2015-16 Sustainability Report

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Chapter 1: About this Report

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (hereinafter “PolyU”) continued to make great progress across various areas since our publication of the last Sustainability Report 2014/15.

2015/16 Sustainability Report (hereinafter “this Report”) covers major sustainability initiatives and achievements at PolyU’s main campus in Hung Hom as well as its major impacts in environmental, social and economic aspects in the fiscal year 2015/16 (1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016). There are no restatements of information provided in previous Sustainability Reports.



Chapter 2: About PolyU

Thrived with the full status of a university in 1994, PolyU is a leading tertiary institution where academia and the real world intersect and forges ahead with a vision to excel in professional education, applied research, and partnership for the betterment of Hong Kong, the nation and the world. Located in Hung Hom, Kowloon, on a site adjacent to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, PolyU provides academic facilities, such as classrooms and laboratories, sport, recreational facilities, and other facilities, including a multi-purpose auditorium, Industrial Centre and language learning centres.

PolyU has established the College of Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) to oversee the operation of two self-financed education units, namely Hong Kong Community College (HKCC) and School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED). In 2015/16, 29,984 students were enrolled in academic programmes leading to PolyU awards and 11,180 students were enrolled in the academic programmes leading to CPCE Awards.


University Profile 2015/16


PolyU Staff Headcount

Student Headcount Leading to PolyU Awards

Student Headcount Leading to CPCE Awards

Full time




Part time









PolyU Faculties and Schools



Faculty of Applied Science & Textiles

Faculty of Business

Faculty of Construction & Environment

Faculty of Engineering

Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Faculty of Humanities

School of Design

School of Hotel & Tourism Management



Chapter 3: Recognition and Achievement

3.1 Recognition on Sustainable Campus

PolyU has been working towards a sustainable future, with significant progress made in the development of our campus and the protection of the environment. PolyU endeavors to build and operate our campus in an environmentally sustainable manner through various green initiatives in order to support its core mission in learning, teaching, and research.

The following tables summarize the sustainability-related recognitions that we have received with regard to driving campus sustainability and maintaining satisfactory Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) during the reporting year.


Recognitions in relation to PolyU’s Sustainability Performance


Name of Award

Organizer of Award

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Bronze Award in the Sectoral Awards for Public Services of the 2015 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

Environmental Campaign Committee

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

First Runner-up of the Biggest Units Saver Award (School Category) of the Power Smart Energy Saving Contest 2015

Friends of the Earth (HK)

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Certificate of Recognition for Caring Organisation in the Caring Company Scheme

Hong Kong Council of Social Service

Campus Sustainability Committee (Green Concepts Website); Health, Safety and Environment Office; and Office of Careers and Placement Services

Triple Gold Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Homepage); Department of English; Information Technology Services Office; and Pao Yue-kong Library

Gold Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer


Recognitions in relation to Indoor Air Quality in PolyU’s Campus (per alphabetical order)

Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme – Top 10 Highest Participation Rate in 2015

Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme for Offices and Public Places – Good Class (per alphabetical order)


Certified Location(s)

Choi Kai Yau Building and Shirley Chan Building

Whole Building

Chow Yei Ching Building, Ng Wing Hong Building and Communal Building

Whole Building

Chung Sze Yuen Building

Chiang Chen Studio Theatre

Chung Sze Yuen Building, BC Wing and Block A

Whole Building (Excluding Chiang Chen Studio Theatre)

Jockey Club Auditorium

Whole Building

Jockey Club Innovation Tower

Whole Building

Kinmay W. Tang Building, Stanley Ho Building and GH Wing

Whole Building

Lee Shau Kee Building

G/F to 9/F (Exclude 7/F)

Li Ka Shing Tower and Block N

Whole Building

Mong Man Wai Building and Anita Chan Lai Ling Building

Whole Building

Pao Yue-kong Library

Whole Building

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Phase 8

Whole Building

Shaw Sports Complex, Shaw Amenities Building and Fong Shu Chuen Hall

Whole Building

Tang Ping Yuan Building, Chan Tai Ho Building, Lui Che Woo Building, Chan Sui Wai Building and CMA Building

Whole Building

Yip Kit Chuen Building, Realink Building and Ho Iu Kwong Building / Industrial Centre

Whole Building of Yip Kit Chuen Building, Office Area of Realink Building and Ho Iu Kwong Building / Industrial Centre



3.2 Award-winning Research Projects

PolyU has been creating knowledge and technology and making contributions to sustainable advancement for a better future. Our research and innovations have been providing solutions to issues about sustainability and other challenges. In the reporting year, PolyU won 7 Prizes at the Seoul International Invention Fair 2015. PolyU also won a total of 14 prizes at the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. These breakthroughs have covered a wide range of research and application areas, which boosted the well-being of society at various levels.

