Flagship Programmes
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Community

"Enrich and support local communities." 
 
Enhancing Value in a Dynamic Business Environment

Asset Enhancement

Asset enhancement revitalises and renovates our existing property portfolio and is based on four objectives:
1. Enhancing shopping centre performance
2. Capitalising on changing district potential
3. Creating and delivering a consistent brand image
4. Improving utilisation of internal floor area

This growth driver has traditionally concentrated on providing better environment to introduce new tenant mix, improve operational efficiency, and provide new amenities to attract tenants and shoppers. Given the right conditions, enhancement is also used to reposition, expand and raise the profile of suitable shopping centres, capitalising on factors such as growing population, evolving customer preferences and the opportunity to build synergies with other nearby properties or attractions. We have extended asset enhancement to include properties that rank beyond our top 50 properties. Based on our experience to provide better environment, tenant mix, operational efficiency and the installation of modern amenities, our asset enhancement has expanded to include fresh markets. With similar objectives of modernising and upgrading, our revitalised fresh markets have re-energised a staple of Hong Kong communities while generating strong returns. Our impact is best observed at communities having a shopping centre and fresh market within close proximity. After enhancement, the two have transitioned from being standalone to a complementary and synergistic shopping hub that creates a destination that caters to the needs of shoppers and the community of an expanded catchment.
 
We lay the groundwork for asset enhancement programmes by -
1. Preparation of a project strategy based on business goals and objectives
2. Assessment of marketability to support the proposed business plan
3. Development of design options, asset value creation in the context of competition, planning framework and financial viability
4. Layout optimisation, improvement of efficiencies in the context of best practice and current legislation, rationalisation of circulation, review of sustainability/energy strategy and enhancing revenue generation
5. Programme and phasing options and proposals
6. Risk assessment and mitigating strategies

In 2016/2017, 2 shopping centres and 24 fresh markets have been renovated under this strategy while the previously enhanced properties continued to outperform the rest of our portfolio. As at 31 March 2017, our asset enhancement programmes provided satisfactory return on investment across 53 completed projects, investing HK$7.3 billion since our initial public offering. 


Effects on Local Communities
As we have described in the previous sections, all our properties have a potential to impact local communities, both in positive and negative ways. We try to mitigate any concerns on our asset enhancement programmes through the following measures:
1. Communications with local groups/representatives to explain the nature of the project before renovation starts and obtain their assistance in liaising with local residents
2. Follow all applicable environmental laws and regulations
3. Provide employment opportunities where possible

We believe our ongoing engagement with various stakeholders and communities in which we operate will provide feedback to us should significant issues arise.
 
We strengthen our relationships with both local and international stakeholders by engaging with peers, industry experts, research and academic communities, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to monitor emerging trends and assess potential related risks and opportunities; introduce best practices to improve business performance and operational efficiency. We share our experience and knowledge to build trust and credibility in the international community as well as amongst our local stakeholders, including government, industries, academia and general public to strengthen our internal capacity for addressing emerging issues.

New Market at Yat Tung

"Hong Kong Market", run by single-letting market operator Uni-China at Yat Tung Shopping Centre in Tung Chung, has reopened after a major facelift, featuring décor that enables visitors to relive 1960s-era Hong Kong. An eye-catching 11-metre-long aircraft model inside the market, the work of a well-known paper-crafting master, helps recreate the nostalgic scene of airplanes flying low over buildings in Kowloon City. Other attractions include the market’s interior design, which showcases Hong Kong’s past architecture, and a customer service counter in the guise of an old-time cinema ticket office.

In addition to providing a wide range of fresh market products at various price points to suit the needs of different shopper groups, the market now also offers a cooked food street. Other new services include e-membership, market DJ and daily discount offers.

 
 Yat Tung.JPG
 
New Market at Yat Tung - Reminiscent of Old Hong Kong
 
Case Study Sharing

Revamped Butterfly Plaza and Fresh Market offer Novel Shopping Experience

Butterfly Plaza has completed a major facelift, highlighted by the upgrading of its large-scale fresh market and the addition of new corridors linking the shopping mall and the market to enhance shopper flow.


The revamped market is now equipped with air-conditioning, shopping zones are designed to improve floor layout and shop visibility, and the market’s centre has been designated as a promotional venue to enhance the retail atmosphere. The baffle ceiling, with its radiating pattern, draws patrons into the market, while graphics of colourful fresh produce symbolise the pigment spectrum of butterflies as well as the vegetables and fruits offered at the market. Barrier-free access facilities were also improved, and a new elevator was added.


