Environmental, Social and Governance Report
(Updated on 23 March 2018)
The Group is committed to the long-term sustainability of its businesses and the communities in which it conducts business, and to achieve its business objectives within a framework of high standards taking into consideration of the customers, employees and communities. We will continuously review and improve our health, safety and environmentally-friendly practices and standards in the course of our business and operation.
1.Protecting the Environment
Our vision is to deliver high quality, safe and innovative toys to consumers around the world, in a way that respects the environment. We strive to reduce our environmental footprint, through continuous improvement of operational efficiency and adoption of environmentally-friendly practices.
We are committed to complying with all applicable environmental laws in all countries in which we conduct operations. We have robust procedures in place to ensure that all of our toy products are in compliance with the latest applicable safety and environmental regulations. We work closely with our customers, suppliers, independent certified laboratories and industry associations to follow the latest developments in industry standards.
We also endeavor to make our properties more environmentally friendly through various energy saving and green management initiatives. We will continue to incorporate green features into the operation and management of property investments and associated businesses in order to reduce environmental impact.
During the year, we have complied with relevant laws and regulations relating to environment and natural resources such as air, greenhouse gas emissions, discharges into water and land, and generation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, where applicable to the Group.
The Group adopts the principles of reducing, recycling and reusing for the waste management. Any waste materials remaining from our operations must be disposed of legally and in a manner that meets applicable environmental standards. In Hong Kong, all the non-hazardous waste is handled by the recycler or sent to the landfill. The Group does not produce any hazardous waste in its operations during the year.
We are also committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our operations and by operating our businesses in ways that support sustainable use of our available natural resources. We strive to conserve energy and other valuable resources, to reduce waste and to participate in recycling and other environmental protection efforts. In 2017, there was no confirmed non-compliance incident or grievance in relation to our business which had significant impact on the environment or natural resources.
1. Protecting the Environment (Continued)
We have taken steps to review our sustainability measures and adopted different initiatives that support our mission to reduce environmental impact, including:
- Reduce number of components in our products
- Improve product-to-packaging ratios
- Adopt environmentally-friendly packaging materials
- Reduce logistics usage by optimizing the number of cartons and containers
- Use off-peak delivery
- Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or recycled paper throughout our offices in Hong Kong
Overview of Environmental Data (note 1)
1. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
2. Non-hazardous waste
3. Effluent and waste management
4. Energy consumption
5. Water consumption
6. Packaging materials
1. Unless otherwise specified, the environmental data covers the Group's owned and operated facilities (offices) in Hong Kong and the U.S.
2. Scope 1 refers to direct GHG emission such as fuel combustion.
3. Scope 2 refers to indirect GHG emission such as consumption of electricity.
4. Scope 3 refers to indirect GHG emission such as consumption of paper and business air travel.
5. In 2017, there is no issue in sourcing water that is fit for purpose.
1. Protecting the Environment (Continued)
We plan to further enhance our environmental performance through the following actions:
1. Identify and manage environmental risks;
2. Monitor and comply with new requirements of all applicable laws and regulations;
3. Use energy, water and materials more efficiently;
4. Minimize water discharges, greenhouse gas and waste disposal;
5. Increase recycle and reuse waste to minimize landfill disposal;
6. Introduce environmentally responsible purchasing practices; and
7. Promote employee awareness and education.
a. Employment Practices
It is our policy that we treat each employee with respect and fairness at all times and we are committed to providing a work environment free from unlawful discrimination to ensure all employees and job applicants enjoy equal opportunities and fair treatment. We are also committed to complying with all applicable laws, prohibiting discrimination and making all employment or promotion decisions on the basis of factors such as merits, qualifications, experience, skills and achievements, regardless of any characteristics protected by law such as race, colour, gender or religious belief. During the year we have complied with local employment regulations in all jurisdictions in which we carry on business.
The Group does not employ child or forced labour which is strictly prohibited in all of our business sectors. Furthermore, we do not allow any of our vendors or suppliers to engage in any forced or child labour. We comply with all relevant laws and regulations preventing child and forced labour.
b. Promotion of Ethical and Responsible Conduct
Our Code of Business Conduct, available in the Staff Handbook, communicates to our employees our emphasis on ethical business conduct. The Code of Business Conduct applies to all employees and covers areas including, among other things, health, safety and financial integrity etc.
We have an Ethics Resource Team that assists our employees in understanding and complying with the Code of Business Conduct, monitoring compliance, resolving conflicts and queries and coordinating investigations into reported violations. Furthermore, we have in place a "whistle-blowing" policy and system for our employees to raise concerns on any inappropriate conduct or malpractice that compromises the interest of the Company.
c. Health and Safety
We are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment in accordance with applicable safety and health laws and regulations and to taking appropriate precautionary and remedial measures for the safety of our employees.
There was no case of fatality or injury due to workplace incident in the reporting year.
d. Development and Training
To assist employees in their career development, we encourage them to attend vocational, academic or professional training courses to enhance their skills or qualifications relevant to their duties at work by reimbursing or subsidizing the training fees or tuition fees and granting the employees paid leave for attending such courses. We also conduct continuous training sessions for our directors and senior executives on legal and regulatory updates and matters relevant to the businesses of the Group.
