Empowering communities

We engage and enhance the wellbeing of the communities where we are present. Earning and maintaining the acceptance and trust of our communities strengthens our social licence to operate.
Most Material Topic : Local Communities

Our contributions

Over the years, we have developed and invested in a wide range of initiatives to serve our communities. Our community initiatives focus on four pillars: Environment; Education and Development; Community Wellbeing; and Arts and Culture.

Find out how we manage community investment

In 2017, we initiated, sponsored or donated to 647 programmes for the four pillars. We invested both money and time into our community.

  2017 2016 2015
Amount donated for charitable and other purposes (HK$ million) 14.47 12.65 14.52
Volunteering hours* (hours) 19,945 13,302 11,675
Programmes implemented (number) 647 574 547

Note:
2017 figure refers to volunteering hours by CLP staff and family members; the other figures refer to volunteering hours by CLP staff only.

Our community spending by theme and by geography are summarised in the charts on the right. Our biggest community spending was on Environment (41%), while our focus on Community Wellbeing (13%) to improve quality of life for the communities we operate in by supporting initiatives that serve the need of the socioeconomically disadvantaged, was our second biggest spending. With Hong Kong as our home, over 80% of our community spending was in Hong Kong. The amount we donated for charitable and other purposes was HK$14.47 million. 

In addition to contribution in the form of donation and sponsorships, we also continue our engagement through participation in and support of lectures, seminars and conferences, covering topics from innovation to climate change. We hope to raise awareness on these issues, share our experience, and promote collaboration if possible. CLP senior executives continued their active participation in external conferences and forums. For example,CEO Richard Lancaster and CLP Power Managing Director TK Chiang spoke at the Business Environment Council’s EnviroSeries Conference in Hong Kong on smart city. Senior Director – Innovation Austin Bryan shared his insights on digital transformation and the opportunities available at the CIO Leadership Forum in Hong Kong. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn in November 2017, Director – Group Sustainability Dr Jeanne Ng spoke about CLP’s sustainability efforts at Energy Day.

 


Our impact

The focus areas of our community programmes are chosen because they are closely linked to our business nature, or can help address the social issues faced by the communities in which we operate, and thereby contributing indirectly to economic improvement and creating positive indirect economic impact on society. Our programmes benefitted 439,000+ people in 2017, compared to 359,000+ in 2016.

In 2017, Education and Development and Community Wellbeing accounted for the majority of direct beneficiaries in our community initiatives. Education continues to be a key focus as we see it as the most powerful investment in our future. We believe that by raising awareness of the industry and providing appropriate training and job opportunities, this will help young people advance their career and achieve upward mobility. 

  2017 2016 2015
Direct beneficiaries 439,000+ 359,000+ 176,000+
Organisations benefitted 451 373 369

Material Topic : Access

Access to electricity

Electricity is an essential service and we work hard to ensure all members of our community have access to reliable and affordable electricity. We have services in place that ensure most challenges including language, culture, literacy or disability do not prevent people from accessing and using our products and services. In both our Hong Kong and Australian retail businesses, we avoid disconnection of our accounts by trying to work out special arrangements for non-payments. We also seek to alleviate poverty through special programmes.


Total number of disconnections for Hong Kong

Hong Kong

In our Hong Kong retail business, we have special arrangements for non-payment customers including programmes to help customers who might be at risk of supply disconnection. Payment deferral or interest free payment by instalment is offered for demonstrated cases of hardship.

People who live in sub-divided units are among the least fortunate in Hong Kong. Despite their poor living conditions, they face the lack of adequate social protection. To ease their financial burden, CLP has relieved their electricity costs through donations made available by the Power Your Love programme. In 2017, around 10% of beneficiaries of the programme were people who lived in sub-divided units. CLP also supported the Community Housing Movement championed by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service by providing underprivileged households with energy efficient electrical appliances.

We also provide a number of customer caring services for those with special needs. We support different languages including Cantonese, English and Putonghua, and offer different means of communications including:

  • Braille bill and Accessible Green Bill (screen readers) – to enable visually impaired customers to understand their electricity bill statement in a more convenient manner.
  • Concessionary Tariff for the Elderly – offered to customers aged 60 or above who live either alone or with other similarly qualified elderly, and who are relying on or entitled to Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.

