HKQAA Carbon Conference

HKQAA Carbon Conference was held in City University of Hong Kong on 12 May 2009. Its theme was “Carbon Emission Reduction – The Right Thing to Do”. Some key speeches were summarized.

The first speaker was Mr. Edwin Ginn (Sr. Scientific Officer, Climate Change and Climate Forecasting Division – Hong Kong Observatory) and his topic was “Global Climate Change, its Impacts and Relevance to Hong Kong”.

Mr. Ginn stated Climate Change is the most important issue in the 21st century. Further, he explained the different between climate and weather (i.e. Climate is what you expect; Weather is what you get). Then he showed many scientific evidences and demonstrated how critical it was!

There are three observations of global changes:
i) Rise in mean surface temperature
ii) Rise in global mean sea level
iii) Decrease in Northern Hemisphere snow cover

The concentration of CO2 has been increased significantly which can be demonstrated in different locations, e.g. West China.

Temperature increasing rate in Hong Kong was +0.12oC per decade from 1885 to 2008. The mean of rainfall has been predicted to increase and with large variation. In future, the number of “Hot Night (>28oC)” and “Thunder Day” would increase in Hong Kong, but that of “Cold Day” would decrease.

The second speaker was Ir. Colin Chung (Executive Director, Parsons Brinckerhoff (Asia) Limited) and his topic was “Green Design for Reducing Carbon Emission”.

Mr. Chung indicated the amount of Hong Kong Green House Gases (GHGs) (44.8 Million Tonnes CO2 generated per year) and a comparison of CO2 generation with other countries.

He explained the characteristics of “A Low Carbon Emission Building”:
· Reduction in use of Fossil Fuels
· Reduction in Electricity & Energy Use
· Water Conservation and Re-use
· Adoption of Renewable Energy
· Waste Minimization and Avoidance
· Use of Recycle Building Materials

Example of Adoption of Renewable energy

The emission factor of Electricity, Towngas, Fresh Water and Sewage in Hong Kong were also demonstrated.

To have “Low Carbon Building Design”, Mr. Chung pointed out 4 factors that should be considered, namely “Building Orientation”, “Building Form/Geometry”, “Building Envelope” and “External Shading”.

Finally, he concluded his speech by encouraging people to design low carbon emission buildings so as to reduce carbon footprint. Act Now or it’s too late!

Then the third speaker, Ms. Connie Sham (Sr. Manager, HKQAA), presented “Carbon Audit”.
Ms. Sham described Carbon Audit which is “A means of measuring (accounting or quantification) and recording (reporting) the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions of an organization [in tones of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent]. It is also called “Carbon Footprint’.
Carbon Audit is carried out based on Kyoto Protocol (latest ratified by UN membership in 2007) in which reduction of the combined GHG emissions by at least 5% compared to 1990 levels in the period 2008 to 2012, is stated. It is the targets for industrialized nations.

In addition, Connie shared the main steps to do a Carbon Audit.
1. Define Organizational Boundary (It separated into two approaches: Management Control Approach and Equity Share Approach.)
2. Define Geographical Boundary (e.g. site boundaries of building)
3. Establish base year (data collected by Single base year / Average of several year / Rolling base year)
4. Define Operational Boundary (e.g. specific activities emit GHG)
5. Identify GHG Sources
6. Choosing Calculation Methodology (It separated into two approaches: Calculation-based approach and Measurement-based approach.)
7. Choosing Emission Factor (EF) & Global Warming Potential (GWP)
8. Collect Data
9. Calculate Emission
10. Develop GHG Inventory (example: Connie Pizza & Noodle Shop)
11. Reporting (including “Total GHG Emissions”, “Carbon value per employee (per job/project/dept.)” and “Power used per square foot (offices)”)

She affirmed the GHG target can be a planning tool to drive GHG reduction and showed some famous companies target such as Polaroid, Shell, Intel and CLP. Moreover, she indicated the improvement action by “GHG Removal”.
By the end, she emphasized Carbon Audit is the fist step of the carbon management (e.g. Wal-Mart).

Ir. Roger Lai (President, The Hong Kong Association of Energy Engineers) was the forth speaker and his presentation title was “Overview of the Energy and Carbon Audit”.

He agreed Connie that the immediate action for carbon reduction is “Carbon Audit”. Besides, “Carbon Trading” and “Clean Development Mechanism – CDM” are also important.

