2016-17 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 2015/16.

2016/17 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 2016/17 (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017). 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 2016/17, 28,499 students were enrolled in academic programmes leading to PolyU awards and 12,304 students were enrolled in the academic programmes leading to CPCE Awards.


University Profile 2016/17


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

Certificate of Merit in the Sectoral Awards for Public Services of the 2016 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

Environmental Campaign Committee

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Waste Check Promotional Partner Award (Class of Excellence)

Environmental Protection Department

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Waste Check Commitment Award

Environmental Protection Department

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Certificate of Recognition for Caring Organisation

Hong Kong Council of Social Service

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

FoodEver Award (Diamond Class) in FoodEver WasteNever Programme

Hong Kong Women Professionals & Entrepreneurs Association

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Platinum Award of Charter on External Lighting

Environment Bureau

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 Officel; and Pao Yue-kong Library

Gold Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Department of Building and Real Estate

Grand Award in the Research & Planning Category

Awarded Project: A multi-scale assessment of embodied energy use in China’s construction sector: a multi-regional analysis

Hong Kong Green Building Council

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Merit Award in the Building Products & Technologies Category

Awarded Project: Maximize the use of waste glass in cement-based construction materials

Hong Kong Green Building Council


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 2016

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 3 Global Innovation Awards at the TechConnect World Conference and Expo 2017. PolyU also won a total of 11 prizes at the 45th 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:


TechConnect World Conference and Expo 2017

Invention / Project

Name of Award

Principal Investigators / Inventors

Multi-functional nano-coating for glass

2017 TechConnect Global Innovation Award

Dr Lin LU, Department of Building Services Engineering

Passive anti-vibration structures

2017 TechConnect Global Innovation Award

Dr JING Xingjian, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Personalised energy saving thermal-comfort platform

2017 TechConnect Global Innovation Award

Dr WANG Dan, Department of Computing


45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2017)

Invention / Project

Name of Award

Principal Investigators / Inventors

“Smart Scar-Care Pad” for the Scar-less World

Grand Award and Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury

Prof. Cecilia Wai Ping LI-TSANG, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Special Merit Award and Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury 

Nano Biosensor for Rapid Detection of Flu Virus

Prof. Jianhua HAO, Department of Applied Physics, and Dr Mo YANG, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering

Special Merit Award and Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury

Tank-Top with Bio-feedback System for Adolescents with Scoliosis

Dr Yiu Wan Joanne YIP, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury

Graphene/CNT-embedded Nanofibers for Clean Energy and Environment

Prof. Wallace LEUNG, Department of Mechanical Engineering 

Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Communication Relay System

Prof. Chih-yung WEN, Department of Mechanical Engineering 

Gold Medal

Upcycling Wood Waste into Particleboard by CO2 Curing and Adding Low-carbon Cement

Dr Daniel C.W. TSANG, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Special Merit Award and Silver Medal

Cooling Fiber with Near-infrared and Visible Light Reflection

Dr Bin FEI, Institute of Textiles and Clothing 



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 sustainability policies and guidelines, energy conservation, waste management, water conservation, indoor air quality, green workplace, and sustainability platforms.


4.1 Policies and Guidelines

PolyU endorsed the Paper Reduction Policy in April 2017, which focuses on promoting paper reduction practices into all facets of operations. Staff and students are encouraged to cut their reliance on paper usage and move towards paperless cultures and sustainable practices.

PolyU announced its position on Sustainability-conscious Food Consumption in Official Entertainment in May 2017 that encourages sustainability-conscious food consumption practices. The University pledges to exclude some food items which have aroused international and local conservation concerns in official entertainment functions.


4.2 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 2016/17, carbon emissions per capita due to major direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) sources on main campus were 1.73 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 2016/17, the electricity consumption of the main campus was 3.05 MWh per capita, which was 14% 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 the air conditioning system. We have also installed renewable energy facilities including the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solar panel system on the roof of Lee Shau Kee Building (Block Y), the solar covered walkway on the Podium, and the solar photovoltaic system at Li Ka Shing Tower (Block M) on the main campus, resulting in the generation of 42,922 kWh of electricity in 2016/17.


4.3 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 proper recycling practice among the University community, the UniRe® collection/recycling bins across the campus were dressed with creative, insight-driven appearances designed by PolyU students in 2016/2017.

In collaboration with Hong Chi Association, we have collected a total of 798 kg glass beverages bottles in 2016/17. 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 128.4 tonnes of food waste in 2016/17 on the main campus. All food waste collected will then be recycled into composts and pig feeds.


4.4 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 2016/17, the water consumption of the main campus was 19.2 m3 per capita, which was 26% 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.


4.5 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 2016. It is the third year in a row that PolyU has earned this honour since 2014, 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”.)


4.6 Green Workplace

PolyU’s Green PolyU Awards – Green Office programme, launched since 2016, establishes an effective platform for staff members to communicate, shape and exchange ideas, and incorporate sustainable practices into the day-to-day operations of workspaces. It concluded its Phase One activities in March 2017 with a special award presentation ceremony to recognize the 30 offices and units across the campus that voluntarily joined the assessment scheme to track their sustainability performance. They managed to achieve over 100 different environmental and green workplace targets within four months, including energy-saving, paper reduction, recycling actions, green procurement, and resource conservation. Phase Two activities commence in June 2017.


