Published by Sustainability / Net Zero Office under the leadership of the Director, Mr.Davis Bookhart Many thanks must be given to those who are involved in the report generating process. The editorials, Carmen Sun, Seonghun Kim and Mickey Choy, are very thankful for the support and would like to express their gratitude to each and every contributor.
Table of Contents 1 Overview 3-4 Net-zero Statement 7-8 2028 Sustainability Challenges 9 Materiality 11 Stakeholder Engagement 11-14 Materiality Matrix 15 Environment 17-21 Energy 23-24 Water 25 Natural Resources 26 Physical Presence 27-28 Pollution 29-30 Waste 31 Social/People 33-34 Community Health is Safeguarded 35 Financial Demands and Assistance are Met 36 Employee Concerns are Actively Solicited, Impartially Judged, and Transparently Addressed 37 Governance/Driver 39 Procurement Safeguards the Pursuit of Future-Fitness 40 Business is Conducted Ethically 41 Sustainability Initiatives 43-45 Education 46 Network 47 Research and Demonstration 48 Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Program 49 ESG Frameworks 52 Alignment with Future Fit Business Benchmark 53-54 Alignment with SDG 55-56 Alignment with GRI
3-4 Net-zero Statement 7-8 2028 Sustainability Challenges The vision of HKUST is to empower members of the HKUST community to create the conditions for people to thrive, over time, and within planetary boundaries. This report highlights our efforts in the 2021/22 academic year and presents strategic plans to meet the 2028 Sustainability Goal
HKUST Sustainability 3 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Commitment of HKUST to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 It is an international scientific consensus that in order to prevent the worst climate damages, global human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to decline to net zero by 2050. Global leaders have recognized this target, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam who announced in her September 2020 policy address that Hong Kong will become carbon neutral by 2050. HKUST is committed to meeting this ambitious challenge and aims to become a net-zero carbon university by 2050, if not earlier, by taking the lead on developing solutions that demonstrates our dedication to creating a true net-zero world. Develop Net-zero Campus Solutions HKUST will enhance the connectivity of Research Institutes and prioritize cross-disciplinary collaboration for the development of net-zero campus solutions. The near term action is to accelerate cross-disciplinary efforts by defining specific net-zero roles and contributions that our globally respected Research Institutes can make towards tangible net-zero results. The campuses will serve as a platform to validate and demonstrate home-grown solutions and proofs of concept for various net-zero approaches. The long term aim is to translate these results into collaborations with government and private sector partners to transfer the useful technologies into applications that can be implemented across the GBA. Transforming Our Campuses We will identify long-term strategies that will form a roadmap to net-zero 2050. Immediate priorities include zero carbon buildings and carbon-sensitive renovations and refurbishment. Further efforts will include policy adoption on resource centralization, use of spaces, and economic incentives/disincentives (e.g., socialized cost of carbon). These strategies will be grounded in the need for stepchange solutions and guided by the belief that disruptive technologies and societal shifts that will reshape the future of living, the future of work, and the future of our buildings. Net-zero Statement
HKUST Sustainability 4 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 OVERVIEW Materiality Contents Environment Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Integrate Financial Systems to Support Net-zero Solutions The University also recognizes the necessary transformations and new opportunities in the global economy and green finance sector to meet net-zero objectives. To engage in this transition, HKUST will draw upon the world-class resources in the School of Business and Management to examine important practical questions of how actions in financial systems can support the adoption of net-zero solutions and drive desired behaviours required on our campus and in our society. The near term actions are to accelerate the evaluation and adoption of net-zero incentive/disincentive mechanisms, the inclusion of internal and social cost of carbon on decision-making, and identifying steps the University can take towards standardizing best-in-class approaches. The long term aim for HKUST is to contribute to the body of practical, transformative actions through our experimentation and leadership by example. A shift of this magnitude will be disruptive throughout all pillars of the economy, society and governance. Because this level of transformation has never been attempted before we must make a conscious effort to refrain from strategies that are isolated, incremental-only, and rooted in the thinking of today. Strengthen Curriculum Modules HKUST will also identify and develop new approaches in teaching, learning, and intellectual exploration to equip our broader community to be active contributors to solving our climate change problems. Immediate priorities include the creation of a Life Cycle Hub and the development of essential skill-building modules, curriculum support, targeted research, and community building. This will support and strengthen policymakers, government officials, business leaders, and members of the community in understanding the critical mind-set changes for transitioning into a circular economy model capable of operating within a net-zero world. The long term aim includes further strengthening curriculum development, experiential learning, and skill-building (e.g. Life Cycle Thinking)
HKUST Sustainability 5 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Anticipated Deliverables Develop a Net-Zero Carbon by 2050 Roadmap (Action Plan) which will include short-term goals and KPIs that are consistent with long-term targets and timelines of HKUST and HKUST(GZ) Support the creation of more ambitious campus research and demonstration programs that can create a proof of concept for various net-zero approaches, policies, and technologies. Identify resource constraints and ensure that actions are properly staffed and resourced Emphasize net-zero carbon goals within triennium Strategic Plans Develop a Life Cycle Hub as the first of several active community collaboration centers that focus on providing resources for sponsored research and training for the broader community in building specific sustainability-minded skillsets (e.g., systems thinking, life cycle analysis, complex problem solving, futures thinking). 1 5 2 3 4 Anticipated Deliverables
HKUST Sustainability 6 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 OVERVIEW Materiality Contents Environment Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks The Sustainability / Net-Zero Office was established to support all members of the HKUST community in meeting our ambitious sustainability goals and targets.
