Contents of this report have been compiled in accordance with the 4th generation (G4) of the guidelines formulated by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), with emphasis on the consistency between the basic scope of the report and the boundary of consolidated financial statement. The guideline called for descriptions of the company's management policies, status of implementation and relevant performance for material issues of significant impact on economy, society and environment and issues of the primary concerns to stakeholders. The process of material issue identification is summarized as illustrated below.
"TAIPEI 101 Prestige Management Consultant Ltd." has fallen within the organization boundary of the company as spelled out in the principles of consolidated financial statement compilation. The company has 100% ownership of the firm (as a subsidiary of Taipei Financial Center Corporation). Given the fact that the firm conducted no actual management operations in 2015, the subsidiary has been excluded from the boundary of the company's corporate social responsibility report for 2015. The boundary of all non-financial information disclosure contained herein is strictly limited to TAIPEI 101 itself.
The identification of material issues for 2015 has been made based on the materiality matrix from 2014 as the basis for adjustment. In order to determine the importance of each and every material issue in the entire value chain to ensure the materiality of the list, its completeness and coverage of all related stakeholders, we have gathered data from local and foreign benchmarks, referred to the latest trends in sustainable development both locally and overseas while incorporating the input of internal and external stakeholders through means of questionnaires and external stakeholder seminars. For the process and result of stakeholder identification for 2015, please refer to Chapter 5.1 Communication with Stakeholders.
After determining the list of material issues, the ranking of issue materiality were derived through the assessment of these issues' "stakeholders' extent of concern" and "impact on the company's sustainable operation".
After the material issues have been identified and preliminarily prioritized, the President along with three other VPs are entrusted with the task of validation before adjustments are made according to the interpretations and suggestions from senior managers. This ensures the results are duly compliant with the GRI guidelines and the principles of inclusion for stakeholders.
In the future, we shall strive to achieve deeper understanding and to better respond to stakeholders' needs based on the results of material issue identification in order to ensure better grasp of the impact and the boundary of different issues for TAIPEI 101. For 2016, we shall adopt the same process of identification and re-examine the material issues to ensure that they provide comprehensive coverage of all economic, environmental and social performance for TAIPEI 101 and its affiliated external entities.
Relevant material issues, their importance in the value chain and correspondence with GRI G4 material aspects are presented in the table below.
Chairman, Taipei Financial Center Corporation
The year 2015 proved to be an exciting year for advocates of environmental sustainability. Leaders from around the world gathered in Paris at the end of the year and adopted the Paris Agreement, establishing a common climate change agenda for the world to work towards. The Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan also promulgated the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act in the same year, illustrating that consensus and understanding on combatingclimate change have materialized. TAIPEI 101 has always taken pride in being a leader in environmental protection and the pursuit of sustainable growth, and I am pleased to say that we have been taking firm strides along the right path.
As Taiwan's most iconic office tower, shopping mall, and tourist attraction, TAIPEI 101 have delivered outstanding operational performance reached world-class level services and management. With such height of achievement and visibility, we bear the responsibilities and mission of upholding the image of Taiwan and an international landmark. In order to accomplish our vision of "becoming the best paradigm of operation and management for super high-rise buildings in the world," TAIPEI 101 was certified as the world's tallest green building as early as 2011. Five years later, we have taken up the challenge to gain the USGBC LEED v4 Platinum Certification in July 2016, passing the recertification with a record-high score of 90 points, demonstrating Taiwan's capabilities and TAIPEI 101's determination to become the benchmark in leading low-carbon transition, thereby taking another significant step towards our vision of sustainability. The efforts and hard work we have put forth in 2015 have been acknowledged both at home and abroad; TAIPEI 101 received the Global Views Monthly Magazine Corporate Social Responsibility Award in the "Environmentally Friendly" category in May 2016, as well as the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award in Singapore in the "Green Leadership" category. Developing a new green business model through building modification and upgrade, TAIPEI 101 showcases an example without any language or cultural barrier among the many potential paths in the government's "New Southward" initiative.
"Green Tower for All" has been chosen as the core of TAIPEI 101 2020 Sustainability Strategy. In addition to further spreading TAIPEI 101's influence beyond the scope of its operation, we will also be sharing our experiences in green transformation with other stakeholders, actively participating in environmental protection initiatives, purchasing to green power, implementing energy conservation promotion/collaboration, and continuing to create new milestones for smart energy solutions for commercial buildings. At the same time, TAIPEI 101 also supports the restoration of low-altitude forests in Taiwan and donates to relevant environmental protection funds as a way to motivate businesses and the society at large to care and invest more into Taiwan's environment and low-carbon transformation.
In order to put the "Green Tower for All" concept into practice, TAIPEI 101 has also incorporated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by governments, enterprises, and civil society around the world at the UN Summit into our 2020 Sustainability Strategy, thereby declaring our commitment to fighting climate changes, eradicating inequality, ensuring food safety, and supporting local businesses as we work alongside with the government and other corporations towards a brighter future.
