Environmental, Social and Governance

 

Having faith in sustainable business development, the Board together with management of the Group evaluate and identify ESG-related risks, formulate overall ESG and sustainability strategies, set ESG-related goals and targets for the Group, and integrate the strategic planning into daily business operations. The Board regularly reviews the progress and enhances the ESG and sustainability strategies.

 

In our daily business, we actively exchange information with our stakeholders through our open and transparent platform while we are devoted to continuous improvement of our communication and engagement channels. We are committed to maintaining a long-term partnership with our stakeholders and are actively engaged in addressing their concerns with follow-up actions.

 

 

 

Environmental

 

Corporate Environmental Policy

 

In accordance with our environmental vision, we are committed to upholding high environmental protection standards to fulfil relevant requirements under applicable laws or ordinances during the operation of the business. Being a provider of innovation technology products, solutions and professional services, we bear low impact on carbon emission and the environment. Nevertheless, the Group continues to actively manage our environmental footprint via implementing environmental protection measures in the office and workplace.

 

We were one of the first 64 listed companies signing the Carbon Footprint Repository for Listed Companies in Hong Kong in 2014. These listed companies came from different sectors, including property and construction, consumer services, financial, consumer goods, industrial, utilities, information technology, materials and telecommunication sectors. We are ready to disclose the carbon footprint information and share the successful experiences in carbon management and practices through various means. We have been pioneering the initiative and playing an important role in transforming Hong Kong into a green and low-carbon economy since 2014.

 

Emissions

 

The impacts of climate change touch on every part of our lives and our business. We and our stakeholders recognise the need to step up our environmental protection actions and draw up relevant policies to reduce the emissions and discharges of air pollutants, greenhouse gases and wastes. We have established various policies to closely monitor, regularly review and implement measures to reduce the air and greenhouse gas emissions, discharges into water and land, and hazardous and non-hazardous waste arising from our daily business operations.

 

We have been complying with all relevant laws and regulations that have significant impacts on us relating to emissions, discharges into water and land, and generation of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.

 

The Group’s major sources of air pollutants, greenhouse gases and wastes include fuel and electricity consumption of our vehicle fleet, office and staff. Air pollutants include NOx, SOx, particulate matter and other pollutants regulated under laws and regulations of HKSAR. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, hydrofluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons etc.

 

Measures to mitigate emissions

 

In accordance with policies stated above for the reduction of air pollutants and GHG emissions from vehicles, the Group adopts the following measures: control the numbers of vehicles owned by the Group; control the frequency of employees to take transportation for local business commuting; and control the volume of business travel by employees.

 

Waste reduction initiatives

 

The Group is committed as ever to conserving precious resources by taking eco-friendly measures to reduce disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes throughout our operation.

 

We acknowledge the fact that wasted electrical and electronic equipment are the fastest growing waste materials in the world. To alleviate the problem, we aim to increase the lifespan of each computer by upgrading the hardware or software. At the same time, we promote the concept of replacing the particular depleted computer components instead of the whole computer. Reducing the replenishment rate of the computer components is not our only objective, we also send all depleted computer components to the licensed recycling collectors to lessen the environmental impact associated with electronic manufacturing from raw materials, as well as to reduce hazardous and toxic substances handled during disposal.

 

Any hazardous wastes must be disposed through the approved waste collectors. The non-hazardous wastes, such as packaging material, are systematically collected and transported to designated government-funded disposal facilities. For surplus resources, e.g. end-of-life disposal products, we make every effort to ensure responsible handling and disposal. Donation of surplus resources to charitable organisations is supported. We routinely isolate any recyclable components, e.g. paper, metal and electronic components, prior to disposal.

 

Other non-hazardous wastes produced by the Group are mainly generated from daily office operations, including daily paper usage, office waste and food waste by employees. Those wastes are collectively classified, collected and disposed by the property management office of the building on a regular basis.

 

Minimising impacts on the environment and natural resources

 

We continue to develop and deploy sustainable energy solutions and services for our customers.

 

From 2019 to 2022, rechargeable energy products and systems were launched and deployed for CMOM to reduce the amount of alkaline battery chemical wastes produced. We replaced alkaline battery cells by rechargeable lithium battery packs. As at 31 March 2022, the accumulated recharging times of the lithium battery packs almost reached 100,000 times.

 

In 2021-2022, we continued to apply and integrate green energy into the Contract for Provision of People Counter System and Related Services at Public Toilets, Aqua Privies and Bathhouses in the Territory and our technological product solution “An Integrated Solution for the Detection/Diagnosis/Surveillance of Hygiene Conditions and Deep Cleansing of Public Toilets and Facilities”.

 

Regarding the operation of the office premises, we are not aware of any significant impacts of activities on the environment and natural resources. With the implementation of green office measures, we strive to minimise impacts on the environment and natural resources. The Group will continue to implement environment-friendly practices within the operation in order to enhance sustainability.