The winning projects are described as follows:


Seoul International Invention Fair 2015

Invention / Project

Name of Award

Principal Investigators / Inventors

Body Integrated Supercapacitor for Next Generation of Electric Vehicles

Gold Prize

Special Merit Award from The Malaysian Association of Research Scientists

Prof. Eric Ka-wai CHENG, Department of Electrical Engineering

Thermal and Moisture Comfort Mastectomy Bra and Prosthesis

Gold Prize

Diploma from The First Institute Inventors and Researchers in I.R.Iran

Dr Kristina SHIN, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, School of Design

Aqueous Manganese Dioxide Ink for Flexible Energy Storage Devices

Silver Prize

Special Merit Award from The National Research Council of Thailand

Dr Jikang YUAN, Department of Applied Physics


Bronze Prize

Ir Dr Eric TAM, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, Institute of Textiles and Clothing


44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2016)

Invention / Project

Name of Award

Principal Investigators / Inventors

Anti-heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers in Hot-humid Weather

Gold Medal

Prize of China Delegation of Invention and Innovation

Prof. Albert Ping-chuen CHAN, Department of Building and Real Estate

Compound Eye for Novel High Definition 3D Imaging

Gold Medal

Prize of Association “Russian House for International Scientific and Technological Cooperation”

Prof. Wing-bun LEE, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Highly Dispersed Nanocomposite Paste for Self-cleaning Photovoltaic Panels

Gold Medal

Special Merit Award from Technical University Cluj – Napoca, Romania

Prof. Hongxing YANG, Department of Building Services Engineering

Precise Topographic Mapping Model

Gold Medal

Special Merit Award from Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University, Russia

Dr Bo WU, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics

Innovative Spinning System for Chitosan Yarn

Gold Medal

Dr Li LI, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

Portable Multisensor Apparatus for In-situ HDR 3D Measurement

Gold Medal

Prof. Benny Chi-fai CHEUNG, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Smart Fetal Monitoring Belt

Silver Medal

Special Merit Award from Scientific Community of Romania

Prof. Jia YOU, Department of Computing, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

Novel Development of Superfine Wool Products

Bronze Medal

Dr Songmin SHANG, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

Leg Guarder Kit

Bronze Medal

Dr Xia GUO, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences



Chapter 4: Sustainable Campus

To enhance the environmental quality of the University campus, PolyU has incorporated many sustainable and green features in its development and operations. This chapter provides information in association with aspects of energy conservation, waste management, water conservation, indoor air quality, green workplace, sustainability network, and sustainability partnership.


4.1 Carbon Footprint and Energy Conservation

In Hong Kong, electricity generation accounted for the majority of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing carbon emissions and being ‘energy aware’ are our top priorities. PolyU has, therefore, signed the Environmental Protection Department (EPD)’s Carbon Reduction Charter and the Hong Kong Declaration by the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium (HKSCC).

In 2015/16, carbon emissions per capita due to major direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) sources on Main Campus were 1.77 tonnes CO2 equivalent.

Electricity use is the main source of carbon emissions on campus, and we are strongly committed to reducing energy consumption in our daily operations. In 2015/16, the electricity consumption of the main campus was 3.02 MWh per capita, which was 15% lower than it was in 2005/06.

PolyU continues to conserve energy by implementing new energy-saving and environmentally friendly facilities such as R-134a and R407C refrigerants in air conditioning system. We have also installed renewable energy facilities, such as the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Solar Panel System on the roof of Lee Shau Kee Building (Block Y).


4.2 Waste Management

PolyU is aware of the waste disposal problem in Hong Kong and has applied the 4R waste management principles (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Replace) in daily operations to combat this issue. To encourage staff and students to adopt recycling habits, PolyU has installed several types of recycling bins around campus to collect items and materials including waste paper, plastic, metal, glass beverage bottles, rechargeable batteries, and food waste.

