Swire Properties: Accelerating actions towards net zero
Swire Properties’ Chief Executive, Tim Blackburn believes that companies with a strong commitment to improving their sustainable development (“SD”) performance will be better prepared to withstand systemic climatic, social, and economic stresses and volatility. This will require bold decision making, investment, leverage on our experience and expertise and working closely with upstream and downstream partners.
Steady Progression Towards 1.5°C-aligned SBT
In December 2020, Swire Properties signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, the first real estate company in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to pledge support to the commitment. To achieve the ambitious vision, Swire Properties has ramped up its science-based targets to the more stringent 1.5°C pathway, which were approved by Science Based Targets initiative (“SBTi”) in October 2021. The 1.5°C-aligned SBT will ensure achievement of its near-term deep decarbonisation targets that align with the Paris Agreement goals and sets the Company to advance to net-zero emissions by 2050.
In 2021, our scope 1 and scope 2 absolute carbon emissions continued to show a downward trend. We reduced 23% of our absolute Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions (compared to 2019 baseline) and reduced 35% in carbon intensity for our tenants’ operations (compared to 2018 baseline). The progress reflects our decarbonisation initiatives adopted across the whole building including both landlord and tenant areas.
Swire Properties’ vision is to reduce carbon emissions throughout the whole building lifecycle. Two Taikoo Place, one of our latest major developments in Hong Kong, considers both embodied carbon and operational carbon in every stage of the development, including:
- Incorporation of passive design such as vertical solar fins and utilisation of ultra-high performance glass to maximise the use of daylight, achieving better energy efficiency and taking care of occupant wellbeing.
- Adoption of IoT technology for the operational phase to optimise building energy use using artificial intelligence, detecting system faults, and performing predictive maintenance. Annual energy savings associated with the installation of main active and passive equipment exceeds BEAM Plus and LEED baseline performance by 27%
- Work closely with our building contractors in green material procurement such as low-carbon concrete, rebar with high recycled content and FSC-certified timber.
- During building construction, we have adopted Building Information Modelling (BIM) models to facilitate the use of prefabricated structural steel and modularised E&M elements to reduce material wastage. We have also powered our construction site with compact container-sized battery systems to replace conventional diesel generators, reducing over 80% of carbon emissions on-site.
- Seek opportunities to increase on-site renewable energy generation. Bio-diesel driven tri-generation plant, PV panels and a wind turbine installed at Two Taikoo Place is expected to generate electricity contributing to 6% of the building’s energy use.
 Based on Building Energy Code 2015 Edition as baseline
 Based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as baseline (LEED 2009 for Core and Shell Development)
Two Taikoo Place has achieved many local and international recognitions for its sustainability credentials. The building is pre-certified under BEAM Plus, LEED and WELL. The project is also recognised by the Green Building Award in 2021, a renowned award in the Hong Kong real estate sector, with the Grand Award under the category of New Building Projects, Commercial.
Catalysing our Transition to Net Zero
Swire Properties is committed to integrating sustainability considerations into its financing mechanisms, to support its transition to a sustainable low-carbon business. It aims to achieve a minimum of 50% of bond and loan facilities from green financing by 2025. As at the end of June 2022, around 45% of bond and loan facilities were from green financing and, we secured 3 more sustainability linked loans, totalling 3.5 billion HKD.
Flighting Climate Change Together We Can
We believe that a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with our partners can accelerate our sustainability performance and unlock opportunities for collaboration.
We were the first developer in Hong Kong to provide tenants with a free energy audit service (since 2008). In 2021, we launched the Green Performance Pledge (“GPP”) to drive deeper landlord-tenant partnerships on sustainable development. Building on the basic premise of a green lease, the GPP covers the entire tenancy cycle from fit-out to operation, which focuses on creating significant impact in terms of energy, water, and waste reduction.
Our Green Kitchen Initiative, on the other hand, provides guidelines to in-mall F&B tenants to adopt more sustainable kitchen designs and operations, which use less energy and water, and encourages waste reduction and recycling. As at end of Sep 2022, 68 of our F&B tenants received the Green Kitchen Award across our Hong Kong and Chinese Mainland Portfolio.
To find out more about Swire Properties’ sustainability efforts, explore the latest SD Report at https://sd.swireproperties.com/2021/en