Committed to developing an environmentally-friendly campus, HKUST, a world-class research university on science and technology, aims to take a leadership role in demonstrating and promoting sustainability to the wider community.
A notable example is the seawater-cooled central chilling system adopted by HKUST from its earliest days to provide air-conditioning for the main Academic Building. This pioneering technology has since been extended to the new eight-story Cheng Yu Tung Building (CYT) by expanding the capacity of the original chiller plant to create a district cooling system, thereby maximizing efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint.
The effectiveness of this project, which saves millions of dollars in operational costs and energy consumption, has received international recognition from the Association of Energy Engineers as its 2016 Energy Project of the Year for the Asia Pacific Region. The remodelling is expected to save between 20 and 35% of annual energy consumption at CYT and HK$1.5 million in operation and maintenance costs.
Under the “2020 Sustainability Challenge” initiative, HKUST is committed to reducing energy consumption campus-wide by 10% by 2020. The action plan calls for creating a community-oriented sustainability network, developing and evaluating new approaches to sustainability education, and taking first steps in resource reductions in energy, greenhouse gases and waste.
Since the base year of 2014/15, HKUST’s greenhouse gas emissions have already been reduced by over 13% and total waste by 4% while recycling has been increased by 15%. Investments have also been made in waste reduction strategies. Our students are also making their presence felt, with eco-projects such as Green Products Fair and Lunch Box Go Green initiated by our students Eco-reps of the Sustainable Campus Leadership Program to promote sustainability in HKUST community.
HKUST recently became the first university in Asia to join the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes, a network of 10 universities dedicated to developing sustainability solutions. Greater effort on sustainability education is expected, aiming to provide a living laboratory for experiential learning, demonstrating cutting-edge research and sustainable operations within a vibrant and engaged community.