More importantly, the market has achieved an optimal tenant mix, offering a wide range of products from traditional fresh products to speciality food products like healthy rice and Shandong beef. A customer service counteris also available, with shopping carts and baby trolleys, and customer service ambassadors are at hand to help shoppers. A cooked food section is located on the ground floor to offer delightful dishes from different cuisines, while the market’s seafood stall serves freshly cooked seafood dishes.


The shopping centre’s tenant mix has also been enhanced by introducing popular Chinese restaurant and cha c haan teng chains, and adding a host of new eateries serving Taiwanese cuisine, Korean BBQ and Western fast food.



Creating Value for Community

Link Together Initiatives

Link Together Initiatives was established in January 2013 as a result of our Unitholders, having approved a mandate empowering Link to make charitable donations and sponsorships specifically for investing in and enhancing the sustainable development of local communities. Since 2013/2014, we have donated a total of HK$38.1 million through the Link Together Initiatives, to promote three key areas:
1) The well-being of the youth;
2) Elderly; and
3) People in need.
Link Together Initiatives is our flagship charity and community engagement programme through which we support selected non-profit projects that improve livelihoods of local communities. 

Please click here for further details.


Barrier Free Access Update

Under the scope of the Best Practicable Principle and Universal Design Principle, Link was among the first private corporations to promote barrier free access (“BFA”) facilities in Hong Kong, committing a total of HK$211 million to ensure our properties are barrier free accessible. BFA enhancements include tactile guide paths and warning strips, low platform service counters, accessible toilets, Braille layout maps, visual fire alarms, accessible parking bays, ramps and accessible lifts with audio/visual functions. 
 
On top of hardware provisions, we also launched an e-learning platform to train our staff in BFA concepts. 
 
Barrier-free access extends beyond the physical environment and into the virtual environment. We have made strides to ensure that the content in Link's corporate website follow the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), in designing and providing the latest web care features for people with special needs, including deafness/hearing impaired, blindness/low vision and limited physical movement. In recognition of our effort, we received the Certificate of Appreciation from the Internet Professional Association for signing the Web Care Charter.
 
Please click here for further details.


Quantifying Our Value Creation  

Case Study 1 : ‘Help the Aged, Teach the Young’ - Link Fresh Market Surplus Food Donation Project

In 2015/2016, we donated approximately HK$10 million to support the organisations serving communities in need under ‘Link Together Initiatives’. Among the 7 projects that we supported, the project of ‘Help the Aged, Teach the Young’ launched by the Food For Good (FFG), is our second programme using Total Impact Assessment (TIA) to calculate its value that creates to the community. The project aims to collect surplus food in our fresh markets, for redistribution or producing cooked meals for people in need. By collecting data throughout the whole project year, we are able to quantify its socio-environmental benefits and the value created to the community.


During 2016/2017, around 12.2 tonnes of surplus food were donated from Link’s market tenants, which have benefited to over 280,000 elderly beneficiaries. Apart from bring food and cheer to the elderlies, this project had also raised the public awareness on environmental protection​. As a result, for every HK$1.00 we invested in this project, we generate HK$1.59* of socio-environmental benefits to the community.

Through quantifying the project values consecutively, we can create and maximise the benefits to the community. This further let us to improve and develop a platform to share common indicators and financial proxies with our working partners.

(*): Source from Shenzhen and California Carbon Market Price.



WGO (1).jpg 
 



Case Study 2: Valuation of Link REIT’s Total Impact​

Link is an early adopter of Integrated Reporting (IR). In order to better support the IR process, we aim to develop an innovative and business relevant approach to ‘link sustainability with everything we do’, so that we Link People to a Brighter Future. Beyond the traditional financial metrics for investors and other key stakeholders, we commissioned Trucost to measure Link’s Total Impact from our natural, social and human capital. The study was first kicked-off in December 2015, and we intended to develop a robust management tool within 3 years. This study can assist Link to have a comprehensive understanding on the business relevance sustainability programmes, and to inform and improve our business decision-making. It further supports Link’s ESG focused investor targeting strategy with better communication with the investor community. In October 2016,  the first tool was completed and is currently under progress of fine-tuning its functions. 
 
 
 
  
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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