HKUST Sustainability 7 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Energy and GHG Using the baseline year of 2014, exceed the Hong Kong government energy target by reaching a 15% reduction by 2028. Meet or exceed Science-Based Targets trajectory for reducing overall GHG emissions Waste to the Landfill By 2028 reduce waste to the landfill by 75% compared to the 2014 baseline year Water Make substa towards UN Developmen and Sanitatio water consum 500,000 cubi Progress and Performance By 2028, through a combination of reductions and strea 6% Energy Saving by energy reduction efforts and solar contribution 1st University in HK to make a pledge to eliminate investment in fossil fuels Sustainability Education Living lab 6 New Courses added to the Sustainability course inventory, representing 7.8% of the newly offered course 30 Projects are supported in total that are equiv HK$29.6M 94.5% of Graduates have completed at least 1 sustainability course 17 Seed Grant Proj are supported in total that are equiv HK$1.7M 66% of Graduates have completed 2 or more sustainability courses 81 SSC-track Undergraduate Research Opportuni projects are supported Employment of Machine Learning for analyzing SDG content in the course curriculum Honorary Member A International Sustainable Campus N Excellence Award HKUST strives to become a global leader in building a sustainable campus by transforming the environment into a living To bring this into effect, the first sustainability master plan – the HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge – was launched in Building on this success, HKUST is excited to announce the new HKUST 2028 Sustainability Challenge that will continue By 2028 we will have an educational and research framework ensuring that all students gain a solid understanding of sustainability concepts and graduate with the capacity and commitment to solve problems locally and globally. By 2028 w visible onthat contr goals whil researche sustainab 2028 Sustainability Challenges 65 80 25
HKUST Sustainability 8 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 OVERVIEW Materiality Contents Environment Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks antial progress Sustainable nt Goal #6 Clean Water on by limiting potable mption to less than ic meters by 2028 Landscape and Biodiversity Utilize the campus landscape as an active resource for research, sustainability experimentation, and community engagement Community Well-being Establish a framework for measuring the well-being of the campus community, and include specific measures for continuous improvement amlining efforts, we will reduce utilities burdens while creative the conditions for people to thrive. 53% Waste Reduction compared to baseline year 4 Days of Special Leave for staff volunteering work opportunities Building Our Community valent to HK$100M are received for donation to support students to develop smart and sustainable solutions jects valent to Collaboration on SSC Net-Zero Journey: Innovation Challenge by Clearwater Bay and Guangzhou campus ities Program 47,000 Students are engaged across the eight universities in events and promotions Award in 2022 Network Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme was launched to support students to become more sustainable and responsible consumers g laboratory for experiential learning, developing sustainable operations, and building a vibrant and engaged community. n 2015 to establish targets and performance goals in 4 areas of focus: operations, education, community, demonstration. e to expand on the 4 focus areas to become a carbon neutral, zero waste, and net positive environmental impact campus. we will have a campus filled with -site demonstration projects ribute to campus sustainability le showcasing the work of HKUST ers as contributors to solving global bility challenges. By 2028 we will have an engaged community forming a Sustainability Network that serves as a core social backbone to support and advance sustainability actions and policies across departments, schools, and the campus. 60 25
An important indicator of our sustainability performance is the impact we have on our stakeholders. The University actively communicates with stakeholders and solicits their feedback in order to understand how we affect them, the topics that matter most to them, and how we can best cooperate. We have engaged our stakeholders periodically to understand their concerns. Our engagement channels include surveys, websites, events, meetings, focus groups, interviews, publications and social media. 11 Stakeholder Engagement 11-14 Materiality Matrix
HKUST Sustainability 11 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Stakeholder Engagement After conducting materiality survey of 1400 stakeholders, sixteen concerns are listed in the materiality matrix f the y-axis representing the corresponding significance to staff and students. The relative importance of the six Our stakeholders are increasingly concerned about educational material issues, in which 3 out of 4 issues are in top 5 this year (i.e. Quality teaching more prominent this year, with Reduction of waste to landfill and Climate change and energy consumption attracting the most concern. Still, decisio Well-being consistently feature among the most material impacts for both stakeholders and decision makers. HKUST is committed to uphold and concerned issues by our stakeholders. Materiality Matrix 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 5.0 12 13 14 15 9 7 6 1 3.2 3.4 3.6 3.8 4.0 Decision Makers Stakeholders