Australia

EnergyAustralia’s ‘EnergyAssist’ vulnerability programme assists our customers experiencing financial difficulty in many ways, including tailored payment solutions, payment matching, debt waivers, appliance replacements and energy efficiency advice (over the phone and in-home visits).

EnergyAustralia’s foundation Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), which is currently underway with 12 actions completed and another 7 in progress, is working to:

  • Improve our understanding of why and how our customers can face financial exclusion, particularly those who are over-represented.
  • Understand how we can improve our products, services, policies and practices to better support vulnerable customers.
  • Help our employees better understand financial inclusion, the issues that affect it and how they can best support our customers.

Find out more about EnergyAustralia’s FIAP

On 8th June 2017, EnergyAustralia publicly announced it would commit an additional A$10 million to financial and other support for some of its most vulnerable customers, at a time of rising electricity and gas prices. In the announcement, EnergyAustralia committed to consulting on how best to apply the additional funds, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and measures that provide lasting, long-term relief and stated that some of the funding will also support initiatives arising from its FIAP. We provide the following services for customers with special needs in Australia: Interpreter services for those who have a first language other than English; Webchat and Telephone Typing Services (TTS) machine for hearing-impaired customers; and for the vision impaired, we have a number of services, such as Braille billing and large format bill print.

Disconnections for EnergyAustralia

Credit and Collections increased their focus on pre-disconnection collection activities throughout 2017, resulting in a reduction of customers being disconnected for non-payment by approximately 30% in 2017 (15,021) compared to 2016 (20,525). We provide the following pre-disconnection treatment:

  • Introduction of a pre-disconnection SMS;
  • Credit strategies to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of our pre-disconnection activities;
  • Hardship Triage Initiative; and
  • Various Ad-hoc Outbound Collections Campaign targeting customer’s nearing Disconnection due to non-payment.

Information on these services is easily accessible on the EnergyAustralia website and on customers’ bills.

Our programme highlights

Different communities have different needs. Our local teams have the best knowledge of local priorities and are hence able to work with local governments and organisations to provide solutions that best match their needs. They are given the flexibility to organise programmes that address the needs of the local communities, keeping sensitivity in relation to local cultures, traditions and values in mind. Highlights from each of our / business units are included here.


Hong Kong

The sustainable success of our business is closely aligned with the wellbeing of the communities we serve. We work closely with non-governmental organisations and community groups to identify society’s evolving needs and develop programmes that help meet those needs. Our community initiatives focus on three areas: environment, youth and education, and community wellbeing.

Throughout the year, we initiated and supported 425 community projects in Hong Kong.

CLP's Education Programmes

  • Distributed a POWER YOU Kindergarten Education Kit to about 1,000 kindergartens for free with subsequent visits by graduate trainees to share basic knowledge of energy and safety, and to promote energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C).
  • Green Elites Campus Accreditation Programme helps primary school students develop green lifestyle.
  • Around 8,400 secondary school students took part in the Engineer in School programme to learn about energy issues and career prospect in engineering.
  • A new multi-purpose promotion vehicle joined CLP’s Green Studio mobile classroom to deliver EE&C messages to schools and communities.
  • CLP Power Academy and Vocational Training Council jointly launched the Professional Diploma in Power Engineering, attracting more than 170 applications for 40 available places.
  • CLP Power Low Carbon Energy Education Centre was opened at the City University of Hong Kong.
  • Professor Charles Ng was inaugurated as first CLP Holdings Professor of Sustainability at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • LS-energy.hk is Hong Kong's first one step e-Learning portal to support the senior secondary Liberal Studies programme.

Community Wellbeing

  • Three Hotmeal Canteens have provided over 430,000 hot meals to people in need since 2011.
  • More than 3,000 elderly people have celebrated festivities with CLP volunteers since the Sharing the Festive Joy programme was launched in 2014.
  • A record 17GWh of electricity saved in the Power Your Love programme by more than 410,000 customers, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 4,000 households.
  • HK$6 million donated from CLP shareholders’ fund helped ease pressure from electricity costs for 20,000 underprivileged households.

Volunteering

  • More than 1,600 CLP volunteers contributed nearly 15,000 hours of community services.

