Connecting, Nurturing, Creating for Sustainable Environment

BEC Low Carbon Charter
   


Climate Change & Business

Climate change poses an urgent and unprecedented threat to the well-being of people, communities, and businesses. As such, Hong Kong must transition to a low-carbon economy aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to reduce climate-related risks and to secure sustainable development.

Carbon emissions must be reduced to stabilise the climate to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change. Being society’s key players, businesses have a role to play in decarbonising and leading the transformation towards a sustainable, low carbon economy.

Climate change opens up a range of new risks and opportunities to businesses. Risks range from physical threats to assets and a compromised supply chain, to policy, legal, reputational risks. Opportunities include possible cost savings from resource efficiency, and new markets for low-carbon products and services.

BEC’s The New Normal: A Hong Kong Business Primer on Climate Change Adaptation and The Hong Kong Climate Resilience Roadmap for Business provide more insights on what climate change means for business.


The Importance of Decarbonisation Targets & Strategies

Hong Kong has acceded to the Paris Agreement. In response, the Government released its Climate Action Plan 2030+ in 2017 which puts forward a 4Ts framework (timeline, targets, together, transparency) to operationalise the Paris Agreement. The framework highlights the importance of setting decarbonisation targets.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Indeed, targets and strategies are key for facilitating and operationalising a business’ decarbonisation. Fundamentally, it is important to have a vision and strategy to align business with a low carbon future.


The Low Carbon Hong Kong Initiative, Beginning with the Property & Construction Value Chain

To support businesses with their decarbonisation journeys, BEC published the Low Carbon Hong Kong: Supporting Business to Set Targets report, which puts forward the business case for setting decarbonisation targets and introduces the methods to do so.

Building on the introductory report, BEC commenced a focused research and engagement initiative beginning with the property and construction sector, with the aim to raise understanding on the business benefits and imperative for climate action, work with businesses in setting decarbonisation targets and strategies, build capacity and collectively solve problems encountered in the target setting and decarbonisation journey.

In Hong Kong, being a dense urban metropolis, buildings account for more than 60% of the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Construction and construction materials are also important as they on average account for 15-20% of buildings’ lifecycle carbon footprint. Given the sectors’ prominence, decarbonising the property and construction value chain will be critical towards Hong Kong’s low-carbon transition. This also presents an opportunity for the sector to take leadership in Hong Kong’s transformation towards sustainability.
 



The BEC Low Carbon Charter

Harnessing the momentum from the Low Carbon Hong Kong initiative, the BEC Low Carbon Charter was developed to mobilise companies to contribute with collective resolve towards Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation.

The BEC Low Carbon Charter consists of two sections: Declaration and Commitment. Signatories can commit to either Pathway 1 or Pathway 2 under the Commitment section.  
 

Declaration

As leading businesses in Hong Kong, we recognise that climate change poses an urgent and unprecedented threat to the well-being of people, communities, and businesses. Given such a threat, we firmly believe that Hong Kong must transition to a low-carbon economy aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement, to reduce climate-related risks and to secure sustainable development.

We recognise that setting targets and strategies to achieve them will be key in businesses’ decarbonisation journeys, to facilitate and operationalise action contributing towards Hong Kong’s transformation. Leadership in target setting and low-carbon practices represents opportunities to cut costs, drive innovation, and improve resilience.

Given two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in Hong Kong are attributed to buildings, and construction and construction materials are significant segments of the value chain on average accounting for one-sixth of buildings’ lifecycle carbon footprint, we as members of the property and construction sector recognise the importance for us to take swift, bold and collaborative climate action.

In support of this, we the undersigned, voluntarily pledge to step up our decarbonisation endeavours by committing to the actions set out below. We also call for the Government to take leadership, and all sectors to take joined-up action.

Commitment


Pathway 1
  • Work towards setting decarbonisation target(s) consistent with the direction of transitioning towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Implement strategic action towards achieving the target(s).
  • Disclose annually progress of setting/achieving target(s).
  • Advocate setting decarbonisation targets and implementing low carbon practices to stakeholders within the property and construction value chain.

Each company is at different stages of their decarbonisation journeys. Regardless of where a company is at, Pathway 1 is an invitation to join the journey, noting the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Pathway 2
  • Work towards setting decarbonisation target(s) aligned with climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement, by committing to the Science Based Targets initiative.
  • Implement strategic action towards achieving the target(s).
  • Disclose annually progress of setting/achieving target(s).
  • Advocate setting decarbonisation targets and implementing low carbon practices to stakeholders within the property and construction value chain.

Pathway 2 is a commitment to work towards decarbonisation targets aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It is a commitment to submit the commitment letter to the Science Based Targets initiative.
 

Click here for the list of Signatories

Click here for the Press Release

Click here to see the photos of the BEC Low Carbon Charter Launch Ceremony on 19 March 2019
 



This is Just the Beginning

The BEC Low Carbon Charter is an ongoing initiative. BEC continues to welcome companies across the property and construction value chain to sign the BEC Low Carbon Charter. Furthermore, BEC will explore expanding the BEC Low Carbon Charter to other sectors beyond property and construction. For enquiries and more information regarding the Low Carbon Charter, please contact:

Mr Simon Ng | Director – Policy & Research | E simonng@bec.org.hk 
Mr Jonathan Ho | Assistant Manager – Policy & Research | E jonathanho@bec.org.hk

For companies that have signed the BEC Low Carbon Charter, BEC will continue to engage with signatories to understand their progress of setting and achieving targets and to provide support where needed.

BEC also provides in-depth, tailored services for companies, ranging from carbon auditing to sustainability strategising and reporting. Contact us to learn more about BEC’s expertise and services.

This BEC Low Carbon Charter marks an important milestone in Hong Kong’s decarbonisation journey, demonstrating leadership from the business sector. Looking ahead, BEC will continue to act as catalyst to drive environmental excellence in Hong Kong.
 



Acknowledgments

Sponsors of the BEC Low Carbon Hong Kong Initiative:

BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group Steering Committee (2017-2019)
Airport Authority Hong Kong
CLP Power Hong Kong Limited
Link Asset Management Limited
Siemens Limited
Sino Group
Swire Pacific Limited
Swire Properties Limited
Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited
The Hongkong Electric Company Limited

Technical Partner:

CDP

Supporting Organisations:

China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and International Chapter Limited
Hong Kong Green Building Council

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