Dear Members, Clients and Business Partners,

The summer heat and humidity has arrived again as has the annual spike in our monthly electricity bills. Loosening the tie and setting the AC thermostat one degree higher can make a difference if done city-wide. While there are more than enough case studies to demonstrate the business case for going green, many remain to be convinced. Interest is growing however and our recent events have been over-subscribed - a positive sign of change.

It is important for BEC to advocate for change, and we have just launched a member wide engagement exercise in preparation for our submission to the HKSAR Chief Executives’ Annual Policy Address. We are focussing on two key areas this year; waste management and the environment sector aspects of the Mainland’s 12th 5 Year Plan. Providing a fair and balanced view from our membership is important, and we aspire to provide input that will provide focus for legacy issues for the current administration, and set challenges for the incoming adminstration.

We have always supported the growth of the environmental sector, as this is a critical support network for the greening of buildings, factories, restaurant’s, retail etc. Through the Hong Kong Environmental Industry Beijing Delegation led by the Secretary for Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in early June, our Chairman Professor John Chai shared our views on the 12th 5-Year Plan and vision for a closer partnership with Mainland China.

As in previous years we will be actively participating with our members in the Eco-Asia Expo, which will be taking place at the Asia World Expo in October. Showcasing our members has always been an important part of our booth at the event, and we are delighed to welcome the following new and upgraded members: EC Harris, IBM, Leighton, Headland Developments and Ecopoint. Come and find out more about BEC and our members at the Expo.

Warmest regards.

Dr Andrew L Thomson
Chief Executive Officer
Business Environment Council


BEC Updates
New BEC Members
BEC Initiatives
BEC Consultancy
BEC Upcoming Events
BEC Support Events

BEC Updates

Secretary for Environment, Mr. Edward Yau led a delegation to Beijing on 6-9 June. Professor John Chai, BEC's Chairman and Ms Agnes Li, BEC's Chief Operating Officer together with Ms Teresa Au of HSBC, Mr Randy Yu of Sino Group, Ms Quince Chong of Cathay Pacific represented BEC and the Climate Change Business Forum (a BEC Initiative) in this delegation.
The delegation's focus was to understand the recently promulgated 12 Five-Year Plan, and to explore its blueprint and action agenda. Through the visits and exchanges with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau (BEBP), the delegates were able to gain further insights on Hong Kong's role under the Plan, and the opportunities it would offer to our Environmental Industry.

Invited by Mr Yau, Professor Chai presented our aspirations on the 12 Five-Year Plan at the meeting with NDRC. The delegation has also attended the 12th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference (CIEPEC 2011). Taking this opportunity, Professor Chai and Ms Li have visited several of our members who were exhibiting at the event.



What Hong Kong Needs – Water Taxi and Water Bus

Before the MTR available in the late 1970s, taking a ferry across harbour was one of the most popular means of transportation in Hong Kong. But, the Harbour Business Forum’s (HBF) new study report entitled “Victoria Harbour as a Harbour: The Importance of Integrated Land-Water Planning” shows that, with the exception of cross-boundary ferry trips, use of the water for passenger transport in Hong Kong is in long-term decline (Table 1). This is particularly the case for existing point-to-point cross-harbour and outer-island ferry services where dwindling patronage is causing some operators to struggle financially and some routes to close. On March 31 this year, two ferry routes between Central and Hung Hom, and Hung Hom and Wan Chai just ceased their services.

  2005 2010
Ocean Passenger Vessels 3,400 2,300
River Passenger Vessels 75,200 88,100
Cross-Boundary Ferry Passengers 20.8m 26.7m
Intra-Hong Kong Ferry Passengers 56,1m 49.7m
Cross-Harbour Ferry Passengers 32.6m 26.3m
Vehicles Ferry Crossing 30,300 33,300

Table 1: Key Harbour Passenger Statistics
Source: Marine Department & Transport Department


This study report is the first to consider both land and water-based issues in and around the harbour on an integrated basis. To demonstrate the importance of adopting an integrated approach to land-water planning, six indicative harbour enhancement programmes are identified and elaborated in the report. As a complement to the existing ferry service, one indicative harbour enhancement programme proposes the provision of water transport in the form of water taxis and water buses (described below) which may provide a way to deal with this problem especially when the existing cross-harbour ferry services are not energy efficient and flexible in route and timing.

A water taxi is a commuter boat to provide service on demand to different locations while a water bus operates on a schedule with multiple stops. They may be the best or quickest way to get around in traffic choked cities like in Hong Kong especially as most of the busiest commercial areas in Hong Kong such as Central, Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui are situated by a body of water where these types of services will be in demand as they can offer a real alternative for commuters who wish to avoid the busy roads and trains.

In addition, a smaller and more efficient watercraft will be able to provide more convenient access to a wider range of destinations for locals and visitors. It will also reduce energy consumption and pollution compared with a larger ferry as well as reduce end-to-end journey distances. A proper water transport system is not just the provision of easy connections across and along the harbour, but also offers opportunities to re-use assets to facilitate small- and medium-scale commercial activity, private sector investment and jobs.

The development of water taxi and bus services is a growth opportunity as the major infrastructure already exists so it is not expensive to introduce. Nevertheless, it still requires the provision or enhancement of safe landing places including lighting and shelter at important destinations, for example, West Kowloon Cultural District, Kai Tak cruise terminal, Lei Yue Mun and Kwun Tong; accreditation of alternative watercraft; branding and signage; ticket sales facilities and information services.

