Milestones

1988
  • Concerned about Hong Kong's deteriorating air and water quality, former Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Chairman Sir William Purves conceives a non-profit think tank geared towards influencing government and business. He invites key business leaders to join HSBC to undertake research and identify appropriate initiatives to address environmental problems in Hong Kong.
1989
  • Sir William Purves' idea comes to fruition, as 19 leading businesses come together to form the Private Sector Committee on the Environment (PSCE), with Sir Purves becoming the founding Chair.

Private Sector Committee on the Environment (PSCE)

1991
  • PSCE establishes the Centre for Environmental Technology (CET) to pool resources and provide practical assistance to polluting industries on how to clean up through research, training, conferences and award programmes.

Centre for Environmental Technology (CET)

1992
  • BEC is established in this year. The Governor's Award for Industry in Environmental Protection is launched (subsequently named the Hong Kong Awards for Industries in Environmental Performance, organised by CET).
1994
  • CET organises the Factory Fora and Visit Programme to demonstrate best practices in air and water pollution prevention, waste minimisation and cleaner production for more than 3,000 factories, and sets up a cross-sector industry environmental hotline, which handles over 3,000 enquiries from companies on how to address environmental issues.
1995
  • CET is an adviser for the first Eco-Labelling Life-Cycle Analysis and Green Purchasing Study in Hong Kong on behalf of the Environmental Protection Department.
1996
  • Former HKSAR Government Chief Secretary Mrs Anson Chan officiates at the opening of the BEC building in the Jockey Club Environmental Building, a sustainable development resource centre for the Hong Kong community.
  • PCSE formally launches the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM), a voluntary assessment scheme to measure, improve and label the environmental sustainability of buildings.
1997
  • CET organises the first Energy Efficient Building Award on behalf of the HKSAR Government, which recognised outstanding performance in the design, installation and integration of building services systems to achieve high-energy efficiency.
  • CET publishes the International Legislation and Trends in Transport Packaging for Hong Kong manufacturers.
1998
  • PSCE publishes a bilingual guide titled Hong Kong Exporters on Europe's Packaging Waste Management System.
  • CET co-develops a sustainable tourism strategy with the Hong Kong Tourist Association.
1999
  • PSCE rallies 20 private-sector and government leaders to sign the United Nations Environmental Programme's (UNEP) International Declaration on Cleaner Production. The ceremony is officiated by Mr Tung Chee Hwa, former Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government.
  • CET initiates the inaugural Hong Kong Eco-Products Award with support from the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries to honour outstanding environmental products across the entire product life cycle.
2000
  • PSCE and CET are merged to form the Business Environment Council (BEC), which organises the first Markets and Investor Conference on financing sustainable development.

Business Environment Council (BEC)

2001
  • BEC creates ISO 14001 templates and case studies for Hong Kong's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of the government's Support Action Plans initiative.
2002
  • The Business and Industry Environment Conferences, initiated by BEC in 1992, are reconfigured under a series of themed events and rebranded as the EnviroSeries, BEC’s flagship event.
2003
  • BEC becomes Hong Kong's Regional Network Partner in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
2004
  • BEC initiates the Hong Kong Business Guide to Sustainable Development, Hong Kong's first bilingual publication on the topic of sustainable development and a web source for all business enterprises.
2005
  • BEC initiates the Harbour Business Forum with the mission of realising Hong Kong's harbour and harbourfront as a vibrant, accessible and sustainable world-class asset.
2006
  • For the 15th consecutive year, BEC organises the Hong Kong Awards for Industries: Environmental Performance, which recognises best practices in corporate environmental responsibility.
2007
  • The BEC IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Solutions Centre becomes Hong Kong's first accredited certificate-issuing body (CIB) approved by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service.
  • A BEC representative attends United Nations Climate Conference 2007 in Bali as part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development delegation.
2008
  • BEC formally launches the Climate Change Business Forum in March. The Forum provides a high-level platform for business leaders to learn about and discuss opportunities and challenges in an increasingly carbon-constrained world. The Hon Mr C.Y. Leung and Mr Tony Tyler are the founding chairs of the Forum.
2009
  • BEC co-founds the Hong Kong Green Building Council to engage community, industry and government in creating practical solutions for Hong Kong’s unique subtropical built environment.
2010
  • The Hong Kong SAR Government appoints BEC a member of the Harbourfront Commission, which plays an advocacy, oversight and advisory role in envisioning, planning, urban design, marketing, branding, developing, managing and operating the harbourfront areas and related facilities on a continuous and ongoing basis.
2011
  • BEC launches two youth-engagement programmes – BEC Low-Carbon Home for tertiary students and BEC Low-Carbon School for secondary students – to promote low-carbon living and a business-society coalition through a series of activities. Under BEC Low-Carbon School, BEC begins organising Dialogue with the Secretary for the Environment at Eco Expo Asia, an annual international trade fair on environmental protection.
2012
  • BEC sets up the BEC Institute of Environmental Education (BEC IEE) to provide a platform for business managers and decision-makers to develop expertise in environment-related topics and facilitate decision-making. BEC IEE also facilitates professional development by promoting quality environmental education through various environmental education programmes.
  • The BEC Leadership Networking Series is kicked off in September with the aim of providing a platform for sustainability leaders and practitioners to share their insights on environmental and sustainability issues in an open and relaxing atmosphere.
2013
  • BEC sets up four advisory groups to promote best practices among members and the wider business community on four key environmental topics: ESG (Environment, Social and Governance), waste management, energy, and climate change.
2014
  • The BEC Policy Dialogue Series is launched in January to provide unique opportunities for BEC members to have discussions with senior government officials on major environmental affairs pertinent to Hong Kong, learn more about the policy direction of the Government, and provide input.
  • The BEC Building achieves the Platinum rating of Provisional Assessment under the BEAM Plus Existing Buildings (version 1.2), making it the first commercial building in Hong Kong to achieve the highest level of recognition under the BEAM Plus assessment for existing buildings.
  • BEC’s advisory services relating to building, energy, environmental management, corporate sustainability and the BEC Institute of Environmental Education are certified to ISO 9001:2008.
2015
  • The BEC Transport and Logistics Advisory Group is formed to promote environmental sustainability in transportation and logistics amongst BEC members and the broader business community in Hong Kong.
2016
  • BEC joins the Paris Pledge for Action after adopting the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. BEC’s aim is to reduce its carbon footprint while encouraging its members and rest of the Hong Kong business community to support these commitments.
  • BEC publishes its first Sustainability Report, which covers the financial year from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 and details BEC’s vision and mission, strategic direction, activities and accomplishments, as well as its social, environmental and governance performance.
2017
  • The BEC Climate Change Business Forum Advisory Group releases Low Carbon Hong Kong: Supporting Business to Set Targets, a report which calls on all Hong Kong businesses to get involved in a process of setting the target of a maximum 2°C temperature rise and supporting strategies.
2018
  • BEC installs solar panels on its rooftop to support its strong advocacy of renewable energy and to support the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff policy.
2019
  • BEC launches a rooftop farm to instil the concept of sustainable green living in the BEC Building.
  • BEC launches the BEC Low Carbon Charter, the first charter of its kind in Hong Kong specifically responding to the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement.
  • BEC develops “FY2020-2022 Strategic Plan”, in which three environmental focus areas are identified to be of significant importance for Hong Kong from October 2019 to September 2022, namely Climate Change, the Circular Economy and a Sustainable Living Environment. Three new corresponding Advisory Groups (AGs) are also formed.