Looking foroward, TAIPEI 101 shall continue to improve upon its various measures and to represent Taiwan on the international stage while strengthening our communication with suppliers, tenants, customers, and local communities. In addition to delivering quality products and services to create an environment where we could prosper with stakeholders, we aspire to enable all our business partners, consumers, and neighbors/communities to take pride in their association with TAIPEI 101. Just as TAIPEI 101 functions as a landmark beacon that guides us in our endeavor to protect the environment and contribute to the society, we hope our dedication to sustainability will brighten the experience for all visitors so that each and every moment at TAIPEI 101 will be an example of the best practice, thereby becoming the pride of Taiwan!
As Taiwan's No. 1 and a world-renown landmark, TAIPEI 101 has shouldered acknowledgment and extremely high expectations from the people of Taiwan. We have therefore always upheld the highest standards and expectation for ourselves as we continue to ponder upon ways to improve and breakthrough so that we may become a benchmark of sustainable development. Our 2015 CSR Report features "Green Tower for All" as its central theme; we believe the color green symbolizes nature, growth, equality, and inclusiveness, and and we hope to extend the concept of "green" beyond environmental issues that we have always taken seriously, into other aspects of our operations, such as management, service, charity, and more. It is imperative for TAIPEI 101 to demonstrate its quality as one of the tallest skyscrapers of the world and a low-carbon leader.
TAIPEI 101's stringent and prudent corporate governance has guided our core values as we aggressively pursued for multi-faceted growth. In 2015, our office tower occupancy rate grew by 1.5% to reach 95.79%, while the shopping mall's sales performance went up by 2.5%, generating NT$ 2.453 billion and a 18.1% growth rate in pretax profit, compared to the previous year. In terms of net profit after tax, TAIPEI 101 achieved an increase by NT$ 314 million, which translates to a growth of 18.2% compared to 2014. In addition to our impressive operational performance, we have also leveraged our positive influence in the value chain; by signing a four-way "Enterprise Fair Trade Product Procurement & Innovative CSR MOU" with some of our restaurant tenants and Taiwan Fairtrade Association, as well as officially implementing our "Supplier Management Procedure", we hope to work hand in hand with our suppliers in fulfilling our corporate social responsibilities.
As an iconic landmark of Taiwan and a role model for supertall building management, TAIPEI 101 aims to continue mitigating the environmental impacts that stemmed from the building itself and its operation without compromising the comfort and satisfaction of its tenants and visitors. Although TAIPEI 101's occupancy floor area in 2015 has increased by 50,000 m2 compared to 2007, the building's power consumption was reduced by 184 GWh in contrast to that of 2007. If we were to include the shopping mall's power consumption into the picture, TAIPEI 101 actually managed to save as much as 262 GWh of power in 2015. In addition, we have also purchased 1.01 GWh of green power and became the first company in Taiwan to have purchased more than 1 GWh of green power from Taipower in 2015. We hope to leverage TAIPEI 101's visibility and brand influence to call upon other companies to follow suit and offer their concrete support for renewable energy. Our efforts in achieving sustainable environment have also received attention and recognition both in Taiwan and abroad. In 2015, TAIPEI 101 officially initiated its LEED v4 Platinum upgrade project, which involved an investment of approximately NT$ 20 million for the renewal and upgrade of relevant equipment specifications along with various assessment and measuring operations. Prior to the publication of this report, TAIPEI 101 has successfullypassed and obtained the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) highest LEED v4 Platinum Certification, thereby becoming the first supertall building in the world to receive such rating outside of the U.S.
In addition to improving our own environmental performance, we have spared no efforts in the promotion of environmental education. We share our achievement as a green building by offering free admittance to the TAIPEI 101 Green Tour for an average of 1,000 visitors from schools or organizations every year. We explain even the smallest details of the green actions that have taken place at this awe-inspiring skyscraper on the tour in hopes of promoting and inspiring green actions at home. The management remains diligent on its efforts for material sustainability by donating the idle but usable materials in the building to charity groups. For example, the 1:1 ratio F1 racecar model was donated to NTU's Department of Mechanical Engineering for teaching purposes. 738 toilet paper roll racks were donated to 20 different organizations across Taiwan (from Taipei City Hang-An Seniors' Home Multiple Long-Term Care Services to Lin Yun Foundation and Free Methodist Mission Haocha Church in Kaohsiung). Apart from continuing to work with tenants to achieve extended use of resources, TAIPEI 101 will also establish a resource exchange platform for public charity on its CSR website.
With regards to social involvement, the promotion of Taiwan's cultural and creative industry, social enterprises, and charity events will continue to be our key focus and mission. In support of the cultural and creative industry, Gallery 101 has served as one of the best platforms for local artists to receive international exposure, and hosted 10 exhibitions in 2015. To promote and assist social enterprises in Taiwan, we have adopted the title "Passion 101", which is inspired by one of TAIPEI 101's core values, for the series of different promotional events that involved the private sector, corporate tenants, the government, and various social enterprises in 2015. These events have received positive responses and recognition. TAIPEI 101 is also a firm supporter of charity and has collaborated with the Vatican in the special Christmas Charity Concert titled "Love, Gratitude, and Sharing." We have also worked with partners from Toy Theatre in the Aborigine Art Special Exhibition to raise funds for the construction of hospitals in rural areas and dedicated our utmost enthusiasm in spreading the value of philanthropy. By doing our part, we showcase Taiwan's passion and beauty to the rest of the world.
