Sustainability Highlights
Sustainability Performance: Reducing our Environmental Impact
Student and Staff Engagement
Teaching and Research
Community Outreach
Community Outreach
Looking Forward
Environmental Report 2012
Community Outreach
The University is not only concerned with operating the University through sustainable practices and encouraging our students and staff to adopt sustainable lifestyles; HKUST also wishes to have a wider "green impact" on society and create "green influence" in the community. The University pursues these goals through several initiatives.
Clean Our Coastline
Every year HKUST divers and volunteers make a concerted effort to help clean Hong Kong's coastline. Divers collect marine debris, including abandoned fishing nets, along the University's jetty area. Volunteers are on hand to help rescue any sea life trapped by those nets during these operations. The activity is an annual event organized by the FMO and supported by the entire campus community and volunteers, including the HKUST- Hang Seng Bank Green Ambassador Program and Staff Association. Last year, over 70 individuals participated in this important activity.


Eco-Competitions and Workshops

In 2012, students from the Division of Environment won the Silver Award at the Green Residential Development Design Competition, organized by the Business Environment Council. The students designed a low-carbon home through applying sustainability concepts. A number of students also raised awareness about sustainable development through creating and participating in different community programs. One example was the Joint University Eco-Business Innovation Award set up by the Interdisciplinary Programs Students' Union and the Environmental Students' Society. Over 100 HKUST students enrolled in the competition.

To help share knowledge, the University piloted a program introducing and training primary and secondary school students in carbon auditing and footprinting. As part of the program, HKUST students gave presentations and delivered workshops aiming to help each school calculate its own carbon footprint. 
HKUST Eco Park

HKUST's Eco Park, covering an area of over 3,000 square metres, entered its second year of operation in 2012, and will continue for at least another two years. The Eco Park provides opportunities for organic farming by students, staff and community groups, the cultivation of a Chinese herbal garden and green slope projects. Renewable energy set-ups are also in progress. Resources from the government's Environment and Conservation Fund are being sought for future operations. The park features different themes including environmental conservation, efficient use of resources, sustainable development, renewable energy and green living; and is designed to serve multi-disciplinary educational purposes and research activities. From March to September 2012, around 100 students, staff members and alumni participated in organic farming activities at the Park. Green tours were also organized for the community groups and school students. 
Serving the Community
HKUST Connect is a community engagement initiative that aims to build on the University's efforts to raise civic awareness and develop sustainable partnerships with the wider community to deepen student learning and promote altruism in the world. At the 2012 HKUST Service Learning Day, over 950 volunteers were recruited to participate in 46 service projects, working over 4,300 service hours. A number of student activities contributing to environmental conservation were organized, including:
  • A Beach Cleanup around the time of the ruinous plastic pellet spill.

  • The "Go recycling" project, which helped children in design their own recycling bags to promote the message of source separation and waste reduction in the community.

  • A "Tree planting challenge" to assist Friends of the Earth by performing various duties at a tree planting event.

  • A "Bread Run" for Feeding Hong Kong, where volunteers collect bread after the close of bakeries and deliver it to the charity.

  • Volunteering at the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve to help maintain the butterfly conservation habitat by removing weeds and planting mandarin orange trees.
Supporting Local and Global Campaigns
HKUST also encourages the campus community to tackle small- and large-scale environmental challenges by supporting both local and global campaigns. In the past year, the campus community supported the "Hong Kong No Air Con Night" a nd WWF-Hong Kong's "Earth Hour"  campaigns. Both these campaigns promoted a sustainable lifestyle and conservation of energy, with the aim of preserving our planet for future generations.
One pillar of the University's "green influence" in Hong Kong is the fact that the green initiatives made by potential contractors and suppliers are a major tender evaluation and selection consideration of HKUST. By leveraging this influence, the University can ensure that contractors and suppliers conduct sustainable operations on campus and encourage these parties to take these positive changes back to the community.
In 2012 for example, during renovations, McDonald's - one of the campus caterers - changed all their lighting fixtures to LED, introduced custom-made recycling bins and introduced 473ml reusable cold drinking mugs for restaurant customers' use (the first such initiative across all of McDonald's Hong Kong's operations). The LG1 Canteen II caterers also changed their sandwich packaging from plastic to paper containers. Other caterers promoted green practices by offering discounts to those who brought their own mugs and lunch boxes. Vegetarian menus were also regularly offered to offset the carbon emissions of meat-intensive diets.

It is important not to underestimate the significance of corporate sponsorship on green activities. These sponsorships can ensure adequate financial support for HKUST's many sustainability projects. In 2012, we received sponsorships for the Joint-University Eco-Business Innovation Award, HKUST-Hang Seng Bank Green Ambassador Program, and a research project on air quality monitoring and the development of a High-Efficiency Energy Saving Environmental Cooking Range.

The Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium

HKUST is a core member of the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium, which fosters collaboration among universities and contributes to the wider community. The consortium was established under the Heads of Universities Committee in 2010 as the implementing body for the Hong Kong Declaration, and includes academic and non-academic staff from eight UGC-funded universities. HKUST served as the Secretariat from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Key initiatives began in 2012 included the standardization of sustainability reporting across all tertiary institutions and the promotion of collaboration on food waste management issues.