CIFI Releases 2020 ESG Report, Improving “Green Competitiveness”
Last year, CIFI released its first standalone ESG Report, and received an upgrade in MSCI ESG Rating to "BB", it also was added to the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index for the first time. This year, we further enrich our report to reach new levels regarding both disclosure contents and standards.
In the report, CIFI actively responds to the nation’s call for "Carbon Neutralization" and green development policies, tapping into opportunities of green leadership. Based on sustainable development and compliance management, CIFI focuses on four substantial topics of "Quality Life", "Green Life", "Wonderful Life", and "Harmonious Life", in response to its mission of “Building Better Lives”, actively undertake its corporate social responsibility, and explores new achievements on the path of innovation for sustainable development.
CIFI is dedicated to promoting the green development, and aims to become a rolemodel of ESG enterprise. In order to build a green developer brand and implement the green development In April 2020, CIFI formulated and released its green finance framework, a vital step for CIFI in promoting green finance.
Leveraging its constant breakthroughs in green initiatives, in July 2020, CIFI issued its first offshore green bonds with an aggregate amount of USD 500 million, an interest rate of 5.95%, and a term of 5.25 years, which received the highest rating of E1 for green bonds by Standard & Poor's, and made CIFI the first mainland property developer to obtain the "Post-Issuance Stage of Green Finance" issued by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA). Such green bonds were also admitted to the Sustainable and Green Exchange (STAGE) by HKSE, making CIFI the only mainland property developer to be included in the first batch.
The success of the first green bonds not only demonstrates that CIFI's commitment in green operation has been highly recognized by the capital market, but also will help CIFI to attract more green-themed investors, and thus make substantial contributions to expanding its financial channels. According to the relevant data, green investors account for 55% in the subscription orders of such green bonds.
This advantage was extended in May 2021 when CIFI once again issued green bonds with an aggregate amount of USD 500 million, an interest rate of 4.45%, and a term of seven years, which is the longest term recorded for CIFI's offshore USD bonds, thereby further optimizing the financial structure and constantly enhancing its financial competitiveness.
One of CIFI's main fields for implementing sustainable development is to vigorously promote green buildings. In 2020, China clearly indicated the goal of "trying to achieve peak carbon emissions before 2030 and the goals of ‘Carbon Neutralization’ before 2060". CIFI regards this as an opportunity to explore suitable carbon neutrality methods, actively improve the proportion of certified green buildings in such aspects as green, innovative, and smart buildings, and promote its transformation into a green and low carbon enterprise.
It is disclosed in the report that in 2020, CIFI completed 15.84 million sqm of green buildings, accounting for 97.4% of the total area, among which 15 projects obtained two-star Green Building certification. After obtaining BREEAM Design Stage four-star certification in 2017, CIFI Hechang Metropolis Mansion obtained BREEAM Design Stage and Post-completion Stage four-star double certification in January 2020, becoming the first new residential project to obtain dual four-star certifications.
Metropolis mansion won
BREEAM four star double certification certificate
Behind these honors lies CIFI's constant pursuit of green and healthy standards. CIFI requires all residential products to at least fulfill one-star Green Building requirements, all newly-secured commercial complex projects to obtain two-star Green Building certification, and all high-end projects to obtain three-star Green Building certification, and encourages the acquisition of international authoritative certifications such as LEED, WELL, and BREEAM.
International authoritative certifications
Furthermore, CIFI also strongly promotes prefabricated buildings. In 2020, the percentage of new projects adopting prefabricated buildings reached 66%, far more than the national standard of 30%.
It is worth mentioning that “CIFI Visible Building” was widely promoted in 2020, leading an industrial revolution. Based on new building skills, efficient operations, and guaranteed project quality, the CIFI Visible Building enables customers to observe their home “grow” during construction, and incorporates the sustainable development concept in the construction process, setting a model for the industry, and efficiently improving the probability of purchase. By the end of 2020, CIFI had built 40 Visible Building projects in 29 cities. Half of its projects in China have adopted the Visible Building system. CIFI has also proposed more than 65 CIFI Visible Building projects in 2021.
According to the report, in 2020, CIFI had zero safety critical accidents. A total of 22 projects were named “Safety Demonstration Sites” by the government, and 36 projects obtained honors at the provincial level and above.
The pandemic changed everyone’s daily life. Based on its awareness of increased public health needs, in 2020, CIFI released “CIFI-7”, conducted the R&D and upgrading of the green, healthy, and smart product system HUMAN Smart and Healthy Life 2.0, and cooperated with Alibaba on releasing its operating system. In the meantime, CIFI proposed green configuration requirements for projects, providing directions and standards for green and healthy building implementation in both residential and commercial projects.
For example, CIFI issued guidelines for COVID-19 prevention which covers the two major scenarios of safety systems and residential health systems, and proposes anti-pandemic measures such as contactless traffic, touch point disinfection, smart monitoring, clean air, and healthy water supply, thereby providing customers with a comfortable, convenient, green, and healthy lifestyle.