Guided by the belief of "Green Tower for All," even though TAIPEI 101 is no longer the world's tallest building, we are committed to ensure that TAIPEI 101 will remain as the leading name in sustainable development. We hope to continue to create more diverse value for local businesses and for Taiwan, enabling us to contribute to the environment and the society with greater vitality, thereby bringing pride to the people of Taiwan!
President, Taipei Financial Center Corporation
As an iconic landmark of Taiwan and a popular tourist attraction, TAIPEI 101 has established a specific vision and mission to guide its internal operations to ensure the continuous development of its sustainable operation strategy. Externally, TAIPEI 101 is committed to its mission of bringing exposure to Taiwan and promoting cultural creativity and charity. In addition to delivering outstanding tourism experience to the foreign guests and visitors here at TAIPEI 101 on a daily basis, we have also actively vied for international honors and recognitions so that TAIPEI 101 can provide local social enterprises and cultural creativity businesses a stage for them to shine. Through the highest platform that is TAIPEI 101, we shall create more international exposure for Taiwan and make her visible to the rest of the world.
Material issues addressed in this chapter include "Sustainable Operation Strategy", "Operational Performance", "Corporate Image", "Developing Value and Brand of Taiwan", as well as "Cultural Creativity and Charity Promotion". First we will disclose TAIPEI 101 mission and vision, sustainable strategy and operational performance for the year to illustrate TAIPEI 101 direction towards sustainable development. This chapter will also offer further information on TAIPEI 101 various involvement in marketing Taiwan and promoting social enterprises and cultural creativity businesses under this model of operation and their corresponding results in order to highlight TAIPEI 101 unique core values.
This section will present the Company's basic information and an overview of our products and services to illustrate TAIPEI 101 basic profile and direction of its sustainable development.
Taipei Financial Center Corporation, backed by 11 businesses, was established in October 1997 as an effort to promote the government's policy of building an "Asia Financial Center" in the then newly planned central business district – Xinyi district. The Company signed the contract with Taipei City Government to build Taiwan's first large "Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)" project. Once it obtained the land development right from the city government, the project for a 508m high multifunctional skyscraper with 101 floors above ground and 5 floors below ground commenced.
TFCC has been entrusted with the operation and management of TAIPEI 101 Office Tower, Mall and Observatory. Driven by our mission of "Bringing Taipei to the world", we have sought breakthrough each year ever since our initiation. In order to show to the world the emphasis and effort Taiwan has made towards low-carbon economic transition, TAIPEI 101 serves as a prime example of an architecture that had been built without green features but through constant hard work and improvement, it has transformed into the tallest green building of the world today.
Why 101 floors? The story behind the 100+1F Building of Excellence
During initial planning, the earliest concept for the project involved a primary tower with 59 floors along with two secondary 14-story towers. The idea was soon replaced by a building with 88 floors (due to the auspicious nature of the number "88" in Chinese culture), which was again replaced with 99 floors (the number symbolizing something truly unique). We then came to the realization that since we have gotten so high at 99 floors, why not opt for the round number "100", as it represents perfection. The odd "1" at the end symbolizes breakthrough, and that's how 101 floors was chosen for the project of an ever-growing smart building. "100+1" has hence become the spirit that TAIPEI 101 embodies.
World Fedeartion of Great Towers
The World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT) is an international association situated at Rialto Towers in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1989, the WFGT requires members to be notable tourism attraction and have unique attributes (i.e. height, historical significance or special features) as criteria for membership. Renowned members of WFGT includes the Empire States Building (U.S), the Eiffel Tower (France) and the Burj Khalifa (Dubai, UAE).
Through clear expression of our corporate vision, mission and core beliefs, TAIPEI 101 has not only managed to maintain its international leading status in different aspects of operation but also enabled our employees to better understand the Company's position and directions for future development.
"Taipei 101 becomes the best paradigm of operation and management for super high-rise buildings in the world". Better than the best quality in the continous pursuit of excellence in the area of Inovative management, Operating officency, Environmental protection, Safe operation, Superior service, and Corperate social respinsibility.
"Taipei 101 becomes the best paradigm of operation and management for super high-rise buildings in the world". Better than the best quality in the continous pursuit of excellence in the area of Inovative management, Operating officency, Environmental protection, Safe operation, Superior service, and Corperate social respinsibility.
We promise to provide benchmark high-level service to our customers
We passionately believe in our brand and work We do our best to achieve excellence for the company
We insist on integrity and match our words with deeds
We treat our customers and coworkers with trust and respect
We persist in innovation and fine-tuning to attain best practice
We assist and propel one another to achieve common goals
With the goal of sustainable development in mind, TAIPEI 101 has been adjusting the corporate missions for its three business groups in accordance with the changes in the internal and external environments to achieve our vision with efficacy. The corporate missions for TAIPEI 101's three business units are listed in the table below and our annual operational objectives have been established based on these missions.
While observing trends of development in the related market, we also actively work to soften the impact from our competitors and market environment by formulating corresponding strategies to existing and potential challenges. Given the current market status, we face intense competition in the market for office tower and shopping mall and we will continue to improve rental rate and brand performance as a counter measure. Since the performance of the observatory is directly linked to service quality, we will therefore direct our operational strategy for the observatory towards improving customer satisfaction and service innovation.
Green represents growth. According to the definitions by the UN, green economy embodies the change of traditional concept of economy by aiming at attaining sustainable development. It is a new economic model that pursues the harmony between economy and environment.