4.7 Sustainability Platforms

Initiated by PolyU, Hong Kong’s first-ever cross-sector collaborative research platform, the University-Government-Industry Consortium for Sustainable Urban Development (UGI Consortium) was officially launched in July 2016. It serves as a platform for the development and implementation of new technologies and solutions for smart/sustainable cities and sustainable development in Hong Kong.



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 2016/17, 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 2016/17 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 15,518 hours were collectively spent on training in 2016/17.

Also, PolyU adopts award systems to motivate staff to excel in their work performance and to foster a sense of belonging among our staff. For example, “Faculty/School Awards for Outstanding Performance/Achievement”, “Outstanding Performance/Achievement Awards for Non-academic Staff” and “The President’s Awards for Excellent Performance/Achievement” have been introduced since 1996.


Winners of the President’s Awards for Excellent Performance/Achievement 2015/16


Award Winner(s)

Teaching (Individual)

Dr Henry Chan, Department of Computing

Research and Scholarly Activities (Individual)

Prof. Zhang Ming, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering

Research and Scholarly Activities (Individual)

Prof. Lu Chao, Department of Electronic and Information Engineering

Services (Team)

Dr Stephen Chan, Dr K.P. Kwan and Ms Jeice Cheung, Office of Service-Learning

Dr Grace Ngai, Department of Computing

Prof. Daniel Shek, Department of Applied Social Sciences

Operational Excellence (Team)

Dr Steven Ho, Dr Howard Kwong and Ms Priscilla Pang, University Health Service



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:


PolyU’s home-grown UniRe® astonishes the University community with new looks

A new set of collection bins named UniRe® (University/Universal Recycling Facilities) designed by the Public Design Lab at the School of Design was introduced on campus in 2016. It draws the trash bins and collection bins for recyclables together in modules and brings about even greater convenience in waste source separation and recycling. The University held a graphic design contest for the exterior cover of UniRe® in the latter half of the year and selected five winning designs. These design works were showcased to the University community and public through an open exhibition in early May 2017 and will be all applied onto all UniRe® on campus before the new academic year.


PolyU facilitates exchanges among recycling professionals

The Members of the Advisory Committee on Recycling Fund and over 40 recycling industry professionals visited PolyU on 10 January 2017. Apart from having a tour of PolyU’s innovative laboratories and facilities, it set the scene for conducting a successful exchange of views, strategies, and practiceson waste management and recyclingamong PolyU research experts and local recyclers. Two alumni also came and shared their experiences in running their upcycling businesses.


PolyU Campus Sustainability Weeks sets the trend of green events

Entering its fifth year, the PolyU Campus Sustainability Weeks in March 2017 challenged all staff, students, and the neighboring community to spotlight sustainability for two weeks. From planning to execution, this campus-wide event delivered more than a ‘going green’ theme but produced one that was practically green and sustainable. It impressed the campus this year when it introduced the eco-friendly fabric patchwork banners as a sustainable alternative to conventional vinyl banners that became lovely cushions after the event.


Continuously driving green eating and green lifestyle on campus

‘VeggieLicious’ returned to the campus again in October 2016 that extended through more than a week. Speakers such as leaders from local green groups, registered dietitians, fitness trainers, Chinese medicine practitioners, and chefs attended and discussed on a diverse range of topics from tailoring meat-free diets to environmental awareness and benefits of green sustainable living in a festive ceremony and a series of events with a green theme.


UrbanFarming@Y6 programme continues

The ‘UrbanFarming@Y6’ programme continues throughout the year and provides an opportunity for PolyU staff and students to embrace nature in a stress-free environment and incline towards a sustainable lifestyle. 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.


PolyU launches the "Vision of Love Mobile Eye Care Project"

PolyU launched the "Vision of Love Mobile Eye Care Project" (the Project) in January 2017. With a mobile optometric unit, the Project is reaching out to the community and bringing vision screening and eye health education to the doorsteps of people in need. It is also a platform to engage the students of PolyU's School of Optometry (SO) to working hand-in-hand with The PolyU Volunteers in serving the community through Service-Learning.


First campaign to collect donated usable eyeglasses on campus

PolyU School of Optometry organized the first campaign on campus to collect usable eyeglasses from April to June 2017. Collection boxes were set up on different locations on campus. The eyeglasses collected were screened and refurbished before re-distributing to those in need.


Supporting Energy Saving Charter

PolyU again pledged to support the Energy Saving Charter launched by the Environment Bureau and the Electrical & Mechanical Services Department to maintain an average indoor temperature between 24-26°C at its offices from June to September in 2017. PolyU has been in support of this Charter since 2013, and this is in line with the University’s ultimate goal to establish a cross-sector partnership in fostering sustainable development.



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 29,233 students and staff members (23,917 FTE students and 5,316 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, 2016/17’s Electrical and Electronic Equipmentfigures 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


Conflict of Interest



New Hires (Full-time) (as of 30 June 2017)





Under 30




Between 30-50




Over 50









Employee Turnover (Full-time) (as of 30 June 2017)





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.