Hong Kong, 19 March 2019 － Thirty-one leading companies across Hong Kong’s property and construction value chain including architectural firms, construction material producers, construction companies, property developers and property managers today signed up to Business Environment Council (“BEC”)’s Low Carbon Charter and committed to work towards setting decarbonisation targets in response to the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Paris Agreement. Signatories are required to set decarbonisation targets, implement actions to achieve individual targets, and disclose progress annually and spread the word among their peers to join the decarbonisation journey. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, a 49% to 72% reduction in absolute carbon emissions from 2010 to 2050 is needed globally. While individual signatories may set different targets due to company-specific factors, the Low Carbon Charter mobilises companies to contribute with collective resolve towards Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonisation.
The Paris Agreement which Hong Kong has acceded to is an agreement within the UNFCCC dealing with climate mitigation, adaptation and finance. Decarbonising the property and construction value chain is critical towards Hong Kong’s low-carbon transition and the long-term decarbonisation roadmap as over 90% of electricity consumption and more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to buildings. Construction and construction materials also account for 15% to 20% of buildings’ lifecycle carbon footprint.
Officiating at the launching ceremony, the Under Secretary for the Environment, Mr Tse Chin-wan said that the Government has accorded top priority to formulating comprehensive and coordinated climate actions. The Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ was released in 2017 to set out in detail the key measures to be taken to address climate change, he said, adding that the Government has invited the Council for Sustainable Development to carry out a public engagement exercise with a view to enhancing public awareness of the climate challenges that Hong Kong is facing, and building consensus on our city’s long-term decarbonisation strategy. Mr Tse called on the community to actively participate in the exercise. Among other officiating guests were Mr Richard Lancaster, Chairman of BEC; Mr Eric Chong, Deputy Chairman of BEC and Chair of BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group; and Mr Adam Koo, Chief Executive Officer of BEC.
“BEC’s Low Carbon Charter stands out from past initiatives of its kind as it responds specifically to the call for action from the Paris Agreement. Rather than only focusing on a single issue such as energy use, the Charter encourages companies to set decarbonisation targets supported by a comprehensive action plan.” Mr Simon Ng, Director – Policy & Research of Business Environment Council said.
Since 2017, BEC has been working on the Low Carbon Hong Kong: Supporting Business to Set Targets initiative through the publication of an introductory report, a series of workshops for different business sectors backed up by research and a Property & Construction Sector C-Suite Roundtable meeting. All the early works culminated to BEC’s Low Carbon Charter, under which signatories pledge to step up their decarbonisation endeavours and commit to set and achieve decarbonisation targets. There are two pathways of commitments for signatories to choose from. Pathway 1 is a commitment to work towards decarbonisation targets consistent with the direction of transitioning towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. Pathway 2 is more specific and ambitious in that it is a commitment to work towards targets aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2oC rise above pre-industrial levels, through the Science Based Targets Initiative. In addition to disclosure of their performance, BEC will take stock of the signatories’ progress towards targets setting or achieving regularly after the launch of the Charter.
As an ongoing initiative, BEC will continue to welcome companies to sign the Charter. With the support from the Charter’s technical partner CDP, an organisation that runs a global disclosure system to manage environmental impacts, BEC will assist signatory companies in setting and achieving targets through organising workshops to disseminate information, resources and for experience and best practice sharing. As we progress, BEC will consider opening the Charter to other sectors beyond property and construction to motivate more companies to make contribution to decarbonisation.
BEC acknowledges the supports by CDP as a technical partner of Low Carbon Charter, and China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and International Chapter and Hong Kong Green Building Council as supporting organisations in raising awareness of this initiative amongst companies in the property and construction value chain.
List of signatories (in alphabetical order):
Pathway 1 - a commitment to work towards setting decarbonisation target(s) consistent with the direction of transitioning towards the goals of the Paris Agreement
- *Agile Group Holdings Limited
- *Airport Authority Hong Kong
- *Alliance Construction Materials Limited
- *China Harbour Engineering Company Limited
- *Chinachem Group
- CITIC Tower Property Management Company Limited
- *Gammon Construction Limited
- Goodwill Management Limited
- *Green Island Cement Company Limited
- *Grosvenor Limited
- *Hang Lung Properties Limited
- Harriman Property Management Limited
- *Hong Kong Housing Society
- *Hong Yip Service Company Limited
- *Hongkong Land Limited
- *Hysan Development Company Limited
- *Jardine Engineering Corporation, Limited
- *Kerry Properties Limited
- *Lan Kwai Fong Properties Limited
- *Leigh & Orange Limited
- *Link Asset Management Limited
- Nan Fung Property Management
- *New World China Land Limited
- *New World Development Company Limited
- *Ocean Park Hong Kong
- *Shiu Wing Steel Limited
- *Sino Land Company Limited
- *Wo Lee Steel Company Limited
- *Yau Lee Holdings Limited
Pathway 2 - a commitment to 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
30. *Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Limited
31. *Swire Properties Limited