To further promote waste source separation and better recycling habits, a new set of collection bins named UniRe® (University/Universal Recycling Facilities), designed by the Public Design Lab at the School of Design, has been introduced on campus to bring about greater convenience in waste recycling. Highly adaptable for use, no matter indoor or outdoor, it comes with a unique design that connects different waste and recycling bins with specially designed openings in attractive colors. It also embeds braille to bring user-friendliness for the visually impaired.

In collaboration with Hong Chi Association, we have collected a total of 342 kg glass beverages bottles in 2015/16. Waste glass bottles were used for the production of Eco-Blocks which are invented by PolyU. Eco-blocks could help relieve pressure on landfills and remove pollutants in air.

PolyU continuously raises the awareness of food waste reduction among our stakeholders and has signed the Food Wise Charter. PolyU has commissioned the Hong Kong Organic Waste Recycling Centre to collect food waste generated from the catering facilities, pantries in Li Ka Shing Tower, and Phase 8 on the main campus, extended campus in Hung Hom Bay and Student Halls of Residence (Homantin). We have collected a total of 142 tonnes of food waste on main campus in 2015/16. All food waste collected will then be recycled into composts and pig feeds.


4.3 Water Conservation

We need a lot of water for the growing number of students and campus development. PolyU has made great efforts to reduce water consumption by introducing corresponding initiatives and installing water-saving devices on campus. In 2015/16, the water consumption of the main campus was 21.2 m3 per capita, which was 18% lower than it was in 2005/06.

Water-saving facilities are installed in different campus buildings to reduce water usage. These include the recycling of condensing water from the chiller system as make-up water for cooling towers, sensor-operated water taps, water-saving shower heads in showering facilities, and dual-flush toilets with two different flush volumes, etc.


4.4 Indoor Air Quality

PolyU commits to maintaining good indoor air quality (IAQ) to bring about a healthy environment for our staff and students. Having fulfilled the requirements of IAQ parameters, temperature, relative humidity, air movement, and concentrations of air contaminants, a list of buildings on our campus were certified as Good Class under the ‘Indoor Air Quality Certification Scheme for Offices and Public Places’ organized by the Environmental Protection Department. PolyU received a special award being one among the top 10 organizations with the highest participation rates in this certification scheme in 2015. It is the second year that PolyU has earned this honor, and it affirms the University’s continuous efforts in providing a pleasant indoor environment. (Details are available in Chapter 3 “Recognition and Achievement - Recognition on Sustainable Campus”.)


4.5 Green Workplace

PolyU staged the first-ever Green Officers Inauguration on 22 June 2016 to accord public recognition to departmental Green Officers for their contribution in arousing environmental awareness at the departmental level. It was also an opportunity to develop a stronger sense of ownership among the staff on environmentally friendly work alternatives.

On the same occasion, the first Green PolyU Awards – Green Office programme was officially kicked-off. Steered by the Campus Sustainability Committee and the Campus Sustainability Office, this brand new Green PolyU Awards – Green Office programme is a campus-wide campaign which offers a great way for staff to learn more about environmental issues through training sessions, seminars, workshops, visits and the provision of information kits and manuals. It also provides an opportunity for staff to engage in behavioral management and work as part of a team to promote green culture proactively in the workplace.


4.6 Sustainability Network

PolyU joined hands with eleven renowned universities around the globe on 9 October 2015 to form a University Social Responsibility (USR) Network. This global platform connects all member-universities and shares ideas and resources to develop collaborative USR projects with varied scope and scale, advancing higher education as a catalyst for social change through education, research, and community service. Founding members of the USR Network held their first meeting at PolyU, and they agreed to further plan collaboration in research, service learning, and social responsibility related activities, as well as share insights and identify best practices for the continued development of USR.


4.7 Sustainability Partnership

PolyU and the University of Edinburgh (UoE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 30 July 2015, signifying collaboration between the two institutes in the area of sustainable urban development. This partnership will bring together the strengths of both institutes in conducting research together in the various aspects of sustainable development. At the university level, they will explore joint-PhD programmes, student and academic exchanges, and other research and knowledge exchange projects.



Chapter 5: Stakeholder Engagement

As a socially responsible organization, we are keen to foster a sustainable future with our stakeholders. We have a pivotal role to play in promoting social good and sustainability for a better world.


