2021 CIFI ESG Report: “Exploring New Mode of Green Development”
On May 31th, 2022, CIFI Group (00884.HK) officially released its 2021 ESG Report (hereinafter referred to as “Report”), which demonstrated the substantial achievements CIFI made in 2021 for integrating the philosophy of sustainable development in the areas of environment, social and governance.
In 2021, CIFI made continuous efforts in sustainable development. Backed by excellent performance, our MSCI ESG rating was raised from BB to BBB, achieving consecutive upgrades for two years in a row. Moreover, CIFI remained in the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index and was included into the Hang Seng ESG 50 Index for the first time. Particularly noteworthy is the award of a 3-star rating in GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) for CIFI’s inaugural participation in this assessment, which is widely recognized as the key assessment in sustainable development in the global real estate industry.
In addition, CIFI’s corporate governance is further strengthened. In 2021, CIFI appointed renowned economist Dr. LIN Caiyi as its independent non-executive director and a member of the audit committee and nomination committee. Dr. LIN, as the board’s first female member, promotes the diversity of the board.
Also disclosed in the Report, over the past year, with a back drop of broad market correction, CIFI has always remained positive on sector outlook. Meanwhile, the Company continue in pursuing breakthroughs and innovation, fully integrating the philosophy of sustainable development into the Company’s development strategy, and seeking new growth opportunities and new business models.
CIFI steadfastly adheres to the concept of “quality first”. Accordingly, a standardized quality management system is put in place to ensure strict quality assurance for the whole project life-cycle covering product supply to product manufacturing. Furthermore, CIFI has also set up a safety management and control system, which not only governs safety during the production process, it also defines the responsibilities and management ities of the supervisory and construction units in relation to safety and civil conducts during construction work, as a joint effort to facilitate an environment for safe construction. At present, CIFI has obtained ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certification and ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System Certification.
ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certification
and ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System Certification
The Report shows that throughout 2021, CIFI achieved “zero” in safety accident through effective construction safety management, with 44 projects being designated as “Safety and Civility Demonstration Sites”, representing a 100% year-on-year increase; 50 provincial level or above recognitions while additional 4 national level recognition, a breakthrough in national-level awards.
In the past year, CIFI’s Visible Building System has been upgraded to version 3.0, and the intelligent level of construction management has been further improved. By the end of 2021, the company had launched 84 Visible Buildings projects in operation with all-round display, representing an increase of 25% compared to 2020. The application of the four techniques of Visible Building System has reduced carbon dioxide emission by approximately 1.101 million tons.
By the end of 2021,
CIFI has operated 84 Visible Buildings
Moreover, based on innovative structural system with high quality and high efficiency, CIFI has introduced CIFI Future Manufacturing, an smart construction system integrating intelligent management and intelligent construction, creating a new construction path of mass production, quality and efficiency improvement, safer production, green and low energy consumption, which solves the problems of the industry and benefits customers, enterprises, society and the environment.
Click to watch the CIFI Future Manufacturing video
Customer satisfaction remains the driving force for CIFI’s development, as the company regularly conducts customer satisfaction surveys for both residential and commercial projects, keeping an ear to the customers’ voices, and constantly improving the quality of our products and services. In 2021, customer satisfaction for CIFI commercial and residential projects were 88% and 86% respectively, putting the Company at industry-leading position.
Furthermore, CIFI highly values protection of the customers’ rights and cyber security management. It strictly complies with the rules and regulations to implement various security management protocols to protect the customers’ rights and interests. In 2021, CIFI official website completed the annual review of Network Security Level 2 Protection Certification Evaluation, and the Digital Technology Department passed GB/T22080-2016/ISO/IEC27001:2013 Information Security Management System Certifications.
Information Security Management System Certifications
CIFI always accords top priority to improving customer service as part of business development. In 2021, the customer reporting channel was upgraded to “CEO Direct Reach Mechanism”, improving the response rate and satisfaction of customer complaint handling mechanism. In addition, CIFI also draws on the experience of leading international enterprises to set up customer complaints “? Email” review & follow-up mechanisms with the aim of analyzing business problems and improving the management system by reviewing typical customer complaints.
In addition to refining the customer service mechanism, CIFI also conducts “Six-One” listening campaign for middle and senior employees of regional companies, encouraging them to participate in customer meeting activities at least once every quarter, that is, 1 customer stimulation, deliver 1 house, join 1 event, handle 1 complaint, interview 1 group of customers, pay 1 visit to the old community. In 2021, the listening campaign recorded 8,565 participations, with 45% of staff personnel and 53.5% of management personnel taking part; hence constantly improving the customer service system.
