Building a More Sustainable Airport

We are seeing very encouraging signs of post-pandemic recovery globally and also in the Asia-Pacific region and we look forward to supporting a ‘green recovery’ at Hong Kong International Airport.  While we are working closely with the airport community to prepare for the expected increase in flights and passengers, we remain committed to building and enhancing our sustainability programmes with our airport business partners.  We have made steady progress in building a more sustainable airport through ongoing work in key focus areas including climate change, waste, biodiversity and green design and construction. I am pleased to provide the following updates on our key initiatives:   
  • AAHK’s 10th Sustainability Report This year, the report unveils our HKIA Decarbonisation Roadmap to 2035 and continues to report on our strategy and efforts to address climate-related risks and opportunities in the second Task Force on Climate-related Finance Disclosures Statement, with strengthened disclosures on our climate strategy and sustainability governance structure. For the first time, the report explicitly aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through a comprehensive mapping exercise. It also incorporates a Sustainable Finance Transactions Annual Report to provide details on the use of proceeds as well as the estimated impacts of our inaugural green bond issued in January 2022.
  • Continuous contribution to marine ecology – Our Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund (MEEF) and Fisheries Enhancement Fund (FEF) continue to ramp up support of projects that enhance the marine environment, ecology and fisheries resources in Hong Kong. The two funds recently granted over HK$13 million to 12 projects over a 12-month period from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. 
  • New guidelines to foster energy-efficient and climate-resilient design in new development projects – To promote energy efficiency and climate-resilient standards among new developments of HKIA, we recently incorporated two new sets of guidelines, namely the Guidelines on Energy Efficiency of New Building Design and the Climate Resilience Guidance Note, into the airport-wide Green Airport Design and Construction Strategy.
  • HKIA Business Partners Carbon Support Programme – We organised the fourth event of the year under the HKIA Carbon Capacity Building Program in August and was attended by 45 participants from 19 business partners. This event aimed to build awareness of the latest trends relating to carbon reduction solutions through presentation from industry experts on the electric vehicle market, low global warming potential refrigerants and new energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Opening of HKIA Tower Two – Newly opened in July this year, HKIA Tower Two includes a number of features designed to improve staff wellbeing. The new building has been accredited a BEAM Plus New Buildings Provisional Gold rating which demonstrates the implementation of green design and construction principles that have underpinned the project from inception. Further details can be found in the ‘Spotlight’ section.
Apart from the above initiatives, we will continue to work with the airport community in driving innovation in sustainability programmes through ongoing dialogue and collaborative action. 

Peter Lee
General Manager, Sustainability
Airport Authority Hong Kong

Green design of HKIA Tower Two 

Q & A with S S Kong, General Manager, Capital Works Construction, AAHK  
Q: HKIA Tower Two has attained a Provisional Gold under BEAM Plus New Buildings. What are the key environmental features of HKIA Tower Two achieved through green design? 

Green design has been an increasingly important feature of our building and expansion projects over the past decade. We have embedded a number of green features in the building design of the newly developed HKIA Tower Two. The new seven-storey building combines natural light and an artificial lighting system to reduce overall energy consumption. It also features a 70m2 skylight centrally located above the public atrium, as well as daylight sensors installed throughout the office area to optimise lighting levels. The tower’s roof area is covered by a green roof, to help lower the urban heat island effect and enhance human comfort. These features can yield 460 MWh in energy savings which equates to 179 tonnes of CO2e avoided annually.  

We believe adopting environmental best practices and innovative solutions early in the design and construction of airport buildings and facilities has the benefits of helping to reduce our environmental footprint, enhance our physical resilience as the climate changes, and promote physical health, mental health and social well-being of our employees. 

Q: The project clearly shows an improvement in environmental performance, but how have social aspects been embedded in the design? 

The new HKIA Tower Two embodies contemporary and modern design which creates a workplace that improves staff working conditions through the inclusion of amenities such as a café, gym and several nursing rooms. A floor-to-ceiling facade and sizeable skylight in the centre of the building maximises the use of natural light to create a bright, open environment. A staircase linking all seven stories makes it easy for people to navigate between offices and work spaces and promotes a more active working style. There are many open spaces for colleagues to occupy depending on different working styles required, such as an atrium for larger meetings and smaller breakout areas at office corners which are designed to encourage creative and collaborative work. In addition, all work stations are equipped with height adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs to promote wellness. 
Q. How does AAHK promote integration of green design and sustainable construction considerations in infrastructure projects across HKIA? 

Our new airport-wide Green Airport Design and Construction (GADC) Strategy was formalised in July 2021. The strategy offers a consistent approach for embedding green design principles and sustainable construction techniques in projects undertaken by AAHK, as well as those developed through partnership agreements with franchisees and other business partners, to identify feasible green design and construction initiatives including those that lead to improved energy efficiency and minimised carbon emissions. 