5.1 Caring Our Staff

As a large and dynamic institution of higher education with a range of courses on offer, PolyU presents an excellent working environment and promising employment opportunities from academic and research posts to professional, administrative and support positions for its staff. PolyU values its staff members whose dedication has been vital to the University's achievements and sustainable development for the benefit of society. Besides providing comprehensive benefits and welfare to staff members, we also make it a top priority to devise a fair and safe working environment that fosters their career development and personal growth.

PolyU embraces diversity and is committed to offering opportunities to staff as they pursue their careers. In 2015/16, our team profile by employment category and gender is illustrated as below.


Workforce by Employment Category and Gender

Type of Staff




Academic Staff




Research Staff




Administrative/Support Staff









PolyU has allocated a suitable annual training budget to support various training programs for employees and furnish a workforce competent at embracing new challenges. We continued to offer a wide range of training opportunities in 2015/16 to foster the continuous development of their full potential, covering management skills, communication skills, teaching and information technology skills, occupational health and safety, and other topics. We also provided education subsidies and leave for staff development to encourage pursuits in external job-related lifelong learning and education. A total of 17,170 hours were collectively spent on training in 2015/16.


5.2 Raising Awareness

As one of the leading universities in the development of sustainability issues, conferences, forums, carnivals, contests, workshops, and training sessions are frequent at the University. PolyU provides an effective platform to facilitate knowledge exchange with scholars, professionals, alumni, staff, and students. Some notable events held during the reporting year were shown as follows:


First VeggieLicious event on campus drives green eating

To reinforce the significance of sustainability among the PolyU community and to raise awareness of green dining, the Campus Sustainability Committee and Campus Sustainability Office organized the ever first ‘VeggieLicious’ event on 25 November 2015. Fun-filled games such as smoothie-making-rides, demonstrations, performances, and sharings were held and offered the participants an opportunity to discover and experience new ways to pursue a ‘green’ life.


UrbanFarming@Y6 programme nurtures enthusiastic PolyU farmers who aspire to grow their own crops on campus

The Campus Sustainability Office launched the brand new ‘UrbanFarming@Y6’ programme since November 2015 for PolyU staff and students. Planter boxes are set up in the outdoor area on 6/F of Lee Shau Kee Building (Block Y) where participants collaborate in groups to grow vegetables and herbs by themselves. Workshops are arranged to equip the participants with knowledge about eco-friendly farming methods. This interesting activity demonstrates the possibilities of growing crops on campus and brings about an opportunity for participants to embrace nature in a stress-free environment.


First-ever interactive web-based tree map launches and triggers a journey of tree appreciation on PolyU campus

PolyU’s launched its first interactive web-based tree map in May 2016. It incorporates the information of different tree species near the Pao Yue-kong Library with a user-friendly mapping capability that allows users to locate the trees with just a few clicks. The tree map also makes a smart tech-connection with physical tags on the trees so users can read the same information about the tree species on their mobile devices by scanning the QR codes.


PolyU students shine by constructing their own innovative solar cars, Sunbird and Sunna

30 PolyU students from the Faculty of Engineering designed and fabricated their solar-powered cars, Sunbird and Sunna, and managed to secure an award in the ‘New Energy New Generation’ Solar Car Competition organized by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. The students fully demonstrated their seamless collaboration, engineering talents, and innovative ability to support the use of renewable energy and sustainability.


Students’ innovative proposals to revitalize Kowloon East offer insights in the Smart e-City Competition

The first Smart-e City Competition was held to provide an opportunity for students to know ‘Smart City’ and to consider ways to transform the old district ‘Kowloon East’ into a smart city. Around 150 students from diverse disciplines of PolyU participated in the competition and unleashed their creativity in formulating proposals to revitalize Kowloon East with sustainability principles.


PolyU signs the first Waste Check Charter launched by the Environmental Protection Department

The Environmental Protection Department launched the first voluntary ‘Waste Check Charter’ in October 2015 which aims to promote waste reduction through measuring the amount of waste disposed of and recyclables collected, coupling with waste reduction plans and goals. Being one of the pioneering signees, PolyU fully supports waste reduction at source and has poured efforts to encourage wider community participation by sharing its waste reduction plans and progress with its staff and students via effective channels.


PolyU pledges support to the first Charter on External Lighting

PolyU has long been dedicated to promoting sustainability and pursuing environmental excellence. Signed up the first-ever Charter on External Lighting launched by the Environment Bureau in early 2016, PolyU is committed to taking part in collaborative efforts to mitigate the problems of light nuisance and energy wastage caused by external lighting.

