Continuing our Sustainability Efforts amid the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the aviation industry, and the future pathway for recovery remains unsure. Despite the uncertainty, AAHK remains committed to the long-term vision of transforming Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) from a city airport into an Airport City. The expansion of HKIA into a Three-runway System (3RS) is a key component of the vision, with a planned schedule to start operating the third runway in 2022 and commission the 3RS in 2024. Our commitment to becoming the world's greenest airport means that sustainability is embedded into every aspect of HKIA's operation and development, including the 3RS project. These include:
  • Sustainable design and construction - the third runway airfield and associated works have achieved an "Excellent" score, the highest rating possible in the well-respected Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Awards Scheme (CEEQUAL) sustainability performance assessment scheme for Interim Client and Design Award, with our Terminal 2 expansion work achieving a leading "Provisional Platinum" rating under the Green Building Council's BEAM Plus Provisional Assessment. In December 2020, the Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) Works for the 3RS Project has won the Silver Award in the Project Owner (Public Sector) category in the Construction Industry Council (CIC) Sustainable Construction Award 2020. The 3RS was the first marine project in Hong Kong to apply DCM, and it has now been established as the new, non-dredged ground improvement method used for other reclamation works in Hong Kong.
  • Marine environment conservation - in addition to the Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund and the Fisheries Enhancement Fund set up in late 2016, we also support other marine ecology and fisheries enhancement measures in Lantau waters on a voluntary basis, for example, eco-enhancement of seawall design. Designs have been completed for different eco-enhanced seawall blocks, with the first batch of sloping and vertical seawall units now installed. These incorporate rough surfaces and different-shaped indentations intended to facilitate and promote colonisation of marine organisms that live on the seawall and microhabitat complexity.
Meanwhile, we continue to implement other airport-wide environmental initiatives, many of which involve engaging with airport business partners (BPs) and tenants to drive improved environmental performance across HKIA. One initiative involving the BPs is our third party monitoring (TPM) programme and this is highlighted in the "Spotlight" section below. We also engage our BPs in HKIA carbon reduction and food waste collection programmes. All these collaborations collectively help reduce the HKIA's environmental footprint.
Peter Lee
General Manager, Sustainability
Airport Authority Hong Kong

Enhanced Monitoring of HKIA's Environmental Performance

Since 2019, AAHK has implemented a third party monitoring (TPM) programme to increase the visibility of how its supply chain complies with AAHK's environmental requirements in contracts and other agreements, and to drive continuous improvement. Vincent Fok, Assistant Manager, Sustainability of AAHK, the Project Manager of TPM programme will share more with us

Q: What is TPM?

TPM is an airport-wide environmental monitoring programme which aims to establish a consistent approach to monitoring the environmental performance of our business partners (BPs). The programme includes standardising the environmental clauses in contracts, reviewing BPs' Environmental Management Plans and conducting environmental inspections and it enables us to have a greater oversight of the environmental performance of BPs and HKIA as a whole.

Q: How does the programme contribute to AAHK's Greenest Airport Pledge?

This programme provides a framework and a consistent approach for us to guide and engage with our BPs to minimise the environmental impacts related to their operations and ensure the implementation of mitigation and improvement measures. Through a regular and systematic environmental monitoring inspection process, the whole airport community is together contributing to achieving the environmental goals set by AAHK in pursuit of our Greenest Airport Pledge.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the implementation of the programme? What special arrangements have been made to facilitate the on-going monitoring process?

In order to reduce social gathering throughout the outbreak and to continue the programme with as little interruption as possible, we have changed the face-to-face and on-site environmental inspections to virtual and remote format by holding tele-conferences or online meetings with BPs, and asking them to provide photos and videos as evidence of their environmental practices. We are thankful for the full support and co-operation from our BPs as well as all of AAHK's departments who are involved in this programme which helps us to drive our environmental efforts forward during these difficult times. We have completed over 30 "virtual" environmental inspections between July and October 2020.
Business photo created by jcomp -
Evolving Sustainability Disclosure Frameworks

Employees, customers, investors, and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding more transparency from companies on their sustainability performance. At the same time, the landscape for sustainability disclosure is rapidly changing to address emerging environmental and social risks and issues. There is also increasing expectation from regulatory bodies and financial institutions that sustainability risks are better addressed in an organisation's corporate governance and business strategy. Here is a snapshot of the latest developments of key local and international disclosure frameworks.  

