The strategy at Hong Kong-based CLP was clear: decarbonise and digitalise the portfolio to become a ‘Utility of the Future’. In our second year of partnership – having previously assisted CLP in moving its sustainability report online – BWD was commissioned to deliver a materiality assessment to identify and prioritise the topics most important to CLP and its stakeholders – and to the strategy’s success. The topics also provided the structure for the 2018 sustainability report and microsite, which we edited and designed.
We began by conducting a megatrends analysis. This involved extensive desk-based research, a review of internal strategy papers and company policies, and conducting interviews with more than three-dozen stakeholders.
The review provided us with a deep understanding of how broad changes in the environment, society, technology and governance were affecting CLP’s operating environment. This, in turn, made it easier for us to identify the topics which CLP should be managing and reporting on.
Twelve megatrends sitting under three primary drivers provided us with a clear structure for grouping every topic that was conceivably relevant to CLP’s current and future prospects. In November 2018, we hosted a workshop with the CLP Sustainability Executive Committee, led by the CEO. After a quantitative scoring exercise and deliberation, the Committee reached shared agreement on CLP’s material topics for the 2018 report.
The 2018 sustainability report and microsite was structured around the five topics prioritised: growing our business with purpose, responding to climate change, harnessing the power of technology, building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce, and reinforcing cyber resilience and data protection.
The rigorous process we devised provided the clarity of thought and narrative required for a successful outcome and the efforts of the CLP/BWD team were duly rewarded when CLP, described as “an outstanding entrant” by the judges of the 2019 Australasian Reporting Awards, won three major awards: best online report, best sustainability report and best sustainability report in the joint ARA – Hong Kong Management Association Award. More accolades followed when the report was judged one of the ten best in the world for 2019 by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.