From April 2016 onwards, external lighting installations with decorative and promotional purposes on campus, student halls, and other concerned premises will be switched off during the preset time (11 pm to 7 am the next morning). Taking this opportunity, the University encourages staff, students, and alumni to take action to save energy, to live a lower carbon lifestyle, and thus to combat climate change and the adverse effects thereof.


PolyU signs to support the FoodEver WasteNever Programme

PolyU has been actively engaging various stakeholders in the implementation of food waste reduction policy and related education programmes. The University has signed to support the FoodEver WasteNever Programme, an 18-month food waste reduction programme collaborated by the Hong Kong Women Professionals & Entrepreneurs Association and the Hong Kong Productivity Council, which aims to implement effective food waste management in various sectors through awareness-generating campaigns and community engagement initiatives. PolyU also receives a Diamond Award of the FoodEver Award of the Programme to recognize the efforts made in reducing food waste generation.


5.3 Soliciting Views

The Campus Sustainability Committee and Campus Sustainability Office conducted the first PolyU Campus Sustainability Survey in March 2016 to solicit views from Current PolyU students and staff on campus sustainability (environmental performance). The results will help in further enhancing PolyU’s sustainability culture and steering the development of other sustainability initiatives in education, research, and community service activities.



Chapter 6: PolyU Statistics

This chapter provides supplementary figures on the environmental and social aspects of our sustainability performance.


6.1 Environmental Performance Data




Energy Consumption




Town gas



Diesel Remarks 1



Water Resources Consumption

Water consumption



Treated wastewater discharge Remarks 2




Direct GHG emissions (Scope 1) Remarks 3

t CO2-e


Indirect GHG emissions (Scope 2)

t CO2-e


GHG Emissions Intensity Remarks 4

t CO2-e per capita


Materials Used Remarks 5

A4 paper Remarks 6

Ream (500 sheets)


A3 paper

Ream (500 sheets)


A4 Paper with 100% Recycled Content

Ream (500 sheets)


Percentage of A4 Paper with Recycled Input Materials



Waste Disposal To Landfill

General Waste

660L-bin load




Electrical and Electronic Equipment Remarks 8, 9



Waste To Treatment Facilities




Chemical Waste



Clinical Waste



Fluorescent Tubes and Lamps



Waste Collected for Recycling/Reuse










Glass Remarks 7



Food waste



Electrical and Electronic Equipment Remarks 8, 9



Rechargeable Batteries





  1. Diesel used for emergency generator was included while for vehicle fleet was excluded.

  2. Treated water from PolyU’s pre-treatment facilities.

  3. CO2, CH4, N2O and HFCs were included in the calculation.

  4. A total of 29,714 students and staff members (24,658 FTE students and 5,056 full-time staff) was used to calculate the per capita intensity.

  5. The paper consumption included those consumed by all PolyU entities.

  6. A4 paper with recycled content was excluded.

  7. Estimated based on the weight of 57 kg per 240L collection bin.

  8. Electrical and electronic equipment covered monitors, notebook computers, desktop computers, tablets, printers, scanners and servers.

  9. Due to enhancement of data collection mechanism, 2015/16’s Electrical and Electronic Equipment figures are not comparable with that in or before 2014/15.



6.2 Social Performance Data

Total Number of Training Programs and Training Person-hours

Training Programs Organized by

Number of Programs

Number of Training Person-hours

Campus Sustainability Office



Health, Safety and Environment Office



Human Resources Office



Information Technology Services Office







Staff Training on Legal Knowledge

Training Program

No. of Training Person-hours

Introduction to Anti-discrimination Laws in Hong Kong


Introduction to Copyright Ordinance


Ethics in Practice


Conflict of Interest


Employment-related Ordinances



New Hires (Full-time) (as of 30 June 2016)





Under 30




Between 30-50




Over 50









Employee Turnover (Full-time) (as of 30 June 2016) 





Under 30




Between 30-50




Over 50










Chapter 7: Feedback

Thank you for reading our Sustainability Report. We welcome your views on this Report, our sustainability initiatives and performance. Your feedback is very important for our continuous improvement.

If you have any enquiries regarding this Report, please contact us via:

Secretariat of Campus Sustainability Committee - Campus Sustainability Office
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.