Eight universities launch Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme

(This press release is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium)

Since 2010, the eight UGC-funded universities have been working together through the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium (HKSCC) to make Hong Kong a more sustainable society. Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust with a donation of over HK$15 million, a three-year Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme was developed as a collaborative endeavour by HKSCC members to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. The Programme aims to groom a new generation of more responsible and thoughtful consumers.

The Programme’s launch ceremony was held online on January 21, 2022. Officiating at the ceremony were Mr. WONG Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong SAR; Dr. LAM Ching-choi, Chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development; Mr. Bryan WONG, Head of Charities (Grant Making), The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Professor Rocky S. TUAN, Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the 2021 convening institution of the HKSCC; and Mr. Davis BOOKHART, Director of the Sustainability/Net-Zero Office, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chair of the Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme Steering Committee.

In his welcome address, Professor Rocky S. Tuan said: “Universities have a crucial role to play in making the world a better place for the present and future generations. Our collective vision for sustainable development is shared by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Trust’s support of the HKSCC has enabled us to launch the Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme, to prepare our students to become more sustainable and responsible consumers. The Programme responds to SDG 12 by focusing on three core areas: responsible choices, responsible consumption and responsible consumer activism. The universities are committed to promoting sustainable development in Hong Kong and will continue to work together closely in combating climate change.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has long worked hand-in-hand with universities in Hong Kong to promote sustainability. Mr. Bryan Wong said the Programme is not just in line with the objective of the Hong Kong Chapter of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, co-hosted by the Club and CUHK; it also echoes the Club’s commitment to acting for the betterment of society. “The Club has been a keen supporter of numerous initiatives to enhance public awareness of environmental protection and further the UN objectives over the years. Our support for these initiatives is made possible by the Club’s unique integrated business model, through which racing and wagering generate tax revenue and charity donations. As one of the world’s top ten charity donors, we look forward to supporting more such projects that assist and inspire our community to promote sustainable development.”

Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Wong Kam-sing said: “Climate change is a global challenge and it affects our common future. A sustainable lifestyle including low carbon consumer behaviour is increasingly important. As Hong Kong pledges to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, everyone needs to participate and contribute. The Government announced the Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 in October last year, setting out four key decarbonisation action areas, namely net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport and waste reduction. I am glad to see the partnership between the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to implement a series of campus environmental improvement and education initiatives on each of the eight campuses. I wish the universities and their students could rethink and try the best endeavors to support these climate actions through the daily operations and consumption.”

The Chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development, Dr. Lam Ching-choi, said: “Sustainable development is not merely a vision, but everyone’s mission and lifestyle. Let’s transform and adopt a low-carbon lifestyle and embrace sustainable consumption as our new normal!”

Mr. Davis Bookhart, Chair of the Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme Steering Committee, introduced the content of the Programme at the ceremony. He added: “We are thrilled that The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust offered us such tremendous support and a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This Programme leverages the collective efforts of the eight member universities and will allow for an unprecedented level of collaboration and sharing to help streamline efforts and intensify our efforts to prepare a new generation of students for future challenges. We hope the Programme will generate positive and long-term impacts for our community.”

To minimise the impacts to the environment, the launch ceremony was carbon neutral, with emissions associated with the event offset by purchasing carbon credits in renewable energy and resource conservation projects.

Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme

The Jockey Club Sustainable Campus Consumer Programme, funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, will implement a series of campus improvement and education initiatives in in each of the HKSCC member institutions over a three-year period.

The Programme has three core areas of focus: (1) responsible choices, (2) responsible consumption and (3) responsible consumer activism. It aims to:

• reduce the overall campus consumption of energy and water by installing smart electricity meters and motion-activated showerheads;

• reduce the use of disposable food and beverage containers by developing takeaway container borrowing programmes; and

• increase the awareness and understanding of eco-labelling through various educational initiatives such as training in sustainability leadership and “carbon foodprint” labelling.

The project management team coordinating the Programme activities is housed within the Sustainability/ Net-Zero Office at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

About the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium

The Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium was established in 2010 by the Heads of Universities Committee of the Hong Kong SAR. Members of the Consortium include City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Education University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong. The Consortium is a platform for the institutions to share information and best practice on sustainability-related issues. It is also responsible for implementing the Hong Kong Declaration and reporting the results of environmental performance indicators adopted by the higher education sector in Hong Kong. Member universities take turns to take up the convenorship of the Consortium on a yearly basis. In 2022, The Chinese University of Hong Kong is handing over the role to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

More details about the Consortium can be found at https://www.hkscc.edu.hk/.

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