Approach to Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is central to how we conduct our business and, in our view, is a pre-requisite for long-term sustainability. It helps define our Sustainable Development Strategy as well as how and what we report. It is essential that we understand the issues our key stakeholders are concerned about, in order that our business values reflect theirs.

We follow a five-year stakeholder engagement plan to ensure we systematically engage with a range of interest groups on a regular basis, at least once every two years.

Stakeholder Group How we engage Common issues that are important to this stakeholder group
Customers Reflex passenger survey
Online feedback
Comment cards and letters
Social media
Focus groups
  • Safety
  • Punctuality and service
  • Customer experience
  • Crisis handling and customer relations
  • Cost of tickets
  • Environmental issues
  • Customer education on sustainability
  • Caring for the environment
  • Collaborating with the community
Employees Intranet
Newsletters and briefing notes
Consultative committees and staff forums
Focus groups
Organisational alignment survey
Staff sustainability survey
  • Employee relations and labour standards
  • Staff benefits
  • Training and development
  • Education on sustainability
  • Reduction of inflight waste
  • Sustainable sourcing of inflight meals
  • Volunteering and community involvement
  • Better engagement and alignment between Hong Kong and outports
  • Safety and fatigue management
  • Reduction of fuel burn
  • Moving from paper to electronic documents
  • Communicating environmental benefits of new fleet to the public
  • Adopting best international labour and contractual practices
NGOs/sustainability experts/the academia Stakeholder review committee
Focus groups
Strategic discussions
Event participation
  • Climate change and use of sustainable fuel alternatives
  • Improving engagement with NGOs
  • Better communication of sustainability initiatives to the general public
  • Stronger influence on customers with carbon offsetting
  • Target-setting for key performance areas, e.g. carbon goals Carbon trading, offsetting and cost of emissions
  • Biodiversity
  • Investing in the next generation
  • Training local personnel
  • Staff satisfaction, retention and training
  • Maintaining employee relations
  • Community engagement, including on disaster response and relief and programme involvement
  • Global approach to community investment
  • Customer service
  • Safety
  • Having a supply chain strategy
  • Promoting sustainable tourism
Investors and shareholders Annual Report
Focus groups
  • Improving transparency on environmental issues and supplier management
  • Contextual information on reported data to help stakeholders’ understanding
  • Focus on customer service and cost, rather than just the bottom line
  • Clearer reporting on community investment
  • Providing industry and peer data for easy comparisons
  • Direct engagement with investors
Suppliers Supplier questionnaire
Sustainability newsletter
Focus groups
  • Commitment to climate change, offsetting and biofuels
  • Transparency around labour relations
  • Rising costs (e.g. fuel) and effects on the industry
  • Collaboration with local businesses and communities
  • More stringent supplier code of conduct
  • Supplier training
  • Communication on responsible procurement plan
  • Top level governance for sustainability
Other businesses Annual Report
Focus groups
Business forums
  • Active communication on sustainability initiatives
  • Lead on climate change and resource efficiency issues
  • Highest governance level takes leadership position on sustainability issues imperative
  • Customer and staff safety
  • Staff welfare

We aim to report as transparently as possible on issues that are relevant to our organisation. We have developed a materiality matrix on sustainability issues over the years. We have carried out a process of assessing material issues as raised by stakeholders during engagement (focus groups and interviews) in producing the materiality matrix. An issue is ‘material’ when it substantially affects our long term commercial and operational viability. This matrix combines the Swire Group approach on identifying the risk concerns of our stakeholders and our own materiality scoring methodology which follows the principles outlined in international standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the AA1000APS.

The assessment criteria of the identified risks are shown in the following tables:

Criteria for Assessing Materiality
Assessing ‘level of concern to Cathay Pacific’s key external stakeholders’

The issue is understood to be of concern to key stakeholder groups at an international or national level and meets two or more of the following criteria:

  • Has a high impact on society or the environment
  • Is known to be of high priority to stakeholders
  • Is strongly related to the activities of CPA and others in the sector
  • Is particularly important in enabling judgments to be formed about CPA’s CR performance

The issue is understood to be of concern to key stakeholder groups at a national level and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Has a moderate impact on society or the environment
  • Is known to be of moderate priority to stakeholders
  • Is related to the activities of CPA but also many other industry sectors
  • Is fairly important in enabling judgments to be formed about CPA’s CR performance

The issue is understood to be of concern to key stakeholder groups at a national or local level and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Has a low impact on society or the environment
  • Is known to be of low priority to stakeholders
  • Is only indirectly related to the activities of CPA
  • Is not very important in enabling judgments to be formed about CPA’s CR performance
Assessing ‘current or potential impact on Cathay Pacific’
  • High current or future financial impact
  • Potential for some impact (positive or negative) on brand, reputation and key stakeholder relationships and international media attention
  • Some potential for legal non-compliance and fines
  • Some potential for positive or negative impact on operations and customer orders
  • Is part of stated strategy, policy or voluntary commitment
  • Limited current or future financial impact
  • Potential for some impact (positive or negative) on brand, reputation and key stakeholder relationships and national media attention
  • Low potential for legal non-compliance and fines
  • Low potential for positive or negative impact on operations and customer orders
  • Is part of stated strategy, policy or voluntary commitment
  • No or low current or future financial impact
  • Potential for positive or negative local media attention, with no impact on brand, reputation and key stakeholder relationships
  • No potential for legal non-compliance and fines
  • No potential for positive or negative impact on operations and customer orders

The resultant ‘materiality’ of our report is then reviewed by an independent Stakeholder Review Committee against the criteria of relevance and responsiveness (i.e. how we have or plan to act in consideration of this feedback).

In 2011, we engaged with staff at three of our outport bases (with one ground staff and one cabin crew group at each outport respectively) including Bangkok, London and Vancouver. We also spoke to our corporate customers and investors; suppliers; and environmental and social NGOs.

Focus groups or individual interviews were facilitated by an independent organisation guaranteeing anonymity to ensure impartiality and enable respondents to speak frankly.

In summary, the 2011 engagement exercise showed that Cathay Pacific continued to be perceived as one of the safest airlines globally. Most of the groups found the engagement sessions useful, and expected the company to respond to their comments.The outports engaged appeared to be less familiar with the company’s sustainable development strategy and performance, which highlighted the need to improve internal and external sustainability communication. NGOs asked for continued transparency on operational impacts, clear long term goals and performance indicators, actions leading to the achievement of these goals, and on how our impacts are measured. Suppliers are keen for us to develop a supplier audit system and for them to be involved in supplier initiatives on sustainability.

This year our stakeholders said: What we are doing:
Staff, especially the outports, do not think they are familiar with the company’s sustainability strategy and performance. A series of internal initiatives have been planned in 2012 to raise awareness and engage staff on how sustainability relates to their work.
They would like more transparency on the company’s operational impacts, with clear long term goals, performance indicators, action plans and measurement of impacts. We have been working with various departments on a set of specific targets for the key areas of our operation, which will be rolled out in 2012.
We should develop a supplier audit system. We are putting together a framework for supply chain compliance check.
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  • Sustainable Development Report 2010
    [website | pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2009
    [website | pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2008 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2007 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2006 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2005 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2004 [pdf]
  • Sustainable Development Report 2003 [pdf]