Creating Value for our Community and Stakeholders
Guided by our corporate vision “Creating Shared Value”, we believe in bringing remarkable returns to shareholders while responding to the needs of the community and stakeholders to achieve business sustainability.
Our ongoing efforts to integrate socially responsible practices into our business allow us to stay engaged with a wide range of stakeholders. In particular, we have developed caring and wellness initiatives to ensure the well-being and ongoing development of our community.
“Caring” and “Wellness” are two of the key pillars under our Sustainability Vision 2030, which reflect the Group’s dedication to giving back to society and helping those in need. To date, we have launched several initiatives enhancing the social mobility of underprivileged groups and improving the well-being of all stakeholders in the community.
In 2020, the Group successfully consolidated its ownership of the 68-year-old State Theatre. Located in North Point, the legendary Grade I historic site is Hong Kong’s last surviving large-scale movie palace. Its captivating parabolic exoskeleton truss is a unique design that bears witness to the history of North Point, once dubbed “Little Shanghai.”
Prior to the commencement of conservation work, Culture for Tomorrow, a non-profit organisation under the New World Group curated the immersive event “Discover the State Theatre in All of Us” from April to June 2021, to honour and restore this cultural icon to its original glamour. Visitors were invited to explore its shining history through the eyes of different historical personas and view over 500 artefacts, including original movie handbills from the 1950s and vintage movie tickets.
The Group assembled a team of elite local and international consultants with rich experience in heritage conservation to formulate a comprehensive plan for conservation and development. Within its plan is the conservation of the iconic parabolic exoskeleton truss in the roof and the creation of a new landmark for culture and arts. Safeguarding our collective memory while revitalising architecture, we wish to create shared value by connecting social progress with business success.
NWD has long valued community health and safety. Faced with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we promptly launched the #LoveWithoutBorders initiative, setting up a number of production lines for Made-in-Hong-Kong face masks, as well as the city’s first “Mask-to-Go” dispensers for free, weekly distribution among underprivileged families. Since its launch in early 2020, #LoveWithoutBorders has donated over 21 million face masks in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas through its smart dispensers and other channels, playing its part to safeguard public health.
To expedite the COVID-19 recovery, we partnered with three NGOs, Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, the Society for Community Organisation and St. James’ Settlement, to encourage vaccination among low-income families. Five thousand beneficiaries are eligible to receive a HK$1,000 grant each through our vaccination subsidy initiative, launched in June 2021. Our Group insurance company, FTLife, is offering a “Coverage on Vaccination Side Effects” package, which covers possible side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. The package is available to all new and existing customers, and includes medical consultations and a daily hospital cash benefit.
To help drive to the new economy under the pandemic, in March 2021, the Group held “Create Jobs ∙ Spark Hope”, the first private sector job fair since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Nearly 1,000 job opportunities were created across our business ecosystem amidst the pandemic. They covered a broad range of sectors, including emerging jobs in the new normal and innovative job categories that responded to the new economy, creating new opportunities for talent across all industries.
Talent is our Group’s greatest asset. To minimise the risk of members of our workforce contracting COVID-19 and to promote employee wellness, we offered our employees on-site vaccination. Fully vaccinated employees are entitled to two days of paid leave. In addition, the Group offers free vaccination side-effects protection through FTLife Insurance to all its employees in Hong Kong and Macau, which does not require pre-registration or advance purchase.
To combat the challenging fifth wave, New World Group has partnered with the local biotech unicorn Prenetics to donate 200,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits through six NGOs to the underprivileged in February 2022, hoping to lower the social burden of those in need under the haze of the coronavirus. Free test kits will also be distributed to all our staff and households in all New World-managed residential buildings for peace of mind.
To solve the city’s deep-rooted housing supply issue and improve people’s housing situations, NWD founded New World Build for Good (Build for Good), a not-for-profit social housing enterprise that invited industry experts in land planning, housing, economic development, social welfare and livelihood concerns to explore new and sustainable housing models. It aims to conduct research in multiple directions and lead future pilot programmes to seek short to medium-term solutions, as well as long-term strategies that will help alleviate Hong Kong’s housing problems.
In early December 2021, Build for Good announced plans for Hong Kong’s first-ever subsidised private housing project, namely “New World Subsidised Housing”. The project targets to help young families tackle the challenges of a lack of capital for down payments and difficulty in making initial mortgage payments by offering new and high-quality flats at affordable prices. The project will build flats to be sold at roughly 50% to 60% of the market price with down payments as low as 5% and a special “progressive payment” mortgage arrangement, vastly increasing affordability for homebuyers.
Our recent work through New World Build for Good builds upon social housing initiatives from the last several years. We announced in 2019 that the Group would set aside farmland reserves for NGOs and/or the Hong Kong SAR Government for the development of transitional homes for the underprivileged. Four projects are now in the preliminary planning phase, including a transitional home project on Fan Kam Road, currently being developed in partnership with Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, and a transitional home project in Ngau Tam Mei, created in collaboration with Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service – Hong Kong. The four projects are expected to create over 2,000 units. To offer additional land for transitional homes and to build better communities for the next generation, we are liaising closely with other NGOs and relevant government departments to inject unique and innovative elements into social housing projects.
Please visit the official website for more details: https://www.nwbuildforgood.hk/
New World Springboard provides long-term support to under-resourced youth through different sports training and other holistic support to promote social mobility. It offers continuous and professional training in sports such as swimming, basketball and rope skipping, unleashing the potential of the young generation in Hong Kong. Teenage beneficiaries are also offered career planning support. Some students have participated for as long as 10 years and joined the Group’s internship programme in 2021.
Employees, contractors, tenants and customers are our valued stakeholders. In addition to the adoption of H&S management systems (including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001 under our construction subsidiaries NWCON and Hip Hing), we have established a Health and Safety Policy which sets out our commitment to minimise health and safety risks. During the planning and construction stages of our projects, we implement the Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure suppliers are fulfilling safety requirements and delivering quality products and services. Health and safety awareness is enhanced by providing operational guidelines and conducting regular training for employees and contractors.
In FY2021, we launched a new Employee Assistance Programme, offering a counselling service provided by the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society to all employees. The service covers all aspects of mental well-being, from family relationships to financial management, parental stress, and more. Additionally, we launched our “WeCare Health Talks” series to disseminate wellness tips on improving sleep quality, managing stress, stretching and meditation.
We consider health and wellness as a centrepiece of our building designs and actively curate built environments to promote well-being and sustainable lifestyles. One of our more recent urban office redevelopment projects, K11 ATELIER King’s Road, is a WELL Certified™ Platinum healthy building located in Hong Kong’s Island East. The project showcases how we incorporate wellness to reinvent the modern workspace for tenants and users through a unique blend of architectural design and holistic tenant support. The rooftop garden boasts an extensive harbour view and a communal space that is complemented by a jogging path for users. Meanwhile, the extensive greenery and building setback from the pedestrian enhances comfort and provides a pleasing visual. In addition to enhanced indoor air quality and thermal comfort design, K11 ATELIER King’s Road functions as a healthy lifestyle hub. Through K11 ATELIER ACADEMY, we provide tenants and office users exclusive access to group fitness and mindfulness workshops to support the adoption of a green and healthy way of living.