3. Operating Practices
a. Supply Chain Management
Supply chain is a critical part of our operations. All productions of our toy products are outsourced to independent OEM vendors with manufacturing facilities in China. We have a select group of approximate 13 vendors that produce our toy products during the year.
Our vendor selection criteria focus on safety, quality, security, cost and delivery. The safety and quality of toy products manufactured for us have always been of the utmost importance to us. As part of our long standing quality assurance program, all of our vendors are required to adhere to the policies and procedures imposed by us, and all toys manufactured for us are tested and certified by independent certified laboratories which must be in full compliance with applicable regulations and standards.
The ongoing factory monitoring is supported by random audits of products. All of our vendors must comply with the security criteria as set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy under Department of Homeland Security. All vendors are also certified to comply with the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) CARE Process and/or Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition/Responsible Business Alliance (EICC/RBA) to ensure that factories meet the relevant standards, which contains principles regarding work environment, fair labour treatment, as well as employee health and safety in the toy industry. Regular reviews are performed to ensure that all vendors remain in compliance with the appropriate standard at all times. As far as we are aware, there has been no material non-compliance with applicable standards by our vendors during the year.
Furthermore, all of our toy suppliers must enforce and adhere to all applicable international supply-chain security standards to identify, mitigate and eliminate all potential security risks. Generally they participate in the Global Security Verification (GSV) Program or US C-TPAT Security Inspection Program, in which they are required to verify their manufacturing facilities on an annual basis in respect of the effectiveness of their GSV or C-TPAT security practices.
b. Product Quality and Safety
The quality assurance of our products has been of the utmost importance ever since our inception, over 50 years ago. Our primary concern continues to be the health and safety of the end users of our products, most of whom are children. Our commitment to and continued vigilance over quality and safety are essential in maintaining the trust of our customers.
We have established a strict quality control system and a set of quality standards for all our products. Our policies and practices on quality control of the production of our products are:
- We maintain a quality manual which documents the process and requirements for all products of the Group.
- The areas that are monitored include product safety, quality, laboratory testing, customers' requirement, specification, inspection, samples and vendor responsibility.
- Process and requirement are revised from time to time to meet new regulations of countries to which products are shipped.
- Our vendors are required to fully understand our quality manual and the requirements of the Group and our customers.
- All products must be tested and certified to comply with applicable international standards and regulations with reports issued from accredited laboratories before shipment.
The United States is the most important market for our toys. Toys sold in the United States are regulated by Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") and must comply with US federal regulations such as Consumer Product Safety Act, Federal Hazardous Substances Act, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and Child Safety Protection Act. The United States government also relies on the toy industry to voluntarily regulate itself. There is a comprehensive voluntary safety standard for toys in the United States, referred to as ASTM F963, which contains additional requirements for safety. Playmates is a member of Toy Industry Association which, together with CPSC, is actively involved in reviewing and updating the safety standard.
Toys sold in Europe are primarily regulated by Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC) of the European Commission and the European standard for toys, EN-71. Additional requirements apply to electronic toys are contained in Safety of Electric Toys: EN62115. Toys containing Phthalates and certain kinds of toys are further regulated by other legislations such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electronic Equipment Directive and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. Our products sold in Europe conform to the relevant regulations and are marked to show European Conformity with the "CE" mark.
We have not made any product recalls or received any material product liability claims or product related complaint from end consumers during the year.
c. Marketing to Children
We market our products in a responsible way by offering age-appropriate contents in marketing materials. For our Playmates Toys' website, we comply with the US Online Privacy Protection Act which set out rules for collecting information from children. Playmates Toys is also a member of the "kidSAFE Seal Program" under which the contents of its website have been independently reviewed and certified to meet the standards of online safety and/or privacy.
d. Protection of Trademarks
All of our products are produced and sold under trademarks owned by or licensed to us. We typically register our intellectual properties and seek protection under the trademark, copyright and patent laws of the U.S. and other countries where our products are produced or sold. We have registered a number of trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and with similar authorities in various countries.
e. Protection of Consumer Data
It is our policy that we must protect consumer information that is sensitive, private or confidential. No consumer information may be shared, sold or traded without proper and prior consent, in accordance with our procedures for maintaining the security of such information, and applicable privacy and data protections laws and regulations.
We are committed to ethical business practices and full compliance with the law wherever we do business. We prohibit our employees from offering, authorizing or giving or receiving money or anything else of value, either directly or through other parties, to governmental officials or private sector representatives, in order to influence their decision-making process, either to gain or to retain business. This prohibition includes business courtesies, such as gifts, entertainment or contributions, under circumstances that would create an appearance of impropriety. In this year, we arranged Independent Commission Against Corruption to provide our Hong Kong employees with training on anti-corruption rules, regulations and practices.
We have established in Our Code of Business Conduct policies against money laundering which are in line with all applicable laws which prohibit our employees from accepting or processing proceeds of criminal activities.
We have in place a "whistle-blowing" policy and system for our employees to report suspected criminal acts including corruption, money laundering and frauds.
During the reporting year, we have complied with all relevant laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the Group. There was no legal case regarding corrupt practices or money laundering brought against the Company or its employees during the year.
4. Community Investment
We always seek to make a positive contribution to build a better world for children. We encourage our employees to participate in volunteering activities organized by local charities. During the year, we have also supported a number of charitable organizations including Friends of Panmure House Inc, Hong Chi Association and Sachs Family Foundation.