Insights from schools moving from Level 3 to 4
Since the PIR 2020 Edition, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has successfully wrapped up its first-ever sustainability master plan, “HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge”, which acted as a driver of sustainability in four areas:
Sustainability Education: building an educational and research framework that ensures students understand sustainability concepts and graduate with the capacity and commitment to solving problems locally and globally. For example, introducing stimulating ideas about sustainability, ESG, and CSR through different events and undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Operations: through a combination of reductions and streamlining efforts to reduce energy, greenhouse gases, and landfill waste systemically. HKUST identified specific operations targets to reduce waste to the landfill by 50% and reduce energy consumption by 10% using 2014-15 as the baseline year.
Engaging the Campus Community: creating a core social backbone to support and advance sustainability actions and policies across departments, schools, and the campus. Campus-wide programs such as “Sustainable Smart Campus Leadership Program”, “Green Team”, “Sustainability Education Community” and “Sustainability Network” were formed to engage staff, students, and campus residences to support and advance sustainability actions and policies.
Research and Demonstration: developing visible on-site demonstration projects and research that contribute to campus sustainability goals and solving global sustainability challenges. The HKD50 million “Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab” initiative provides funding support for university members to use the campus as a platform to devise and demonstrate new ideas and innovations for wider application in the future.
HKUST has already started working on the next five-year challenge. The new targets will be broader and more ambitious to consolidate HKUST’s position as a sustainability leader in Hong Kong.