Green represents equality. A green workplace is a tripartite model of management-oriented framework consisting of employees, the company and the environment, with emphasis on optimal balance between the individual and the overall environment.
Green represents nature. Green operation functions as a sustainable operation model that facilitates the support of environmental protection and shared glory with the environment through overall products in the service value chain.
Green represents inclusiveness. Through interactive synergy between consumption, office space and living experiences, we strive to offer the greatest compatibility between individualtoindividual and individual to the environment.
★A building built without green features that ended up becoming the tallest green building of the world.
Ever since receiving the LEED Platinum Certification in 2011, TAIPEI 101 has been actively promoting green building and responded to environmental initiatives with enthusiasm. In recent years, we have extended the definition of "green" to other aspects of sustainability such as products, society, charity and so forth. In the future, given the fact that the world is not sustainable enough, TAIPEI 101 is aspired to become a guide for the world in its transition to low-carbon sustainability. As such, TAIPEI 101 has chosen the following 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) out of the 17 as the guiding strategies that will steer our relevant operations forward.
Sustainable Devleopment Goals (SDGs)
In September 2015, governments, enterprises and leaders of the civil societies gathered at the UN Summit and adopted a set of 17 goals to end poverty, fight injustice and combat climate change before 2030.
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
TAIPEI 101 has witnessed stable growth in 2015, with a net profit before tax at NT$ 2.453 billion – and increase by NT$ 377 million or growth by 18.16%. Our net profit after tax was NT$ 2.036 billion- and increase by NT$ 314 million, equivalent to a growth of 18.23%.
For the office rental market, since the GDP for 2015 only came to 0.75% (downward adjustment from the original forecast of 3.78% - a decline of 3.03%). With economic growth shrinking by such a dramatic margin, many of the middle and large enterprises have relocated their offices to outskirts of Taipei City (i.e. Nangang, Banqiao and etc.) in order to reduce operational costs. Consequently, the vacancy rate for the overall Grade A office tower increased from 10.89% in 2014 to 17.95% in 2015. However, TAIPEI 101 new office space rental signing constituted 11% of the entire market's closeout rate, and the occupancy rate of our office tower still managed to increase from 94.28% in 2014 to 95.79% in 2015, close to full occupancy.
As for the shopping mall, the introduction of affordable luxury brands and changes in restaurant, souvenir, food court stores, food and beverage service providers, and supermarket have significantly boosted the attraction to customers. As a result, the shopping mall revenue for 2015 grew by 2.5% compared to 2014. Among these brands and services, popular apparel and restaurants stood out amongst the rest in terms of their performance. Despite the fact that the shopping mall already achieved double-digit growth in 2014 and set the bar incredibly high, the Shopping Mall still out performed other market competitors in 2015.
For the observatory, due to the impact of government policy, the number of group visitors did not grow as in 2015. The observatory received a total of 2.88 million visitors in 2015 – only a marginal growth of 4,000 visitors compared to 2014. Among these visitors, 1.79 million were from China, 280,000 came from Japan and 270,000 came from Korea. It is worth noting that 280,000 visitors at the observatory were local, and 2015 marks the 2nd year of growth.
Unit: in NT$ thousands (unless otherwise noted)
Ever since its completion, TAIPEI 101 has always been a focal point for various domestic media. As Taiwan's highest tourist attraction and the embodiment of Taiwan's image, we have been diligently at work to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities. Our success is not only reflected through our operational profits but also boosted Taiwan's international exposure. In 2015, TAIPEI 101 had once again delivered impressive results in terms of design, construction and sustainable management.
In an article published by BBC on October 9, 2015, TAIPEI 101 was named one of the world's 8 most beautiful skyscrapers. Other supertall buildings on the list include Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur), Chrysler Building (New York) and Burj Khalifa (Dubai).
Ranked as number 1 of the world's 10 toughest buildings by Popular Mechanics (October issue), TAIPEI 101 has been chosen for its safety and high resilience. According to the article, the 660-ton mass damper with a diameter of 5.5 meters does wonders for TAIPEI 101, which is located in a region that is prone to typhoons and earthquakes. The mass damper offers effective protection for potential damages that may be inflicted on the building by natural disasters.
TAIPEI 101 received the prestigious Climate Leadership Award in "the 2015 Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Award organized by Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE)" in November 2015. TAISE not only acknowledged TAIPEI 101's performance in energy conservation and management with the award but also praised the Company for being the role model that will inspire other skyscrapers in Taiwan to improve their energy conservation and usage.
TAIPEI 101 is the home of the world's fastest observatory deck elevator, the Infinity Sky area at the observatory and the exclusive, free Green Tour that was launched in 2012 for the promotion of environmental education in the hopes of providing a unique and delightful experience for visitors around the world. At the same time, in light of the increasing ratio of visitors using smartphones, we have also integrated smart technologies with shopping so that customers can enjoy more convenient and interesting services. This section will cover the Green Tour, the fastest observatory deck elevator, the Infinity Sky area and our smart technology services.