He summarized several institutional hurdles (barriers) as follows:
· Traditions, established practices and designs
· Market structure and condition may not encourage adoption of innovative products
· Habits

Lip service will not help! In order to overcome institutional hurdles, speaker suggested that:
i) Change has to be driven by management.
ii) Legislation for Mandatory Building Energy Code will help alleviate the second hurdle.
iii) Entrepreneurs to put in greater investment in manufacturing of energy saving equipment and systems.
iv) Everybody needs to involve.

The fifth speaker, Mr. Henry Chan (President, The Hong Kong Institute of Housing), presented the topic “Green Practice in Property Management Industry”.
At the beginning, he introduced Hong Kong Institute of Housing which was established on 29 Nov 1988 and aimed to promote and enhance the professional in housing management.

He believes that the success green property management should be supported by owner, tenant and management staff. The role of property management on green practice includes planning, persuading and analysis, as well as, implementation.

During implementation, the concept on reducing waste and improving environment should be applied. There are many practices such as “Recycle”, “Reduce” and “Reuse”.

Examples are lighting, construction materials, etc.

The sixth speaker was Ir. Cary Chan (Head of Technical Services, Swire Properties Management Limited) and his topic entitled “Energy Saving vs Carbon Reduction, How Swire Properties Acts Differently”.

He clarified the difference between “Energy Audit” and “Carbon Audit”. “Energy Audit” focuses on electricity consumption and “Carbon Audit” covers boarder, including transportation, fuels, waste, water, refrigerants, etc.

Then he illustrated the “Low Carbon Economy” characteristics including “More stringent regulations”, “Expectations from the society”, “Demand from customers”, “Detailed disclosure of emissions”, etc.
Swire’s related measures were shared, such as “Waste minimization at planning”, “Materials form sustainably managed sources”, “BEAM employed”, “Organic waste management”, “Using Refrigerant storage unit”, “Recover CO2 during testing of fire extinguishers”, “Supply chain management”, “Use of renewable energy”, etc.

The Energy Management employs “knowledge base energy management approach”, by which all related data is analyzed using a precise computer system.

Swire has established Energy Research Funds with universities (e.g. Tsinghua University in 2008 and Hunan University in 2009) to promote energy efficiency of buildings.

He ended with his experience on the way to change mindset from “Energy Audit” to “Carbon Audit”. They were:
· From Cost Saving to Carbon Reduction
· From I to We
· From Profit to Survive
· From Now to Future
· From Home to Earth

The seventh speaker was Mr. Yu Shuk Man (Head of Business Development – Engineering, Hong Yip Service Company Ltd.) and he presented “Environmental Policy in Property Management”.

Mr. Man suggested 3 ways to improve carbon footprints:
i) Less water and electricity consumption
ii) Greenhouse gas reduction
iii) Waste reduction and recovery

He then introduced some measures that were employed in the property management such as solar power and wind energy. He said the trial application of renewable energy was for education purpose.

He identified six major green tasks to be employed:
i) Green Policy
ii) Waste Management
iii) Energy conservation
iv) Air Quality Monitoring
v) Green Procurement Policy
vi) Green Education and Promotion

He showed the flow chart on conducting energy audit.

He concluded environmental property management can be success by enforcing environmental protection policy and active participation.

The eighth speaker was Mr. Fung (EMSD) and he presented “Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes under Environment and Conservation Fund”.

He briefed some projects for promoting buildings energy efficiency and a low carbon economy (which based on low energy consumption and low pollution).

Environment and Conservation Fund reserved HK$450 million to mobilize the public to take concrete actions to enhance buildings energy efficiency through two projects.

The energy-cum-carbon audit projects and the energy efficiency projects were subsidized HK$150 million and HK$300 million, respectively.

Lastly, Ms. Connie Sham (Sr. Manager, HKQAA) presented another topic entitled “Carbon Reduction Labeling – A Pledge for Achieving Carbon Zero”.
She introduced the HKQAA carbon management system certification scheme (CarboMSTM) which aims to provide organization with a management system framework in combating climate change. She explained the scheme was developed based on ISO 14001 & ISO 14064.

She pointed out some benefits by applying the scheme such as demonstration of organization commitment to environmental responsibility, towards carbon neutral, reduce GHG emission, etc.

Q&A Section
Mr. Fung replied participant that the energy efficiency project is subsidized 50% per single building with ceiling or 50% for multi-building without ceiling.

The second question is how to influence tenant to participate the energy saving program? According to Mr. Cary Chan, Australia professionals tried to use Green List but the result was not significant. It can’t help but promotion of energy audit / carbon audit to tenant.



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