 

Significant climate-related issues

 

The increasingly extreme weather and environmental conditions have been creating a challenging environment for our employees who work outdoors. As a responsible and caring employer, we always put the health and safety of our employees as our top priority. We observe and respond to the appeal by the Labour Department, the Environmental Protection Department, and the Centre for Health Protection that we take appropriate precautions to the health and safety of our staff. Precautions and measures taken include but not limited to:

- Taking heed of the weather report and adopt shift work arrangements for employees to reduce their exposure to the air pollutants, hot environment and other adverse weather;

- Arrange appropriate rest breaks for employees during very hot periods;

- Reducing outdoor physical exertion and the time of the employees’ stay outdoors when the AQHI is at the “Very High” or “Serious” level.

 

 

Social

 

Social Responsibility

 

In relation to human resources, we are committed to complying with ordinances relating to disability, sex, family status and race discrimination, as well as the Employment Ordinance, the Minimum Wage Ordinance and ordinances relating to occupational safety of our employees, so as to safeguard their interests and well-being.

 

We have joined the Caring Company Scheme for more than a decade, starting from 2002 when the Scheme was first launched by The Hong Kong Council of Social Welfare (HKCSS). The Caring Company Scheme aims to foster strategic partnerships between the business and social services sectors to promote good corporate citizenship and create a more inclusive society. The Scheme also helps corporations and social services organisations to know and understand one another at a much deeper level.

 

We were also very proud to receive the “Partner Employer Award 5 years” by The Hong Kong General Chamber of Small and Medium Business. The “Partner Employer Award” Recognition Scheme was launched in 2010 to encourage local enterprises to hire and provide internships to local students and graduates so that they can accumulate work experience and develop a positive attitude to enhance their competitiveness in the market.

 

Charity

 

We have been participating in the ORBIS Pin Campaign since 2006. Our colleagues wore the Pins on 14 October 2021 to embrace ORBIS’s mission in support of World Health Organization’s World Sight Day. Established in 1982, ORBIS is working to eradicate preventable blindness in impoverished nations worldwide. Long-term eye care programs that increase local surgical skills, facilities and eye health awareness have helped restore sight to over 6.8 million needlessly blind people to date.

 

Education and Training

 

We always believe that education is an important foundation for a better future.  

 

Throughout the year, we organise a wide variety of internal staff training to enhance their knowledge and skills, as well as fostering a culture of learning and exchanging of knowledge and experience. Our staff members are also encouraged to participate in online seminars and symposiums organised by Government departments, universities, R&D institutes and the like.

 

Every year, we welcome interns joining the Group. They come from tertiary institutions, including The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The City University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong Metropolitan University (The Open University of Hong Kong), Vocational Training Council, Royal Melbourne Instituteof Technology, University of Belgrade, Vienna University of Technology, and AGH University of Science and Technology, with different disciplines from computing, electronics, building services, electrical and mechanical engineering. We have been supporting internship programs for undergraduates from tertiary institutions since 2006 assisting more than 200 students to gain solid experience and knowledge in their fields through participating in our staff training and taking actual work responsibilities.

 

For instance, in the summer of 2022, our director gave an in-house seminar on “Technologies and Applications for SmartCity – Japan’s Stories” and around 20 staff members and interns attended. The seminar extensively explored Japanese history, culture and technology highlights, especially the advanced technologies developed in response to disasters. Insights and ideas were shared to address the current situation and challenges in the city.

(Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director, ITE gave an in-house seminar on “Technologies and Applications for SmartCity – Japan’s Stories” in August 2022.)

 

We have been joining hands with a secondary school to organise corporate visits to support the high school students in educational planning and career development for years. We host a group of high school students and teachers on a summer day every year. Staff members of ITE welcome the students and teachers with an introductory presentation on the Group’s core values, positioning and business development and small-group guided tours to show the students ITE’s service department and R&D workshop. Our staff members share their own study and work experience with the students during their visit.

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(28 students and teachers from Choi Hung Estate Catholic Secondary School visited ITE on 4 July 2022.)

(Over 20 students and teachers from Choi Hung Estate Catholic Secondary School visited ITE on 12 July 2021.)

 

In terms of promoting classical Chinese and Hong Kong culture and cultivating humanities, we are building up the “Hall of Chinese Imperial Intellectual Legacies” 「御識堂」 which aims to gather, share, learn, teach, educate and promote Chinese and Hong Kong cultural knowledge and experience, as well as the intangible heritage of humanities, as inherited through the imperial legacies and treasures. Materials, information and communities will be collected, disseminated and built to expand knowledge and experience through research and cultural sharing programmes. We are ready to put forward activities, such as office open days to share our collection with staff, students and members of the community.

 

 

 

The Hall of Chinese Imperial Intellectual Legacies 「御識堂」集字起源:

(The Hall of Chinese Imperial Intellectual Legacies 「御識堂」’s collection)

 

 

Academics

 

We always support the higher education sector’s strive for excellence, attracting and nurturing talents for the future development of Hong Kong.