HKUST Sustainability 12 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview MATERIALITY Contents Environment Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks for HKUST development, with the x-axis representing the significance to decision makers (UAC members), and xteen concerns is determined by aggregating the scores given by decision makers, staff, and students. and education; Academic freedom and integrity; Experiential and hands-on learning). For our decision makers, environmental issues have become on makers are also concerned about other educational issues like Quality teaching and education, and Academic freedom and integrity. Community d focus on the core values of academic freedom within the university, as the University is strongly aware that academic freedom is one of the most 16 8 10 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 2 3 4 5 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 5.0 Climate Change and Energy Consumption Reduction of Waste to Landfill Community Well-being Academic Freedom and Integrity Quality Teaching and Education Sustainable Smart Campus as A Living Lab Water Conservation Experiential and Hands-on Learning Occupation Health and Safety F.E.D.I Efficiency of University Service Incorporation of Un’s Sdgs in Decision Making Biodiversity of Campus Landscape Data-driven Management Responsible Consumption Community Outreach and Engagement
HKUST Sustainability 13 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 We recognize that all issues listed in the matrix are relevant to the University, so placement on less important in both axes does not mean that they will be ignored. Instead, it should be seen as a reminder that there should be more additional measures to raise awareness of their significance. Material Issues Description Relevance to SDGs ESG Focus Area Climate Change and Energy Consumption Practices that help to reduce greenhouse gases through energy efficiency and renewables. Goals 7 & 13 Water Conservation Practices that aim to use water efficiently and reduce unnecessary water wastage. Goal 8 Reduction of Waste to Landfill Practices that help to reduce the amount of trash that goes to the landfill. Goal 12 Biodiversity of Campus Landscape Practices that help protect the variety of animal and plant species on our campus. Goal 15 Community Well-Being An effort to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all HKUST members. Goal 3 Community Outreach and Engagement An effort to support program development, communications and creative work for and with the HKUST community. Goal 17 Fairness, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (F.E.D.I) An effort to integrate Fairness, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion into the university. Goal 10 Responsible Consumption Practices that take into account socio-economic and socio-environmental criteria during the purchasing process. Goal 12
HKUST Sustainability 14 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview MATERIALITY Contents Environment Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Energy Drivers People Material Issues Description Relevance to SDGs ESG Focus Area Data-driven Management Practices that value management decisions that are supported by relevant and verifiable data and ensure data privacy. (E.g.: disclosing performance and financial data, checking on the regular performance of University's Suppliers) Goal 16 Incorporation of UN’s SDGs in Decision Making Practices that take into account the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals when considering how to meet the university's needs. (E.g.: addresses 17 SDGs) Goal 17 Occupational Health and Safety An effort to adhere to "best in class" occupational safety and health principles in operations, research, and campus activities. (E.g.: occupational health and medical surveillance program by HSEO, safety trainings for students and staff) Goal 3 Efficiency of University Service Improving and innovating university community services that bring positive impacts to stakeholders. (E.g.: medical clinic reservations, digital transformation, IT support, counselling) Goal 8 Quality Teaching & Education An emphasis on facilitating a teaching and learning environment that develops meaningful pedagogical experiences for students, which includes providing diversified courses, inspiring innovation and creativity, and embracing inclusiveness, diversity, and respect. Goal 4 Experiential and Hands-On Learning An emphasis on a hands-on approach to learning that maximizes interactive teaching methodologies to build skills and create memorable experiences, including extracurricular activities, experiments, student societies, and competitions. Goal 4 Academic Freedom & Integrity An emphasis on protecting the freedom to teach, study and conduct research without unreasonable interference from public pressure. Goal 16 Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab Practices that aim to transform our campus into a platform for learning, experimenting, and showcasing smart new ideas and approaches that produce sustainable outcomes. Goal 17 Natural Resources Sustainability Initiatives Water
Global warming is urging the community to take action to have an environmentally conscious approach to addressing climate change. HKUST reflects this approach by acting as a pioneer in shaping a university into an environmentfriendly campus, building a considerate future for the upcoming generations. We value the importance of the environment, so proactive measurements of risks and opportunities are necessary, which can help us to transit to a low-carbon economy. 17-21 Energy 23-24 Water 25 Natural Resources 26 Physical Presence 27-28 Pollution 29-30 Waste
