Giving Back to Society
HWL takes pride in giving back to the community. As a part of the community that we cherish, it is our responsibility to see to its well-being. In 2012, the Group’s operating companies and employees worked hand-in-hand with their local communities in a variety of initiatives ranging from job creation to educating the next generation. Thirty-eight companies of the Group were named Caring Companies by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, recognising their contributions to the community. The following are some examples of community activities that the Group was involved in during the year.
The Group encourages and promotes volunteerism and encourages our employees to serve their communities in numerous ways. Some of these initiatives are highlighted below:
- HWL Volunteers, organised by the HWL Head Office, bring together like-minded individuals from across theGroup’s Hong Kong companies to pool their talents for the community. HWL Volunteers put on a range of activities for the community in conjunction with various social organisations such as the Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society.
- A S Watson held the second A S Watson Global Volunteer Day with 36 business units participating. Activities included a staff charity bake sale by Superdrug in the UK and a Beach Cleaning effort by Watsons Malaysia.
- ICI PARIS XL Belgium raised €250,000 for the SOS Children’s Village Foundation to build a children’s home in Congo.
- In Italy, 3 Italia launched its 4G (LTE) network from Acuto, a small town 60km from Rome. The company started its service in a small town because it wants to help rural areas bridge the digital divide with the large cities.
- In the UK, 3 launched the Rural Broadband Working Group to identify isolated communities and provide free broadband to those that it need it most. This initiative is supported by local ministers.
- Since late 2011, staff from Zhuhai International Container Terminals have been visiting and helping poor and disabled families in rural areas. They continued their visits in 2012 to check up on the families and bring them gifts to celebrate important festivals.
Young postgraduates from Hong Kong and the Mainland who wish to pursue their studies in the UK universities once again benefited from the Hutchison Chevening Scholarships. Over the past decade the Group has donated around £5 million, benefiting about 600 students.
Hutchison Port Holdings (“HPH”) celebrates the 20th anniversary of the HPH Dock School Programme. The programme which started in Hong Kong has since spread to many HPH ports around the world, benefitting numerous schools, teachers and students, many from underprivileged families.
In Canada, Husky Energy announced it will donate C$1.1 million over three years to Lakeland College’s Centennial Campaign to help address a shortage of power engineers. A portion of the donation will go towards scholarships while the remainder will expand the College’s Oil and Gas Training Lab, to be renamed the Husky Power Engineering Lab.
HK Electric is active in promoting lifelong learning and volunteerism through the University of Third Age (U3A) Network established in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
In Vietnam, Vietnamobile and Vietnam Fund will award 500 scholarships each year to poor students across 35 universities in the country.
Medical and HealthcareHealthcare initiatives can be in many forms. From medical technologies to preventive exercises, all these are important to the well-being of our community. The following highlights activities that various companies within the Group have engaged in.
- With the goal of bringing a smile to seriously ill children, 3 Austria continued their support of CliniClowns that bring laughter to 37 Austrian hospitals.
- In Canada, Husky Energy donated new portable bedside monitors for emergency rooms at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre.
- Harbour Plaza North Point took part in the Soap Recycling Programme run by HelpOneFuture. Hotel soap is collected, sanitised, recycled and distributed to those in need with the hope it will reduce child mortality through better sanitation across Asia.
Arts and Culture
In 2012, the Group held a variety of charitable activities in the arts and cultural arena, as highlighted by the following initiatives:
- In Indonesia, Jakarta International Container Terminal (“JICT”) celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan by giving donations to orphans and disadvantaged children in the area. In addition to the free gifts, JICT also provided 26 buses for members of the community to returning to their hometown for holiday to ride free. Meanwhile, Watsons Indonesia organised a Watsons Indonesia Culture and Heritage Nite to recognise its employees’ hard work and promote internal communication.
- Many Hong Kong companies participated in the Dragon Boat Festival with racing teams as well as sharing rice dumplings with the community. Also in Hong Kong, Watsons Water supported numerous cultural and arts functions such as the Hong Kong Flower Show.
- In 2012, A S Watson Group celebrated the seventh anniversary of its Hong Kong Student Sports Awards, which involved at least 70% of the schools in Hong Kong. To date, 6,511 students in Hong Kong have benefited from the programme.
- At the Metro Charity Soccer King Cup, teams sponsored by Hong Kong businesses participated in the soccer tournament promoting the importance of sports and health and raised money for charity.
- HWL Volunteers helped organise the 36th HK Special Olympics Regional Athletic Meet promoting special Olympics in the community. Meanwhile, Metro Broadcast’s employees let their feet do their talking with teams supporting the “Walk for Millions” by the Community Chest.
- Watsons Water supported Hong Kong athletes with a donation programme with every purchase of Watsons Water with fan registrations. The programme raised HK$30,000 for the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee & Sports Association or the Physically Disabled.
- In Ireland, 3 launched the 2012 “Walk of Dreams” initiative in association with the John Giles Foundations. The funds raised will go into the club and community projects involving football throughout Ireland. In Austria, 3 asked its social media community to participate In the 3SuperAct. Each kilometre that 3’s friends run, the company contributed €1 to the Austrian Paralympic Committee.
- In the UK, UK Power Networks’ steady supply of power to the venues of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games kept the spotlight on the competitions.
- In Europe, ECT’s team raised €28,000 in the 530 kilometre ECT Roparun. The charity run stretched between Rotterdam and Paris and raised money for people with cancer.
The pain caused by natural disasters and accidents are felt not only by the victims but also by their communities. As stalwarts of their local communities, it is a testament to the heart and soul of the employees at HWL by how quickly and warmly they respond to such disasters.
Recently, an incident off the coast of Hong Kong Island resulted in the demise of 39 staff, families and friends of HK Electric on their way to view fireworks ringing on the National Day. Across the Group, companies sent in letters of encouragement as well as raised funds for the victims and their families. In a show of support, many of the businesses flew their flags half-mast and changed their websites’ colours to black and white. Our thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of our colleagues and wish them well. HWL Chairman, Mr Li Ka-shing also offered his condolences to the victims and their families and instructed the Li Ka Shing Foundation to release HK$30 million from the “Just In Time” fund to assist the families in their time of need.