In order to provide a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression on first-time visitors at TAIPEI 101 by showcasing our exclusive environmental education within a skyscraper, we have dedicated docents to take group visitors on a guided tour. By integrating the shared resources of the observatory, shopping mall and office tower, we were able to enrich the contents of the "Green Tour" – the first of its kind since TAIPEI 101's initiation. In 2015, a total of 29 Green Tours were given to 1,025 visitors.
In addition, we have also established a "Green corner" in the lobby on the ground floor of the building so that we can convey and relay our spirit of environmental protection and sustainable resource usage to all visitors.
The observatory at TAIPEI 101 is equipped with a pair of the world's fastest express elevators that are capable of ascending at a speed of 1,010 meters per minute. It only requires 37 seconds for the elevator to reach the observatory at 89F from 5F. Even if you were taking the elevator from B1, it would still take just 39 seconds to reach the observatory. In addition to being the fastest elevators in the world, the two elevators also happen to be the only two of its kind to be equipped with technologies such as a pressure-regulating system in the shuttles, damper and high-temperature resistent ceramic braking system and so forth. Complete with an impressive collection of hightechnology, the express elevators deservedly earned the praise as "one of 12 elevators you need to see to believe" from CNN in 2014.
TAIPEI 101 completed its renovation project to remove enclosure (at knee height) to be replaced by large French windows for a true 360-degree view. Not only that, the northeast corner of the observatory also featured a special "Infinity Sky" area – the W-shaped corner had both the ceiling and floor built with glass panes. The reflections create an illusion of infinite space and visitors in the area would feel as if they were walking in the sky. The "Infinity Sky" has undoubtedly left a lasting impression of TAIPEI 101 for the visitors.
The "WOW 101 - Window of the World" is an augmented reality (AR) multi-screen interactive platform jointly developed by ARPlanet Digital Technology, the Department of Commerce and the Institute for Information Industry. The "WOW 101 - Window of the World" is located on B1 in the shopping mall. Customers can install the companion WOW 101 APP or simply use the interactive touch screen to play the AR interactive games, take photos, perform searches, share contents and even use the digital light-up feature to recreate the TAIPEI 101 lighting moments. WOW 101 not only enables our customers to enjoy a fun and pleasant shopping experience but also creates unique entertainment values and memories.
Starting from April 2015, TAIPEI 101 Gift Card has received a full electronic upgrade in order for it to be integrated to TAIPEI 101 MALL APP. This makes it more convenient for members to collect points and search for specific events. While making the communication interface more diverse, the APP also enables us to cut down on paper consumption from printing pamphlets. In Q3 2015, TAIPEI 101 MALL APP also incorporated the smart parking feature that enables members to find parking spot and locate their cars with greater ease and the restaurant reservation function was later added to the APP in Q4. By using the APP, members will be able to access convenient features that will accommodate their different needs thanks to smart technologies.
We have set up a tax refund service counter on B1 of the shopping mall in order to help foreign customers with tax refund service. To prevent customers from waiting too long in the line, we have incorporated a digital queue calling service that enables customers to draw their queue number and continue shopping or enjoy a meal at the food court instead of waiting in the line. By simply scanning the QR Code, customers will be able to find out the current number being served and determine their waiting time while enjoying the most out of their delightful shopping experience.
In order to provide a brand new physical distribution channel service, TAIPEI 101 Mall has incorporated the Beacon technology, which utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and involves the installation of Beacon Bluetooth transmitters in approximately 300 locations throughout the shopping mall. When a smart device that supports Beacon technology enters the vicinity of a transmitter, the companion APP will prompt the user to connect to the signal network. By connecting to the network, the Beacon would be able to send various instant messages (i.e. brand promotion, discounts, exclusive product information) through the companion APP to keep the customers updated on the latest product information at the shopping mall and in turn create more revenues for tenants.
TAIPEI 101 Mall has added the new feature of "Panorama View" on its official website. The feature enables customers to enjoy the decoration and displays of boutique shops from 1F to 5F as if they were physically present in the shopping mall.
Starting from last March, TAIPEI 101 launched its electronic tax refund service, which features an electronic queue calling system at the service counter so that customers can enjoy more versatility with their arrangement of waiting time. Not only that, we have also incorporate electronic signature board, receipt barcode scanner along with virtual storage space. These new features not only help to shorten the tax refund processing time but also improve the accuracy of data input and cuts down the storage space for printed receipt and paper use. The average processing time for a tax refund application for a customer fell between 4~5 minutes and the expedited process has dramatically reduced the overall waiting time for all customers.
When a foreign visitor spends NT$ 2,000 (including tax) or more in a day at TAIPEI 101 Mall, he/she will be eligible to apply for tax refund at the Tax Refund Service Center located at B1 by presenting the receipt and his/her passport (or the Exit & Entry Permit for travelers from China, Hong Kong or Macau) bearing the entry stamp. By completing the process and obtaining the tax refund application form, the visitor will then be able to collect the refund by presenting the required documentations at designated locations.
TAIPEI 101 is not only frequently collaborating with the government tom market Taiwan to foreign guests but has also taken up the task of marketing Taiwan as our own mission. As such, we have striven to transform TAIPEI 101 into a platform and stage for local social enterprises and cultural creativity businesses so that we can present more valuable Taiwanese brands to the rest of the world.STAKEHOLDERS
TAIPEI 101 is the representative of the government's international publicity. This is also why TAIPEI 101 has frequently played a role in Taiwan's diplomatic affairs, including the receiving of international dignitaries and the promotion of Taiwan's beauty and local culture. At the same time, in order to make these foreign dignitaries and visitors feel right at home, we have been constantly working on the improvement of TAIPEI 101's international services.
