Contributing to Stakeholders

Create value for all of our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate

Management Approach

Employees
Customers
Community
Suppliers

Employees

We are committed to providing an inclusive and rewarding work environment that leads to high engagement and enables our staff to grow and develop their potential in their careers with us.

All human resources matters at Towngas are overseen by our Corporate Human Resources Department and handled according to the Employee Policy, as well as Towngas Human Resources Policy Manual and Employee Handbook. We comply with major local laws and regulations in relation to recruitment and promotion, compensation and dismissal, working hours, rest periods, equal opportunity, diversity, antidiscrimination, and the provision of other benefits and welfare.

Our Code of Conduct outlines the expectations we set on our people, their responsibilities and all relevant policies and procedures our employees should follow in their everyday work duties, including behaving ethically in their business practices, promoting equal opportunities and eliminating acts of discrimination.

Training in the Code of Conduct (includes human rights related topics) is mandatory for all staff and is included in our induction course (approximately two hours per course) when they first join the Company. Any employee found to be in violation of the Towngas Code of Conduct, Equal Opportunities Policy or relevant ordinance will be subject to disciplinary action. Compliance with the code of conduct is linked to the employee remuneration through annual performance appraisal.

In managing our people, we take a systematic approach that spans their entire career lifecycle at Towngas.

Attraction
Recruitment
Engagement
Development
Inclusion
Retention

Talent Management

Attracting and Retaining Staff

Towngas offers careers that are both fulfilling and rewarding, due in large part to our employment practices as covered under our Employee Policy. These include family-friendly policies and competitive remuneration packages that are well above the regulatory minimum, as well as other benefits.

Benefits for full-time employees include maternity and paternity leave, medical and dental insurance, group life insurance, town gas allowances, education allowances and performance-based bonuses in Hong Kong. We also provide a maternity allowance and counselling for managing emotional issues. Subject to eligibility, the children of our staff can take advantage of an education allowance and scholarship for attending overseas exchange programmes and local universities. To help our staff balance their work and family responsibilities, we have established a variety of family friendly practices. These include flexible working hours and special provisions for taking time off for family reasons, such as marriage, compassionate and casual leave.

Our remuneration packages are periodically reviewed and adjusted according to trends in the labour market.

The retirement benefits we offer include the defined contribution schemes and Mandatory Provident Fund schemes in Hong Kong. In the Chinese mainland, staff participate in social security plans organised by the relevant municipal and provincial governments.

We also collaborate with various education institutions to provide training programmes that not only create a pipeline of future workers for Towngas, but also contribute to the dissemination of gas knowledge and advancement of the gas industry.

Employee Engagement

We recognise that close communication with our staff is critical for maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment. To keep our employees engaged and informed, we provide multiple two-way communication channels.

Our employees are also guaranteed freedom of association in the workplace and may join the organisations and professional bodies of their choice. Members of associations are also allowed to participate in association activities during working hours, reflecting the high degree of freedom they enjoy at Towngas.

Although Hong Kong has no regulatory requirement with regard to collective bargaining, we consult our staff on a range of employment issues through our internal communication channels. We send a formal notice at least two to four weeks ahead of time to all employees when significant operational changes are about to be implemented. In the Chinese mainland, we comply with applicable legal obligations concerning freedom of association and collective bargaining.

While the labour unions of our project companies have not entered into any collective bargaining agreements, we continue to maintain open communication with union representatives on staff-related matters.

Training and Development

Training our people and developing their skills and competencies are essential for our long-term success as a company.

Training and development programmes, including competency and skills based courses, are organised and delivered internally through our Learning & Development function and the Towngas Engineering Academy (TEA) in Hong Kong. We also have five training bases in the Chinese mainland, as well as partnerships with education institutions.

Our training begins with our new joiners, who during their orientation with us become familiarised with Towngas, our corporate culture, policies and business processes. Recognising that individual employees have different learning needs, we identify and provide a wide range of training and development opportunities for our general and technical staff as well as our management colleagues.

Apart from technical and engineering subjects as well as non-technical subjects such as leadership development and interpersonal skills, we also identify emerging areas, such as innovation, digitalisation and climate change, to help staff develop new skills or refresh their knowledge. To equip potential employees with management skills and build a sustainable leadership pipeline, we offer a variety of career advancement programmes. Delivery channels include classroom training, e-learning, Virtual Reality (VR) training, frontline attachments, workshops and site visits.

We also encourage our employees to supplement their development through external courses, seminars, visits and conferences, according to identified training needs. Subsidies are provided for staff who pursue further education related to their job duties, according to the Towngas Human Resources Policy Manual.

Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination

We firmly believe in promoting equal opportunities and eliminating discrimination in all aspects of our employment practices as indicated in our Anti-discrimination Policy We adhere to the anti-discrimination ordinances of all the jurisdictions where we operate, including recruitment, remuneration, compensation and benefits, promotions, transfers, training, and termination. We have absolutely no tolerance for employment discrimination on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, religious or political beliefs, marital status, ethnic background or social origin.

