BEC signs Carbon Reduction Charter and Encourages Companies to Join to Address Climate Change

(28 July 2008, Hong Kong) Business Environment Council (BEC) has recently signed Carbon Reduction Charter of Environmental Protection Department and strongly encourages its members, clients, partners and the wider business community to do the same and take an active role in combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.

BEC is among the 30 plus invited organizations including property development and management sectors, professional bodies, universities and non-profit organizations, to sign up in the initial stage. To help reduce GHG emissions in buildings, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) have jointly drawn up the carbon audit guidelines for conducting carbon audits on buildings based on internationally recognized approaches.

At BEC, we understand and agree that combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions have become major challenges to the community. Efforts to reduce GHG emissions will be beneficial to maintaining a healthy living environment and improving air quality. And everyone can and should play a useful part to reduce GHG emissions.

We see that climate change is becoming an increasingly important business agenda. In March 2008, BEC initiated Climate Change Business Forum (CCBF) to provide a unique leadership platform for business and climate leaders to understand and respond to the opportunities and risks brought from climate change, as well as the policies and regulations addressing to the issue. The CCBF will also fund research on the impacts of climate change to business both in Hong Kong and internationally, as well as how the business should be adapting and reducing their emissions. Sharing of best practice will be a high priority. All findings will be communicated to the business community and to the government to speed up action in emission reduction.

We have developed a broad range of services to help the business community to deal with climate change. Relevant services include Carbon Footprint and Strategies, Greenhouse Gas Footprinting, Offset Strategies and Sourcing, Energy Management and Audit, Mitigation Strategies, Corporate Social Responsibility Check and Reporting, Performance Verification and Benchmarking, Stakeholder Dialogue, BEAM Green Building Labelling, Indoor Air Quality Solutions, Hong Kong Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme, Clean Air Charter Certification Scheme, Green Equipment Financing, Clean Production and Clean Tech Market Research.

Headquartered in our own Jockey Club Environmental Building in Kowloon Tong, we have constantly reviewed current practices and look for ways to enhance performance, save energy consumption and reduce emissions. Recently, we have achieved the following:

  • installed new motion sensor lighting devices and sensor water taps to save energy and water consumption respectively.
  • improved the air conditioning control system to save energy
  • installed fluorescent down light in the entrance hall with the removal the diffuser to increase the lumen output
  • replaced the existing high intensity discharge lamp with high output compact fluorescent lamps in exhibition hall to save energy and enhance cost efficiency
  • installed controllable fluorescent lighting system in auditorium to save energy and enhance cost efficiency
  • obtained quality water certificate

Additionally, we have just completed a comprehensive review of our own building, relevant facilities, measures and operation with a view to be more energy and resources efficient and environment friendly through the identification of improvement areas, new technologies and applications. Initiatives to be considered include:

  • replacement of existing old air-cooled chiller with high-efficiency chiller to further save energy and enhance cost efficiency
  • replacement of T8 fluorescent tubes with T5 ones in the public areas to further conserve energy, reduce emission and increase performance
  • installation of VSD and CO2 sensor for the existing AHU systems to upgrade the indoor air quality
  • getting IAQ certificate
  • getting EMSD Energy Efficiency Registration Scheme for Building certificate
  • creating a green roof with plants

We are in progress of looking at our GHG/ carbon footprint as part of our Corporate Sustainability Report to be released in May 2009.