Sustainability Management
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Sustainability Management

"At Link, we strive to embed a culture of sustainability across all business units and in our daily operations." 
 
Link's Sustainability Committee   

Link's Sustainability Committee has overall responsibility for overseeing our corporate sustainability strategy and progress. The Committee reviews and endorses policies, practices and targets for key sustainability issues and ensures that regulatory sustainability-related requirements are met. The Committee is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer.
  
The Sustainability Working Group proposes and develops activities for implementation across projects and daily operations by Individual Task Groups and Staff Sustainability Network. Representation by all business units serves to ensure that each element of our Sustainability Framework is considered when proposing, designing and implementing new protocols and procedures. The Sustainability Advisory Committee serves as an additional channel to listen to constructive feedback from the community on sustainability matters and to further enhance our communication and transparency with our stakeholders.

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Memberships, Awards & Recognition and Pledges 

Corporate Memberships

We support various local and global organisations by maintaining an active role and engaging with those organisations. Please click here to view the list of corporate memberships.
 
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Awards & Recognition

In recognition of our endeavours, we have received awards and recognition from prestigious organisations. Please click here to view our awards and recognition.
 
Pledges

We demonstrate our commitment to implement measures to contribute positively to address concerns by signing up various pledges and charters.
 
As a signatory to Hong Kong’s Energy Saving Charter, between June and September, we maintain an average indoor temperature of 24-26 degrees Celsius in the common areas for 7 of our shopping centres.
 
To respond to concerns about food waste, we became one of the organisations to sign the “Food Wise Charter” under the Food Wise Campaign by the Hong Kong Environment Bureau. In addition, we are a Member of the Food Wise Hong Kong Steering Committee and its Subcommittees. 
 
We maintain good air and water quality to ensure people using our premises experience a  healthy and pleasant environment. This year 5 of our shopping centres (Butterfly Plaza, Choi Ming Shopping Centre, Long Ping Commercial Centre, Temple Mall (North) and Tin Shing Shopping Centre), have participated and have been awarded "Good Class certification for the Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme".

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN  SDGs)

Strategic Alignment with SDGs

In September 2015, the United Nations launched a set of 17 SDGs and targets that aim to transform the world by 2030. Link firmly believes that a sustainable society can only be achieved with the support of the corporate community, and as such we have assessed the ways in which the management of our material issues can contribute towards sustainable development through specific SDGs. 

Since 2018, we have taken the initiative to align our material issues with the SDGs by effectively managing our ESG issues and building innovative collaborations across sectors. With the planning of Link's 2030 underway, further steps will be taken to map our ESG goals and targets to support the most relevant SDGs. 

We have identified 3 UN SDGs (9,11 and 17) that we will actively strive to accomplish. Further targets and initiatives will be published on our sustainability website in due time. 


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Stakeholder Engagement

As part of our responsibilities as a leading real estate investor and manager, we consistently and actively engage with our stakeholders. We utilise a range of mechanisms to establish clear and open dialogues. Doing so has allowed us to better understand each other’s concerns and expectations on a wide variety of issues including corporate priorities, performance and how we will manage emerging trends. We believe that these interactions are valuable, and provide an opportunity to identify and pursue common goals together.
 
Please click here to view the list of Link's stakeholder groups.
 

 
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Materiality Assessment 


One of the fundamentals of the reporting process under the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is stakeholder engagement. It is the key starting point to connect business strategy with reporting and demonstrate how the business responds to the legitimate needs and concerns of its main stakeholders. In line with our sustainability strategy, we have prepared this report on material issues that are considered important to us and our stakeholders.

It is important to engage our stakeholder groups regularly and directly to better understand priorities, perceptions and expectations. For example, we engage with Unitholders and institutional investors through our Investor Relations Department, with our community partners across the territory through our community relationship managers, and with governments and community organisations at district levels through our Government & Community Engagement team.

Over the past year, we have continued to focus on embedding a proactive approach to stakeholder engagement to ensure this is integrated as a key part of everyday operations. We have a structure in place to identify key stakeholders and priority issues. Development and implementation of all plans are monitored by our senior management. We also ensure lessons, trends and successful initiatives are shared among the business departments.
  
Our stakeholder engagement plan is reviewed regularly to ensure we continue to clearly and consistently record our main stakeholders, key issues and concerns for each stakeholder group and the overall objectives for our stakeholder engagement. These plans ensure a proactive approach to communicating with stakeholders and balancing their interests across our projects.
  
We appointed an external consultant to facilitate a number of stakeholder engagement sessions on behalf of Link. These included focus group discussions and face-to-face interviews. The discussions helped shape the materiality assessment and the content of this report.

We have identified material issues that are both important to Link and our stakeholders. Those issues divided into four aspects, including environmental, social, human resources and communication channels.