Under the general policy framework of “carbon peaking, carbon neutrality”, energy conservation and emission reduction, CIFI has put in place a corporate carbon strategy. By means of fine-tuning design methodologies, fabrication techniques, material selection, as well as managing renewable energy, energy consumption and so forth, we target to reduce CO₂ emission in all phases of operation as an effort for early attainment of the carbon goals. Moreover, CIFI also set its own water resource utilization efficiency targets. The company will be striving to improve resource efficiency in four major areas covering product design, fabrication and construction, office administration, routine operation and maintenance, hence fulfilling due corporate responsibilities for the environment.
In 2021, in accordance with the disclosure recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), CIFI initiated identification and prioritization of climate-related risks, and evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on the Company, aiming to effectively manage climate-related risks and reduce their impacts on the Company’s business and finance. Moving forward to 2022, CIFI officially launched “carbon peaking, carbon neutrality” strategy, on one side collecting and monitoring carbon emission data among group companies, on the other side formulating reduction plan in order to achieve the objectives.
In addition, CIFI consistently embraces conformance of product design to green building and healthy building standards, and actively promotes research & development and application of green building systems. In 2021, CIFI comprehensively upgraded the green and healthy intelligent product system, and issued “HUMAN Intelligent Healthy Life 3.0 of CIFI Group”. More particularly, relevant “carbon peaking, carbon neutrality” specifications were integrated to the requirements for green buildings, thus reducing carbon emission from building operation to a much greater extent, and achieving ultra-low energy consumption operation. As an example, Century One Mile is the first ultra-low energy consumption residential project in Shanghai. Efforts have been made on various aspects of design and construction to achieve lower energy consumption, less carbon emission, and a better living experience. It is estimated that Century One Mile could reduce annual CO₂ emissions by over 1,225 tons.
Shanghai Century One Mile –
the First Low-consumption Residential Project in Shanghai
In May, 2021, CIFI entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). By synchronizing with the criteria in the National Assessment Standard for Healthy Building, CIFI introduced the design of “12 Sensory Health Index System” into the requirements for healthy buildings after assimilating the WELL certification system, hence comprehensively improving comfort level, physical and mental wellbeing for the user. A total of 6 CIFI projects were certified by WELL in 2021.
Slide left and right to see more details of award-winning projects
Furthermore, CIFI strives to achieve new enhancements for energy-saving buildings. In one of the buildings in the Huaxi CIFI LIVE∙Wukesong project, the Wukesong Ice Sports Center is one of the several new venues for the Winter Olympics. One of its highlights is the photovoltaic design, which can generate about 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The electricity produced provides 8.5% of the electricity consumption for the venue and reduces carbon emission.
Beijing Huaxi CIFI LIVE ∙ Wukesong Ice Sports Centre -
China Three-star GBEL Certification
In 2021, the GFA that meets the green building standard was 16,155,760 sq.m., representing 76.8% of the total completed GFA. Among them, certified green buildings amounted to 20.4% of the total number of completed projects. The proportion of new projects using pre-fabricated construction method topped 82.6%, far higher than the state-mandated 30% target.
By playing a complimentary role with active participation in urban development, CIFI is consistently committed to the mission of “Building better lives”, that is, actively supporting urban development and operation, participating in various regeneration schemes, protecting urban relics, and at the same time engaging in community reconstruction projects, promoting vitality and prosperity.
One such example is that of The Roof. As his début piece in China, French architect Jean Nouvel skillfully weaves the cultural elements of its surroundings into its unique design and incorporates greeneries into the city, creating a spatial model for the future of the city, where people and nature can flourish and coexist in harmony.
Shanghai the Roof - Vitalising the Urban
Whilst promoting urban vitality, CIFI is also committed to protecting the urban relics. Huai’an CIFI Plaza accommodates a 15,000 sq.m. leisure park located in Huai’an, Jiangsu Province, which was originally a farmland site and later developed into a park. The surrounding area is mostly residential communities, manufacturing, ancillary services and schools, hence the park is designed as a gathering place for leisure, consumption, social gathering and entertainment for factory workers, teachers and students, families and office workers. The landscape design of the park adopts an abstract puzzle shape to connect the city and nature, creating an integrated natural-social park within the city.
Huai'an CIFI Plaza -
Protection of Urban Historical Heritage
In addition, CIFI also works in close cooperation with the government to expand housing construction, increasing the supply of affordable housing by taking part in development of affordable housing building. The Zhongruifu project in the city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province is another example in point. This affordable housing project was fully designed, decorated and commissioned in accordance with the 75% energy-saving standard, and handover formalities were completed and the local government’s Affordable Housing Center has taken possession of this property and reverting positive feedback. In 2019 and 2020, this project won the honored titles of “Five-Star Construction Site in the City of Shijiazhuang” and “Safety and Civility Construction Site in Hebei Province” respectively.
Shijiazhuang Zhongruifu Project -
Construction of Affordable Housing
With the benefit of steady improvements in various ESG indicators, CIFI has also moved to incorporate the concept of sustainable development into the Company’s financing mechanisms, and is committed to promoting the positive cycle of mutually reinforcing corporate growth and sustainable development.
