Climate change: Hongkong Land joins push to make the city’s buildings greener with scheme to cut office tenants’ emissions

Hongkong Land, the biggest landlord in Hong Kong’s Central business district, has launched a new sustainability scheme to help its office tenants reduce their carbon footprints.

Through its Tenant Sustainability Partnership Programme (TSPP) launched on Tuesday, the developer aims to improve both its own and its tenants’ environmental performance by collaborating on the fit-out and operation of their offices.

This would involve using sustainable materials, energy-efficient appliances and systems, and operational procedures to reduce electricity consumption such as optimising the use of air conditioning, according to Mark Lam, head of investor relations and corporate sustainability at Hongkong Land.

“In order to move the sustainability or ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda forward – and that includes Hong Kong’s journey towards net zero – the property sector plays a major part,” said Lam.

Buildings account for about 90 per cent of electricity consumption in Hong Kong, according to Diane Wong, the under secretary for environment and ecology.

“To achieve the target of carbon neutrality, we have to enhance the energy efficiency standard of building services facilities and reduce the energy consumption of various electrical appliances,” said Wong during the Energy Saving and Decarbonisation for All 2023 Campaign on June 29.

Electricity generation is the major source of harmful emissions in Hong Kong, accounting for 63 per per cent of the 34.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent released into the atmosphere in 2021, according to the most recent data published by the Environment and Ecology Bureau in July.

The sharing of environmental data such as electricity consumption will also form part of Hongkong Land’s new programme, according to Andy Yeung, director and head of technical services at Hongkong Land.

“Through the TSPP, we hopefully can gather more [environmental] information and data from the tenants because this is one of our key objectives, to share our data and experience,” said Yeung.

The new initiative will also have a role to play in helping Hongkong Land achieve its science-based targets. This includes reducing the company’s Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions – those generated directly by its own facilities, and indirectly through energy it has purchased – by 46.2 per cent by 2030 from 2019 levels.

“Ultimately, there is no net zero or decarbonisation unless everyone does it. Any efforts by any of our peers and anyone in the sector should be seen as a positive,” said Lam.

Two years since the launch of Swire Properties’ Green Performance Pledge in 2021, which builds on the premise of a green lease, nearly 70 tenants have signed up across the developers’ Hong Kong office portfolio, representing around 44 per cent of its occupied lettable floor area.

Swire Properties’ initiative covers the entire tenancy cycle in the areas of office fit-out and operations, with a focus on reducing energy and water use as well as waste.

On average, participating tenants diverted around 33 per cent of their waste from landfill in the period from April 2022 to March 2023.

“We’ll be introducing more initiatives to give tenants new tools to meet and hopefully exceed their ESG goals,” said Don Taylor, Swire Properties’ director of office.

Swire Properties aims to have half of its office tenants in Hong Kong and mainland China join the programme by 2025.

In July, Nan Fung Group launched a new initiative aimed at driving sustainability through collaboration with tenants, employees and community partners.


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