• Knight Frank Honoured Under LOOP Scheme

    11 May 2012

    Research shows that commercial buildings contribute 37% of the carbon emissions to Hong Kong’s environment. The leadership at Knight Frank and its Green Committee took notice of this fact and then took action in their offices.  

    Through participation in the Low-carbon Office Operation Program (LOOP) Labelling Scheme, Knight Frank has managed to achieve a significant 9.7% reduction in carbon emissions per staff in one year. On account of their admirable work in this area Knight Frank was awarded the LOOP Platinum label, which is the highest accolade under the scheme.  

    Mr. Norman Tsoi, Group Operations Officer of Knight Frank said, “We are proud to receive the Platinum LOOP Label as it recognizes Knight Frank’s spirit and efforts in actively making its office a greener place. This is the second consecutive year in which we have participated in the LOOP labelling scheme to address the challenges of climate change. As a property consultancy firm, a keen understanding of the lifecycles of buildings and experience in driving resources and cost efficiencies is very valuable and we believe it is important to practice what we preach.” 

    “Those are things that spoke to me personally and are reflected in the views of the management team here… it became apparent that anything we can do in these areas will help the community at large and decrease the pollution in our cities.” 

    In order to confront the issue of carbon emissions, Knight Frank developed an employee driven Green Committee. The 10-member committee is headed by Mr. Tsoi and draws its membership from various departments. Within this forum the company was able to develop a number of policies for immediate implementation. For example, the lights in their offices and boardrooms have been switched to energy efficient T5 and LED lights and waste separation has been increased. Lights were removed in areas where they were found to be excessive. Staff have been encouraged to use softcopies of documents during client visits and presentations to decrease paper usage. 

    Significantly, a large part of their project cantered on IT initiatives. At one time Knight Frank replaced 150 computers in their Hong Kong office and another 100 in their China offices and efficient brands and models were selected through careful product research. Noel Yue, Head of IT for Greater China explains, “We have treated this as a very big project and bought meters to measure computer usage in our offices. In the past year we were able to save almost 40% on energy usage from computing and over 110,000 HKD over the lifecycle of these computers.” 

    In keeping with their identity as a caring company, Knight Frank donated over 150 used computers to charities rather than impacting landfills. 

    Additionally, staff has been encouraged to print double-sided or speed print whenever possible. They have implemented a system to avoid wastage of paper. Before these initiatives, over 500 pages of wasted paper were collected from their machines weekly, now there is almost none.

    Staff is asked to turn off their computer monitor when leaving their desks for more than fifteen minutes. A schedule of random checks is conducted to ensure adherence to this policy. In order to create widespread cultural change in their office, Knight Frank had to create a philosophy where environmental responsibility is an expectation. With this goal in mind, social events were planned with a green focus. Monthly, Knight Frank transforms its boardroom into a cinema where it shows films whose plots focus on green themes. Last month, the company held a Low-Carbon lunch for their employees, featuring sustainable foods with low environmental impact.

    Knight Frank has an arm of its business focused on workspace planning. The Workplace Consultancy Division helps companies make sure they are leasing the right amount of space for their particular needs. In utilizing this business practice, companies can work to minimize their carbon footprint by not inhabiting more space than is necessary. In Hong Kong they enlisted their own team to evaluate their space usage, the result of which was reduction in tenancy from 1.5 floors to 1 floor only. 

    Being a company focused on green initiatives has also been positive in terms of branding and staff recruitment. Sophia Wong, Manager of Marketing and Communications for Greater China explained, “Employees who are satisfied with the company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility are likely to be more positive and engaged.  Nowadays, more emphasis is being put on care for staff and care for environment during staff recruitment.” 

    Mr. Norman Tsoi concluded, “For me personally, protecting the environment and preserving it for our next generation for years to come is what keeps me involved and advocating green practices.” 

     For more information on Knight Frank please visit their website, www.knightfrank.com.hk .

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