HKEX Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide (ESG Guide)
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited published an updated ESG Guide for Hong Kong-listed companies with an aim of promoting the quality of ESG performance and reporting. The changes, which take effect for financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2020, include a board statement setting out the board's consideration of ESG matters, disclosure of significant climate-related issues, upgrading the disclosure obligation of all "Social" key performance indicators to "comply or explain", and shortening the deadline for publication of ESG reports to within five months after the financial year-end.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

To keep the GRI Standards relevant and up to date, the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) regularly reviews existing GRI Standards and develops new ones. A major update currently underway includes the review of the Universal Standards to improve the quality and consistency of reporting and to improve how organisations use the Standards to disclose their impacts on the economy, environment, and people. In addition, the GSSB has initiated the Sector Programme to develop a series of Sector Standards to provide authoritative guidance on the most likely sector-specific material topics for reporting and the information they should report on these topics.

While the Sector Standards are under development, the GRI G4 Sector Disclosures could be used in conjunction with the GRI Standards to provide additional sector-specific disclosures and guidance.  AAHK has made reference to the Airport Operators Sector Disclosures / Supplement in all its sustainability reports since 2012.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

To address the risks posed by climate change, the TCFD published recommendations for voluntary, consistent, and comparable climate-related financial risks and opportunities disclosures that would be useful to the financial community in 2017. The Task Force is currently holding a public consultation (between 29 October 2020 and 27 January 2021) on the evolution of forward-looking climate-related metrics used and disclosed by financial institutions.

Future-fit Business Benchmark

Developed by a UK-based charity, the Future-fit Business Benchmark is an objective-driven, voluntary strategic framework to encourage companies to continuously improve their own sustainability performance as well as along their value chains. The Benchmark helps companies to assess and communicate their positive and negative societal contributions according to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.


Chinese Horseshoe Crab Study
The Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund (MEEF) supports a research project conducted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and City University of Hong Kong to study the ecological risks of microplastics for Chinese horseshoe crabs. The research results provide important baseline data for developing conservation policies and programmes for the Chinese horseshoe crabs. Learn more.
Established in late 2016 by AAHK, the MEEF aims at enhancing marine ecology in Hong Kong and adjacent waters. Details on previously funded projects can be found at 3RS Project website.

BEC Low Carbon Charter
In September, Business Environment Council released BEC Low Carbon Charter Progress Report 2019 which summarises the decarbonisation efforts made by the signatories in 2019.
AAHK was one of the first signatories of the Charter in 2019 and its airport-wide HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme was featured as one of the case studies in the Progress Report. In addition, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) and Tradeport Hong Kong Limited have recently signed up to the Charter.

Carbon Reduction
Best Practices Sharing


AAHK hosted the biannual Airport Community Environmental Forum to facilitate discussion between AAHK and airport business partners on 22 September. At the Forum, Michael Yeung, Senior Electrical and Mechanical Engineer (Technical Support) of Civil Aviation Department shared its carbon management approach and carbon reduction initiatives. These include retro-commissioning of its headquarters building, installing solar panels and a fiber optic solar tracking system to maximise sunlight collection. 

Hactl's Eco-mask Holders
for Staff

Hactl has introduced eco-friendly mask holders for its staff.  The mask holders are upcycled from sanitised wallpaper samples. It features a durable surface that can be wiped clean with alcohol after each use. Furthermore, the holders are folded by a group of local low-income parents, enabling them to earn extra money while taking care of their children at home during the pandemic.
We are eager to share and showcase environmental and sustainability practices. Please contact Chris Lee or Zara Lo to discuss your ideas.
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