In 2015, we coordinated with competent government units in VIP visits and related activities and entertained a total of 3,629 dignitaries from China, Europe, Africa, America and so forth, including the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, President of the D Senate of the Dominican Republic, Office of the Clerk, National Assembly of Belize, President of the Central American Parliament, President of São Tomé and Príncipe National Assembly, Princess of Thailand, Vice President of El Salvador and so forth. We have also worked with government agencies including Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of International Information Services, Taipei City Department of Tourism and Information and so forth in the joint organization of various largescaled cultural, charity and tourism events.
The Department of Tourism and Information has planned several tours of Taipei City for diplomatic missions in Taiwan to learn about the city in greater depth in an effort to facilitate inter-city tourism and resident exchange. With a solid grasp on the marketing strategies that the Tourism Bureau and the Department of Tourism and Information have developed to promote international tourism, TAIPEI 101 has been actively collaborating with other nations to provide better services to international tourists. In addition, we have also organized relevant thematic events in conjunction with festive celebrations, such as the promotion of travel exhibition, organize international photography competition, memorial wine exhibitions and so forth to attract tourists from respective countries. In 2015, TAIPEI 101 joined the "global village" and added the International Tourist Shopping Festival and International Prestigious Service.
After working closely with Tokyo Skytree for two years running, TAIPEI 101 continued to promote landmark diplomacy and achieved positive results once more. This year, TAIPEI 101 has collaborated with Tobu World Square – a renownedd Japanese tourist attraction to create a 1:25 scale model of TAIPEI 101 in the theme park. The model of TAIPEI 101 will be the tallest building in the theme park, joining the ranks of other models of renowned landmarks such as the Empire States Building and Eiffel Tower. The model was expected for completion in October 2015 and hopefully through the long-term collaboration between the two parties to promote tourism in both countries, we will be able to take TAIPEI 101 to the world and present Taiwan to more people across the world.
In light of the increasing number of foreign tourists visiting Taiwan in recent years, the potential economic benefits that follow should not be underestimated. As one of the "must-visit" sites in Taipei, TAIPEI 101 has launched the "International Shopping Festival" on September 24, 2015 for international visitors. In addition, we have collaborated with the major international credit card companies Union Pay, VISA and MASTER along with CTBC and Bank of Communications to offer case rebate for any purchase made with cards issued by the aforementioned organizations/banks by foreign visitors during the event (September 24 through December 31). Through the International Shopping Festival, we hope to attract more tourists and visitors to stimulate the local economy.
According to the statistics from the Tourism Bureau, the number of tourists visiting Taiwan in the year had exceeded 9.9 million, and 2.88 million of which had visited the observatory at TAIPEI 101. This means that one out of every three foreign tourists in Taiwan would visit TAIPEI 101 Observatory.
In light of the tight itineraries that have become more and more popular with business travelers from Europe/US and independent visitors from Asia, TAIPEI 101 has launched its special fast access service in May 2015 to help visitors save time on queueing by offering them the privilege of priority access to the observatory. Incidentally, other members of the WFGT, such as the Empire States Building in New York and Burj Khalifa in Dubai have adopted priority access value-added services in response to the latest market trends. Hopefully, through the service, TAIPEI 101 will offer more flexibility for visiting tourists in their itinerary planning as we improve upon our exquisite service for high-end tourists.
The contribution to social charity from enterprises has received significant attention around the world. Here in Taiwan, social enterprises that have been established to resolve specific social issues have emerged as the latest trend. In order to emphasize the government's focus on the development of social enterprises, the Executive Yuan has chosen 2014 to be the first year of social enterprises in Taiwan. As the iconic landmark of Taiwan, TAIPEI 101 has set high standards for ourselves to become the world's highest platform for charity so that we can help outstanding local brands of social enterprises that devote themselves to charity to shine on the international stage. By working hand in hand with our tenants, we are committed to presenting these wonderful local products from Taiwan to more consumers. In 2015, TAIPEI 101 has adopted the following process and organized a series of events for the promotion of social enterprise. Nevertheless, this is just the beginning of "gung ho"; we shall work together and go step by step towards our goal.
To demonstrate the height and depth that is expected of Taiwan's iconic landmark and to advance towards sustainable operation so that we may fulfill our corporate social responsibilities, TAIPEI 101 has launched the initiative of "Social Enterprise Week". The initiative can be broken down into two phases: "social enterprise seminar" and "introduction of social enterprise products". The first phase involves the organization of seminars on the concept of social enterprise, which we hope to promote through the seminars.
In addition to the initial promotions, we have also taken a step further by offering products from social enterprises to tenants for them to try. As such, we have organized the second phase event – Passion 101 in order to provide new choices for tenants in their procurement.。
Our passion for social enterprise is not limited to short-term activities. In fact, we are looking forward to becoming business partners with social enterprises. As such, we have signed a MOU in October with our tenants to adopt fair trade agricultural products from local social enterprises. Our tenants Diamond Tony's 101 Authentic Italian Cuisine and Shinyeh 101 have both adopted fair trade products and attempted to redesign their menus with food and ingredients from local social enterprises to offer healthy set meals prepared, with social enterprise agricultural products. Hopefully with our full passion, we can work with outstanding local social enterprises in Taiwan in order to create more value for quality local products as they get the opportunity to shine at TAIPEI 101. By adding value to these products, we shall inject "Gung Ho" energy to the society and make Taiwan and the rest of the world a better place!
