group is firmly committed to gender equality, and therefore particularly encourages female participation in the Board, and at managerial and operational levels. Women represent approximately 52% of the total employees in the Group.

The management believes that people are important assets for the Group, and remains committed to attracting and retaining talent with diverse backgrounds for achieving sustainable growth. As at 31 March 2017, approximately 34% of the staff had worked for the Group for five years or more. Staff turnover rate among managerial positions is relatively low, reflecting a high level of employee satisfaction and engagement with the Group.

Health and Safety

The Group values the health and well-being of staff. In order to provide employees with health coverage, staff are entitled to benefits including medical and life insurance as well as other competitive fringe benefits.

The Group prides itself on providing a safe, effective and congenial work environment for its staff. Adequate arrangements and training courses are provided to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. Health and safety training is provided to all employees on induction. Office memos and guidelines on occupational health and safety are issued, and keep all employees informed. Workshops and seminars on different topics are regularly held, to present the latest information and raise awareness of occupational health and safety issues for employees in offices, hotels and project sites.

All construction work is carried out by construction workers via outsourced contractors. All contractors engaged by the Group are obliged to follow the Group’s environmental and safety policies. They are given a safety briefing to ensure safety measures are strictly followed. The rate of accidents and injuries during the Year, as reported by the engaged contractors, remained at low level.

The Group values the health and well-being of staff. In order to provide employees with health coverage, staff are entitled to benefits including medical and life insurance as well as other competitive fringe benefits.

The Group proactively identifies potential occupational hazards, to reduce staff exposure to accidents. Employees assigned to work on construction sites are required to observe additional safety guidelines. In hotel operations, all restaurants staff are required to wear anti-skid shoes and anti-cutting gloves, to prevent injuries. Every case of injury (if any) is required to be reported to the Group Human Resources Department and be individually assessed under the internal guideline procedures. The rate of accidents and injuries during the Year was below 1%.

Development and Training

To promote long-term career development for staff, the Group strongly supports staff participation in training programs organised by external professional bodies, and provides funds and subsidies to staff based on their career development needs. During the Year, staff enrolled in training programs organised by professional institutions such as the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, to enhance their professionalism in architecture and surveying.

In hotel operations, various training courses are regularly conducted to promote occupational safety, personal and food hygiene, fire and emergency response, first aid and customer serving skills. The Group also provides professional training programmes to its frontline staff under the Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System ("MORS") certification scheme, to enhance their occupational proficiencies. As at 31 March 2015, around 150 frontline staff had obtained MORS certifications in accordance with their professions: assistant cook, Chinese dim sum and cuisine, bartender, bell attendant, front desk agent, guest relations officer, room attendant, security officer, waiter/waitress of western restaurant and Chinese restaurant.

During the Year, the Group dedicated around 15,674 hours to staff training, representing approximately 9 hours per employee.

The Group believes that maintaining a work-life balance is essential for sustainability and a sound body and mind for every employee. To support employees in maintaining work-life balance, the Group actively provides a variety of charitable and staff-friendly activities for employees, such as sports day, cookery class, tree-planting day and team-building activities. All these activities help to strengthen relationships between employees, and promote a healthy and harmonious working environment.

As one of the highly recognised developers in Hong Kong, the Group always prioritises environmental protection, and believes business growth and environmental sustainability are interrelated. In adhering to the constant pursuit of green management, the Group has introduced green measures in its offices, hotels and construction sites to reduce waste and promote efficient use of resources. The Group has also actively taken up its corporate responsibility to promote carbon footprint reduction and minimise global warming by adopting various green practices.

Use of Resources

Global warming and climate change are among the major environmental problems in every part of the world. Several measures have been implemented in order to mitigate emissions produced by the Group’s offices, such as minimising use of chiller units during night-time, using LED lamps, switching off passenger lifts after office hours, etc. Also, the Group prefers energy-saving appliances with energy labels when purchasing essential equipment for projects, and installs high efficiency LED lighting to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

For the hospitality business, the Group is devoted to providing a green experience for customers, by promoting efficient use of resources and adopting green technologies. The Group has implemented the following environmental initiatives, and achieved positive results, with obvious improvements in energy efficiency:

  • Reusing waste heat, generated from the heat recovery airconditioning system, for the boiler;

  • Adopting cooling tower systems to maximise chiller energy efficiency;

  • Minimising use of chiller units during night-time;

  • Using energy-saving devices for lifts;

  • Switching off passenger lifts after peak hours;

  • Using LED lamps;

  • Ensuring proper steam leakage and insulation management;

  • Shutting off lighting and air-conditioning when a guest room is not in use;

  • Using thermostats with outdoor temperature sensors, to maintain and control room temperature at a desired energy efficient level;

  • Using ventilation fan controls in kitchen areas。

To identify energy efficiency opportunities, the Group measures and records the energy consumption intensity from time to time.

