SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING15 Mar 2024
The Hong Kong Green Building Council’s “Advancing Net Zero: Latest Developments Symposium” Embraced By Industry Leaders
Views: 611

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) announced the official launch of the new chapter on “Carbon Offsets for Hong Kong’s Built Environment” in the “HKGBC Climate Change Framework For Built Environment (Framework) Version Two” and the introduction of the “Net Zero Energy Building Certificate” on 11 March 2024.

The HKGBC co-organised “Advancing Net Zero: Latest Developments Symposium” with BEAM Society Limited and Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) in a hybrid format on 11 March, and issued 36 certificates to 9 developers, property management companies and government department in the second batch of Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme. The event brought together about 800 industry leaders and experts to exchange their valuable insights on the symbiotic collaboration between green building and green finance, and to drive the building industry towards green future with its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The event was graced by honoured officiating guests and guest speakers, including Mr Joseph CHAN Ho-lim, JP, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, The Government of the HKSAR, Dr CHEUNG Tin-cheung, SBS, Chairman of the HKGBC, Ir Dr Cary CHAN Wing-hong, JP, Executive Director of the HKGBC, Ms Pooja CHANGANI, Manager, Member Relations Asia-Pacific, GRESB, Ir HO Chi-shing, General Manager, BEAM Society Limited, and Ir PAN Shu-jie, Chairman of the Sustainable Development Committee of the HKGBC.

Since its launch in June last year, the “HKGBC Climate Change Framework For Built Environment” has accumulated over 13,000 downloads from 54 regions across the globe, proving its worldwide recognition and international impact among the industry. Being part of the Framework, the “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification” pilot scheme launched in September last year has received widespread support from the industry. Under the second batch of certified buildings, a total of 36 certificates were issued to 9 developers, property management companies and government department, representing a 24 percent increase over the previous batch. Corporations and organisations of different sizes are determined to participate in the scheme, including CITIC Tower Property Management Company Limited, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), Goodwill Management Limited, Hysan Development Company Limited, Kai Shing Management Services Limited, New World Development Company Limited, Shui On Centre Company Limited, Sino Estates Management Limited and Swire Properties Limited. Since the launch of the certification scheme, a total of 65 certificates involved 12 developers, property management companies and government department have been issued, demonstrating the strong demand for the certification scheme in the industry.

Recording an enthusiastic participation, renowned developers actively engaged and embraced the scheme within the past 6 months. Hysan Development Company Limited and Swire Properties Limited secured additional certificates, bringing their total to 9 and 17 buildings respectively, ensuring accreditation for all of Hysan’s office and retail buildings and Swire Properties being now the property developer with the most buildings accredited.

Sino Estates Management Limited also obtained certificates with a total of 15 buildings. The second batch also marked the inaugural participation of the government sector, with the EMSD Headquarters joining the scheme, this expansion highlights the support from the Government and the growing recognition of the scheme.

Dr CHEUNG Tin-cheung, SBS, Chairman of the HKGBC, remarked, “Today’s symposium not only marks a significant milestone in sharing our progress towards addressing climate challenges, but it also serves as a platform for interdisciplinary experts to come together and envision a sustainable future. It is crucial that we proactively incorporate sustainable practices into our building and construction activities. We acknowledge that this is a complex and challenging task, but we must remain steadfast in our pursuit of innovative solutions, forge partnerships, and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Follow with the success of the “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme”, the HKGBC was pleased to release a new chapter on “Carbon Offsets for Hong Kong’s Built Environment” of the Framework Version Two and the “Net Zero Energy Building Certification” in the event. Ir Dr Cary CHAN Wing-hong, JP, Executive Director of the HKGBC, said, “Residual carbon emissions are hard-to-abate, a general guidance on carbon offsets for the industry to select the carbon offsets approach based on best practices, international standards is needed. The launch of the chapter on Carbon Offsets and the introduction of the ‘Net Zero Energy Building Certificate’ indicates the strong demand and dedication from the industry. As part of the Framework, the certification empowers stakeholders to establish energy performance benchmarks, set zero-carbon-ready targets and justify projects for green financing. It is not only encouraging the industry to achieve carbon neutrality, but also serves as a valuable guide in exploring green financing opportunities.”

Notably, Ir HO Chi-shing, General Manager of BEAM Society Limited and Ms Pooja CHANGANI, Manager, Member Relations Asia-Pacific of GRESB highlighted in their speeches that the “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme” has been officially incorporated into both BEAM Plus and the GRESB as a recognised green building assessment tool, proving the certification’s significant recognition and acceptance, both at the local and international levels. The collaboration between green building and green finance in fact is crucial to driving decarbonisation within the construction sector. BEAM Plus, the “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme” and the newly introduced “Net Zero Building Certification Scheme” have been incorporated into the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s discussion paper on the Hong Kong Green Taxonomy Framework, which demonstrates how certification can facilitate companies’ access to green finance, enabling them to raise capital and drive advancement.

Ir PAN Shu-jie, Director and Sustainable Development Committee Chairman for the HKGBC, said, “Today’s discussions have highlighted the values and impacts of green building assessment and the crucial role of the finance sector in supporting sustainable building projects, such as energy-efficient retrofits and the adoption of renewable energy solutions. It marks a significant milestone in fostering collaborations across sectors, accelerating our progress towards carbon neutrality by 2050.”

In line with the development of the Framework, the Council has been providing professional training to the industry. Since November last year, the Council has been offering Energy Assessor training courses on “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme” and “Net Zero Building Certification Scheme”. The qualification enables assessors to provide a detailed and independent assessment and accreditation service for certification scheme applications based on the data and information of the building’s energy system, and so far over 120 professionals have successfully completed the course, further strengthening the pool of qualified assessors in the industry.