Approach to Environmental Management

Our world's greenest airport pledge encapsulates our desire to continuously improve HKIA’s environmental performance. Recognising that a significant proportion of HKIA’s footprint is derived from our airport business partners, we initiated our best practice airport-wide approach to collaborate with our airport business partners and develop solutions that reduce the airport’s impact on the environment. We administer a range of programmes to measure and reduce HKIA’s environmental footprint in carbon and energy management, waste and biodiversity.

We have embedded environmental sustainability into every aspect of HKIA’s operation and development and adhere to international best practices and requirements, such as the Equator Principles, a framework to determine and manage environmental and social risks in projects. We are also working on the disclosures of HKIA’s climate-related risks and opportunities in accordance with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as part of the climate resilience study.

At the wider aviation industry level, AAHK participates in the global dialogue, supporting the sustainable development of aviation and airports through airports and trade associations, including the Airports Council International (ACI) World Environment Standing Committee. We actively promote our unique airport-wide approach, as we believe this is a practical and effective tool to more effectively facilitate the accelerated reduction of environmental footprints at airports, where many key operational functions are outsourced. These strategic partnerships enable us to collaborate on and build capacity to meet our global challenges.

An airport-wide approach

AAHK adopts an airport-wide approach to work closely with our business partners, suppliers and contractors, passengers, the local community, regulators and other stakeholders to accelerate the rate of environmental footprint reduction across HKIA.

World’s Greenest Airport Pledge

  • Pledged to make HKIA the world’s greenest airport in 2012. This serves as a goal and a driver to continuously improve HKIA’s environmental performance.

Management Commitment:
Corporate Environmental Policy

  • Demonstrates AAHK’s commitment to environmental management and defines the key focus areas.

Implementation Tool:
ISO 14001 EMS

  • An environmental management system (EMS) involving all AAHK departments to manage, measure and continuously improve our performance.

In 2019/20, AAHK introduced a third-party monitoring programme to increase the visibility of how its supply chain complies with AAHK’s environmental requirements in contracts and other agreements, and to drive continuous improvement. In early 2020, we published a quarterly environmental e-newsletter to share and promote environmental initiatives at HKIA, from both AAHK and airport business partners, with an aim to make the airport community’s environmental efforts more visible.

Case Study: Enhanced monitoring of HKIA’s environmental performance

Q&A with Vincent Fok, Assistant Manager, Sustainability and Holly Lai, Assistant Manager, Sustainability

What is the purpose of the Third-Party Monitoring (TPM) Programme?

Launched in February 2019, the TPM Programme is an airport-wide programme to monitor the environmental performance of our business partners (BPs). It provides a framework for us to engage our BPs on environmental issues and encourage them to implement measures to minimise the environmental impacts arising from their operations. Eventually, the TPM Programme could help increase visibility over how AAHK’s supply chain is complying with environment-related requirements stipulated in contracts and other agreements while driving continual environmental improvement across HKIA.

What are the environmental requirements BPs are expected to achieve?

Our BPs are typically required to prepare an environmental management plan (EMP) to set out their intended approach and the measures they will undertake to manage their environmental impacts. We also carry out regular environmental inspections to monitor and track the BPs’ compliance with their EMP. Through this systematic monitoring and inspection process, we are aiming to bring the airport community together to reduce HKIA’s environmental footprint.

What were the major challenges encountered during the planning and implementation of the TPM Programme? How did you overcome them?

AAHK manages a large number of agreements and contracts, with new ones continually added to support the operation and development of HKIA. With this huge amount of agreements and contracts covering services and products of various types, it is important for us to know what these services and products are, and where to start with them. Therefore, we engaged with all departments to gather more details and develop a consistent approach, enabling us to evaluate the potential environmental risks of our agreements and contracts and categorise them into different risk levels. This risk-based approach allows us to focus on the higher-risk agreements and contracts with a higher frequency of monitoring, while lower-risk ones have less recurrent monitoring. We believe this approach is helping us to better manage HKIA’s environmental performance with limited resources.

To further optimise the TPM Programme, we introduced a digital version of the monitoring checklist in March 2020. This digital checklist enables the automation of coordination and inspection processes and thus improves our efficiency and productivity. In 2021, we will implement another digital solution to streamline the contract management and inspection scheduling processes.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the implementation of the TPM Programme? What special arrangements have been made to facilitate the on-going monitoring process?

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we switched from in-person meetings and on-site inspections to virtual meetings to reduce social gatherings and minimise any impact to the TPM Programme. We asked our BPs to provide relevant documents, photos, and videos as evidence of their environmental practices. Despite the challenges of conducting remote inspections, we remain resolute in our drive to advance our environmental efforts. Since these measures were implemented, over 30 virtual environmental inspections were completed between July and October 2020, and we are extremely grateful to our colleagues and BPs for their support.