Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

The Hong Kong Jockey Club: Driving Sustainability and Riding High Together - A Case Study

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

The Hong Kong Jockey Club: Driving Sustainability and Riding High Together - A Case Study

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In recent years, sustainability has become a popular topic in both business and society. Business sustainability is defined as the status of "businesses that can survive shocks because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems; they create economic value and contribute to healthy ecosystems and strong communities" (Financial Times Lexicon, 2016). The global economy, the environment and political institutions have been experiencing quick structural changes, forcing businesses to change their strategies from one for short-term profitability to the other for long-term sustainability (Werbach, 2009). Companies and organizations have increasingly paid attention to social and environmental issues, and thus sustainability is placed under the spotlight. Environmental issues bring pressures for senior executives when they make decisions and require them to rethink how they could reach a balance between business growth and environmental concerns, and even how they could capitalize the opportunities and benefits from sustainability practices and innovations (Lampikoski et al., 2014). The benefits of sustainability in business are clear. Sustainability practices allow companies to create values through eco-efficiency, green innovations, revolution with new technology, andexternal partnership of sustainability (Lampikoski et al., 2014). Sustainable operations generate impacts on the triple bottom line: environmental, social and economic performances of companies (Gimenez, 2012). Addressing sustainability generates positive impacts on companies, including image and brand improvement, cost saving, competitive advantage, employee satisfaction, product and service innovation, business innovation, effective risk management, and stakeholder relation enhancement (Berns et al., 2009). In addition, sustainability would affect business and change management (Hopkins, 2009). To make a company's sustainability strategy sustainable, the company should create a sustainability-focused culture within the organization (Galpin, 2013). Moreover, companies and organizations, when working with their supplier partners, must consider not only overall supply chain efficiency, but also social, economic and environmental factors, thus upstreaming sustainability of supply chain management practices (Azevedo, 2012).

This case depicts how The Hong Kong Jockey Club ("HKJC" or "the Club") achieved sustainability through endeavors in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) areas, thus contributing to the community and enabling a better future for its stakeholders and for the whole society. This case also discusses the evolution of HKJC's sustainability governance structure and strategy, the progress of HKJC's sustainability practices from 2009 to 2016, and HKJC's sustainability challenges.

2. Practical Questions Related to Sustainability of The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Appointed as the first Executive Manager, Sustainability, Shirlee Algire joined the Club in 2015. Immediately after assuming the position, Algire was tasked to lead a sustainability team and coordinate with major operational divisions of the Club to put the Club's sustainability vision and strategy into practice. However, the tasks seemed to be much more complex than expected. On the one hand, the Club's sustainability efforts were not only limited to day-to-day internal operations of the Club, but also in recent years more frequently referred to external parties such as suppliers, NGOs, and the local community. On the other hand, the Club must make clear what sustainability achievements must be made by June 2017 and make sure that the Club's sustainability best practices could reach a higher standard. What sustainability innovation could be made? How HKJC could further enhance supplier sustainability that the Club newly introduced in 2014? Should the organizational structure of the Club related to sustainability be changed? …

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