A Green Airport

The Airport Authority (AA) strives to operate and grow in a changing and challenging economic, ecological, technological and social environment while developing a robust culture of sustainability throughout the organisation.

The AA’s environmental efforts are consolidated into an environmental plan covering more than 120 initiatives, including carbon reduction, energy saving, air quality, waste management and more, with the aim of reducing the environmental footprint of our operations.

  • The AA has set a target to recycle 50% of all waste by 2021
  • Materials being recycled include: cardboard, paper, plastic, scrap metal, glass bottles, food waste, vehicle tyres, spent lube oil, fluorescent lamps, rechargeable batteries and used cooking oil
  • HKIA began food waste recycling in 2003. In 2011, the programme was extended to all catering outlets at terminals, all airline caterers and 18 major business partners on the airport island. In 2014 it was further extended to neighbouring Tung Chung. That year the programme recycled 1,200 tonnes of food waste, which converted into soil conditioner for tree planting and animal feed at an off-site plant
  • Since 2008, the AA has facilitated the collection of used cooking oil from airport restaurants. In 2014, 40 tonnes of cooking oil were recycled into biodiesel
  • In 2013, the AA funded food donation NGO Food Angel to launch an HKIA food rescue programme. In 2014 approximately 18 tonnes of surplus food were collected from restaurants and caterers at the airport and transformed into over 21,000 nutritious hot meals for distribution to the underprivileged.

The AA’s innovative "triple water system" is central to HKIA’s water conservation efforts.

  • Used water (or "greywater") from washroom sinks, aircraft catering facilities and terminal building kitchens – along with water runoff from aircraft washing activities – is processed at the AA’s on-site water treatment plant and reused for irrigation. This plant has the capacity to deliver up to 6,000 cubic metres of treated water per day – equivalent to recycling the daily water usage of over 11,000 four-member families
  • Since 2006, the wastewater treatment plant has treated over 13 million cubic metres of greywater, meeting the irrigation needs of all of the landscaped area on the airport island
  • HKIA uses seawater for flushing toilets in all its passenger facilities and for the cooling systems of its larger buildings. This approach delivers substantial savings in the use of potable water
  • The AA has a policy requiring all fossil fuel saloons in the restricted area to be replaced by electric vehicles by 2017
  • In 2014 the AA implemented a ban on auxiliary power units for aircraft parking at frontal stands. The AA has been upgrading all fixed ground power and pre-conditioned air systems in order to provide aircraft with cleaner sources of power. This will soon take the usage level of 80% to 100%
  • Since September 2009, all of the AA’s diesel vehicles use biodiesel (B5), reducing emissions by 30%
  • HKIA’s passenger terminals, including the future Third-Runway Concourse, are designed to be thermally efficient. They use modern glass facades and building envelopes to reduce indoor heat and minimise the need for air conditioning
  • HKIA’s sophisticated building and lighting management systems balance energy efficiency and passenger comfort. Numerous sensors monitor light intensity within the terminals, automatically adjusting light levels accordingly
  • The Midfield Concourse will feature more than 35 green initiatives covering aspects ranging from material, energy and water use to high-efficiency construction methods. These initiatives are expected to achieve energy savings of over 20% compared to the baseline established by the Building Energy Codes
  • The Midfield Concourse aspires to be one of the first BEAM Plus* Gold Standard-certified buildings in Hong Kong

*BEAM Plus is a comprehensive assessment scheme that certifies the environmental performance of buildings.

The AA is committed to reducing energy use and operating a low-emission airport:

  • In 2010, HKIA pledged a 25% reduction in airport-wide carbon intensity from 2008 levels by 2015. By 2013 the AA and more than 40 of its business partners had achieved a 17.9% reduction in carbon intensity.
  • By early 2015 the AA had replaced more than 100,000 lights with LEDs. This programme is projected to save about 15 million kWhr and cut carbon emissions by about 9,500 tonnes per year
  • In 2013/2014, there was a year-on-year reduction of 11 million kWhr of electricity usage, which was equivalent to reducing 7,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. This was achieved despite the rise in the number of passengers using at the airport