TAIPEI 101 Mall has collaborated with tenant "Tales" in the planning of TAIPEI 101 Charity Platform, which was officially inaugurated on October 19, 2015. Situated at the entrance of the observatory on 5F, products from social enterprises including Tales, Cha Tzu Tang, Shangi, Hows Food in the format of a curated exhibitions for the promotion of "Taiwan Gung Ho" booth. In addition to the social enterprises participating in the initial wave of promotion, representatives from a total of 13 social enterprises4 have also attended the event to show their support.
After the opening ceremony, 6 senior management representatives from our tenants have even volunteered to involved in a duty roster for the following two weeks to serve as the "one-day manager" for the booth, which will be responsible for the promotion of concepts such as food justice, caring for the land, environmental sustainability. This reflects that these leading international corporations are equally concerned regarding issues of social charity.
In terms of developing the value and brand of Taiwan, we have also been actively promoting Taiwan's cultural creativity business as we hope that through TAIPEI 101's international exposure and influence, we will be able to promote Taiwan's cultural creative industries to the global stage. This section will cover the international stage for cultural creativity, cultural creativity promotion and TAIPEI 101's public art.
TAIPEI 101 has set up the Gallery 101 and "New Space for Culture & Creativity" at the Office Tower and Shopping Mall respectively so that local artists from Taiwan would be able to engage in dialog with the world through the stage.
Given that the throughput volume at TAIPEI 101 exceeds 20,000 every day, we enjoy significant exposure and as a passionate supporter of cultural creative business promotion, TAIPEI 101 converted the space on 1F of the office tower into Gallery 101 in an effort to add a dash of cultural and artistic atmosphere to the building while showcasing the beauty of Taiwanese art work to the tenants and foreign visitors alike.
In order to help more tourists and visitors to get to know Taiwan's cultural creative industry and cultures, TAIPEI 101 has created the "New Space for Culture & Creativity" adjacent to the observatory ticket vending booth on 5F. Occupying more than 200 ping in area, the brands and products featured in this space and are distinctly different from typical consumer products. The products showcased here emphasize on their connection with the Chinese culture and embody the meaning of cultural heritage. These offerings are from 10 major brand names in cultural creativity, including Franz Collection Inc., Liuligongfang, Acera, Lin's Ceramic Studio, Fushankodo, Royal Palace, Chullery, Tales, Fenice Jewelry and Small Town Stories. Given that TAIPEI 101 Mall receives close to 12.27 million visitors per year, the New Space for Culture & Creativity will help to introduce the beautiful traditions and qualities of Taiwan and the potential and spirit of innovative design to the general public and foreign visitors alike.
As you set foot into the office tower at TAIPEI 101, the first sight that will greet you, in addition to the pleasing melody of music, is a piano player. Moving in rhythm with staccato notes, passing by tenants and visitors will feel ushered into a kingdom of art. TAIPEI 101 is not just a passive platform of promotion; we are a pro-active propelling force that drives the promotion of culture and arts forward. Events we have organized include the international run-up, international photography competition and the much-anticipated New Year fireworks.
In order to create a romantic and pleasant atmosphere with music in the lobby of the Office Tower, TAIPEI 101 has set up a YAMAHA Disklavier (Piano Player) on Novemgber 26 2015. The instrument is configured to playback music between 12:15-13:00 at noon on Mondays in an effort to entertain employees of tenants at the Office Tower while alleviating their stress at work.
Since 2005, TAIPEI 101 has been organizing the annual international run up races in order to promote sports and exercise. The theme of the 2015 TAIPEI 101 International Run-Up was "Surpassing the Height of the World" and the event attracted more than 4,500 participants from 38 countries around the world.
TAIPEI 101 became a member of the W.F.G.T (World Federation of Great Towers) in 2014 and joined WFGT's Tower running World Cup in 2015. As such, the TAIPEI 101 International Run-Up has officially become one of the Tower Running World Cup circuit events for the Tower Running World Association and one of the major run up events – the best stage for the top run-up athletes from around the world to shine.
In order to further promote Taiwan to the international community through TAIPEI 101 as a platform, we have once again invited 20 envoys from countries including Spain, Italy, U.S, England, India, South Africa, Moscow, Turkey, Honduras, Israel, Canada, Brazil and so forth to complete the run-up on the day of the event in the form of a relay, thereby achieving "diplomatic exchange through sports".
11 years have passed since TAIPEI 101's completion in 2004, and the photography competition that focused on capturing this majestic landmark of Taiwan has reached its 10th iteration. With its exposure as an international landmark, TAIPEI 101 has continued to promote Taiwan's beautiful sceneries, cultures and creativity. A special award – "Beauty of Taiwan Award" has been added to this year's competition as we hope that apart from the architecture itself, the participating photographers would be inspired to use different landscape and objects to present the beauty of different corners of Taiwan, so that more special characteristics of Taiwan can be portrayed through their works. Award-winning entries have been featured in an exhibition at Gallery 101 from July 6 through 31.