HKUST Sustainability 17 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 100 95 90 85 80 93 5.89 0.28 0.37 0.20 0.22 0.22 0.23 0.21 0.18 7.23 6.58 5.67 6.12 4.50 4.70 5.10 93 96 94 90 90 87 88 Million kWh Electricty Town gas Liquid Fuels/Diesels 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Energy Based on our strong conviction that energy is at the heart of many of Sustainable Development Goals, HKUST is committed to managing environmental footprints and integrating low-carbon measures into operations to avert the worst effects of a warming planet. Moreover, HKUST is striving to lessen its contribution to the demand for fossil fuels and the corresponsing emissions by responding and addressing energy usage from non-renewable sources. Due to the gradual return to normal operations and the construction of 3 new buildings, Global Graduate Tower, Water Sport Centre, and Shaw Auditorium on campus, HKUST’s energy consumption in the 2021-2022 academic year increased by 2% from the level in the previous year. Electricity is the main source of energy in HKUST (94% of total energy comes from electricity), it serves well as an indicator of how well we are preforming in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Over the past year, there was a 2% increase in electricity consumption, which became the major driver of the overall energy consumption. Town gas, which is mainly used for cooking at canteens and domestic hot water in residence halls and staff quarters, accounts for 5% of the total energy usage. The remainder of campus energy comes from liquid fuels for standby generators (stationery diesel) and transportation vehicles such as diesel and unleaded petrol. Energy Consumption Overview Total Energy Consumption at HKUST over the Years
Student Housing 6.17% Conference Lodge 1.13% Staff Quarter Common Area 0.98% Cheng Yu Tung Building 5.02% Main Chiller Plant 17.96% LSK Chiller Plant 1.79% Main Acadm Buildi ic ng 58.18% LSK Building 3.00% IAS Building 0.70% Staff Quarters & Commercial Outlet 9.07% HKUST Sustainability 18 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Electricity Consumption Distribution in HKUST in 2021/22 Academic Year Overall Consumption 89,692,408 kWh Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks
HKUST Sustainability 19 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Energy Reduction Measures Smart Lighting for Common Areas HKUST is applying the built-in sensor LED tubes into existing luminaries that allow gradual dimming performance, which will help save 80% of lighting power and 300,000 units (kWh) of electricity per annum. The Campus Management Office has also upgraded a total of 3,500 sets of lightings in various locations around the campus. Lift Modernization Old lift is modernized into new energy efficient lift with improved lighting and ventilation. It is equipped with additional safety devices and enhanced lift control system to elevate safety standard. Chiller Replacement Project Old chiller is being replaced by a new chiller that has a higher coefficient of performance and a lower global warming potential. It is estimated to save 1.2 million units (kWh) of energy per annum. Continuous Incremental Improvements* HKUST is aiming to reach a 15% reduction of energy using the baseline of 2014, which will exceed the Hong Kong Government energy target, by 2028. The University is aware that this is a challenging goal, considering the expansion of campus footprint in terms of population and new buildings. HKUST has actively conducted different projects that contribute to energy savings that can potentially improve energy use efficiency.
HKUST Sustainability 20 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Smart Thermostats Smart Thermostats are installed to control local air-conditioning and lighting, and are expected to save power during no-occupancy period. Wireless Energy Meters Installation 1,000 wireless energy meters were installed, which can collect all the existing and new meters’ figures. In the future, all utilities, such as gas, potable water, will be recorded in the system. Wind Stations IoT sensors are installed throughout the campus locations to study the microclimate of different parts of the campus, and use the data to estimate the wind performance throughout the year. The design of future wind turbines will be based on those data. Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) Application FDD monitors the building service systems’ performance and energy consumption by measuring it against optimal performance guidelines and its own baseline. It monitors various parameters, such as temperature set points, humidity level, and general regular report, which can save 1.5% of energy consumption by alerting if a fault is detected. Continuous Commissioning**
HKUST Sustainability 21 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Step Change Measure*** In addition to energy reduction measures, HKUST is striving to reduce energy consumption by investing in renewable energy sources. Solar PV project has been our main source of renewable energy generation. With over 6,000 panels installed in different locations, we are in the process of conducting phase 2 solar project, which is a feasibility study on extending the coverage of solar panels. The finished project is expected to generate up to 3 million units (kWh) of electricity each year. By taking account into solar contribution to the energy reduction efforts, the energy saving performance was lifted from 4% to 6%. In the coming years, we will also take active actions to ensure GHG emissions mitigation and explore more renewable alternatives (*) Focus on replacement of existing equiment with more efficient equipment. (**) Focus on expanding meters, sensors, and other smart technologies to monitor conditions and identify problem spots for correction, which will improve efficiency based on occupancy and user needs. (***) Focus on big projects that have the capacity to reduce energy consumption by 1% or more. HKUST has adopted a BEAM Plus Platinum threshold for new buildings or renovations over $25 million; however, we recognize that they are still net-increases to footprint of the University. Renewable Energy Generation, in Comparison to the Electricity Consumption, in 2021/22 Academic Year -6% 97,100,000 95,100,000 93,100,000 91,100,000 89,100,000 87,100,000 85,100,000 83,100,000 81,100,000 79,100,000 (kWh) 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Baseline Consumption New 15% Saving Target by 2027/28 Total Saving Performance