 

The management of the Group had served on the Advisory Committees of the Department of Electronic Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Engineering Departments of The City University of Hong Kong and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong.

 

For many years, ITE has been supporting the partnership between the University of Wolverhampton and City University of Hong Kong. In 2021, ITE was delighted to participate in the Graduation cum Alumni Dinner hosted by the University of Wolverhampton Hong Kong Alumni Association.

(Management of the Group participated in the Graduation cum Alumni Dinner hosted by the University of Wolverhampton Hong Kong Alumni Association in 2021.)

(From left to right: Professor Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton; Mr. Anthony Kam, Chairman, University of Wolverhampton, Hong Kong Alumni Association; Dr. Louis Ma, Director of SCOPE, City University of Hong Kong; Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director, ITE at the 2017 Graduation cum Alumni Dinner.)

 

We attended the 196th Degree Congregation, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Hong Kong on 21 November 2016, and shared the delightful moments with over 1,000 graduates and their parents and friends.

 

(We attended the 196th Degree Congregation, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Hong Kong on 21 November 2016 and met Professor Kwok Ka-wai, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering.)

 

The Institute for Advanced Study of the City University of Hong Kong was inaugurated on 22 November 2015. We were delighted to attend the inauguration and meet Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry in 1987, Professor Herbert Gleiter, Member of German National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Professor Stephen Smale, Fields Medalist & Wolf Prize Recipient and Member of US National Academy of Sciences.

(From left to right: Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director; Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry in 1987; Professor Herbert Gleiter, Member of German National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.)

(From left to right: Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director; Professor Stephen Smale, Fields Medalist & Wolf Prize Recipient and Member of US National Academy of Sciences.)

 

We greeted and congratulated Professor Anskar Leung Yu-hung at the Eighth Inauguration of Endowed Professorships at The University of Hong Kong on 24 February 2014. The Eighth Inauguration celebrated the establishment of a total of 80 Endowed Professorships (including three Distinguished Visiting Professorships) since 2005. The Scheme was initiated by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui to provide perpetual support to areas of academic excellence.  It is also a privileged honour bestowed upon the University’s distinguished academics.  With a close partnership between academe and generous philanthropists, Endowed Professorships represent a promise to scale new levels of commitment to society and to humankind.

 

(From left to right: Professor Anskar Leung Yu-hung, Chair Professor and Deputy Chairperson, Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, The University of Hong Kong; Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director)

 

We greeted and congratulated Professor Andrew D. Hamilton when he was conferred an honorary degree by The Chinese University of Hong Kong on 6 December 2013.

(From left to right: Professor Andrew D. Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford University; Mr. Vincent Lau, Executive Director)

 

 

Governance

 

Corporate Governance

 

The Company is firmly committed to maintaining statutory and regulatory standards and adherence to the principles of corporate governance emphasising transparency, independence, accountability, responsibility and fairness. The Board ensures that effective self-regulatory practices exist to protect the interests of the shareholders of the Company.

 

Anti-corruption

 

We comply with relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on us relating to bribery, extortion, fraud and money laundering.

 

We establish a strong internal control to institute a vigorous enforcement regime against corruption and fraud. Strong anti-corruption and anti-fraud culture is a vital part of the overall governance framework of the Group. We are committed to mobilising resources to safeguard the assets and ultimate interests of our shareholders.

 

ESG risks within our supply chain are addressed through strict procurement processes and contractual requirements. We maintain a list of preferred suppliers so as to ensure reliable and effective delivery of the products and services we require.

 

Employment

 

We are committed to safeguarding the security and privacy of personal data. When collecting and processing such data, we comply with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and Guidelines issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, with a view to protecting the privacy of our employees, partners, customers and community.

 

We comply with various anti-discrimination ordinances in Hong Kong. We are committed to promoting diversity and equality, all staff are treated with respect and dignity. At present, the anti-discrimination ordinances in Hong Kong are:

- the Disability Discrimination Ordinance

- the Sex Discrimination Ordinance

- the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance

- the Race Discrimination Ordinance

 

We review the corporate policy of employment and labour regularly to ensure that we comply with the local labour legislations and regulations.

 

Business Ethics and Professional Code of Conducts

 

The Group puts high standards on business ethics and professional conducts expected of all employees. Employees are briefed regularly on the code of ethics and on the conduct of keeping confidentiality of the information of business partners and the Group. Briefings on the code of ethics and on the conducts are held for new employees during orientation sessions.

 

In 2022, we adopted an updated Integrity Management Policy, as set out in the Code of Conduct of our Employee Handbook, with reference to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap. 201), the Competition Ordinance (Cap. 619) in Hong Kong. All executive directors and employees of ITE must abide by the Integrity Management Policy, as well as relevant laws and regulations in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions.

 

Maintaining and executing the Integrity Management Policy represents our commitment to integrity, honesty and anti-corruption practices in our daily operation. Any company personnel in breach of integrity requirements will be subject to internal disciplinary action. We shall render full assistance to law enforcement agencies in the investigation of criminal offences.