This year, we have incorporated a Climate Resilience Guidance Note and a set of Guidelines on Energy Efficiency of New Building Design as part of the GADC Strategy. The Climate Resilience Guidance Note provides guidance to project managers for assessing climate risks and developing options to build the resilience of future buildings and infrastructure developed at HKIA, while a set of Guidelines on Energy Efficiency of New Building Design promotes best practices in energy conservation and provide guidelines to airport community stakeholders, including AAHK’s franchisees and business partners on energy-efficient design. 

New GRI Universal Standards effective in Jan 2023  

The Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Standards are the world's most widely adopted standards for sustainability reporting. These standards enable any organization – large or small, private or public – to understand and report on their impacts on the economy, environment and people in a comparable and credible way, thereby increasing transparency on their contribution to sustainable development. 

The GRI Universal Standards have been updated to ensure better and more consistent sustainability reporting and may drive significant changes in sustainability management and reporting practices for some companies. The new GRI Standards will be effective for reports published on or after 1 January, 2023. 
  • Bring a razor-sharp focus to determining material topics, with clarity on reporting principles, requirements and structure – ensuring reports are of the highest quality, informing improved decision-making by reporting organizations and information users alike.
  • Provide the first and only reporting standards to fully reflect due diligence expectations for organizations to manage their sustainability impacts, including on human rights, as set forth in intergovernmental instruments by the United Nations (UN) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Enable consistent and comparable reporting, best positioning companies to respond to emerging regulatory requirements, such as the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the enterprise value reporting plans by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation.
GRI is also updating the Sector Standards as part of GRI’s integrated and complete modular system of sustainability reporting. Organisations begin with the Universal Standards, then their applicable Sector Standards alongside relevant Topic Standards. The addition of Sector Standards will help companies focus reporting on the issues that matter most within their sectors, to address their shared challenges on sustainable development. Reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards enables an organization to provide a comprehensive picture of its most significant impacts. This also allows information users to make informed assessments and decisions about the organization’s impacts and contribution to sustainable development. Further details is available at

Reference: GRI - GRI raises the global bar for due diligence and human rights reporting (

Hactl - Encompassing social inclusion through upcycling

Extending its care to the environment and community, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) maintained its partnership with TOUCH - Support Service Centre for Ethnic Minorities since October 2021 to help create an inclusive community in Tung Chung. In the first stage, two sets of “aeroplane chess” were handcrafted and donated to the children and youth at the Centre. The chess sets were made from upcycled disused wooden pallets collected at Hactl, and feature chess pieces in the shape of unit load devices, allowing the children and youth to learn the air cargo industry through games. The innovative and unconventional chess sets were co-created by its management team, social enterprise “Cou Tou Studio”, and the youth at TOUCH. In addition, Hactl has donated two sets of tables and benches upcycled from disused wooden pallets at the terminal, for the children and youth of all nationalities to interact through different activities.Hactl is currently exploring other long-term collaboration opportunities with TOUCH to support the centre’s mission to serve the diverse needs of ethnic minorities living in Lantau, and contributing towards a more sustainable society.   
Cathay Pacific Cargo introduces Fly Greener, the carbon-offset programme for air freight

Cathay Pacific (CX) has extended the Fly Greener to its air cargo services. Fly Greener is a carbon-offset programme launched by CX in 2007 for passenger travel. Among the first of its kind in Asia, CX Cargo’s launch of Fly Greener for air cargo builds on this to offer customers a more sustainable cargo solution. 

The new carbon emissions calculator, which uses the latest International Air Transport Association methodology, will show the emissions of shipments and display the offset charge in local currency, calculated by weight, and aircraft. Customers can then make a contribution to purchase carbon offsets that come from third-party validated carbon-offset projects certified under the Gold Standard to ensure their carbon reductions are verified, and come with societal and developmental benefits. Customers will then receive a certificate showing the offset total and the project they have supported, for their own sustainability auditing processes. Carbon credits bought by CX and passed on to customers at cost. CX makes no profit in the carbon-offset transactions. 
Learn more
HAECO’s energy saving week

Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) launched its annual Energy Saving Week on 1 -7 Aug to raise awareness of energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. During the promotion week, a series of activities were carried out such as promotion through posters and visits to various internal departments by the preassigned ambassador and the Energy Saving Idea Competition. This aims to provide the staff with energy-saving tips and drive them to practice low-carbon lifestyles.  
Small changes can make a huge impact. Changes in daily practice can help conserve energy and minimize the environmental impact of our energy consumption, such as turning off the idle computer monitor, unplugging the electrical appliances when they are not in use, keeping the door shut in an air-conditioned room, and more. Everyone’s participation is key to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 
We are eager to share and showcase environmental and sustainability practices. Please contact Tammy Fung and Iris Pang to discuss your ideas.
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