Sometimes the best way of achieving a goal, in this case, cutting CO2 emissions, is by setting firm targets. While the aviation industry as a whole has such goals, Hong Kong International Airport has taken up the carbon-reduction challenge with goals of its own.

The HKIA Carbon Reduction Programme is a voluntary ongoing, multi-stakeholder programme involving AAHK and 46 airport business partners. The programme aims to reduce airport-wide carbon intensity by 25% between 2008 and 2015.

While AAHK accounts for approximately 40% of HKIA’s carbon emissions, the remaining 60% come from business partners. In 2011, AAHK developed an online reporting platform and free audit service, and the partners are responsible for identifying and implementing their own carbon reduction measures.

AAHK also instituted a number of projects to reduce emissions and achieve the target.

In 2009, AAHK began Hong Kong’s largest ever LED replacement programme to replace more than 100,000 traditional lights with LEDs in terminal buildings. Each year the project saves around 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity and reduces carbon emissions by over 9,000 tonnes. A major reconfiguration of the chillers also delivered substantial reductions.

In December 2014 the airport banned the use of aircraft auxiliary power units at frontal parking stands. To facilitate the ban, the airport invested over $7.8 million to upgrade all its fixed ground power and pre-conditioned air systems. In addition, the airport engaged airlines and line maintenance operators in the development of the new policy through preparatory meetings and trials.

The airport authority also promotes the use of electric vehicles and electric ground support equipment at the airport, investing $1.5 million for 158 electric vehicle chargers and 56 electric ground support equipment chargers.