In May 2021, CIFI successfully issued the second batch of offshore green bonds in the size of USD 500 million, of which the 5.25-year bonds amounted to USD 350 million with coupon rate of 4.45%, 0.8 percentage points lower than the Company’s first green bond issued in 2020. The 7-year bonds amounted to USD 150 million with coupon rate of 4.80%. The latter also set a record as the longest term dollar-denominated offshore bonds issued by CIFI.
In July 2021, CIFI was granted the first green syndicated loan with an initial amount of nearly HK$2.8 billion and awarded the certificate of Green Finance Pre-issuance Stage by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency. The loan was also selected by the Asset as the Best Green Syndicated Loan under the real estate sub-category at the Sustainable Capital Markets Awards 2021.
It is noteworthy that CIFI’s first “Green Finance Report” was also released during the reporting period, which contained proactive disclosure of the use of proceeds and the environmental impacts generated from green bonds. This undertaking obtained independent third-party assurance, as a demonstration of CIFI’s commitment to green finance through practical actions.
The year 2021 marked the closing year of CIFI’s 2nd Five-Year Strategy. Based on the summary of the talent strategy under the 2nd Five-Year Plan and with reference to the advanced practices of benchmark companies, we have formulated the strategic objectives and implementation path of organization and talent development. In the period of the next five-year plan, CIFI will strive to implement the “four highs” talent strategy, i.e. high organizational agility, high combat effectiveness of talents, high efficiency of mechanism and high cultural recognition, to build an efficient ecological organization, create a more dynamic talent team, to improve the management mechanism for sustainable development and to strengthen the overall corporate culture.
In order to improve the leadership of internal staff and enhance management efficiency, we have established a well-organized cadre management system and set up a cadre management committee, which operates strictly according to the Group’s regulations such as Administrative Measures for Cadre Management, Operation Guidelines for Cadre Selection and Operation Guidelines for Cadre Supervision, which served as great motivation for managerial talents to increase productivity and improve personal development.
Driven by the talent management concept of “Strategy Drives Common Success”, CIFI attaches great importance to communication with employees by setting up a smooth two-way communication mechanism, listening to employees’ views and putting forward the relevant improvement solutions, growing and developing together with employees. In addition, CIFI also actively organized various events for employees, such as the CIFI Walking Club to enrich employees’ spare time recreation and create a healthy working environment. In 2021, CIFI’s employee dedication score was 83%, leading the industry by an average of 6 percentage points.
It is also noteworthy that CIFI has been awarded the honored title as “KINCENTRIC Best Employer in China” for five consecutive years since 2017, and “Outstanding Best Employer” for three consecutive years, breaking the industry record.
Awarded “KINCENTRIC Best Employer in China”
for Five Consecutive Years
Awarded “Outstanding Best Employer” for Three Consecutive Years
Keeping the Industry Record
Commitment to the concept of “sharing with loving care and benefiting others” is accompanied by CIFI’s continual involvement in public welfare undertakings over the years. CIFI made charitable donations to all sectors of the community through the “CIFI Foundation” focusing on four major areas: support to education, anti-pandemic and disaster relief, rural revival, green environmental protection, thereby playing a key role in contributing to society. According to the Report, CIFI’s total charity donation amount in 2021 amounted to RMB 157 million, with accumulated total donations exceeding RMB 670 million.
In the area of supporting education, in addition to donating RMB 50 million to Nanping CIFI No. 3 Experimental School and applying CIFI expertise and offering assistance in design and construction of the school, CIFI also established the CIFI Scholarship for China People ‘s Public Security University to help train police cadets. In the past year and beyond, the CIFI Scholarship has been awarded to 200 students, and the grants have been awarded to 425 students.
When flooding occurred in Henan province in July, 2021, CIFI responded immediately by donating RMB 10 million to Henan to assist in flood relief, and actively participated in post-flood reconstruction work.
In addition, CIFI continues to undertake the “CIFI Forest” project, planting ecological forest to improve local ecological conditions, and nurturing a green ecology. The CIFI Forest project will donate more than 106,000 trees to Dunhuang, which will become an important line of defense against wind and sand in the southwest of Dunhuang, promoting desert control and green ecological construction in western China.
In recognition of the company’s longstanding and consistent support for public welfare, CIFI was granted the honored award as a “Top Ten Philanthropy Enterprise” in the China Charity Ranking 2021 under the auspice of the China Philanthropy Times and guiding directive from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
CIFI was included among the "Top Ten Charitable Enterprises"
in the 18th China Charity List
The year 2022 marks the start of CIFI’s Third Five-Year Strategy. CIFI will adhere to a “long-termism”, uphold the concept of sustainable development, unswervingly fulfill its social responsibilities in the next 20 years, and strive towards the goal of becoming an outstanding enterprise with industry competitiveness.