We value diversity within our ranks and make a strong effort to attract women to our industry as well to develop and retain them. Additionally, we are proactive with respect to providing employment opportunities and support for people with disabilities and older workers.

In support of a harmonious workplace, we have established procedures and a fair and independent process for investigating complaints about discrimination, with assurance that the confidentiality of all parties will be respected.

Respect for Human Rights

  • Prevention of Child Labour or Forced Labour

    In accordance with our adherence to human rights principles, we strictly prohibit child labour and forced labour in our operations as stipulated in the Human Rights Policy. To ensure we are legally compliant with local laws and regulations in our recruitment, we check applicants’ identity including, but not limited to, their age and eligibility for employment. We also ensure that employees are given rest days and are compensated for any overtime work, as required by local regulators. The relevant human rights policies and procedures are also readily available on our ESG website through Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy for all employees to access anytime.

    We have extended the concept of fair labour throughout our entire supply chain and require our suppliers to comply with our policies on child labour and forced labour, as stipulated in our Code of Practice for Suppliers. Child labour and forced labour are two of our critical assessment criteria when we conduct an on-site Code of Practice audit of our suppliers.

  • Security

    Towngas is committed to minimising potential security threats to the Company’s facilities and its employees. We have a Security Policy in place to protect employees and company assets from harm or loss. To reduce security risks, we have implemented appropriate security measures. Security surveys and audits are conducted to assess possible threats or risks to our major facilities. We also work with governments and our partners to safeguard our assets and provide our employees and contractors with a secure work environment.

    While our security team does its utmost to protect our people and physical assets, it must also respect human rights in the discharge of its duties. We ensure that all security personnel are kept abreast of legislation concerning human rights and the rule of law and that they treat people in an appropriate and respectful manner. New security personnel receive training in anti-corruption and non-discrimination during their induction and are required to comply with our Code of Conduct.

Customers

We are committed to providing our customers the caring, competent and efficient service they expect. Our Customer Services Code of Conduct Policy sets out the general principles to define stringent standards and ensure service quality. Various internal policies, programmes and targets are in place to ensure customers receive excellent service.

Quality Management and Customer Service

Total Quality Management (TQM) motivates employees in their pursuit of excellence, according to the three pillars of Courtesy, Craftsmanship and Integrity.

Our Superior Quality Service (SQS) programme has helped us build our customer-centric culture and sparked innovative ideas across Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Implemented in 1992, the SQS programme is held under a different theme each year to encourage staff to initiate new projects that help improve our operations, save costs or generate new revenue.

We also have a Towngas Service Pledge as part of our commitment to provide a safe and reliable supply of gas to our customers as well as friendly, competent and efficient service. To ensure our customers are receiving the highest standard of service, we are continuously working towards improving our service and setting higher targets.

In addition, we organise various training exercises and activities to enhance customer service quality, such as our Three Courtesies (manners, etiquette and politeness) culture in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

Responsible Communication

The wide range of communication channels we provide allows customers to access information on our products and services in a quick and efficient manner. These channels also enable us to collect customer feedback and better understand their needs.

Online platforms, customer centres, and 24-hour Customer Service Hotline

For customers to make enquiries, manage their accounts and make appointments for maintenance and installation

Customer satisfaction surveys

Conducted bi-monthly by an independent company, with low score cases followed up to ensure remedial actions are taken

Customer surveys and focus groups

To learn about customers’ views on and experience with new products or services

Customer Focus Team

Visits to housing estates to collect customer comments and handle any potential issues such as gas safety, bill payments and gas appliances

We have an internal procedure that requires an acknowledgement of customer complaints within three working days and a formal reply letter to be provided within two weeks. Regular meetings are also conducted to review complaints received with senior management.

A growing number of customers are becoming aware of the positive and negative environmental and social impacts of the products and services they consume. For this reason, we make every effort to ensure our marketing materials are accurate and based on substantiated information. We also follow fair and responsible communication practices and remain committed to ensuring that our marketing and communication materials comply with all relevant government regulations and industry guidelines. In addition to our marketing materials, customers can also access information on Towngas’ products and services through our websites, leaflets, social platforms, and other publications.

Community

As a caring, socially responsible company, Towngas believes in contributing to the communities we serve and creating long-lasting value for society. This commitment is outlined in our Social Investment Policy.

To understand the needs of the local communities in which we operate, we engage in ongoing conversations with non-governmental organisations and government officials to identify appropriate programmes.

Our community initiatives focus on three areas covering many of the social issues faced by the communities in which we operate.

