Compliance and Beyond

Meeting applicable laws and regulations is just the minimum; we go beyond compliance and follow voluntary standards that reflect our principles and values.
Most Material Topic : Anti-corruption

Code of Conduct and Anti-corruption

We are committed to acting with integrity in all our business activities as it is a vital to in building the trust that has ensured our continued expansion for more than a century.

All our employees are expected to fully adhere to the principles contained in the Code of Conduct which has been aligned across the CLP Group. Management and staff receive training on the Code and its implications periodically. In addition, those above a designated level or in certain functions are required to sign annual statements confirming compliance with the Code.

In 2017, we conducted a company-wide Business Practice Review (BPR) process for all staff (except for our Australian employees who are not due for the BPR until 2018). This is a regular process conducted every four years to review the principles of the Code of Conduct, and ensure business practices comply with the Code. Any potential issues are raised and reviewed with higher management. A number of case studies based on past violations are also included to highlight how to properly handle potential and actual Code of Conduct violation situations. Contractors are encouraged to attend the BPR sessions along with CLP employees.

During 2017, there were 28 breaches (2016: 21) of the Code. None of the 28 breaches in 2017 was material to the Group’s financial statements or overall operation and none involved Senior Management. The breaches were mainly related to issues of workplace behaviour. Sanctions ranged from reprimands to dismissals. Compared to the previous years, the relatively higher number of breaches in 2016 and 2017 reflected the improved identification and stricter enforcement of work place behaviour requirements.

Our Code of Conduct is the tool we use to guard against corruption within CLP. We take corruption seriously, and cases of corruption are externally reported and the data is verified by a third party before results are reported externally. In 2017, we had no case of corruption at CLP (2016:nil).

The Whistleblowing Policy is in place to encourage employees and related third parties (such as customers and suppliers) who deal with the Company to raise concerns, in confidence, about misconduct, malpractice or irregularities in any matters related to the Company. During 2017, there were 11 reported cases of whistleblowing (2016: 23).

 

 

Read more about how we monitor and address violations to the Code


Material Topic : Anti-competitive Behavior
Material Topic : Customer Health and Safety
Material Topic : Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Most Material Topic : Socioeconomic Compliance

Under our Value Framework and Code of Conduct, it is imperative that we comply with all laws and regulations in markets where we operate, and we are prepared to forego opportunity or advantage in order to maintain our high standards of corporate governance and integrity. Beyond compliance, we voluntarily follow other standards that reflect our principles and values.

The CLP Group operates in a number of different jurisdictions with different legal and regulatory requirements. Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions that we operate in has always been, and will continue to be a matter of top priority for us.

The CLP-wide reporting system for Code of Conduct violations applies to any alleged or potential breaches of the Code of Conduct. All CLP staff are expected to co-operate fully in the investigation of any alleged violation, and disciplinary action applies to any staff that has been found in breach of the Code.

To uphold the spirit of transparency and accountability, we report our legal non-compliances on an annual basis in our Sustainability Report. These include convicted criminal cases where CLP is a named defendant, and major breaches that result in significant fines or non-monetary sanctions. In 2017, our performance in the different areas is summarised below, grouped based on the GRI Standards and the HKEx ESG Reporting Guide:



    Number of cases

Business practices

Anti-corruption

No reportable case.

Read more in the Code of Conduct and Anti-corruption section.

Anti-competitive behaviour

In 2017, there were no new legal cases regarding anti-competitive behaviour.

There is one existing and previously reported case involving our Ho-Ping Power Station in Taiwan, in which the CLP Group has an effective 20% equity interest. The Ho-Ping litigation is for alleged concerted action with other independent power producers (IPPs) in violation of the Fair Trade Act. The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in 2013 ruled and fined nine IPPs for alleged cartel behaviour. The FTC’s decision was eventually overruled by the Taipei High Administrative Court (THAC) in October 2014. However the FTC successfully appealed the THAC’s decision to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), and the case will return to the THAC for re-examination. In May 2017 the THAC ruled again in favour of Ho-Ping and rejected the FTC’s decision. The FTC has filed a further appeal which is being reviewed by the SAC. Ho-Ping will continue to pursue and defend its position.

Employees and contractors

Employment practices

No reportable case.

Labour standards (child and forced labour)

No reportable case.

Occupational health and safety

No reportable case.

Read more in the Safety performance section.

Customer

Customer privacy

No reportable case.

Read more in the Customer privacy section.

Product and service Information and labelling and marketing information

No reportable case in Hong Kong.

EnergyAustralia reported some instances of non-compliance with information, contractual and billing requirements under the National Energy Retail Rules and the Victorian Energy Retail Code.

Read more in the Customer section.

Customer health and safety

No reportable case in Hong Kong.

Read more in the Health and safety section.

Community

Rights of indigenous people

No reportable case.

Environment

 

A total of 13 environmental licence limit exceedances in 2017.

Read more in the Environmental regulatory compliance section.

We are exposed to the risk of contractual disputes and litigation in the course of our normal operations. The Group considers each instance separately in accordance with legal advice and will make provision and / or disclose information as appropriate. Our financial statements in our Annual Report include disclosure of the following cases under “Contingent Liabilities”:

  • CLP India – Deemed Generation Incentive Payment and Interest on Deemed Loans;
  • Indian Wind Power Projects – Wind World India Limited (WWIL)'s Contracts;
  • JPL – Disputed Charges with Offtakers; and
  • EnergyAustralia – Disposal of Iona Gas Plant.
  • We often find ourselves faced with an evolving legal and regulatory regime that affects our operations. We closely monitor emerging regulations, and ensure we are well-prepared for any new regulations even before they become effective.