HKUST Sustainability 22 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Solar Energy Generated Jun 2020 281265 Dec 2020 1229018 Jun 2021 1838203 Dec 2021 2144254 Jun 2022 2262811 (kWh) 2,500,000 500,000 0 1,500,000 2,000,000 1,000,000
HKUST Sustainability 23 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Water Consumption Overview in 2021/22 Water Consumption Breakdown 2021/22 Water consumption in the 2021-2022 academic year increased by 10.5% from the level in the previous year. In this academic year, HKUST consumed approximately 375 million litres of water, which is equivalent to nearly 150 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Of all buildings in HKUST, the main academic buildings, canteen and commercial buildings, and student housings have the most water consumption proportion, which is 31%, 22%, and 14%, respectively. Compared to the prior academic year, the water consumption in main academic buildings increased by 43%. This notable increase happened due to the face-to-face course resumption and operation of cooling towers on the library rooftop. Also, compared to the prior academic year, HKUST experienced a 17% increase in water consumption per capita, which was approximately 20 m3 of water consumption equivalent to 40,000 bottles of water. 500K 450K 400K 350K 300K 250K 200K 150K 100K 50K 0K Cublic Meter Canteen & Comm... Cheng Yu Tung Building Conference Lodge LSK Campus Main Academic Building Public facilities in ca... Staff Quarters Student Housing Location 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Water Responsible use of water is crucial but also a challenging issue to the HKUST community. While water is a fundamental source of energy that living organisms need for survival, there is an ongoing water crisis in economies and societies. To cope with this issue, we understand the significance of providing sufficient water availability to the community and transforming our water management systems to reduce total water consumption.
HKUST Sustainability 24 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Water Use is Environmentally Responsible and Socially Equitable HKUST is committed to reducing water consumption after setting the HKUST 2020 Sustainability Goal in 2014 and aiming to achieve the 2028 Sustainability Goals. Due to the water consumption increase in the previous years, HKUST has been actively conducted different feasible projects to implement various policies. For example, implementing a system that connects condensation water from PAU to the cooling tower for water reuse, installing shower water saver system in student halls that shows colour change based on the showered time for behavioral change, and operating landscape pilot water irrigation project to test water-saving measures, is anticipated to achieve water consumption reduction. Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks
HKUST Sustainability 25 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Natural Resources are Managed to Respect the Welfare of Ecosystems, People, and Animals HKUST is on the shores of Clear Water Bay, which has a rich biodiverse ecosystem. To minimize any possible adverse impacts on biodiversity, we are determined to manage and protect our natural ecosystem. To achieve such a goal, we introduced a new sustainable landscape strategy that covers various locations in HKUST. Regarding pond and water features, we maintain and revitalize Chinese garden pond at peak quality, preserving locally adapted plants. A landscape performance contract engages a contractor to ensure meeting all performance goals to reach the incentive benchmark. Through bi-monthly meetings, we encourage active engagement of contractors and ensure incentives for frontline workers for improving the landscape. We are also planning to create a biodiversity map that shows an interactive campus map with flora and fauna. The importance of having smart consumer behavior for a sustainable future is essential. HKUST introduced the University’s Sustainability Guidelines to encourage university offices to include sustainability practices that help to minimize negative environmental effects. One of the guidelines is Green Office Purchasing Guideline which gives recommendations to offices for purchasing eco-friendly appliances, equipment, supplies, and stationery products. Such purchased products by every department must meet certain corresponding standard. These will enhance the consciousness of the university community’s sustainable consuming behavior. We are committed to establishing a sustainable campus environment by expanding the community to contractors as well. This expansion would urge them to sustainably use resources and build a healthy environment. We are not only internally focused on protecting our ecosystem since nature is shared with larger stakeholders. HKUST will have the same expectations as contractors regarding the requirements that we have established. With the understanding of the importance of education on natural resources, HKUST is actively developing biodiversity education with Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department for high school students on ocean science. We are organizing many programs such as bee ambassador and building a community garden to raise awareness of maintaining the ecosystem and biodiversity. HKUST also invites talks from Hong Kong Jockey Club to discuss methods and policies to reduce marine pollution. Natural Resources As climate change progresses, biodiversity loss is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Deterioration of the environment and depletion of natural resources are complex problems that require immediate solutions. Considering our dependency on biodiversity, HKUST is committed to protecting our ecosystem and managing natural resources for a sustainable and prosperous future.
