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 interests.
The Group has maintained "Caring Company" status - granted by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service - for a long period of time. The Group has adopted a public engagement and donation policy to encourage service to the community through staff voluntary efforts and by way of cash and in-kind donations.
Cash and in-kind donations benefitting community projects in Hong Kong and Macau during 2017 amounted to approximately HK$5.4 million in which HK$0.7 million was donation made to charitable organisations.
The Group has made in-kind donations to the benefit of a diversity of needy individuals by drawing on the strength of its superior mobile telecommunications network and technology expertise. 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 Packages 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 scheme.
The Group supported launch of The Hong Kong Police Force's Anti-Deception Coordination Centre to combat phone scams by sending SMS to 3 Hong Kong users in July and December 2017, and helped develop a more inclusive and caring society by easing the way people with disabilities and special needs can obtain information and services. The corporate website maintained a gold award 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 telecommunications industry. The Group supported the Digital Marketplace Seminar organised by the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation, as well as The Hong Kong General Commerce's 5G Seminar and Business-School Partnership Programme, in which senior executives shared insights and experience during career discussions with students.
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 and the Hong Kong Computer Society FACE Club Charity Walk.
As a responsible corporate citizen, the Group initiated a food donation programme in 2017 for the third time so staff could donate canned and other foodstuffs, as well as non-refrigerated beverages. Beneficiaries were the SKH St Christopher's Home, St Mary's Home for the Aged and Kwun Tong Methodist Social Service Gleaners Community Foodbank.
Meanwhile, 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.