BEC Low Carbon Charter

Background and Timeline

Climate change is one of the most urgent global challenges of our time, posing unprecedented threats to the well-being of people, communities, and businesses. Through the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the global community commits to limit global average temperature rise this century well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. Hong Kong has acceded to the Paris Agreement and hence has an obligation to develop a long-term decarbonisation strategy. Being a key player in society, the business community also has a key role to play in Hong Kong’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. Targets are key for facilitating and operationalising a business’ decarbonisation by providing companies with a defined pathway to future-proof growth. To support businesses with their decarbonisation journeys, BEC kickstarted the Low Carbon Hong Kong Initiative in 2017 by publishing the Low Carbon Hong Kong: Supporting Business to Set Targets report, which puts forward the business case for setting decarbonisation targets and the target setting process. This is followed by a phase of research and engagement with stakeholders in the property and construction sector, given a significant portion of Hong Kong’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to buildings.

With the support of business leaders and the Environment Bureau, the BEC Low Carbon Charter was launched in March 2019 to mobilise companies in the property and construction value chain to collectively contribute towards Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation through their pledge to set and achieve carbon reduction targets. The Charter has expanded since the beginning of 2020 to welcome companies from all sectors.

BEC will organise events regularly to support signatories and businesses in setting, operationalising, and achieving their emission reduction targets. Signatories will be invited to share their insights and experience in these co-learning activities. Besides, signatories are required to self-report their progress and achievements through a standard form once a year.

The BEC Low Carbon Charter

The BEC Low Carbon Charter consists of two parts: 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. We 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.

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.

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.

 

List of Signatories

(in alphabetical order)

(as of June 2021)

More information about the signatories can be downloaded here.

Power Up Coalition

In September 2020, the Development Bureau announced that all public work contracts tendered after February 2021 must apply for temporary electricity and water supply during the detailed design phase to ensure completion of the connections before construction starts. This would reduce the use of diesel generators and could facilitate the use of other electric plant, equipment and vehicles.

Riding on the policy change, BEC and Gammon Construction Limited co-launched the Power Up Coalition to encourage the timely electrification of non-public works construction sites in Hong Kong and to promote zero-emission construction sites. BEC invites private and semi-private project proponents and their partners, such as power suppliers, architects, consultants, contractors, engineers, professional bodies, and other companies or organisations who are interested in promoting, supporting and achieving zero-emission construction sites in a long run to join as members.

 

Declaration

We commit to promote and facilitate the early delivery of sufficient electricity connection for all Hong Kong SAR construction sites no later than the commencement of superstructure contracts which are planned to commence on site no later than one year after the date of signing. We also commit to support or implement on-site decarbonisation opportunities where possible.

Click here to watch our promotion video.

 

Founding Member

List of Members

(in alphabetical order)

(as of June 2021)

Contact and Acknowledgement

If you have any enquiries or want to know more about the BEC Low Carbon Charter, please contact:

Mr Simon Ng | Director – Policy & Research | E simonng@bec.org.hk

Ms Violet Law | Officer – Policy & Research | E violetlaw@bec.org.hk

 

Sponsors of the BEC Low Carbon Hong Kong Initiative

 

BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group Steering Committee (2019-2021)

BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group Steering Committee (2017-2019)

Technical Partner

Supporting Organisations