The Group continues to upgrade its lighting and air-conditioning systems, in order to increase overall operating efficiency. During the Year, an advanced heat recovery ventilator was adopted in Grand Emperor Hotel’s air-conditioning system on a trial basis. The new ventilator better utilises the discharged heat, hence substantially reducing water heating costs. According to a rough estimate, more than 50% of liquefied petroleum gas consumption for the boiler would be saved after the new ventilator was adopted. The new ventilator became fully operational in March 2017.

Grand Emperor Hotel received the Macao Green Hotel Silver Award 2013-2016, organised by the Macau Environmental Protection Bureau and the Macau Government Tourist Office. The recognition demonstrates the Group's commitment and continuous efforts in environmental protection by adopting green initiatives in the hotel.

The Environment and Natural Resources

Creating a paperless working environment not only reduces environmental damage but also fits commercial goals, as it can save physical space, facilitate information sharing via IT networks, and reduce complicated documentation procedures. In recent years, the Group has implemented paperless internal human resources processing – such as employee time sheets, payrolls and leave application. Moreover, duplex printing and copying has become the norm within the Group, greatly reducing paper consumption and saving costs. Data on printing is regularly collected and assessed, to monitor the efficiency of the paperless environment.

Partnering with its printing solutions provider, the Group has adopted "Follow You" print solution in the headquarters, helping the Group become more cost efficient through smarter printing. The print solution enables the Group to achieve environmental objectives by reducing unclaimed printing, as printing is released only upon presentation of a staff card from that particular staff who gives the printing instruction.

Additionally, the Group has incorporated various environmental initiatives in its hotel operations to minimise waste generation. For instance, shower gel bottles are reused after special hygiene treatment. In Grand Emperor Hotel, paper, aluminium cans, glass, metal, plastic bottles and surplus food are separated from the waste, to maximise recycling.

The Company strongly recommends shareholders to access its corporate communications, including financial reports, through the websites of the Stock Exchange and the Company, instead of in printed form. By introducing electronic means of corporate communications to shareholders, the quantity of printed materials has been considerably reduced. This paperless practice thus helps to protect the environment, as well as save costs for stationery, printing and administrative charges etc. A majority of individual shareholders access financial reports and other Company documents via electronic means.

The environmental protection mascot, Sam, plays an important role in promoting environmental awareness among the staff. To create a greener workplace, the staff screensaver displays a set of ecofriendly tips featuring Sam.

Green Construction

Apart from daily office and operational practices, the Group endeavours to build up a green living environment by pursuing green building certification for its ongoing projects, and extends its commitment to environmental protection to other parts of the society.

Construction processes are strictly supervised according to the Building Environmental Assessment Method ("BEAM") or BEAM Plus. During the Year, several projects of the Group that were under construction in Hong Kong followed the BEAM or BEAM Plus requirements. In mainland China, Emperor Group Centre in Beijing was certified at gold level under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for Core and Shell (CS) Development program, demonstrating the Group’s commitment to delivering a green and clean working environment in commercial projects, and further strengthening the Group’s leading position in environmentally friendly property development.

Supply Chain Management

The Group engages more than 100 contractors and suppliers for property projects in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. The Group places high importance on the quality of its operations and products. As a responsible developer, the Group sets rules and policies on the selection of suppliers, contractors and tenderers. This is to maintain high reputation and levels of customer satisfaction regarding the Group's services and products.

The Group believes that the key to sustainable business development is to be detail-oriented and deliver customer care from the heart. The Group aims to deliver the highest possible quality for its customers, while expecting the same quality from selected tenderers. Thus, the Group has a strict process for selecting tenderers. During the tendering procedure, tenderers are requested to submit their environmental plan, quality control plan and safety plan as key factors for consideration. In the outsourcing process, company history, industry reputation and past job references are taken into consideration before choosing reliable suppliers. Site visits ensure the selected contractors meet the Group’s safety standards and product quality. Visits to production sites by inspection staff are made regularly, and weekly progress reports are provided to the quality control team, to ensure high standards are met. Professional consultants, such as architects and engineers, are also hired to inspect sites on request, and provide specific professional advice.

As for hotel operations, the Group works closely with a number of suppliers in providing a range of hospitality goods, including guestroom consumables, tableware, furniture and food and beverage. The selection of suppliers is based on criteria such as quality, price, delivery timeliness, supplier's capability and experience, with preference be given to those who demonstrate their environmental commitment.

