HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge

HKUST strives to become a global leader in sustainability education by transforming the Clear Water Bay campus into a living laboratory for experiential learning, demonstrating cutting-edge research and sustainable operations within a vibrant and engaged community. 

This transition requires a hands-on learning environment where the campus itself is an important part of the learning process, where graduates are exceptionally prepared to solve pressing issues locally and globally, and where all members of the HKUST community contribute to this goal. To facilitate this vision, the campus will strive to become a carbon neutral, zero waste, net positive environmental impact campus. 

In the short-term, we will take the first step towards this vision with the HKUST 2020 Sustainability Challenge, a detailed action plan for creating a community-oriented Sustainability Network, developing and evaluating new approaches to sustainability education, and taking the first steps in resource reductions in energy, greenhouse gases, and waste. 

Click here to read the action plan. The plan includes four areas of focus:

Education Goal

By 2020 we will have an educational and research framework ensuring that students gain a solid understanding of sustainability concepts and graduate with the capacity and commitment to solve problems locally and globally. Leadership provided by the Provost.

The immediate objectives are to (1) construct a sustainability curricular framework; (2) strengthen the administrative and academic connections between the operations and academic sectors of the university to help develop the physical capacity to utilize the campus and grounds as a “living laboratory” for experiential learning in sustainability; and (3) strengthen the support networks available to faculty members to assist with teaching sustainability across different disciplines and curricula.

Operations Goal

By 2020, through a combination of reductions and streamlining efforts, energy and GHG emissions will be reduced by 10% and waste by 50% (using 2014 as the baseline) Leadership provided by VPAB.

The immediate objectives are to (1) create an Executive Committee (ExCo), which will advise the VPAB on opportunities and expectations in staying on track with reduction goals; (2) review policies and procedures for each AB Unit and revise them into a set of Sustainable Unit Level Guidelines; (3) develop criteria for reviewing, evaluating, and approving campus greening project ideas.

Demonstration Goal

Develop visible on-site demonstration projects that contribute to campus sustainability goals while showcasing the work of HKUST researchers as contributors to solving global sustainability challenges. Leadership provided by VPRG.

The immediate objective is to begin the development and installation of demonstration projects in prominent campus locations to showcase global and local sustainability ideas and approaches to solving problems.

Community Goal

By 2020 the HKUST Sustainability Network will form a core social backbone to support and advance sustainability actions and policies across departments, schools, and the campus. Leadership provided by the President.

The immediate objectives are to create the HKUST Sustainability Network.  The Network will comprise two groups: (1) Sustainability Management Officers (SMOs), who are members assigned to serve in an official capacity as their office or department’s representative; and (2) volunteers who form the Network Green Team.