Besides, CIFI always adheres to its core value of “customer first”. In 2020, its customer service system was upgraded to "Wholehearted Service 2.0", providing multi-dimensional high-quality services throughout the whole life cycle. In the meantime, the "Lighting Up Action" launched by CIFI has helped to renovate old communities, improve the home-coming routes, and develop a ceremonial sense and happiness about home. It covers projects in 15 cities and benefiting about 70,000 customers.
The generation born in the 1990s, who grew up with the Internet, is about to become the main force of home buyers, and the consumption behavior of the younger generation is becoming increasingly value-oriented. By building the “37°C Community”, CIFI provides its customers with rich and interesting neighborhood activities, and encourages residents to share and stimulate local vitality so as to make communities warmer and better.
CIFI’s constant innovation of product and service IP has helped to obtain a good reputation among customers. According to the report, in 2020, CIFI's customer satisfaction reached 90%, close to the 95th percentile of overall industry satisfaction for the year. Furthermore, all complaints were handled with a satisfaction rate of 85%.
Since its foundation, CIFI has adhered to the value of inclusive love for others and actively carried out charity activities, developing the four major charity fields of school donation, environmental protection, anti-pandemic and disaster relief, and targeted poverty alleviation. In 2020, the CIFI Charity Foundation was established so as to make contributions to society through a professional organization. By the end of 2020, CIFI had donated RMB 116 million to charity and cumulatively donated over RMB 520 million.
CIFI advocates the idea of personal participation in charity. According to the report, in 2020, the cumulative voluntary service hours of CIFI's personnel reached 2,493.5 hours. As one of the best examples, facing the sudden impact of COVID-19, not only did CIFI establish a special anti-pandemic control foundation, and donate RMB 20 million to the medical staff in Wuhan, but many of CIFI's personnel provided support themselves by making efforts to distribute supplies to medical staff at the front-line.
It is worth mentioning that in 2020, CIFI cooperated with the China Environmental Protection Foundation to initiate the CIFI Public Welfare Forest Project, pledging to plant over 3,000 mu (2 million sqm) of ecological protection forest in Dunhuang within the next three years. With this forest project, and the energy-saving and emission-reduction actions of CIFI’s staff in their daily life, Gobi Trekking Challenge in Dunhuang, and “CIFI City Charity Walk” activity series, CIFI calls for more people to participate in environmental protection actions and translate their environmental behavior and love to saplings, thereby contributing to the prevention and control of desertification in western China. By the end of 2020, the CIFI Public Welfare Forest Project had donated nearly RMB 2 million and planted about 67,000 wind-resisting and sand-stabilizing trees.
In addition, CIFI also donated to Fujian Jian'ou First High School to build a gymnasium and swimming pool in 2020, with a cumulative donation of more than RMB 50 million; the CIFI Fellowship for the People’s Public Security University of China will donate a total of RMB 10 million over next 10 years for scholarships and bursaries; and CIFI Commercial Property Management remitted a total of RMB 50 million for tenants during the pandemic. CIFI also continues to carry out the "Walnut Charity Walk" Poverty Alleviation Project with a cumulative investment of RMB 3 million.
In view of its unremitting efforts in the field of public welfare and charity, the CIFI Group was recently included among the "Top Ten Charitable Enterprises" in the 18th China Charity List sponsored by China Philanthropy Times under the guidance of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
CIFI was included among the "Top Ten Charitable Enterprises"
in the 18th China Charity List
CIFI’s distinctive talent system has always been highly regarded in the industry, and it was polished once again in 2020 when CIFI won the title of “Best Employer in China” for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, in 2020, CIFI’s employee engagement score reached 79%, two percentage points ahead of the industry average. The average online and offline training time of CIFI employees was 50.2 hours.
In 2020, CIFI established smoother channels for employee communication. In addition to the Chairman’s luncheon and CEO’s communication meetings, CIFI has also launched the CIFI Live Streaming Platform to allow executives to communicate with more employees online. CIFI also optimized and upgraded the Employee Forum to version 2.0. To date, its total visits has reached 6.99 million, with 6,182 employees registered, which not only strengthens the company's internal communication, but also effectively optimizes the level of corporate governance.
CIFI has always attached great importance to corporate governance, striving to improve its decision-making and internal operating mechanism with modern corporate governance system in accordance with the law. In 2020, CIFI was included in the first batch of non-state-owned pilot enterprises for corporate lawyers in Shanghai by virtue of its construction of a sound compliance management and risk management system. Thanks to its comprehensive risk management, CIFI realized the 100% identification of hidden risks in 2020, and no major risk events occurred throughout the year.
CIFI understands that integrity is the strong foundation of a company, and regards integrity building as a top priority. In 2020, it established the “343” integrity ecological governance system to further strengthen its management foundations, promising to investigate 100% of reported corruption and fraud leads, and find accountability for 100% of confirmed corruption and fraud incidents, adhereing to a zero tolerance policy regarding corruption and fraud. In 2020, CIFI promoted the establishment of the Alliance of Audit and Supervision on Fujian-based Enterprises in Shanghai as a principal founding member, and served as the first rotating member.