CUHK Crowned Overall Champion in ‘Energy Saving Championship Scheme’

27 Jul 2017

CUHK receives the ‘Hanson Supreme Grand Award’ from
Mr. Wong Kam Sing, Secretary for the Environment

CUHK receives the ‘Hanson Grand Award’
from Mr. Wong Kam Sing

A district cooling air conditioning system

On 18 May, CUHK was crowned overall champion in the inaugural ‘Energy Saving Championship Scheme’ for its achievements in energy-saving in the past three years. The University swept the overall award ‘Hanson Supreme Grand Award’, the ‘Hanson Grand Award’ (top award in the post-secondary education institution category) and the cross-category ‘Most Innovative Energy Saving Measures Award’ in the inaugural ‘Energy Saving Championship Scheme’ organized by the Environment Bureau and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Having won the overall top award is a testimony to the University's outstanding achievements in energy conservation and leadership in sustainable development.

Over the past three years, CUHK’s electricity consumption has been continuously dropping.  Total electricity consumption in 2015-16 was reduced by 9.9% as compared to the base year figure in 2012-13, which means over 90 million MJ energy was saved, equivalent to an electricity charge of around HK$30 million.  Also, in 2012, a five-year mid-term target was set to reduce the University’s electricity consumption (per capita) by 8% by 2017.  Thanks to various innovative energy saving technologies, the mid-term target has been fulfilled ahead of time in 2015. These measures include striving to obtain ‘Platinum’ BEAM or BEAM Plus ratings for the environmental-friendly designs of new buildings, major refurbishment of campus buildings by replacing the air-cooled chillers with energy-saving water-cooled chiller systems, progressively switching to more energy-efficient oil-free chillers, use of district cooling systems for suitable building clusters and extensive adoption of solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels in student hostels.

The University also actively engaged its community in environmental protection: The University requires each office to appoint at least one staff member as the ‘Energy Warden’ to identify energy conservation measures for their own office.  Statistics of energy consumption are also shared with all offices/units regularly so that they are aware of their progress and achievements.  In 2014, CUHK rolled out the ‘Energy Conservation Incentive Scheme’, the first programme of its kind in the local post-secondary education sector, to set energy conservation targets for over 100 academic and administrative units.  Most of the participating units succeeded in meeting the targets, with the best performer saving over 20% of energy consumption. Other awareness-raising programmes include the ‘Green Office Programme (GO!)’, ‘Green Student Society Scheme (SO Green!)’, ‘Green O’Camp Sponsorship’, ‘Greenest O’Camp Award’ and the ‘CU Green Buddies Scheme’. 

The ‘Energy Saving Championship Scheme’ by the Environment Bureau and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, aims to engage different sectors in Hong Kong to take actions which support the ‘Energy Saving Plan for Hong Kong’s Built Environment 2015~2025+’.  These actions include encouraging different sectors to set energy saving targets comparable to or even exceeding that of the Government’s, promoting green building design and management, acknowledging organizations that adopt effective energy saving technologies and best practices, and actively promoting energy conservation among users. The Scheme has five categories, each with five grades of awards.  The highest honour, the Hanson Grand Award, is awarded to the organization with the best performance within the category.  Over 270 organizations vied for the awards in the 2016 Scheme. 

The Sustainable Campus e-newsletter is published by the Information Services Office and the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office, CUHK.