Customer Services

Customer relationships help the Group to better understand its markets. To improve the Group's overall operation performance via monitoring customer satisfaction, questionnaires are used to collect customer feedback. Occasional courtesy calls and visits are made to agents, for comments and recommendations.

The Group places utmost importance on protecting the privacy of all our customers, partners and staff in the collection, processing and use of their personal data. The Group adheres to the applicable data protection regulations and ensures appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data against unauthorised use or access. The Group also ensures that customers' personal data is securely kept and processed only for the purposes for which it has been collected. Documents showing customers' details are properly put in records, and destroyed after use with in-house shredding machines or by external contractors, with proof of shredded documents.

Protection of Intellectual Property

The Group builds up and protects its intellectual property rights by prolonged use and registration of domain names and various trademarks including "Emperor". The Group has registered trademarks in various classes in Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China and other relevant jurisdictions.

Anti-corruption/Anti-money laundering

It is essential for the Group's employees to acquire a better understanding of corruption and related acts. In addressing and mitigating corruption risks, a set of guidelines was established to outline acceptable and unacceptable conduct in employees' daily business activities. It reaffirms that every employee adheres to applicable legal requirements and makes ethical business decisions. Employees are given anti-corruption briefings organised by the Group or seminars organised by the Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong. The Group has also adopted a whistleblowing system and procedures for all levels and operations under the Group, so staff can raise concerns, in confidence, about possible improprieties such as misconduct and malpractice in any matter related to the Group. These policies and procedures can be found in the employee handbook on the Company's intranet.

Additionally, a tendering procedure is adopted for all projects to prevent corruption, and all tender documents are kept confidential, restricted to concerned parties. Tender evaluations are systematically based on the Group's internal policies.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

The Group’s Corporate Governance Committee is delegated by the Board to monitor and review its policies and practices on compliance with legal and regulatory requirements such as "The Residential Properties (First-hand Sales) Ordinance", "Employment Ordinance", "Legal Framework for the Operations of Casino Games of Fortune" (Law No. 16/2001) and "Macau Labour Relations Law" (Law No. 7/2008). Updates on the applicable laws, rules and regulations are brought to the attention of relevant employees and relevant operation units from time to time.

The Group holds relevant required licences for provision of services, such as estate agent licence (for property agency services), Junket Promoter Licence issued by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Administrative Licence issued by Macau Government Tourist Office (for entertainment and hospitality services in Macau), etc. and the management must ensure that the conduct of business conforms with the applicable laws and regulations.

Embracing the mission "From the Community, To the Community", the Group actively promotes diverse community campaigns spanning elderly welfare, underprivileged communities and environmental conservation initiatives. The Group's management team also plays an important role in mobilising staff to join all these activities, which are held in tandem with its commitment to sustainable development.

In October 2016, staff of the Group again took part in the annual outbound volunteering activity organised by Emperor Foundation. They joined a four-day tour to Hebei Province in mainland China, for service visits to Albert Yeung Sau Shing Charity Foundation (Shunping) Elderly Care Centre and Albert Yeung Sau Shing (Shunping, China) Elderly Service Centre.

The same month, leveraging the release of the award winning film Happiness by the Group's affiliate company Emperor Motion Pictures, the Group's charity foundation Emperor Foundation sponsored the set-up of toy libraries in various elderly centres operated by Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod, to address the issue of dementia. This was followed by a "Dementia Day and Elderly Visit" campaign at one of the centres, Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Wong (Second) Home For The Elderly in Tsueng Kwan O, in October - which enabled staff members to learn more about the disease, learn how toys reducethe rate of mental decline, and visit the elderly at the same time. The film's leading male actor, Mr. Carlos Chan, was invited to join as a special guest.

The Group provides ongoing support for various environmental protection activities. On 7 October 2016, the Group pledged to support "No Air Con Night 2016", launched by Green Sense. The Group encouraged staff to switch off air conditioners in their offices and homes for 12 hours, demonstrating the Group’s efforts in reducing greenhouse gases. In February 2017, tens of staff have taken part in Hike for Hospice, the annual fundraising event of Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, for 10 consecutive years, either as helpers or participants.

On 25 March 2017, the Group joined the millions of people around the globe and turned off its office lights in support of WWF' s Earth Hour, an annual event to raise awareness of climate change.

During the Year, the Group was named a 10 Years Plus Caring Company, recognising its ongoing commitment to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility.

1. Hike for Hospice

2. Outbound Volunteering Trip