Connecting, Nurturing, Creating for Sustainable Environment

Local and Overseas Experts Shared Latest Progress and Visions for Hong Kong’s Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities
   

23 November 2012

Local and Overseas Experts Shared Latest Progress and Visions for Hong Kong’s Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities

In its second EnviroSeries Conference held for the year on 14 November 2012 (Wednesday) at JW Marriott Hong Kong, Business Environment Council (BEC) connected about 150 business leaders, academics, professionals and government representatives to explore the challenges and opportunities in Hong Kong’s sustainable development. Many stakeholders actively participated in the event as sustainable development is one of the major factors for Hong Kong to maintain its competitiveness and advantage over other cities in the world.

Themed as “Mastering Hong Kong’s Sustainability Challenges & Opportunities”, the Conference provided an open platform for different parties to learn about the latest information and trends of a low-carbon economy, with focus on three major carbon intensive industries – building, energy and transport. Speakers can also share their success cases in Hong Kong as well as in other Asian cities.

In his Welcoming Remarks, Prof John Chai, Chairman of BEC said, “These are some of the most carbon intensive sectors that are also determinants of Hong Kong’s prosperity and competitiveness as a world class city. I encourage you all to think ambitiously today as we review our existing models, examine the challenges and opportunities ahead, and look at successful experiences that we could draw on.”

Morning session address was delivered by Mr Jeffery Neng, Centre Director (Centre for Sustainable Buildings and Construction) of Building and Construction Authority, Singapore. Mr Neng shared the 3-phase green building policy from 2006 to 2013 in Singapore, and reported on the research in collaboration with the National University of Singapore and the top 6 valuation firms in Singapore for a study in the valuation of Green Building in Singapore. Mr Neng shared that there has been greater awareness that sustainable developments can have a significant impact on property values in recent years. The finding showed that retrofitting existing buildings to be more energy efficient can reduce operating expenses. It was also found that a 10% reduction on operating expenses could increase the capital value by nearly 2%.

In afternoon session address, Ir Edmund K H Leung, Past President of Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, talked about the effectiveness of various kinds of clean transportation and vehicles, the management of energy and fuel mix, and the prospects of the carbon intensive industries in Hong Kong, based on his ample experience in infrastructure and railways, construction, and as the immediate past Chairman of Government’s Energy Advisory Committee. He plotted out a long-term objective on minimising fuel usage and to minimise carbon emission by improving engine and transmission efficiency and vehicle weight, and that applies to engines driven by electricity, petrol or diesel oil.

Other prominent speakers were also invited to share their views and visions at the Conference. Ir S C Wong, Chief Engineer (Energy Efficiency Office), Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, and Ir S K Ho, Assistant Director (Building Services), Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), mentioned that upon the introduction of the Building Energy Efficiency Ordinance, ArchSD will continue to support the Government to take the lead to implement energy efficiency measures in its buildings. Ir Wong said that the Government had completed 842 improvement works since 2005, saving about 1 million kWh of electricity annually.

Dr James Wang, Head/Associate Professor, Department of Geography, the University of Hong Kong, pointed out that we were already doing very well in our transport network and road management, but further improvement could be made on Hong Kong’s transport system. We could focus on the design of the pedestrian system to complement the city’s development, and on the vertical traffic (elevators/escalators) and the management of goods/trucks delivery, as these areas take up a high percentage of our daily traffic as compared to the world. Mr Johnson Ongking, Vice President, Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc, shared the innovative project of applying specially produced outdoor paint to neutralise the nitrogen oxides in the city area of Manila.

BEC organises the EnviroSeries Conference twice a year, with the aim of serving as a central stage for a diverse combination of stakeholders to address and discuss key issues in sustaining the environment in Hong Kong.

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