ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE REPORT
In a year of extraordinary challenges that included the sudden onset of COVID-19, we at CITIC Limited succeeded in achieving our business goals while fulfilling our corporate social responsibilities. Our ESG initiatives in 2020 included combating the pandemic, alleviating poverty, protecting the environment and participating in charitable and public welfare activities. We were able to create greater impact through these activities by using our strengths as a leading conglomerate in China.
Overcoming the Challenges of the Pandemic
Immediately after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus during the 2020 Spring Festival, we set up the Leading Group Pandemic Prevention and Control Work group comprising the company’s leaders. This group was instrumental in helping our subsidiaries set up special pandemic prevention measures and a control taskforce for building a command and coordination system leveraging our diversified businesses. We also pledged our full support for the national effort to combat COVID-19.
In early 2020 CITIC Engineering accepted the task of designing an emergency specialty field hospital — Huoshenshan Hospital — for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. As a result of the dedication and hard work of the CITIC Engineering staff, the design for this hospital was completed in just 60 hours. In addition, the company donated more than RMB100 million to fight the pandemic and more than 4,000 e-books. We also provided financing for more than RMB800 billion in medical supplies, food and other assistance as part of our rapid response to the pandemic.
Huoshenshan Hospital, Wuhun
A race against time with CITIC speed
On the evening of 23 January 2020, the CITIC General Institute of Architectural Design and Research was commissioned to provide the design for an emergency medical facility — Huoshenshan Hospital. The working team that was formed completed the site grading plan in five hours and the schematic design drawings in 24 hours. All construction drawings were delivered in only 60 hours, a remarkable achievement at such a critical time.
In another outstanding effort, Kaicheng Intelligence of CITIC Heavy Industries successfully developed and produced China’s first rotating disinfection robot in less than 10 days. Three of these robots were then donated to the city of Wuhan.
One of the disinfection robots developed by Kaicheng Intelligence
CITIC COHC, meanwhile, tested blood samples taken from nearly 5,000 passengers and crew on the cruise ship Costa Serena docked in Tianjin. Within a 24-hour period, COHC was able to determine there were zero infections on board the ship, thereby preventing a further outbreak.
Daye Special Steel, a subsidiary of CITIC Pacific Special Steel, responded quickly to a request by a client that produces CT machines. By prioritising this order, Daye Special Steel completed the production of a large number of high-quality special steel materials for the main bearings of these medical devices.
We also provided emergency equipment and supplies to Morocco and other countries around the world and, in only three days, completed the procurement of materials, commodity inspections, transportation and customs clearance procedures. For the Moroccan government, we donated 20,000 viral nucleic acid test kits and other testing equipment.
Daye Special Steel prioritised the production of materials related to anti-pandemic projects
From medical supply manufacturers to restaurant businesses affected by the pandemic, from car dealers with tight cash flows to factories that had suspended production, CITIC’s strong financial support was critical for survival in this challenging period. At China CITIC Bank, 11 policies were introduced to provide financial support for corporations’ efforts to prevent and control the pandemic, 7 polices for stabilising foreign trade and 15 policies for credit to the manufacturing sector. CITIC Securities and the National Interbank Funding Center joined together to provide liquidity for the market. While CITIC Securities and CITIC Construction Investment Securities offered financing to companies engaged in the production of protective gear as well as the development of medical equipment and vaccines.
In this new environment, CITIC Bank, CITIC Securities, China Securities and CITIC Prudential developed online businesses and investment advisory services for the safety and convenience of customers. CITIC Engineering and other subsidiaries in China overcame the impact of the pandemic and were able to resume normal operations quickly, while the business of other subsidiaries such as CITIC Pacific Special Steel and CITIC Envirotech were able to continue without interruption.
Overseas, our subsidiaries also maintained uninterrupted operations or resumed production soon after the worst of the pandemic had passed. These included CITIC Resources, which has a major presence in the Karazhanbas oil field in Kazakhstan, CITIC Dicastal in North America and Morocco, and CITIC Construction with major projects in Belarus, Angola and Iraq. CITIC Agriculture was able to increase sales in Brazil, while CITIC Sino Iron continued marketing its iron ore mining and refined iron powder products, with minimal interruption.
As the medical and health infrastructure of some districts and counties in China is still relatively undeveloped, we donated RMB800,000 from our special funds towards the purchase of supplies and equipment for containing the pandemic.
CITIC Construction started erecting the steel structure of the combustion engine room at Misan Power Plant in Iraq
In 2020, CITIC Bank loaned more than RMB800,000 at favourable repayment terms to people in Hubei Province, including frontline medical staff, whose livelihoods were threatened by the pandemic. Other financial assistance included temporary waivers of compound interest charges, interest fees, and credit defaults on personal loans and credit cards. The Bank also waived all handling fees for loans and other financial transactions for designated hospitals and charitable organisations.
Food donations by CITIC Agriculture in Hubei
CITIC-Prudential set up a special relief fund for COVID-19, opened a green channel for claims settlement, and donated RMB337 million in accidental injury insurance coverage to community workers in Beijing.
In Hubei, Longping High-tech donated 480,000 catties of rice to people in need. It also launched a nationwide digital campaign to help food processing companies and farmers find sales channels for their products.
CITIC Telecom International maintained 24-hour operations, while its subsidiary, China Enterprise Communications provided secure remote network access services free of charge to help certain companies resume production. CTM worked around the clock to keep up network quality despite a 30% increase in network usage.
CITIC Envirotech, including the 47 water operating companies of eight water subsidiaries in Hubei, operated without interruption to ensure continued service throughout the pandemic.
CITIC Press offered more than 3,000 e-books and 600 audiobooks free of charge to medical workers nationwide and donated 200 books to Dahuashan Fangcang hospital in Jiangxia District, Wuhan.
McDonald’s China provided more than 60,000 free meals to frontline medical workers in Hubei, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong. The nearly 3,000 restaurants of this nationwide fast food chain also provided delivery meal service for 1,500 hospitals.
In addition, our subsidiaries donated tens of thousands of medical supplies, such as infrared thermometers, masks, gloves and sanitisers, to local hospitals, neighbourhood committees, cleaners and underprivileged families. Our overseas projects joined forces to instruct cooperatives, local governments and embassies on strategies to combat COVID-19.