Since the introduction of a doctrine on Corporate Social Responsibility, Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings Limited (“KCBH”) has continued to encounter intense challengers in this respect, in particular, those with emphasis on environment impact and traffic control. KCBH has the mass clienteles (both local and cross-boundary) as its major sources of passengers and revenue, to be supplemented by individual and institutional customers.
A policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) has been devised to address these concerns, with a view that this policy could be sustainable and adaptable to social changes, and would adapt to these changes accordingly.
In order to ascertain that the CSR of KCBH could fulfill the above requisites, the following strategies have been established:
- To successfully define the various issues associated with the company’s CSR;
- To develop a strategic business response to social and market changes;
- To initiate action individually, or with fellow public transport operators, in order to accomplish its goals in CSR; and
- To communicate the results of these actions to the community and the Government.
Product and Services
KCBH is the non-franchised public bus service provider in Hong Kong. As at 31 March 2014, KCBH has a fleet of 1,003 buses. The Company provides local and cross-boundary passenger transportation service for students, employees, residents, tourists, hotels with contract hire services for both individual and Corporate clients.
Fundamentals of the CSR
In view of globalization and its impact towards the transport sector, KCBH has witnessed its clientele gradually changing from students service to members of general public in all sectors with its suppliers have also diversified.
Providers of public transportation service have created a linkage with it’s target customers: passengers, supervisory authorities, and in different sectors of the industry as well as the community. The CSR will allow these publics to understand the work of the respective service providers.
The structure of the service providers is also changing, in the case of KCBH; with the escalating customers’ expectation, e.g. more interaction with customers. In addition, the service providers are no longer monopolizing the service; competition would require these companies to become more market-oriented.
As the service of KCBH has become market oriented, there are rising expectations from customers, particularly passengers frequently using KCBH’s service; together with competition from members of the industry, these market forces obliged KCBH to be continuously professional and creative in providing its service. Market forces may require KCBH to re-examine its service standard, especially in area of safety, fleet management, punctuality, reliability and service fee.
Defining the CSR
Corporate Social Responsibility can be defined as the set of standards of behavior that a company subscribes in order to make its impact on society positive and constructive. The production and selling of goods and services, business ethics, environmental practices, recruitment and employment conditions, approach to equal opportunities and investment in the community are examples of such impact.
Corporate Community Investment is one of the important mechanisms in developing and measuring business standards, it is also an essential tool of CSR, involving a practicable set of programmes and processes that can enable the company to bring the skill and time of its employees for community need.
The following standards can become applicable in various levels of KCBH’s operations:
- Workplace – through the introduction of equal opportunities in employment by adhering to current legislation governing equal opportunities.
- Supplies – through dissemination of safeguarding of KCBH standards in business ethics.
- Market – sounding out KCBH’s obligations to consumers.
- Community – contributing to the development of the society, in particular, those community sectors that are deprived of these benefits.
KCBH has a number of stakeholders, to whom the CSR could be properly addressed:
- Employees – drivers, supervisors, maintenance staff, administrative and clerical staff, personnel, management
- Government – Transport Bureau, Transport Department, District Office and District Council
- Customers – passengers, individual and corporate clients
- Suppliers – vehicle manufacturers and distributors, parts suppliers, fuel companies, and services suppliers such as banks, utilities and Octopus
- Communities – neighbourhoods which are served by KCBH network’s of bus services
- Investors – Indirect investors of holding company which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange
- Public Services – Non Government Organizations (NGOs)
- Business partners – joint venture partners in transport-related businesses, e.g. schools, major enterprises, and prestigious residential estates
Insight for CSR Obligation
KCBH, as a non-franchised bus operator and a public body, is highly visible, as the buses would frequently serve members of the general public. It is important for the company and its vehicles to be seen to be setting a good example and adhering to high service standard as a leader of the public transport sector.
In addition, the company has to adhere to the standard of measurement of service by the Government. As a public listed company, KCBH must work closely with the Independent Commission Against Corruption on matters pertinent to corruption prevention.
It is essential for KCBH to establish a code of conduct for the employees, so they can work with suppliers without prejudice.
KCBH could advocate equal opportunities in employment, and in the provision of its services, to facilitate passengers with disabilities when boarding and alighting from buses while waiting at pick up points.
Safety and Environment
Road accidents can cause serious bodily injury and even death, and may also result in legal claims. These can also result in poor image of the company. KCBH would warrant continuing providing alert and defensive driving programmes for the drivers.
In order to cope with the changing and improving code of practice regarding environmental friendly measures for bus operations, efforts would be required to put into areas of using cleaner fuel, procuring up-to-date technologies that could alleviate the negative impact of pollution.
Drivers and other workers may feel under pressure to work for long hours without rest, the CSR should ensure that a support network could be available for the employees on workplace safety and to ensure that working hours are reasonable and their levels of health are satisfactory.
Establishing Guidelines for Effective Corporate Integrity
There is no one precise standard of corporate integrity; the management principles, corporate history, local culture, nature of business and regulatory mechanisms have to be taken into consideration. The following features may serve as the fundamentals in the establishment of such guidelines.
- The corporate obligations must be shared and accepted by members of the company. These have to be clearly communicated to all levels of staff.
- Members of senior management must be personally committed, trustworthy, and willing to achieve those values that the corporate advocate.
- These values must be reflected in the day to day functioning of the corporation.
- The company’s systems and structures must be able to support the implementation of these values.
- Senior management must be trained and acquired the decision-making skill, knowledge, and competencies needed to make ethically sound decisions and act accordingly. The actions must be seen to be just and fair and beneficial to the society.
Quantified Corporate Social Responsibility Measures
The followings are material performances of KCBH in the enhancement of the company’s CSR, with direct bearing on its services and target publics:
- New business opportunities
Through the careful planning programmes for the forthcoming future, KCBH would explore new clienteles and develop services pending eventual approval given by the Transport Department. The ongoing exercise is for the benefit of the community and could bring in additional revenue to KCBH.
- Environmental Responsibility
Procurements of new Euro V and Euro VI coaches for the fleet to replace older Vehicles with less environmental friendly engines; and trail run on hybrid powered and electric-powered bus should be welcome by customers, e.g. major residential estates, schools and employers.
- Health Care
KCBH has introduced regular medical examination for drivers who are aged 60 or over; and attachment to the Group’s medical insurance scheme.
- Charitable Service
We are working closely with Non Government Organizations (NGOs), such as Mother’s Choice in their charitable services. We have an open mind to work together with other institutions in promoting charitable service for the community.
Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings Limited
10 April 2015