[For Immediate Release]
WH Group Releases 2018 Sustainability Report
Adhering to its Vision of Creating a Sustainable Future by Focusing on Five Sustainability Pillars
(Hong Kong, July 5, 2019) - WH Group Limited ("WH Group"; HKEX stock code: 288), the world's largest pork company, today released its 2018 Sustainability Report, highlighting its environmental, social and governance commitments and achievements in the past year.
In 2018, WH Group committed to creating more value for society and its stakeholders under the leadership of the Environmental, Social and Governance Committee of WH Group's board. During the year, WH Group reorganized its sustainable development strategy and sorted out the consistency of ESG issues and its enterprise development strategy. It combined the evaluation results with the feedback from stakeholders, and determined the issues that were concerned by stakeholders and were consistent with the direction of its strategic development as material issues. It made great efforts in the five sustainability pillars identified, including food safety and quality, environment, people, animal care, and caring communities
In terms of food safety and quality, WH Group set up a Food Safety Committee at the board level, which is responsible for developing the principles of food safety and risk management and overseeing ongoing review processes. It has established a quality control and food safety system which governs its entire value chain. It has also built and has been continuously improving the product traceability systems. During the reporting period, African swine fever broke out in China and some European areas. WH Group actively responded by immediately establishing an effective epidemic prevention and control mechanism. During the reporting period, no outbreak of African swine occurred in any of our farms in Europe, and the virus is not present in the United States.
WH Group also did its utmost to reduce its environmental impact. The main business locations operated by WH Group have obtained the ISO 14001 environmental management system certification. In 2018, WH Group reduced water use per unit of products produced by 2.6% year-on-year, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions per unit of products produced by 3.7% year-on-year. In the United States, WH Group has reduced normalized solid waste to landfill by 50% compared to 2010. and 293,608 metric tons of non-hazardous wastes were recycled during the year.
WH Group believes that any value it created is closely related to its employees who are vital to the company. It is striving to create a safer, more reliable and comfortable working environment, and working to improve its employee's rights, creating a harmonious, prosperous working atmosphere. In 2018, WH Group continued to promote employee development programs including core talent development and provide equal and clear development guidelines for all employees through diversified development channels and a vertical promotion system.
WH Group is committed to practicing and leading animal-welfare initiatives. It believes that the dignity, health, safety, and comfort of animals should be assured during the rearing and harvesting processes. It follows the World Animal Health Organization animal welfare standards, United States USDA Process Verified Program certification program, the National Pork Board's Pork Quality Assurance Plus, the NPB's Transport Quality Assurance, and the EU animal welfare quality assessment system requirements.
WH Group also attaches great importance to community well-being and is committed to supporting disadvantaged groups by providing care and assistance in the fields of education, poverty alleviation and hunger relief, and disaster relief. In 2018, the total value of donations and funds donated by the Company amounted to US$29 million and the volunteer service hours contributed by its employees exceeded 11,000 hours.
Mr. Wan Long, WH Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "As a leader in the global meat industry, we regularly adjust our operating strategies in China, the United States and Europe as part of our focus on improving efficiency and cost structure. This helped our main operating segments overcome unfavorable factors such as international trade disputes and African Swine Fever and further expand in scale in the reporting year. Looking forward, we are confident we will overcome potential challenges and grasp the opportunities in the industry. To uphold our vision of 'integrating global resources to improve synergy, creating a sustainable future', we are eager to increase our competitiveness to consolidate our leading global position. We believe that, by combining sustainable development with our business strategy, we can create more values for our shareholders, employees, partners and society, to further realize harmonious and sustainable development among the business, society and the environment."
About WH Group Limited (HKEX stock code: 288)
WH Group Limited is the largest pork company in the world with the top market share in China, the U.S. and some markets in Europe. It owns many well-recognized and trusted brands and stands above the rest with global market leadership in all key segments of the pork value chain, including packaged meats, fresh pork and hog production. The Group conducts its operations through Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co., Ltd., the largest animal protein company in Asia, and Smithfield Foods, the largest pork company in the U.S. For more information, visit www.wh-group.com.
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