Today in some cities like Sydney, London and New York, the water taxi and bus services are a great and comfortable alternative mean of land based transportation. The transport network in Sydney is popular with locals and tourists. They even provide free wireless internet access in water bus services between Sydney Harbour and its suburbs. London has the Britain’s most extensive water bus services which serve commuters travelling up and down the River Thames. In Washington, commuters consider the 30-minute water taxi ride as a pleasant, relaxing alternative to travel along and across the Washington Harbour.

Figure 1: Photomontage of Kwun Tong Ferry Pier with water taxi service

The water taxi and bus services are possible in other countries, but why not in Hong Kong? If Hong Kong starts to explore the possibilities of the introduction of these services now, there may be a chance that a decade from now, water taxi and water bus could be seen along with bus and MTR as major public transportation in here (Figure 1).

New BEC Members

BEC warmly welcomes our new members to join this sustainable platform for businesses.

Corporate Members

EC Harris – an international Built Asset Consultancy, advising clients in the planning and execution of strategies that deliver the best results from money spent on their built assets. The firm has 40 offices in 28 countries employing over 3,000 people worldwide. Group revenue in 2009/10 was circa USD 444m. In Asia Pacific, EC Harris has over 500 highly-trained professionals based in the region, and has operations across the region in markets including China, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Macau, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited – Since its establishment in Hong Kong in 1975, Leighton Asia has cemented its position as one of the region’s leading construction and mining services providers. The company’s solid track record and unrivalled expertise cover all aspects of building, civil engineering and contract mining. Leighton Asia is the only contractor with a truly comprehensive Asia footprint. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australia’s largest project development and contracting group, the Leighton Group.

General Members

Headland Developments Limited
– a property development company that provides real estate development management services. It also develops quality residential and retail properties in Macau and Hong Kong.

Ecopoint Limited – an innovative Internet platform for Asian eco businesses, entrepreneurs seeking investment, investors looking into green businesses, job seekers, event organisers and the whole eco community in Asia to get all the latest insights, to connect and promote.

BEC Initiatives

Climate Change Business Forum - Driving Low-carbon Strategy
CCBF is revisiting its strategy to drive Hong Kong's transformation to a low carbon economy. Current efforts underway include events on financing a low carbon economy, research on building energy efficiency, a forthcoming statement on nuclear energy, an updated Hong Kong business survey, and a slate of issues to be discussed with government. New CCBF ExCo chair Thomas Ho will propose a unifying theme for the next 2 years' work in the coming weeks.

BEC Consultancy

Environmental Management (EM) Team Update

The Organizers received overwhelming applications from 11 sectors under the 2011 HKAEE Sectoral Awards as of its deadline on 30 May 2011. Participants will be invited to demonstrate their environmental performance and achieving in coming months.

Workshop on Practice Waste Management at Your Workplace
A waste management focused workshop called "Practice Waste Management at Your Workplace" was completed on 27 May 2011 which was over subscribed. During the workshop participants were given an overview with regard to commercial waste challenges and opportunities, as well as practical tips on how to implement a successful waste management programme. A re-run of this workshop is scheduled on 26 August 2011 with the theme on plastics recycling.

Corporate Sustainability (CS) Team Update

The CS team is delighted to work with our clients throughout this summer, a season that companies are busy with traditional financial reporting, as well as sustainability reporting cover the non-financial performance, or the so-called triple bottom lines (environmental, social and governance).

Currently, we are preparing sustainability reports for leading property developer, public utility company, and motor retailer. Our specialist team just completed a benchmarking study for a government agency with global and local players excelling in sustainability development practices. Projects in the pipeline are diversified and fulfilling, for instance, we continue with providing carbon auditing service for a mining company; we also help clients to carry out Carbon'Less' and LOOP initiatives. We work closely with the business community to reduce the impact to the environment, and raise their sustainability communication effort to higher level.

Budildings Energy Efficiency (BEE) Team Update

The BEE team now offers building modeling and simulation services that can demonstrate compliance. Modeling and simulation of energy, daylight, interior lighting, air conditioning and thermal comfort of your building is a quick and cost effective way to visualize, compare, and explore design space.

Energy audits will be part of the Building Energy Codes when they become mandatory in September 2012. An Energy Simulation is a cost effective technique for complying with, Cl 9.5 - Comparison of Design Energy and Energy Budget. BEAM Plus and LEED requirements can also be satisfied using building modeling and simulation.

From Green Building and Beyond (FULL HOUSE)

The seminar, From Green Building and Beyond, is now fully subscribed.
Thank you for your participation and we may schedule a re-run of this seminar in the future. The details will be announced shortly.

Upcoming Events

Visit the longest-operating MTR depot to have a close look at the behind-the-scene operations of the rail network. Learn first hand from an excellent management of sustainable facilities such as noise mitigation measures and waste-water treatment process. Join us and benefit from this sustainable transport and facility management model.

EnviroSeries Conference – City Dynamics: Infrastructure, Connectivity and Logistics
This Forum will be held on 30 September 2011 at JW Marriott Hong Kong and will focus on the global trend of building sustainable infrastructure and transportation network. It will also identify the best practices in the industry.

BEC Supports Events

Hang Seng - Pearl River Delta Environmental Awards 2010-2011until 31 Jul 2011

ECO Expo Asiaon 26-29 Oct 2011

Social Enterprise Summit 2011 on 24-27 Nov 2011

The 23rd Hong Kong Print Awards 2011

CAPITAL Entrepreneur Green Enterprise Awards 2011 and Metrobox Environmental Award on 5 July 2011

ASRIA 10th Annniversary Conference on 28-29 Oct 2011