HKUST Sustainability 26 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks High Performance Building Standards are established to ensure HKUST buildings and surroundings are complemented to the learning environment. Design principles such as flexibility in spaces, future energy opportunities, and monitoring are implemented in the guidelines. The standards will mandate digital design tools that allow simultaneous considerations of numerous site parameters, including terrain levels, solar radiation, sightlines, soil conditions, and natural light levels. Contractors must include project targets, key performance indicators, and detailed site environmental management tools. HKUST has adopted the Platinum Standard of Performance under the HK-Beam Plus system as the minimum level to be achieved for all new buildings and renovations. One of the newly built buildings, the Shaw Auditorium has achieved Platinum level by HKGBC Beam Plus. It has green features in energy and water use and site and material aspects. To reduce electric consumption and create a sustainable mindset among residents, HKUST built Global Graduate Tower. Installments of advanced technologies to monitor student hall energy consumption, an efficient online payment system, and smart meters to record the room’s energy use have resulted in 60% lower energy consumption. More projects and schemes are going to be followed for smart energy use. Operations do not Encroach on Ecosystems or Communities Physical Presence HKUST is determined to create a sustainable smart campus where buildings cause less damage to the surroundings and ecosystems are restored. It is important to prioritize the environment and ensure that our physical presence protects the health of ecosystems and communities. Developing strategies for minimizing effects on stakeholders, maintaining a natural setting as much as possible, and restoring areas of high social or cultural value are considered when developing policy measures.
HKUST Sustainability 27 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Greenhouse gas emissions in the 2021-2022 academic year have increased by 7% compared to that of the prior year. In this academic year, HKUST emitted about 36,252 metric tons of CO2 equivalent from Scope 1 and 2. All scope fields are increasing to some degree, and Scope 2 marks the highest amount of increase, which was by 7%. Such an increase happened due to an increase in electricity consumption. In this academic year, the University consumed approximately 89.6 million kWh of electricity, which is a 1.5% increase from that of the prior year. Since HKUST’s main energy consumption source is electricity, such an increase has increased our greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to the baseline year, we have saved 151,368 trees from the energy consumption reduction. Greenhouse Gases Emissions Overview in 2021-22 Pollution Economic activities have brought global challenges in the depletion of climate and environment. Increased greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in the pollution that affects the whole ecosystem. HKUST strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere and contributes to sustainability goals. We are determined to establish sustainability-related plans and mitigate our GHG emissions impact.
60K 55K 50K 45K 40K 35K 30K 25K 20K 15K 10K 5K 0K 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Metric Tons of CO2E Per Capita/GFA 1,765 1,720 2,537 2,565 2,723 3.044 3.225 3.741 1.293 1.117 1.037 0.952 0.922 0.871 0.602 0.627 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Metric Tons of CO2 Emissions per Capita Emissions per GFA Tons of CO2 HKUST Sustainability 28 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks We are committed to meeting Hong Kong’s net-zero plan by 2050, and we are obliged to follow Hong Kong’s Air Pollution Control Ordinance Law Act. With the help of our Health, Safety, and Environmental Office (HSEO), we comply with the Ordinance to evaluate air emissions and define the level of danger. Emissions that are determined harmful will be addressed and further prevent potential detrimental effects to the related stakeholders. Graph: Scope 1 & 2 GHG Emissions Trend Operational Emissions Do Not Harm People or Environment
3500K 3000K 2500K 2000K 1500K 1000K 500K 0K Kg Paper Glass Metal Plastic Food Waste Animal Bedding Landscape Wood Electrical A Other Landfill 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 HKUST Sustainability 29 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 HKUST’s Waste and Recyclables Generation in the 2021-22 Academic Year In the 2021-22 academic year, HKUST’s waste generation to the landfill increased by 8% due to the gradual reopening of face-toface classes and activities. However, this figure is nearly 53% less compared to that of the base year in 2014. This reduction was achieved through continuously increased recycling over the past few years. HKUST has been recycling 15 types of recyclables including paper, plastic, metal, wood, polyfoam, animal bedding, and landscape waste. Due to such efforts, HKUST met the 2020 Challenge target of eliminating 50% of the baseline amount of waste to the landfill. In the HKUST 2028 Sustainability Target, we are now aiming for diverting 75% of waste away from landfills. Based on the table below, although the amount of waste in landfill increased slightly compared to that of the previous year, the number of total recyclables and compostables increased from 1,031 tons to 1,120 tons. This accounts for more than tenfold that of` the baseline year. The waste diversion rate stands at 41.5%, which is roughly similar to last year. Waste Generation Overview in 2021/2022 Waste There is an urgent need to protect the HKUST community from increasing waste and develop the world into a more sustainable circular economy. Various types of waste such as plastics, e-waste, and food waste pollute our ecosystem and affect our health. To prevent emissions of harmful substances from waste, we urge the community to take initiatives in responsible resource use behaviors, increase the use of recycled content, and keep use of the reuse, repair, and recycling programs.
