Swire is committed to the ongoing development of our businesses along sustainable lines: we provide quality products and services to our customers, we strive to minimise the impact of our activities upon the environment by reducing waste generated and resources consumed and we care for and make a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate.
We offer equitable, safe and healthy workplaces to our staff and we foster their career development. We insist upon the very highest standards of professionalism, accountability and transparency in all our business dealings. We pursue these aims as part of our overall commitment to corporate good governance and we recognise they are vital to the continued provision of satisfactory returns to our shareholders. The underlying philosophy that has guided Swire over almost 200 years is the pursuit of operational excellence in everything that we do. Throughout our long history, we have prided ourselves on being forward-looking, innovative and original; these qualities have determined the successful development of our businesses and they are vital to our long-term sustainability.
Significant investments have been made in pursuit of our commitment to sustainable business and we are proud of our progress to date. We believe our efforts demonstrate that business can grow hand in hand with the environment, rather than at the cost of it. We are aware that in some instances, improving our sustainability performance may conflict with our commitment to driving shareholder returns. Certain internal projects must be abandoned or postponed despite excellent sustainability credentials because they do not make economic sense.
With this in mind, John Swire & Sons has established a Sustainable Development Fund to give these initiatives a second chance. Once identified, suitable projects will receive a subsidy that will lift them over the returns threshold, allowing them to gain approval and be put into action. The £20m per year fund was launched in 2013 and is available to eligible companies around the group. It is hoped that this initiative will lead to a greater level of investment in sustainable development above and beyond our normal course of businesses.