Sustainability Framework
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Sustainability Framework and Approach

​“We believe sustainability is good for those around us and therefore good for our business." 
 

 

Link's Sustainability Framework consists of seven core elements, namely staff, corporate governance, environmentasset/brand, tenant, community and economy. It guides our progress towards sustainability. These elements are presented in a circle, illustrating our firm belief that all seven elements are equally important to us and necessary for sustainable development. Doing well in one particular element will also result in better performance in other elements. We have also strengthened our Sustainability Framework by establishing clear strategies for each element.

 

Staff

We believe the strength of Link is rooted in our culture of serving people first as a core value. We work hard to develop and retain the best people in our company. Link strives to become an employer of choice by growing a workforce that makes us one of the most successful companies among our peers. For more information, please click here. 

 

Corporate Governance

We believe a strong and transparent corporate governance framework is essential for the long-term success of LinkFor more information, please click here.

 

Environment

In 2012/2013, Link announced that it adopted a 20/20 vision, which aimed to reduce total annual energy consumption by 20% of 2010 levels by 2020. Through effective measures like the introduction of energy-efficient hardware and proper monitoring of facility operations, the goal was achieved six years ahead of schedule in 2013/2014. To build upon our effort, Link has already established a more ambitious target which seeks to achieve a 30% reduction in annual energy consumption by 2020, again using 2010 as a baseline. As at 31 March 2017, our total energy reduction since 2010 is 28.2%. In anticipation of meeting our 30% target, we have begun to lay the ground work for setting our next energy target. We are exploring using Science Based Target methodologies, which is in line with global best practices. 


In anticipation of the Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme by the HKSAR Government, Link launched the fresh market waste separation programme in 2016, preparing tenants for the upcoming waste charging.

 

Energy and waste management will continue to be a major component of Link’s cost management and environmental management strategies. For more information, please click here.


Asset/Brand

Link believes that environmental, social and governance issues have the potential to impact investment returns. As currently Asia’s largest REIT and one of the world’s largest retail-focused REITs in terms of market capitalisation, Link believes that adopting a sustainability policy across the business operations will allow for greater alignment with stakeholders’ long-term interests.

 

Link aspires to be a world class real estate investor and manager, serving and improving the lives of those around us by providing value and quality service, partnering with local communities and delivering sustainable growth. With the launch of our new corporate brand on 19 August 2015, we will continue to serve and enhance the lives of those around us, and remain committed to creating a better shopping experience and environment and to finding more ways to Link People to a Brighter Future.  Link recognises the measurable physical impact the properties have on the environment and community. We strive to be recognised as a member of the global leader on sustainability and responsible property investment. Link continues to be an active member and a  signatory of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, which encourages responsible property investment and management practices.

 

Link efficiently manages the properties we own and we strive to build a strong and reputable brand name. This allows us to work closely with different stakeholders. The management of our retail and car park facilities has evolved to be our strength and expertise. Over the years, we have established a track record of increasing rental revenue complemented by effective control of property operating costs. Through scalable innovation, we continue to leverage this competitive advantage. For more information, please click here.


Tenant

Tenants are the core of Link’s business. We create environments that inspire success to increase value for our tenants. We improve the tenants’ business environment by an on-going programme of asset enhancement initiatives to upgrade our retail properties. We also invest extensively in the repair and maintenance of the shopping centres and car park facilities across our portfolio.  All such investments are done with a view to enhance the shopping environment and provide a sustainable operating platform for the tenants’ businesses. A 'Fit-out Handbook' is provided to tenants with guidance on their fit outs as well. Link also enhances the tenants’ competitiveness by providing latest industry insights and business suggestions to our tenants via Link Tenant Academy.    


Link's Hong Kong portfolio spans various districts, serving customers through about 11,000 shop tenancies. Apart from well-known initiatives like asset enhancement programmes and Link Tenant Academy, Link is contributing to the expansion of small tenants through its sizeable property network. Our Park & Dine mobile app, launched in 2015 - does not just benefit shoppers, it is also a powerful business tool for tenants to attract new customers, engage existing ones and improve their customer experience. Dining features such as e-Queuing do away with the hassle of waiting in line. e-Coupons provide timely offers while also gaining valuable customer insight. Through the app, redemption data of e-Queuing and e-Coupon can be shared with related tenants so that they may make better-informed business decisions.


Building on our successful Tenant Academy Platform, in 2016/2017 Link launched the Tenant Excellence Award (T.E.A.) Scheme for tenants to get professional insights on how they are doing and how well their staffs are performing. The improved, holistic approach of our Tenant Academy not only offers classroom seminars, but an additional value to tenants where they receive constructive feedback to improve and advertising opportunities to promote their businesses. Upon completing the Tenant Academy, tenants are eligible to enrol in the T.E.A. scheme where mystery shoppers visit their stores to access their implementation of various customers’ service aspects. The top ten performing tenants are presented with a trophy, while the top two are featured in Link advertising opportunities.


In tandem with renovation programmes that enhance the entire shopping centre, many small tenants are keen to modernise their shops to capture new business opportunities. Link offers tenants industry-specific design guidelines and samples, setting up a team to advise tenants on shop design matters.  For more information, please click here.


Community

Our communities comprise of the people we serve. Link's properties are an extension of the living rooms of the people living in the communities around us. We place high priority on creating value for the communities we serve, which is illustrated through our flagship community investment programme – Link Together Initiatives ("The Initiatives"). Link utilises the shopping centre network to offer free venues to the organisations to promote their projects and services in addition to the financial support provided to the organisations.

 

Every year, Link contributes up to 0.25% of its net property income from the previous financial year to The Initiatives. The maximum that can be awarded to any one organisation is 30% of the total funds granted in any year.

 

For 2016/2017, Link Together Initiatives (“The Initiatives”) marks its fourth year. A variety of charitable organisations have already benefited from the support it has provided. During the financial year, HK$10.2 million was allocated to various projects under the established Major Project Fund, District Project Fund, Link First Generation University Student Scholarship and Link Barrier-Free Adventure Day and Public Education. For the 2016/2017 funding cycle, after careful consideration, the Initiatives’ Selection Committee and the Board of Link selected 56 community projects from a pool of applications. For details, please click here.


Economy

The ability to improve retail and commercial assets, together with asset acquisition and disposal, enables Link to accelerate the optimisation of our asset portfolio. These drivers complement each other by adding different capabilities at different points in time, and together they drive the growth at various stages of Link’s development.

 

Link aims to offer tenants, shoppers and communities with vibrant centres for modern living that inspire success to increase value for all our stakeholders. These in turn provide Unitholders with a steadily increasing total return. For more information, please click here.



Critical Success Factors

We have identified four critical success factors to achieve our sustainable development goals:

 

Corporate Culture: Embed a culture of sustainability across all business units and in our daily operations.
ActionsWe enhance staff awareness and understanding of sustainability by identifying and sharing best practices, promoting transparency and encouraging engagement. We have also introduced our Competency Framework.
 
Business OperationsAdd more value and reduce our footprint.
ActionsWe actively encourage resource conservation and operational efficiency. This will reduce impacts on society and environment, while providing investors with better returns.
 
Communication: Listen. Respect. Lead.
ActionsWe actively listen to stakeholder’s needs and encourage constructive feedback, which is taken into account during decision-making processes.
 
Building RelationshipsBuild trust with different audiences in our communities.
ActionsWe actively engage with different parties, collaborating on common issues. This helps to build strong and healthy relationships with different parties in the community.​
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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