HKUST Sustainability 30 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents ENVIRONMENT Social/People Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks HKUST is committed to rethink and explore new was to implement new policies for sustainability matters. Currently, the University has established a committee for preparing to implement waste charging policy in the whole university. This committee is also discussing the timeline for the pilot scheme, as well as the possibility of phasing out the trash bin. At the same time, the University will continue to digitalize all administrative procedures by reducing the use of papers and promoting the use of digital forms. Increase of Circular Economy HKUST students have continuously organized many sessions of food donation throughout the year, to collect unused food for a better use. At the same time, REMAKE, a student organization, regularly organizes repair sessions to help university members repair their devices as well as promoting good use of electronic devices. In order to reduce the food waste and use of paper straw in all campus caterings, HKUST Campus Services Office has implemented no straw – less rice which will pay back $1 for less rice option and discourage the use of straw. At the same time, HKUST also implements waste data collection in all departments to track the amount of waste that they are releasing through a QR code system. This will allow facilities team to collect real waste data, identify problems immediately when arising, and consequently reduce the amount of waste on campus. Operational Waste is Eliminated RETHINK REPAIR REDUCE
The home of talents from many different cultural and educational backgrounds, HKUST strives to reflect our respect for human rights, diversity, inclusion, and public health safety in the community. Our people have been an integral part of our 30 years of success, so our goal is to value differences and enable our people to achieve personal and professional development. Despite challenging circumstances, HKUST continues to deliver excellence to students and staff members. 33-34 Community Health is Safeguarded 35 Financial Demands and Assistance are Met 36 Employee Concerns are Actively Solicited, Impartially Judged, and Transparently Addressed
HKUST Sustainability 33 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Community Health is Safeguarded Anti-Discrimination HKUST is committed to ensuring a safe, positive, and pleasant environment for the community. The University does not in any way condone, nor tolerate, any form of sexual harassment. The University has a sound protocol for the complaint procedures and urges individuals to fully utilize such. Should one however consider it necessary, one may choose to lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission or perhaps take legal action in the district court. The University is committed to creating and promoting environment that provides equal opportunity and is free of discrimination and harassment. There is a non-discriminatory admissions policy where equal opportunities are provided to the candidates in the admissions process. Also, the Gender Discrimination Committee of the University has been taking the lead to raise awareness of gender discrimination and maintain an environment that is zero tolerance for sexual harassment. Fairness HKUST abides by the Employment of Children Regulations, made under the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57), which prohibits the employment of children in industrial undertakings and regulates the employment of children in non-industrial establishments, so as not to interfere with their schooling. The SEN (Special Educational Needs) Support under the Counselling and Wellness Center ensures that all students have equality of opportunity, that they benefit equally from university life, and that a campus culture of inclusion is cultivated. Global Graduate Tower (GGT) has purpose-designed bedrooms for students with physical disabilities. The room is equipped with height-adjustable furniture, an automatic door, and motion-sensing switches for light and air-conditioning. Due to the promotion of secured breastfeeding by UNICEF and the Department of Health of HKSAR Government, HKUST’s Mothers’ Station was established to provide mothers with a comfortable and convenient environment for breast milk pumping. Health Outreach Program Counseling Centre provides all-year-round counseling services and workshops to HKUST staff and students while in the progress of curating an online-interactive platform for HKUST members to utilize and communicate with other members or professional counseling personnel. There are several health outreach programmes in the community to participate in. These include meeting with therapy dogs to enhance physical, emotional and psychological aspects, a 30km or 100km virtual run for a healthy lifestyle, and working with Haven of Hope Christian Service (HOHCS) for healthy aging research. Nutrition At HKUST, all the food outlets display the calorie information on the purchase display boards. Also, there are food outlets near all academic buildings at HKUST serving vegan and vegetarian options. Moreover, sustainable food and beverage consultant, Food Made Good HK, is working with HKUST to deliver a comprehensive sustainability programme for participating outlets. Free drinking water is also provided to the community. It has launched a campaign to become a disposable bottled water-free campus. HKUST aims to eliminate the use of one-time-use plastic water bottles by providing safe water supplies through constant monitoring done by the HSEO and government. Smoke-Free Policy HKUST is a non-smoking campus. Any person who smokes or carries a lighted tobacco product in a statutory non-smoking area will be fined up to HK$1,500.
