In Focus - Issue 35 (Spring 2023)

Developing the way to net-zero carbon n a signi cant step forward for the developer sector and climate change mitigation, Ir. Prof. Irene LO, Chair Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and her research team have collaborated with a major industry player to devise a practical holistic roadmap for the company to achieve net-zero carbon by . Working with Sino Land Company Ltd., one of Hong Kong’s leading property developers, Prof. Lo has assisted in drawing up a Decarbonization Blueprint and providing science-based targets. The blueprint encompasses interim goals for decarbonization, including provisions for climate risk assessment for projects, to further enhance the company’s risk management system. The roadmap is one of the rst to be publicly released by a major developer. Prof. Lo, an award-winning researcher and educator, has concentrated on originating environmental clean-up research solutions locally and internationally since joining HKUST in . She is an Academician (Technical and Environmental Sciences) of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, becoming Hong Kong’s rst member of the prestigious body in . She is also a registered professional engineer and registered carbon auditor in Hong Kong and the US. In , Sino joined the Business Ambition for . ⁰C campaign, initiated by a global coalition of United Nations agencies, business and industry leaders to advance e orts to decarbonize through aligning corporate plans with climate science. Sino then teamed up with Prof. Lo and her researchers. Following research and data collection, they went on to together devise decarbonization strategies and science-based interim targets covering the company’s key areas of development, operations, and collaboration. These include setting percentage goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and electricity use intensity as well as carrying out climate risk assessments and obtaining BEAM Plus Gold certi cation or above at Sino Land’s wholly owned new development projects, where applicable. BEAM Plus is a top initiative in Hong Kong providing independent assessment of building sustainability performance. The collaboration has provided a valuable opportunity to transform the team’s research on decarbonization and carbon reduction into impactful solutions for the building industry and wider community, according to Prof. Lo. “Together, we are making important strides to drive sustainability and tackle the grand challenge of climate change,” she said. Mr. David NG, Group Associate Director of Sino Group, also commended the “stellar support and e ort” from the HKUST team and Sino colleagues and stakeholders in propelling forward the net-zero carbon roadmap “to make progressive strides toward a low-carbon, climate resilient and sustainable future”. Prof. Lo and her team are now working on further net-zero projects with Sino related to the company’s new Landmark South o ce and retail building in Wong Chuk Hang and a construction project on Peel Street in Central. I Advancing corporate efforts to decarbonize through aligning company plans with climate science: Chair Professor Irene Lo, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mr. David Ng, Group Associate Director of Sino Group. 05 IN FOCUS