Community Health and Wellness

The Environment

Youth Development

In addition to providing financial aid and in-kind contributions, we also express our encouragement and support for our employees to get involved in community and voluntary work in line with our Code of Conduct. The Towngas Volunteer Service Team and Towngas Customer Volunteer Team further extend our connections with the community by enabling our staff, their families and customers to become involved in meaningful community activities.

We also participate in lectures, seminars and conferences on topics such as sustainability, safety, climate change, water conservation and career development. Through these activities, we are able to share our management expertise with the public as well as our professional and technical knowledge. This, in turn, promotes awareness of these issues and encourages greater collaboration on resolving the environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges we face.

Suppliers

We are committed to building long-term business relationships with partners and suppliers for our mutual benefit and prosperity. The Towngas Purchasing Policy ensures that our suppliers can participate in a fair, equitable and competitive market. Five key principles have been established as the foundation of responsible supply chain management at Towngas.

To offer equal opportunities to all suppliers

To treat suppliers equally and fairly

To promote strong buyer-seller relationships

To encourage suppliers to contribute to continuous improvement

To support green procurement practices

Supply Chain Assessment

When selecting suppliers, we consider a wide range of criteria, including a company’s background, quality, price, delivery of ser vice and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. Preference is given to companies holding related ISO certificates and other documents pertaining to quality. An annual review is conducted to ensure suppliers on the approved list are performing at a satisfactory level.

Managing Environmental and Social Risks

The Code of Practice for Suppliers sets out the CSR requirements every Towngas supplier must follow. They are assessed on their CSR performance according to the following criteria:

Business Ethics

Workplace Operations

Marketplace Activities

Community Contact

Environmental Undertakings

Apart from a self-assessment survey to understand how suppliers align with our Code of Practice for Suppliers, selected key suppliers are evaluated through site visits. Additionally, they are provided with improvement plans in the spirit of working together to identify opportunities for improving ESG performance.

At Towngas, we are committed to following 6S1 management principles for a safe and efficient workplace. We also promote 6S practices among our suppliers and support those who follow this methodology for improving efficiency, productivity and product quality, as well as reducing the risk of industrial accidents.

1 6S refers to the Japanese words Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke (which mean Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, Sustain) and Safety

Building a Sustainable Supply Chain

Our Sustainable Purchasing Policy spells out the environmental considerations that should be taken into account in every purchasing decision, including the process of procuring services and evaluating product specifications.

We are one of the founding members of the Sustainable Procurement Charter launched by the Green Council, and our procurement decisions and processes are in compliance with the ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Guidance as verified by the British Standard Institution (BSI). Making reference to ISO 20400, we have adopted the Life-cycle Costing (LCC) methodology to ensure that the products and services we purchase achieve value for money, with the lowest negative environmental impact and most positive social results. The total costs of the goods and services we procure are estimated over their lifespan, rather than just their capital costs. We also take into consideration future costs such as energy use and maintenance costs.

Training in sustainable procurement is provided to our procurement staff in order to build up their capabilities and knowledge in this area.

Supplier Engagement

We treat our suppliers as partners and regularly engage them in pursuit of our shared values for sustainable development. To that end, we maintain continuous dialogue with our suppliers and invite them to participate in forums, seminars and site visits so we can benchmark their performance and share best practices.

Key Performance Figures

EMPLOYEES

  • Number of employees:

    2,442 (Hong Kong)

    52,637 (outside Hong Kong)

  • Average training hours per employee:

    21.6 hours (Hong Kong)

    51.5 hours (outside Hong Kong)

  • 60% of new Graduate Trainees were female

CUSTOMERS

  • Targets in Towngas Service Pledge were all achieved

  • Efficiency: 8.99* (exceeded target)

  • Courteous and friendly attitude: 8.99* (exceeded target)

    *Exceeded target score of 8.5 out of 10

COMMUNITY

  • Volunteer service hours:

    14,122 hours (Hong Kong)

    578,586 hours (Mainland utility businesses)

  • Conducted various online voluntary services for the elderly despite of the pandemic

SUPPLIERS

  • Identified critical tier 1 suppliers

  • Assessed >90% of suppliers1 on their CSR performance. No significant negative impact was found

    1Based on total purchase value of products and materials

Future Actions and Targets

EMPLOYEES

  • Continue to

    expand our manpower channels

    and

    engage the younger generation

    to create a sustainable talent pipeline

  • Continue to

    enrich our talent development

    and training programmes, with ESG elements and new business know-how in preparation for our business transformation

CUSTOMERS

  • Continue to

    explore the needs

    of our customers by launching new products/services

COMMUNITY

  • Develop a

    systematic process

    of community investment (from collecting feedback to making decisions)

  • Continue

    supporting NGOs

    and

    identifying community programmes

    that benefit society

SUPPLIERS

  • Promote the

    ISO 45001

    standard among our suppliers

  • Encourage suppliers to conduct

    ISO 14064

    assessment