Hong Kong, 19 October 2022 - The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) welcomes the Chief Executive’s 2022 Policy Address released today. The HKGBC shall continue to work in tandem with the Government and all the stakeholders on the following initiatives to further the commitment for a greener and more sustainable built environment, also to strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.
Striving to Achieve Carbon Neutrality
The Council supports the Government’s reiteration of its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, and the re-organisation of the Council for Sustainable Development to the new Council for Carbon Neutrality and Sustainable Development to offer advice on decarbonisation strategies. The Council welcomes the Policy Address with specific plans for the following three aspects:
1. Conserve Energy
The Council supports the Government’s initiatives to encourage energy conservation and taking the lead to set a goal to improve the overall energy performance of government buildings and infrastructure by more than 6% by 2024-25. It is anticipated that after the expansion of the scope of the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme, energy-saving household appliances can be more widely adopted.
2. Promote Green Transport
The Council welcomes the Government to further facilitate the popularisation of electric vehicles by ceasing new registration of fuel-propelled and hybrid private cars in 2035 or earlier, and providing an additional 7 000 parking spaces with electric vehicle chargers in government premises. The BEAM Plus certification by the Council has taken into account the provision of charging facilities for electric vehicles in buildings to encourage developers to increase the use of related facilities.
3. Promote Waste Reduction in the Community
The Council is delighted to see that the Government is preparing to launch a host of new initiatives including regulating disposable plastic tableware and other plastic products, and explore legislation requiring housing recycling.
Developing Hong Kong into an International Green Finance Hub
The Council welcomes the Government's continued development of green and sustainable finance, and promotes the development of Hong Kong as a premier financing platform for governments and green enterprises in the Mainland and around the world. The Government also strives to develop Hong Kong into an international carbon market, and supports the HKEX to continue pursuing co-operation with, financial institutions in Guangzhou in carbon market development. It is anticipated that it can boost investments in decarbonisation of local buildings, and to build a low-carbon economy that is more resilient to climate change. The Council is pleased to see that many new and existing low- carbon buildings in Hong Kong have attained the credible BEAM Plus certification.
Planning Northern Metropolis and Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands with Sustainable Development
As of 5 October 2022, there are over 2,100 registered BEAM Plus projects, involving nearly 7,500 buildings and covering a total area of over 70 million m2. BEAM Plus is not only widely recognised, but also provides green building certifications for the developers and contractors to apply for green finance.
The Council is delighted to see that the Government is developing the Northern Metropolis into a "new international I&T city", integrating quality life, new economies, culture and leisure. Innovative urban design will help promote home-job balance, green living and the co-existence of development and conservation.
Encouraging the Development of High Productivity Construction
The Council also supports the Government to develop the Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands using “green and liveable” concepts, improving the accommodation and living space. It is mentioned that a strategy of a smart, green and resilient city will be implemented. By formulating measures in urban design, infrastructure and mobility, it is expected that we will reduce everyday energy demand as well as reduce carbon emissions through the adoption of green energy and advanced food waste treatment technology.
The Policy Address mentions that the Development Bureau will establish a cross-departmental steering committee for co-ordinating the development of high productivity construction methods such as Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) and streamlining the related approval processes. The steering committee will formulate measures next year to strengthen the MiC supply chain, including making available land in the Northern Metropolis for manufacturing and storage of modules by the industry, and fostering collaboration with the Greater Bay Area. In addition to expediting housing supply, these measures will strengthen the leading regional position of Hong Kong's construction industry in the adoption of MiC.
About the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC)
The Council is delighted to see that the Government actively promotes high productivity construction methods such as MiC and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), in order to uplift the productivity of the construction industry, reduce construction waste and expedite housing supply. It is anticipated that housing quality can be improved and more green building projects can be implemented.
The Council also supports the Government to devise a roadmap on the industry's use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in preparing building plans for submission to departments for approval. An application software will be launched in the first quarter of 2024 for the industry to check on the floor area information in relevant plans. A wider adoption of BIM can reduce construction waste and increase productivity.
DfMA and BIM have always been some of the green building technologies that BEAM Plus encourages the industry to use. We will continuously work with the Government and lead the industry to accelerate the decarbonisation of Hong Kong’s built environment and to move forward to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) is a non-profit, member-led organisation established in 2009 and has become a public body under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance since 2016. The HKGBC strives to promote the standard and development of sustainable buildings in Hong Kong. The HKGBC also aims to raise green building awareness by engaging the government, the industry and the public, and to develop practical solutions for Hong Kong’s unique, subtropical built environment of high-rise, high density urban area, leading Hong Kong to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to become a world’s exemplar of green building development. The Founding Members of the HKGBC include the Construction Industry Council (CIC), the Business Environment Council (BEC), the BEAM Society Limited (BSL) and the Professional Green Building Council (PGBC).
To learn more about the HKGBC, please visit www.hkgbc.org.hk