For 2016, TAIPEI 101 collaborated with Bung Bungame for our New Year Fireworks, which took on "Nature is Future" as its central theme. We hope that through this special moment when the attention of the international community is focused on Taiwan, we will be able to present Taiwan to the world and help our friends in the international community see that Taiwan as a nation that is rich and diverse in its natural ecology; in addition to our majestic mountains, the surrounding oceans and numerous species, they will hopefully be able to experience the spirit of Taiwan, the creativity of Taiwan and the vitality of Taiwan.
As such, the presentation of the fireworks featured living organisms as the creative element, coupled with tunes that focus on singing and praising the nature along with renowned international children's nurseries and traditional Hakka and aboriginal folk songs. In terms of symbolism, we have also opted to express the ideas that children are the hopes of the country's future and racial harmony.
In addition to injecting positive energy that helps to stabilize the society through the firework display, we have also endeavored to mitigate the impact that our event has on the environment. The 2016 fireworks emitted a total of 7,626 kg of CO2, which is equivalent to 14,335 kWh of power. In order to offset the carbon emission as a result of the fireworks, we have turned off our exterior lights of the office tower (excluding the communication tower lights on the top floor) for a total of eight days (from January 5 through January 12, 2015) as our way of fulfilling our corporate social responsibilities.
In an effort to bring together Taiwan's arts and culture and international boutique, TAIPEI 101 has invested more than NT$ 6 million and invited renowned curator Sean C.S. Hu to plan the overall visual theme and exhibition space at the shopping mall for the exhibition held from April 18 through May 10. 9 boutique brands were featured, including COACH, LOEWE, LONGCHAMP, MICHAEL KORS, TOD'S, VERSACE, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, RIMOWA and ROGER DUBUIS.
Renowned Taiwanese artist Yu Wen-Fu has chosen feathers (symbolizing the warm wings of mother figures) and natural bamboos (as a nod to the world's tallest green building) as the creative media for the design of the thematic art space on 4F. Coupled with the key products from the participating boutique brands, the spatial design has definitely set the festive atmosphere in the shopping mall.
The design of the large installation art and the open exhibition space has worked effectively to attract customers to set foot into the exhibition space and enjoy the exhibits up close. Coupled with the placards and docents stationed at the shopping mall, we were able to boost the promotion of the featured brands.
Between July 25 and August 31 2015, TAIPEI 101 spent a total of NT$ 4,662,000 to host the special "Oriental Aroma – Roasted Tea of Romance" Chinese Valentine event. Planned by Artilize Worldwide Co., Ltd., the event involved the creation of a unique teahouse that would stimulate all of one's five senses by featuring tea from the 8 awardwinning tea farmers, premium floral art and paper artists. By recreating Valentines's Day of the East through cultural creativity and in-depth presentation of the sentiments and craft of tea experts in Taiwan through tea and water, the event created a unique essence and tenderness for the Chinese Valentine while showcasing TAIPEI 101's refined tastes in the promotion of Taiwan's living aesthetics and fashions of the East and West.
One can easily catch a glimpse of art in the perimeters of TAIPEI 101. Works of public art we have established include "Infinite Life", "Celebrating the Year of the Sheep with TAIPEI 101" and "Light-up TAIPEI 101" illumination project.
The strong and durable cable is the greatest contributor that enables the express elevator at TAIPEI 101 to ascend at an incredible speed of 1,010 meters per minute. In order to meet the highest standards of safety requirement, the steel cables have been fully replaced in accordance with specific schedules despite the limited wear and tear on them. In an effort to reduce waste, TAIPEI 101 has collaborated with Kang Mu-Xiang, the local master wood sculptor who is renowned for his works with driftwood, to create the world's first piece of artwork made with elevator cables in this concerted effort of creativity.
This piece of elevator cable artwork is none other than the "Infinite Life" that has been erected in front of the Xinyi Entrance of TAIPEI 101 and it has now become the "must-see" art piece for all visitors at TAIPEI 101. Crafted with steel cables that have transported 6.6 million visitors around the world in the world's fastest elevator, the creative touches of Kang has overcome the daunting challenge of turning rigid steel into a malleable piece of eco-friendly art that is rich in vitality. Having created Infinite Life, the creator has even been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to craft Taiwan Ruyi – Infinite Life to be presented to Karlsruhe in Germany as a gift to commemorate on the city's 300th anniversary.。
Even before the completion of TAIPEI 101, we had adopted Xinyi Square No. 21 (later renamed to Water Dance Square), which is located to the north of the construction site. We set up two pieces of public art (Dragon Feature – the Finale Show and Between Earth and Sky) in the square and it was a popular location for visitors to play with water during summers. However, the spacious square would often be empty during winters and nighttime. In light of this, the TAIPEI 101 initiated its "Light-up TAIPEI 101" illumination project. The multi-million project involved the replacement of roadside lamps and was the first large public art exhibition to have its exclusive lighting design. The initiative was intended to make the surrounding areas of TAIPEI 101 more appealing to the general public. We collaborated with a total of 10 brands (tenants of our office tower and shopping mall) for the project and successfully turned TAIPEI 101 into a window of fashion, art and design.