Mainland China

In 2017, community initiatives were conducted at different sites with an emphasis on promoting safety awareness and community wellbeing.

Education & Development

  • Sponsored 5 schools in Yunnan and Guangdong to upgrade their facilities, benefitting more than 3,100 students.
  • About 1,400 students from 20 schools benefitted from CLP's Support-a-student and Support-a-school programmes.
  • Over 3,800 students in Guangdong, Guangxi and Shandong participated in our education programmes to learn about electricity and safety.
  • Community Wellbeing

  • Donated daily living necessities to over 1,700 impoverished villagers, seniors in elderly homes and children in need in Jilin, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Guangxi.
  • Improved the living conditions of over 11,300 villagers in Guangdong, Guangxi and Jiangsu.

     

    Volunteering

  • CLP volunteers contributed close to 2,100 hours to help organise charity events and visit schools and elderly homes.

India

We believe that the best form of celebration is giving back to society. Consequently, to mark CLP India’s 15th anniversary, in 2017 we organised 15 community events near our sites across the country. The initiatives, ranging from hospital visits and HIV awareness training to laptop donations, directly benefitted around 1,000 people. At the same time, we continued to run our regular initiatives for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Community Wellbeing

  • Constructed 14 water structures around our renewable business locations to improve quality and quantity of drinking water.
  • Finished constructing a 50-bed secondary care hospital and donated to the local government in Jhajjar.
  • Expanded our mobile health van medical outreach programme to Veltoor, Sipla and Bhakrani, benefitting an estimated 55,000 people every year.

Education & Development

  • Funded school meals for 5,000 children in 27 schools near our Harapanahalli wind site through the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
  • Provided financial and mentoring support to 100 young people for their vocational and graduation studies in Chandgarh, Tejuva, Jhajjar, and Paguthan through the CLP India scholarship scheme.

Australia

In 2017, EnergyAustralia announced partnerships involving two of Australia’s best-known iconic structures – the Sydney Opera House in New South Wales and the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Victoria. These programmes are aimed at assisting the icons to achieve their sustainability targets, while developing technologies and approaches that may one day be used in homes across the country.

Meanwhile, EnergyAustralia continued with its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to increase engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and communities. Similarly, more work was done on our Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP), including engaging with external stakeholders on how we might improve support for vulnerable customers.

In addition, EnergyAustralia won the Achievement Award for most improved organisation at the annual Australian Workplace Equality Index awards which celebrates LGBTI inclusion in the workplace.

Community Wellbeing

  • Helped pack almost 100 tonnes of food that was distributed to 215 charity partners. This equates to 195,405 meals to people in need.
  • With the extension of the community grants programme to Geelong, EnergyAustralia offered grants for projects and community supporting initiatives at 6 sites.

Education & Development

  • 31 students successfully completed their school studies for the year under our ongoing collaborative programme with the Aboriginal AFL Academy. 12 of them graduated and will go onto further education or seek employment.

Volunteering

  • Around 300 employees participated in almost 2,000 hours of volunteering services.

Recognition of our community efforts

Social Enterprise Award Scheme – “Friends of SE” Award

In 2017, CLP Power Hong Kong was awarded a “Social Enterprise Award Scheme - Friends of SE” Award, which was jointly organised by the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) and the Social Enterprise Advisory Committee. The Award commends the efforts of CLP Power Hong Kong in supporting social enterprises to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration for promoting the development of social enterprises.

Appreciation Awards for Volunteer Service

CLP Power Hong Kong was awarded a Gold Award for Volunteer Service (organisation) by the Social Welfare Department to recognise the CLP Volunteer Team’s contribution of 11,300 hours volunteer service to the community in 2016. The CLPV Team also received an Award of 10,000 Hours for Volunteers Service from the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service, Social Welfare Department, in appreciation of its contribution.

15 Years Plus Caring Company Logo

CLP Power Hong Kong has been awarded a Caring Company logo by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service for the 15th consecutive year, in recognition of our commitment towards caring for the Community, our Employees and the Environment. The 15 Years Plus Caring Company Logo is a new accolade and CLP Power Hong Kong is one of the 115 organisations to receive the recognition. 

Other than recognition of community-related initiatives, we also receive other types of awards and recognitions. See the list here.