Carbon and Energy Management

Climate change has become one of the most pressing issues of our time, with increasing public concern over the aviation sector’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.

With HKIA being one of the world’s busiest international airports, AAHK actively manages the airport community’s carbon emissions. Given that our airport business partners contribute over 60% of HKIA’s carbon footprint, we work closely with the airport community under an airport-wide approach to set targets, implement carbon reduction measures, and drive energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

The aviation industry is committed to developing long-term goals and taking ambitious actions consistent with the Paris Agreement. We, together with other airport operators, strive to play a leadership role in contributing to a low-carbon aviation sector.

HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme

The HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme is a platform for the airport community to measure, reduce and report carbon emissions and share best practices. Over the past ten years, AAHK and our airport business partners have made two pledges to reduce HKIA’s airport-wide carbon emissions. Details of the HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme, including the carbon reduction initiatives implemented by our airport business partners, are available at the HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme website.

First carbon reduction pledge (2010-2015)

  • AAHK and over 40 business partners

  • Carbon intensity1 reduced by 25.6% over 2008 levels, exceeding the target of 25%

Second carbon reduction pledge (2016-2020)

  • AAHK and 53 business partners

  • Committed to a further 10% reduction in carbon intensity1 over 2015 levels

  • Carbon intensity1 reduced by 3.6% in 20192 over 2015 levels

To encourage participation amongst our business partners, AAHK provides a proprietary web-based carbon data collection system. Airport business partners are expected to provide data from easily sourced information such as monthly electricity and fuel bills. The system is useful in providing them with a tool to calculate, analyse and report their annual carbon emissions. The cost of system development, training and auditing is funded by AAHK, making the programme free for business partners to join.

Our four support strategies assist our business partners in meeting our carbon reduction target.

Senior Executive Roundtable

  • Brings together senior executives of business partners for a high-level discussion on the business case for carbon reduction

Carbon Reduction Award

  • Recognises business partners’ efforts in reducing carbon emissions and promotes best practices

Technical Working Group

  • Bi-annual technical training to business partners on carbon and energy saving solutions

Benchmarking Scheme

  • Drives carbon reductions across business partners by providing more transparent information about their carbon reduction performance

In 2019, our airport-wide carbon emissions remained steady, while the carbon intensity increased by 5.5% compared with 2018. This was mainly due to reduced workload units resulting from lower passenger traffic and cargo throughput, caused by the social unrest in Hong Kong and an international trade dispute in 2019. A 3.6% reduction in our airport-wide carbon intensity was recorded relative to 2015 levels.

HKIA’s airport-wide carbon emissions and intensity1

  1. Covers only the emissions from AAHK and the airport business partners participating in the HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme.

As the second carbon reduction pledge is coming to an end, AAHK is conducting a study to develop HKIA’s long-term carbon reduction target for 2035. The study will explore the feasibility of an absolute long-term target that aligns with the HKSAR Government’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, and also consider the requirements of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement.

Electricity consumption

AAHK accounts for approximately 40% of HKIA’s airport-wide carbon emissions. Electricity consumption is the major contributor, accounting for over 90% of AAHK’s carbon emissions. In 2019/20, our electricity consumption remained steady while the electricity intensity was higher due to reduced passenger volume.

AAHK’s electricity consumption and intensity

Key initiatives

Energy efficiency

  • We continue to drive further improvements in energy performance. Example projects include:


  • Replacement of end-of-service-life LED lights in terminals with higher efficient models is ongoing.

  • Installation of a cloud-based building analytics system for the Midfield Concourse completed in Q1.

  • Replacement of three high-efficiency chillers for the Ground Transportation Centre completed in Q4.


  • Replacement of two high-efficiency chillers for Terminal 1 to be completed by Q3.

  • Replacement of energy efficient pump sets and motors at Seawater Pump House No.5 to be completed by Q2.

  • Application of an advanced chiller control system with weather forecast technology in Terminal 1 by Q3.

  • Installation of a battery energy storage system at Generator House 1 by Q3.

  • Installation of a cloud-based building analytics system for Terminal 1 by Q4.

  • Replacement of LEDs for movement area guidance signs in the airfield by Q4.

  • Application of an advanced control method at the Seawater Pump House No. 5 to optimise system efficiency by Q4.


Replacement of LED streetlights in the landside area by Q3.

Electric vehicles

  • Sixteen electric airside passenger and staff buses were introduced as part of our transition from diesel to electric-powered airside vehicles in phases. The buses are capable of a long-driving range of up to 200 kilometres and a quick charge of less than 90 minutes.

  • The second phase of the airside vehicle electrification programme commenced in July 2019. This will require the replacement of all airside private vehicles with a gross weight of less than 3 tonnes with electric models by the end of 2022.

  • A Smart-to-Charge System was installed on the airside and commenced operation in September 2020. The System has a built-in intelligence feature, which can make optimal use of energy for charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time.

A Smart-to-Charge System on the airdside

Engagements and recognitions

  • HKIA is the first airport to join two global environmental initiatives. Initiated by The Climate Group, EV100 promotes the use of electric vehicles, while EP100 unites companies that are committed to improving their energy productivity.

  • The 4th HKIA Carbon Management Senior Executive Roundtable Luncheon was held on 15 January 2020 and attended by senior management from 48 business partners. AAHK’s CEO Fred Lam and the Business Environment Council’s Chairman Richard Lancaster presented awards to nine business partners for their outstanding performances under the HKIA Carbon Reduction Award Scheme.

  • The HKIA Carbon Reduction Scheme: Best Practice Sharing publication, which summarises the 24 winning projects in the HKIA Carbon Reduction Award Scheme 2018, was published in January 2020.

  • Two Technical Working Group meetings were held, including a site visit to an airport business partner, HAECO. As a winner in the HKIA Carbon Reduction Award Scheme 2018, HAECO provided a tour of its carbon reduction initiatives and shared its experience in developing these projects.

  • AAHK plays an active role in advocating a response to the Paris Agreement to develop a global, long-term climate goal for the world’s airports through ACI and the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.