Feedback from the stakeholders provides us guidance to shape our future initiatives. For example:

  

Environmental

Stakeholders viewed that Link has generally improved financial performance and competitiveness by improving the environmental performance. While efforts were spent on upgrading the existing hardware infrastructure, consideration could be given on improving the software, as such, we would consider incorporating green building practice terms into our housekeeping guidelines, a mechanism to drive CO2e savings in commercial properties.

 
Social

We have received positive feedback concerning Link Together Initiatives. Stakeholders viewed that benefits have been brought to the community. They would like to see more reporting on the analysis of the value created to the community. We will continue to report on the programmes.

 

Human Resources

Stakeholders viewed that Link’s staff receive better benefits than the peers in the property development sector. While the attrition rate has improved, the further effort would be required in order to retain staff and improve job satisfaction.

 

Communication Channels

Link has provided various channels for engaging stakeholders. The stakeholders appreciated the dedication of Link which we have strengthened stakeholder engagement and communications channels. 
 

Please click here for the Materiality Matrix.

  
We will continue to work on improving our performance in these high-priority common material issues. 


Our Aspiration


Materials & Supply Chain


Link strives to be an overall positive contributor to environmental sustainability to those around us. We recognise that our performance depends on our suppliers and we aim to establish a strong partnership with them in delivering value to our stakeholders and in working towards our vision on being “A world-class real estate investor and manager, serving and improving the lives of those around us”.


 Approach: 

· Integrate sustainability into all our procurement and supply chain decision making Policies and Procedures including periodic review for compliance

· Comply with our signatory requirements under the United Nations Global Compact


Targets:

· Encourage our suppliers to implement a “Resource Recycling System”, to ensure their products can be recycled 

· Provide further opportunities for resource efficiency by reducing ‘end-of-life’ impacts associated with disposal and reduce the volume of waste sent to
  landfill

· Actively engage with key suppliers and provide data and other relevant information to enable innovation and the development of products that meet
  our aspirations  


Innovation

With the emergence of the newest technological advancements and tech-savvy millennials who are now our largest consumer base, Link is starting to evolve. Link’s Innovation Program works with companies of all sizes, starting with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) to bring their non-traditional connected solutions to market and to partner with them as a corporate start-up initiative.

 

Approach:

· Investigate and invest in new technologies, materials, processes, business models while meeting our customer’s existing and future demands

· Partner with local start-ups, i.e.  HKSTP to implement their ideas

· Expand online payment methods in Link’s properties

 

Highlights:

· Link partnered with HKSTP to organise the Link-HKSTP PropTech Accelerator Programme for start-up technology companies. Shortlisted companies
  joined a 12-week intensive programme in late 2017 to learn about Link’s technology applications, business development directions and corporate
  vision. Final demo-day were presented by participants to showcase their projects to potential investors and business partners to explore co-operation
  opportunities

· Our newly refurbished markets (i.e M.C Box Po Tat Market and Heng On Market Food Garden) runned by Single-Letting Market (SLM) operator Uni-
  China, become the first batch of fresh markets in Hong Kong to introduce the AlipayHK mobile payment, Octopus card and 
Octopus O! ePay (“O!
  ePay”) services, making payment for fresh groceries easier and creating a cashless society

 

Engaging Other Stakeholders

CONNECTION 2018

At Link REIT, we believe sustainability is good for those around us and therefore good for our business. We put sustainable growth, stakeholders’ interests, and responsible business practices at the heart of our operations. 


CONNECTION 2018 has evolved into a sharing platform where we update participants on our business strategy and more importantly, seek input and feedback from our key partners on business priorities, upcoming challenges and how we grow together.


This year we introduced an interactive format so that we can understand the challenges across our different organisations and to ideate collective and encompassing solutions, together. We received good ideas and are in the process of prioritising actionable items.


 


Key findings:

· 57 internal and external stakeholders participated in the forum

· Our stakeholders have identified their top 5 issues, in which they would like us to actively work on. These issues include waste management, more
  engagement and technological innovations

 

Next steps:

· Our next step is to review the results gathered from CONNECTION 2018 and develop Link's 2030 Strategy


 Policies

Contractor's Code of Conduct

At Link, we understand that a strong commitment to sustainable development is vital to our business. We, therefore, strive to commit to, amongst other good corporate practices upholding ethical business conduct, compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies, as well as caring for our environment and staff, enjoyment of health and safety and human rights. We expect our contractors to adhere to the same commitment as well. The Code of Conduct, are given to all of our contractors, consultants, suppliers and vendors to adhere to.  

 

 
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Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2013 Best Investment Manager in Hong Kong 2015 Institutional Investor Most Honored Company in Hong Kong 2015 The Asset Triple A Awards Property Investor of the Year DJSI Asia Pacific FTSE4Good GRESB Green Star 2014 Hong Kong Awards for Industries: Customer Service Grand Award Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme