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CLP Sustainability Report 2020 / Material topics / Building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce

Building an agile, inclusive
and sustainable workforce

Building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce

Year in review

Last year, COVID-19 brought unique workforce and work environment challenges to CLP’s operations. CLP’s response safeguarded people’s wellbeing, enabling continued progress in building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce to address global energy transition. 

In 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 were felt across the world. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all of CLP’s businesses rapidly introduced a comprehensive range of measures to safeguard the wellbeing of employees and contractors to ensure continued safe and reliable operations and help impacted customers. CLP has not needed to stand down any employees due to the pandemic.

With health and safety as the foundation, this year, CLP continued to focus on addressing the significant opportunities and challenges presented by digitalisation and decarbonisation of the energy sector, together with intensifying demographic and labour supply issues and social and political uncertainties.

New and refreshed programmes at different career levels were introduced in Hong Kong to accelerate development of pipelines of future general managers and engineering leaders in preparation for energy transition and digitalisation, and to address future skills shortages.

Employment branding was strengthened to enhance CLP’s attractiveness to younger and non-traditional talent. CLP continued to resource innovation and energy-transition-related activities. Recognising the challenges faced by students graduating during the COVID-19 outbreak, CLP more than doubled the work opportunities for university and vocational college graduates in Hong Kong.

Despite COVID-19 challenges, CLP maintained its efforts to increase gender diversity. Female representation at all levels was maintained or increased, and CLP set an aspirational target to achieve gender balance over time in its Hong Kong Graduate Trainee intake in order to address significant under-representation of women in operational professional and leadership roles.

The complexities of energy transition, digital evolution and increasing social and political uncertainties and expectations in CLP’s markets drive the need for greater organisational agility. Implementation of action plans to upskill and empower employees to respond rapidly to changing customer needs, provide work environments that facilitate collaboration, and equip employees to leverage new technologies gathered pace. COVID-19 accelerated digital workplace transformation and implementation of tools and policies supporting remote and flexible working.

An engaged workforce is critical for CLP to deliver value. In 2020, CLP conducted employee engagement surveys across its Hong Kong, Mainland China and EnergyAustralia workforces. Pleasingly, response rates were high and employee engagement scores improved. While there is more to do to develop CLP’s culture to support and enable transformation into a Utility of the Future, the improvement over the past three years is proof that the actions taken are making a difference.

As a company working across hundreds of sites in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring that everyone who works for CLP is safe, secure, treated fairly and with respect, is at the core of how CLP works, and underpins long-term success. In 2020, CLP’s Value Framework was refreshed, expressing respect for all internationally recognised human rights relevant to CLP’s operations as a core belief, and embedding human rights in the promises made to stakeholders about how CLP upholds its values. CLP became a signatory to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Call to Action for Business Leadership on Human Rights. Due diligence continued in preparation for progressively embedding labour standards into procurement requirements.

Key metrics - Building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce


Industry, regional, social and demographic drivers are bringing unprecedented change to CLP and are redefining the people agenda. There is no single solution to meeting these challenges – it requires a coordinated and integrated range of strategic initiatives to build an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce.

While conventional energy needs will reduce in significance, the resourcing needs of low-carbon energy, new energy solutions businesses and digitised operating models will increase, together with addressing labour market challenges of an ageing workforce and increased competition for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-qualified people.

In 2021, millennials will make up around 44% of CLP’s employees; this is expected to increase to 67% by the end of 2025. This digital-native generation of employees brings different expectations of work and how CLP should engage and support them. In this context, CLP must find ways to attract and retain a more gender and culturally diverse, multi-generational workforce and share talent effectively across the Group portfolio of businesses. Facilitating youth development, strengthening organisation capability to support CLP’s new businesses in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, equipping leaders to lead transformation under increasingly complex social and political influences, and accelerating gender diversity progress are key priorities in 2021.

Energy transition, digital evolution and increasing social and political uncertainties and expectations in CLP’s markets are driving the need for greater organisational agility: the ability to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing environment. Early steps in CLP’s path to agility are upskilling and empowering employees to respond rapidly to changing customer needs and drive breakthrough improvements, providing physical and virtual work environments that facilitate collaboration, and equipping employees to leverage new technologies. In 2021, cultural change efforts to encourage idea generation, experimentation and ownership will accelerate, along with helping employees adapt to structure and process changes over time.

As the energy industry evolves, CLP is committed to supporting its people to thrive in change. This means helping them embrace change, strengthening their wellbeing and resilience and developing more inclusive workplaces. In 2020, CLP invested in tools and resources to support employees’ physical and mental wellbeing and also enhanced flexibility policies as part of its COVID-19 response. This focus will continue in 2021 as employees return to the workplace.

CLP is mindful that it operates in a social context where there is increasing concern over inclusive growth, and the preservation of basic rights and freedoms in the workplace along with equality of income and opportunity. Consequently, employees and other stakeholders expect CLP to demonstrate values-based management in dealing with potentially divisive social issues. The Group is focused on providing competitive, fair and sustainable benefits and support to employees in need. Work to operationalise CLP’s commitments to respecting internationally recognised human rights through the application of Group labour standards continues.


A Utility of the Future needs a Workforce of the Future. This section discusses CLP’s strategies and progress in safeguarding the health and safety of employees and developing the organisation capability to enable business transformation and growth.

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