31 May 2010

CUHK Green Campus Wins Gold at 2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is once again recognized at this year’s Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) Sectoral Awards, bringing home the gold award under the category of Public Organizations and Utilities, and granted the class of excellence ‘Energywi$e’ label. A total of 403 entries competed for the Sectoral Awards this year. Further to the silver award last year, the University has scaled greater heights to reap the laurels, setting a model of sustainability in the academic sector.

CUHK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Lawrence J. Lau said, ‘We at the Chinese University all take pride in our beautiful green campus. Flowers and medicinal plants are planted everywhere on campus. The University is committed to preserving plants, birds and the ecological environment of the campus. Besides, we are devoted to developing green roofs, minimizing carbon emission, energy saving, waste reduction, as well as using renewable energy by installing solar hot water system for all student hostels, not to mention implementing the strategic campus master plan. The HKAEE gold award is an important recognition for generations of CUHK members for their concerted effort in promoting campus sustainability. We are all very honoured to receive this award.’

Prof. Fung Tung, CUHK Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the Campus Landscaping Enhancement Committee said, ‘All of us at CUHK care a lot about environmental protection. Thanks to the joint effort of all members of the University, we have made significant achievements in formulating, executing and promoting green plans on campus. It is of utmost importance for everybody to go green in our daily lives and at work in order to build a truly sustainable campus. The award not only recognizes the contribution of campus members, but also encourages us to grow from strength to strength to better protect the environment.’

Prof. Chu Lee-man, chairman of the Committee on Campus Environment said, ‘We are glad to have the full-fledged support of the University in promoting campus sustainability. The award belongs to all CUHK members, be they teachers, staff, students or alumni. Looking ahead, we shall continue to strengthen our green policies in energy saving and waste reduction to meet our pledges, making our campus an ideal place for teaching, learning and work. We hope our green campus will become a role model of sustainability, shedding light on the building of a greener Hong Kong.’

Participating organizations of HKAEE were subject to three rounds of stringent assessment, with criteria including green leadership, programme and performance, and partner synergy. CUHK has performed outstandingly in these three aspects. Being the first local university to conduct an environmental audit, the University has an effective environmental management framework, defining clear goals and guidelines for waste reduction, energy and ecology conservation. A number of task forces and committees are in place to improve the environmental management systems.

As stated in the report of the campus master plan released in April last year, the University has formulated a sustainable and visionary blueprint for the long-term development of the campus. Striving to be a low carbon campus, the University pledges to reduce carbon dioxide emission and energy consumption, with a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emission and a 25% cut in energy use per capita by 2025.

Back in 2004, the University has started using solar panels to generate hot water, and later extended its usage to other aspects such as lighting. With solar energy widely being used on campus, it is now the largest user of this renewable energy in the territory. Energy efficiency is also greatly enhanced by using LED lighting and improving the cooling system. In terms of ecology preservation, the University has established policies for tree preservation and compensation. Green roofs are actively implemented and a swift preservation programme is in force to protect the largest swift colony in Hong Kong. Other green measures include minimizing the use of water and paper, waste separation, providing green education to the community, etc. (see Appendix 1)

In addition to the above measures which are proven to be effective, the University will implement new environmental projects: upgrading the grey water quality of Wei Yuen Lake through water filtration facilities for better usage and lowering water consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy by employing 70% solar power supply for all exterior lighting in two years, and formulating purchasing guidelines for green materials to encourage the use of green products. Besides, all new buildings on campus meet the Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) platinum standard. One of the stand-alone green buildings embodying sustainability in its design is an exemplary example of green office. Featuring a number of green facilities and installations, the office sets a good model for other workplaces (see Appendix 2).

Since its introduction in 2008, the HKAEE has been jointly organized by the Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC), the Environmental Protection Department, the Advisory Council on the Environment, the Business Environment Council, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong Chinese Importers' & Exporters' Association, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The scheme is sponsored by the Environment and Conservation Fund.

CUHK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Lawrence J. Lau receives gold sectoral award at HKAEE
(Photo courtesy: Environmental Campaign Committee)
CUHK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Lawrence J. Lau receives gold sectoral award at HKAEE
(Photo courtesy: Environmental Campaign Committee)

Every efforts are made to preserve the ecological variety on campus
Every efforts are made to preserve the ecological variety on campus

An Environmental Sustainability Ambassador Programme is launched and over a hundred ambassadors are trained to promote energy saving and environmental protection on campus
An Environmental Sustainability Ambassador Programme is launched and over a hundred ambassadors are trained to promote energy saving and environmental protection on campus

Developing green roofs
Developing green roofs

Promoting paperless office and encouraging collection of used papers
Promoting paperless office and encouraging collection of used papers

Using natural water from the campus lake to irrigate the whole campus
Using natural water from the campus lake to irrigate the whole campus

Using LED lighting in place of halogen lamps to reduce energy consumption
Using LED lighting in place of halogen lamps to reduce energy consumption

Wide application of renewable energy to supply hot water and illumination
Wide application of renewable energy to supply hot water and illumination

Mr. Benny Tam demonstrates an energy saving test of different lighting
Mr. Benny Tam demonstrates an energy saving test of different lighting

From left: Mr. Benny Tam, Prof. Fung Tung and Prof. Chu Lee-man at the backyard of a CUHK green office; solar panels are installed to generate power
From left: Mr. Benny Tam, Prof. Fung Tung and Prof. Chu Lee-man at the backyard of a CUHK green office; solar panels are installed to generate power

Prof. Lawrence J. Lau leads the CUHK environmental team to receive the sectoral gold award. From left: Mr. Benny Tam, Director of Estates Management Office; Prof. Fung Tung, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the Campus Landscaping Enhancement Committee; Prof. Lawrence J. Lau; Prof. Chu Lee-man, chairman of the Committee on Campus Environment; and Mr. Chow Chun Sang, Sustainability Manager of Estates Management Office
Prof. Lawrence J. Lau leads the CUHK environmental team to receive the sectoral gold award. From left: Mr. Benny Tam, Director of Estates Management Office; Prof. Fung Tung, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and chairman of the Campus Landscaping Enhancement Committee; Prof. Lawrence J. Lau; Prof. Chu Lee-man, chairman of the Committee on Campus Environment; and Mr. Chow Chun Sang, Sustainability Manager of Estates Management Office

Organizing walking campaigns to cultivate a culture of walking
Organizing walking campaigns to cultivate a culture of walking