Hong Kong, 19 March 2019: The Business Environment Council (BEC), WBCSD’s Global Network partner in Hong Kong, launched the BEC Low Carbon Charter: a commitment to work towards setting decarbonisation targets in response to the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Paris Agreement, signed by 31 leading companies across Hong Kong’s property and construction value chain including architectural firms, construction material producers, construction companies, property developers and property managers.
To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, a 49-72% reduction in absolute carbon emissions from 2010 to 2050 is needed globally. Decarbonising the property and construction value chain is critical towards Hong Kong’s low-carbon transition and the long-term decarbonization 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.
Signatories are required to set decarbonization targets, implement actions to achieve individual targets, and disclose progress annually and spread the word among their peers to join the decarbonization journey. While individual signatories may set different targets due to company-specific factors, the Low Carbon Charter mobilizes companies to contribute with collective resolve towards Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonization.
According to the Under Secretary for the Environment, Mr Tse Chin-wan, formulating comprehensive and coordinated climate actions is a top priority of the Government, to enhance public awareness for the climate challenges Hong Kong is facing and build consensus on the city’s long-term decarbonization strategy. 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. Mr Tse called on the community to actively participate in the exercise.
“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 decarbonization targets supported by a comprehensive action plan,” said Mr Simon Ng, Director, Policy & Research, Business Environment Council.
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 of this culminated to BEC’s Low Carbon Charter.
There are two pathways of commitments for signatories to choose from. Pathway 1 is a commitment to work towards decarbonization 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 of the global average temperature under a 2°C rise, through the Science-Based Targets Initiative.
In addition to disclosure of their performance, BEC will take stock of the signatories’ progress 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 organization that runs a global disclosure system to manage environmental impacts, BEC will assist signatory companies in setting and achieving targets through organizing workshops to disseminate information and resources and to experience and share best practices. BEC is considering opening the Charter to other sectors to motivate more companies to make a contribution to decarbonization.
BEC receives support from 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 organizations in raising awareness for this initiative amongst companies in the property and construction value chain.
List of signatories (in alphabetical order):
A. Pathway 1: a commitment to work towards setting decarbonization target(s) consistent with 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
B. Pathway 2: a commitment to work towards setting decarbonization target(s) aligned with climate science and the goals of the Paris Agreement, by committing to the Science-Based Targets Initiative:
- Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Limited
- Swire Properties Limited
Manager, Communications, Business Environment Council