The Group engages in a wide range of philanthropic efforts to benefit the community. Such initiatives include employee volunteerism, education and health care. In line with sound corporate governance practice, donations and contributions are subject to internal compliance guidelines and controls in order to safeguard stakeholder and shareholder interests.
The Group has maintained "Caring Company" status - granted by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service - for an extensive period of time. The Group has adopted a public engagement and donation policy to promote serving the community through voluntary efforts from staff and by way of cash and in-kind donations.
Drawing on the strength of the Group's superior mobile communications network and technology expertise, the Group has made in-kind donations to the benefit of a diversity of needy individuals. For example, the Group sponsored senior citizens by providing the free "e-Care Link" package, which includes voice minutes, local data usage, certain smartphone models and the all-year-round call-and-care "e-Care Link" service. This was carried out under the auspices of the Safety Phone Service Plans Sponsorship Programme organised by the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association. The year under review also saw continuity of the Lo-Yau-Kee Monthly Service Plans Sponsorship Programme, which was launched in 2010. Meanwhile, senior citizens from a number of charitable organisations benefitted from a waiver of service fee from the Group.
Further, the Group contributed towards building an inclusive and caring society by making it easy for people with disabilities and special needs to obtain information and services. The Group's corporate and HGC websites won gold awards in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme organised by The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Equal Opportunities Commission.
The Group also plays an important role in imparting knowledge of mobile technologies and ICT among young people. The Group sponsored the Hong Kong Next Generation Interest Society Technical Seminar and the Communication Association of Hong Kong's ICT Conference and Expo 2016. Student visits to the Group's data centre were also conducted.
The Group emphasises the importance of striking a healthy work-life balance and encourages staff to participate in various charity sports events such as the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, Orbis Walks for Sight, the Hong Kong Disneyland 10K Weekend and Oxfam Trailwalker. Some of such initiatives were also sponsored by the Group.
As a responsible corporate citizen, the Group initiated a food donation programme in 2016 so staff could donate canned and other foodstuffs, as well as non-refrigerated beverages, to the SKH St Christopher's Home, St Mary's Home for the Aged and Kwun Tong Methodist Social Service Gleaners Community Foodbank.
Staff in Macau took part in a community walk to raise funds for the underprivileged, while the Group continued to sponsor the Mobile Application Software Technologies Training Plan, which encourages youngsters to keep up to speed with the latest mobile app technology.