Integrating Sustainability in Business Operations and Community Engagement
Leveraging Innovative Thinking to Pioneer for an Intergenerational Future
HONG KONG, Dec. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Nan Fung Group has recently published its inaugural sustainability report titled “SEWIT Report 2022-23: Pioneering for an Intergenerational Future”. The report exemplifies Nan Fung’s unwavering dedication to sustainable development and showcases the tangible progress made in creating long-term value for stakeholders across economic, environmental and social dimensions. Throughout its 69-year history, Nan Fung has consistently striven to build a sustainable and resilient community. With humble beginnings as a textile manufacturer, the company has evolved over the years and emerged as a leading conglomerate with diverse and robust business streams. The launch of Nan Fung’s first SEWIT report marks a major milestone on its sustainable development journey.
Nan Fung established its sustainability framework, “SEWIT”, in 2022, establishing Social cohesion (S), Environment (E), Wellness (W), Innovation (I), and Technology (T) as its five strategic pillars. Through SEWIT, Nan Fung continues to create shared value and positive impacts on business partners and stakeholders.
“Care for others as well as you would care for yourself”, founder Dr. Chen Din Hwa’s motto, continues to be a guiding light for Nan Fung and its staff, and has laid the foundation for Nan Fung’s continuous innovation and efforts to drive social cohesion. Going the extra mile, Nan Fung began integrating SEWIT into its day-to-day operations and continues to manifest the SEWIT mindset through all its new projects, with the aim to create a sustainable future across generations. “We learn as we go, challenging the status quo by continuously rethinking and reinventing our pioneering role to drive meaningful impact for all,” said Ms. Vanessa Cheung, Group Managing Director, founder of The Mills and SEWIT Committee Chairperson. Nan Fung will strive to expand the influence of SEWIT, with the goal of unleashing infinite possibilities for an intergenerational future.
Promoting community participation and listening to the voices of stakeholders
Nan Fung values interaction with the community and believes that in-depth communication with stakeholders is crucial for delivering impactful community projects. In 2022, Nan Fung conducted a location-based micro materiality assessment with more than 1,000 stakeholders in the Kai Tak and San Po Kong districts for the new Kai Tak flagship project AIRSIDE through focus groups, interviews and surveys. By communicating with key stakeholders in the community, Nan Fung is able to better understand social needs and expectations, thereby improving decision-making as well as the quality and effectiveness of its community projects.
Cultivating positive impact through cross-sector collaboration
In order to create impactful social programmes, Nan Fung adopts the “Theory of Change” as an integral framework to articulate how programme designs achieve their intended outcomes. A variety of impact measurement tools, including Social Return on Investment (SROI) and IRIS+, are also deployed to quantify short-term and long-term impact. Under its impact-driven community initiative “In Time Of”, Nan Fung partners with diverse social stakeholders to develop targeted community programmes that foster social empowerment and improve resource utilisation, in hopes of creating a more resilient future for local neighbourhoods. To consistently and systematically generate impact, all “In Time Of” initiatives are curated under the “Theory of Change” framework, such as its concept store at The Mills, “The Store In Time” – a platform for local NGOs, artists and brands to showcase their work, shedding light on the unique craftsmanship of local creators and entrepreneurs; and the empowerment programme, “My Little Story“, which comprises a series of business training and workshops to upskill small local businesses, thereby nurturing local talents to ultimately cultivate more vibrant communities.
Inspiring innovative solutions through impactful investments and cultivating young talents
Nan Fung has always advocated for an entrepreneurial culture and a perpetual pursuit of innovation: through investments in sustainable solutions and life sciences, Nan Fung actively drives business innovation to enhance the Group’s overall competitiveness. The Mills Fabrica’s portfolio includes seven funds and more than 20 techstyle and agrifood tech startups since 2018, while an estimated US$1 billion has been invested in more than 60 companies and 30 funds by Nan Fung Life Sciences. The Life Sciences Research Sponsorship Program also sponsored more than 20 academic research projects, with more than US$12 million dedicated to comprehensively promoting the development of life sciences and technology. Among its investments, Arctic Vision, a mainland China-based biotech company that focuses on the development of innovative products that tackle eye diseases, has brought game-changing therapies as well as tech-enabled consumer eyecare products to the market.
With hopes to cultivate next-generation talents and build a brighter tomorrow, Nan Fung hosts international student competitions regularly, such as “Techstyle For Social Good”, to provide platforms for young innovators to generate positive impact through the techstyle and agrifood industries. Since 2018, Nan Fung’s incubation competitions have attracted more than 500 submissions, with over 22 winners awarded over HK$1.8 million through funding, mentorship and access to flexible coworking spaces.
Propelling sustainability through environmental and wellbeing initiatives as a tech-enabled pioneer
Nan Fung recognises the importance of addressing and mitigating climate-related risks for the long-term success of its business, striving to create a positive environmental impact throughout its business lines. In 2022, Hong Kong’s property portfolio has been committed to the science-based targets initiative and has set ambitious carbon emission reduction targets, with the goal of reaching net zero by 2050. Nan Fung also published its first climate-related financial disclosures, as per recommendations set out by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and conducted the first group-wide net zero training, to equip all departments with the knowledge necessary to work towards Nan Fung’s net zero goals.
Through incorporating state-of-the-art technology in its projects, Nan Fung is committed to building future-proof and sustainable spaces equipped with smart and eco-friendly solutions, including the construction of its new flagship project AIRSIDE, which is home to one of the largest monocrystalline PV Farm and walkable PV and the first Automatic Refuse Collection System in Hong Kong. A Global Property Research & Analytics team was also established at the beginning of the year to leverage the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to refine and enhance real estate investment decisions.
Nan Fung also cares for the wellbeing of its stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and people in the neighbourhood. Many of Nan Fung’s development projects were built with green infrastructure and managed with wellbeing as a priority, which has earned its portfolio various sustainability certifications. LP10, a development situated in LOHAS Park, boasts a family farm and adopts integrated pest management with non-toxic pest control measures. It is recognised as a WELL Certified™ Gold project in the category of WELL v1 MultiFamily Residential Pilot Building and has achieved Final Gold rating under BEAM Plus New Buildings by the Hong Kong Green Building Council. AIRSIDE, with its Grade A office portion achieving “WELL Core Platinum” certification, has indoor air quality sensors in place to ensure excellent air quality, as well as real-time data on display in both tenant and public areas for maximum transparency.
As we forge ahead, Nan Fung remains firmly committed to propelling sustainability. The Group will continue to publish reports to keep stakeholders informed of ongoing progress and achievements. This commitment remains steadfast as Nan Fung expands the SEWIT framework, ensuring that its journey towards a more sustainable future is shared with all.
 Includes direct investments in life sciences companies by NFLS and Pivotal Life Sciences, excludes fund investments and public investments as of 31 Dec 2022