SPL is a well-known pioneer in pushing sustainable development and responsible business in the property industry. I was born and raised in a community created by SPL and have known a lot about its properties. In the two months of my internship, I truly experienced how sustainability can be practiced in the corporate level, involving not only an outstanding management with long-term vision, but also solid technical support, as well as proactive stakeholder engagement for connecting and delivering sustainable development.
I was thankful to have participated in a wide range of rewarding duties related to SPL’s sustainable development, ranging from the submission of sustainability indexes, to the formulation of the climate change policy statement, to the preparation of SPL Sustainable Development report 2017, and to several internal staff engagement events around sustainable development. In one of the most memorable tasks, I was involved in the preparation of the company’s corporate response for the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index Series. Sustainability indexes are of paramount importance as an indicator reflecting the sustainability performance of a company. More investors are now in favor of companies with good sustainability performance as they believe that these companies are capable in bringing long-term and stable returns. More shareholders prefer that their investment are put into responsible business. With these trends, sustainability indexes act as a very important indicator for potential investors. With more investors, the company is able to gather more capital and resources for its future development, and further expand and support its sustainable development.
I also realized that engagement is of paramount importance in pushing sustainability in a corporation. Engagement can be categorized into external and internal. At SPL, internal engagement refers to the engagement of internal staff and external engagement refers to engaging the company’s outside stakeholders, mainly its tenants and related NGOs. Having been involved in several engagement programs, I learned that being a sustainability leader doesn’t only mean performing well in business, but also refers to the company’s ability to influence its stakeholders and the community.
My internship at SPL was definitely one of the most rewarding, not only because of the practical skills I learned, but also the people, working environment and culture that I came to experience. People at the office were more than happy to teach me with patience and inspire me with ideas. Meanwhile, the Swire culture is certainly one of the highlights of my internship experience. Everyone in the company pays great attention to detail and made sure that everything from SPL is of the best quality. This inspired me to pay extra attention to detail and striving for the best in everything I do. I truly believe that this is the best way to success. There was also a high level of respect in the workplace, and my team valued my opinion and input, which made me feel like I was already part of the team. I very much admire the culture and attitude held by everyone at Swire, and this experience will definitely shaped me into a better person.