Sustainability Report 2014/15
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About this Report

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (hereinafter “PolyU”) published Environmental Reports annually from 2004 to 2010 and has since moved towards sustainability reporting with reference to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines. The launch of our 2014/15 Sustainability Report (hereinafter “this Report”), “Sustainability ∙ Now and Future”, celebrates our sustainability accomplishments and progress in 2014/15 in pursuit of continuous improvement.

This Report covers major sustainability initiatives and achievements at PolyU’s main campus in Hung Hom as well as the major impacts in environmental, social and economic aspects in the fiscal year 2014/15 (1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015). There are no restatements of information provided in previous sustainability reports.

There is no significant change in the organization size, structure and ownership of PolyU within the reporting period compared to the 2013/14 Sustainability Report. We continuously improve our data collection mechanism and have changed our reporting scope to include the main campus in Hung Hom only, setting 2014/15 as our new baseline year. Data and statistics in this Report are presented as absolute values and are normalized into comparable terms where appropriate and practicable. Full-time staff headcounts and the full-time equivalent (FTE) of students were used to represent the total number of headcounts for the purpose of calculating per capita environmental accounting outputs in this Report. Please refer to PolyU’s 2014/15 Annual Report for details on university governance and economic performance.

Reporting Principles

As our first report prepared with reference to the GRI G4 Guidelines for sustainability reporting, this Report is prepared in accordance with the Core option of the G4 Guidelines. Details of relevant GRI indicators and corresponding sections covered in this Report are tabulated in the GRI Content Index. Verification of the materiality, credibility and reliability of this Report was performed by an independent third party to ensure compliance with the requirements of the GRI G4 Guidelines. A Verification Statement is included in this Report.

Material Aspects

PolyU maintained interactive communication channels with different stakeholders during the reporting year to better address stakeholders’ interests. We also commissioned the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) to conduct a benchmarking exercise against the requirements of G4 Guidelines; develop and implement a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan according to the analysis of influence and dependence of different stakeholders on PolyU’s sustainable development; and complete a materiality assessment to prioritize the most influential material aspects in this Report.

A total of six stakeholder groups, including full time students, academic and non-academic staff, Committee Member/Senior Management, Business Partners (Non-governmental Organizations and Suppliers/Contractors) were invited to our stakeholder engagement activities. Participants were asked to assess and rate the relative significance of various sustainability aspects and their impacts inside and/or outside PolyU’s operation. Through surveys, focus group discussions and individual interviews, their views on PolyU’s sustainable development, including reporting practice were collected.

After consolidating results from the benchmarking exercise, stakeholder engagement activities and materiality assessment, a list of material aspects which were identified as material by the majority of the stakeholders were accordingly prioritized and addressed in this Report, covering the categories of “Environmental Performance” and “Social Responsibility and Human Rights” under the PolyU boundary as detailed in table below. PolyU’s suppliers/contractors do not lie within the boundary of material aspects per the materiality assessment. These material aspects set down the foundation of this Report, which gives our stakeholders a comprehensive view of PolyU’s environmental, social and economic sustainability performance in 2014/15.

Prioritized Material Aspects and Corresponding Boundary

Categories Material Aspects Corresponding Boundary
Within PolyU
Environmental Performance Materials
Energy consumption
Water consumption
Effluents and waste
Products and services
Environmental regulatory compliance
Environmental impact by transport
Environmental expenditures and investments
Environmental grievance mechanisms
Social Responsibility and Human Rights Non-discrimination
Local communities
Protecting human rights