• Hong Kong Green Building Council’s Response to the 2024/25 Budget

    28 February 2024

    (28 February 2024, Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Green Building Council (the Council) welcomes the 2024/25 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary today. The Council is committed to supporting the Government’s sustainable development strategies for a Green Future.

    The Council will continue to lead the industry to enhance Hong Kong’s development of excellence in sustainable buildings as well as energy saving and emission reduction, striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.


    Green and Sustainable Finance

    The Council is delighted to see the Government’s efforts in deepening Hong Kong’s green and sustainable financial development. The Council fully supports the Government in implementing the following measures to further promote the development of green finance:

    • Extend the Green and Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme to 2027, and expand the scope of subsidies to cover transition bonds and loans to encourage related industries in the region to make use of Hong Kong’s transition financing platform as they move towards decarbonisation.
    • Formulate Sustainability Disclosure Standards, in which enterprises must align their practices in sustainability disclosure with international standards to deepen Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance development.
    • Issue $20 billion worth of green bonds and infrastructure bonds which will achieve financial inclusiveness and enhance a “sense of participation” in infrastructure and sustainable development among the public.

    With a focus on green and sustainable finance, BEAM Plus has consistently been recognised as the accreditation standards for green and sustainable finance in the real estate and construction sectors. The Council plans to publish generalised versions of the BEAM Plus rating tools for global use this year. This initiative aims to elevate the BEAM Plus from a localised to an international green building certification system, while supporting the export of our green building professional services and expertise, and creating new job opportunities. It is beneficial to promoting green industries in the “Belt and Road” initiative, establishing high-quality regional development through collaborative efforts in green growth.

    To encourage the industry to adopt green building technologies in buildings to reduce energy consumption and carbon emission, and to provide important reference figures for sustainable finance, the Council recommends the inclusion of BEAM Plus ratings in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Reporting Guide for listed companies. In addition, the Council suggests the Government establish an appropriate funding scheme in offering financial incentives, such as subsidies to cover the application fees for BEAM Plus, to attract more applications from building projects outside Hong Kong, particularly those by local developers investing in overseas projects.

    Furthermore, the Council introduced the first-ever “HKGBC Climate Change Framework for Built Environment” and “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme” last year. The collaboration between green building and green finance is crucial for driving decarbonisation in the construction industry. BEAM Plus, the “Zero-Carbon-Ready Building Certification Scheme” and the upcoming “Net Zero Building Certification” have been incorporated into the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s discussion paper on the Hong Kong Green Taxonomy Framework. By adopting the certification, stakeholders are enabled to set energy performance benchmarks, establish carbon neutrality goals, and justify projects for green financing. This not only drives the industry towards carbon neutrality but also provides guidance to stakeholders as they explore opportunities in green finance.

    Building a Green City

    The Council supports the Government to take the lead in implementing cutting-edge green technologies in government buildings and facilities. This serves as an exemplary initiative for the private sector to promote energy conservation, carbon reduction, and contribute to Hong Kong’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality. The Council supports the Government’s pilot scheme at the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters, which aims to verify the efficiency of locally applied photovoltaic technology on the façades of buildings.

    The use of renewable energy has been incorporated as an assessment criterion in the BEAM Plus certification to encourage both public and private projects to adopt. The “HKGBC Retrofitting Guidebook” launched by the Council showcases successful case studies of employing relevant technologies to encourage existing buildings to adopt best practices in reducing energy consumption. The Council will continue to promote the introduction of renewable energy in buildings and public facilities through cooperation with Government departments, academic institutions and industries, and contribute to the carbon neutrality goal of Hong Kong.

    Enhance the Application of Innovative Technologies in the Construction Industry

    In the aspect of green technology, the Council is delighted to see the Government’s commitment in promoting the adoption of innovative technologies within the construction industry and driving Hong Kong’s green transformation to embrace the business opportunities brought by green industries:

    • Introduce the Green Tech Fund to fund research and development (R&D) projects which help Hong Kong decarbonise and enhance environmental protection, and encourage their subsequent practical applications.
    • Launch the Green and Sustainable Fintech Proof‑of‑Concept Subsidy Scheme to provide early-stage funding support for green fintech, facilitating commercialisation and fostering the development of new green fintech initiatives.
    • Enhance the manufacturing, import/export facilitation, and exportability of MiC modules; the Development Bureau of the Government of the HKSAR will set up the Building Testing and Research Institute within this year to promote innovative application in the industry.

    In order to promote and assist the industry in adopting green technologies, the Council has published the second edition of the “HKGBC Retrofitting Guidebook”. The Guidebook provides valuable case studies and practical insights, keeping pace with the evolving landscape of green building practices. In addition, the Council actively supports various universities and institutions in applying for research grants and collaborating on innovative technology research and application projects. Over the past year, the Council has supported 10 research projects from 4 different universities.

    As a bridge between the public, industry and Government, the Council is dedicated to driving the transformation of Hong Kong’s built environment, striving to enhance sustainable practices across various sectors and optimise standards to achieve a future of sustainable development and carbon neutrality.


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