HKUST Sustainability 34 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents Environment SOCIAL/PEOPLE Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Physical Activity HKUST has a large indoor sports hall of 1,600 square meters of floor space for badminton, basketball, volleyball, and handball. We also have outdoor sports facilities including an artificial turf soccer pitch, a 400-meter track with 8 lanes, a hard-surface mini-soccer pitch, a basketball court, a lawn area, and tennis courts. Furthermore, a 50-meter outdoor pool and a 25-meter indoor pool are available for swimming and aquatic activities. Physical Safety HSEO provides an occupational health and medical surveillance program that meets regulatory requirements and professional standards to ensure a safe work environment for employees. Physical examinations are coordinated to assure employees are suited to their work. In addition, HSEO has an updated safety and environmental protection manual that is used to handle different types of emergencies such as engineering and chemical safety. HKUST provides workshops to aid sexual and reproductive health care services for students. Such workshops help students to learn practical ways to handle the traumatic experience. It would also introduce ways to cultivate resilience and well-being through the lens of psychology. When non-local students arrive in Hong Kong, they are new to the living environment. This can cause various both physical and mental difficulties. To cope with such stress, there is a Non-Local Student Guide for staying safe that elaborates aspects on general safety, lab safety, emergencies, sexual assault/ harassment, weather warnings, and terrorism. Sexual Harassment Control Mechanism Members of the HKUST community who feel infringed by members of the University are strongly encouraged to speak up and report incidents of sexual harassment through the University’s established procedures, where the incidents would be investigated, guided, or given advice by designated officers, Gender Equity Officer or Gender Discrimination Committee. The incidents of sexual harassment could be resolved through Informal Resolution and Mediation. A series of hearing procedures would be initiated if the incidents could not be resolved. On the education side, workshops and seminars on sexual harassment and anti-discrimination issues are offered to staff members and students by the Human Resources Office and the Dean of Students Office respectively. Working Environment The HKUST Staff Association was established with 3 missions, which are promoting social, cultural, and recreational activities among staff members of the University, protecting the welfare of HKUST staff, and acting as a communication link between the University and its staff members. To promote sustainable commuting, HKUST offers shuttle bus services for students and staff. The workfrom-home arrangement is also taking place regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic for a more efficient, focused, and comfortable working environment. There is Bring Your Kids to Work Day, which is a great opportunity to let the staffs’ children explore the working world while showcasing the work life and work ethic to the next generation. Fun and enriching kids activities for little ones would be provided. The University recognizes the benefits of volunteering service to both the community and the volunteer. The provision of paid special leave offers an opportunity for staff members to contribute to the community and for personal development through volunteering service during normal work time. Staff members who wish to participate in volunteering services in Hong Kong that are organized or recognized by the University may apply for Special Leave. Employees receive support for their time loss through protection from the Employment Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282). This ordinance applies to situations where an employee, during employment, suffers injury or damages. Protection includes nofault compensation, where an employee is entitled to compensation without needing to prove the fault of any party. Staff is given appropriate periods of leave from work accommodation. Appointees will be entitled to certain days of annual leave based on their positions in Salary Bands under the Grading and Salary Structure. Also, sick leave and maternity leave will be provided in compliance with the Employment Ordinance in Hong Kong and under the University’s prevailing policies and regulations.
HKUST Sustainability 35 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Financial Demands and Assistance are Met Employees’ Living Wage All employees at the university are guaranteed to be paid at least a living wage. While a living wage is defined as a wage sufficient to cover all living expenses without assistance from others, the statutory minimum wage is lower and does not provide a take-home wage that is sufficient for meeting basic needs. HKUST evaluates all of the contract workers including security, landscape, cleaning, and food services. New contracts for security, cleaning, and landscape now include a provision that their contract employees must be paid a living wage. Financial Assistance for Students Scholarships and Financial Aid Office has financial assistance services for students who are unable to obtain adequate assistance provided by the Government. After consideration of the individual’s family financial condition and completion of the means-tested review, a bursary and/or non-interest loan would be offered to successful applicants. First Generation WeCan Scholarship Scheme helps students to pursue first-degree courses in the eight UGC-funded universities and The Hong Kong Academy. After the award of the WeCan Scholarship, the alumni family are invited to participate in volunteering activities under WeCan and community services to give back to the WeCan and society. Career-Building Support HKUST Alumni launched the HKUST United Program to support students to offer career advice, start-up support, and job or internship opportunities. Also, under the HKUST Entrepreneurship Program, a package of support and services will be provided to support start-up companies. Local Start-up Assistance HKUST provides services and support to local start-ups and students. Targeting local start-ups, the service provides HKUST office space and a certain amount of funds. Targeting students, there is a mentorship program by alumni to offer career advice, start-up support, and job opportunities. HKUST recognizes the importance of fulfillment of financial demand and assistance to staff and students. Adequate financial demand and assistance are required for the community to take the next leap forward. We provide a fair wage standard for the staff and a stable financial condition for the students.
HKUST Sustainability 36 Environment Social and Governance Report 2021-22 Overview Materiality Contents Environment SOCIAL/PEOPLE Governance/ Driver Sustainability Initiatives ESG Frameworks Employee Concerns are Actively Solicited, Impartially Judged, and Transparently Addressed Grievance Procedures Grievance procedures are developed to provide relevant employment-related grievances that can be reviewed in an impartial, orderly, and timely manner. Staff Grievance in the employee handbook provides clear guidance on grievances and disciplinary practices. Whistleblowing Policy A whistleblowing mechanism is in place to enable all stakeholders of the University to raise concerns with the appropriate University authorities against any malpractice within the University. The University adheres Whistle-blowing Policy to ensure University members can raise concerns confidentially and do not tolerate any retaliation against whistle-blowers.ebookshelf.ust.hk