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Electrically-powered mass railway is generally acknowledged to be the most environmentally sustainable way to transport the world’s growing and urbanising populations. We believe that our most significant contributions to the environment arise from impacts that do not occur as a result of our services. For example, Hong Kong has cleaner air, less congested roads and makes better use of limited land resources than would otherwise be the case if passengers used our trains instead of other modes of transport.

In support of this view, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and management consultancy Arthur D Little have recently concluded that Hong Kong has “the most advanced urban system in the world”. Compared with 28 other centres in the Asia Pacific region, our city ranks first in terms of low carbon transport.


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Download a copy of Future of Urban Mobility 2.0 to read more about the findings published by Arthur D Little and UITP in January 2014, including an updated version of the Urban Mobility Index covering 84 cities.


This graphic represents the number of buses, mini-buses and cars that it would take to transport the same number of passengers, on average, as just one of our trains travelling at full capacity. In our view, this image captures our most significant contribution to a clean and healthy environment in Hong Kong and the other cities where we operate modern and efficient railway systems.

Snapshot of MTR’s Contribution to the Environment


Clearing the air


In 2014, we replaced eight older buses on our feeder service to and from West Rail Line stations and Light Rail stops. The new buses are fitted with Euro V engines, meeting the latest and most stringent emissions standards in Hong Kong.


Management Approach

In this section, we introduce the key elements of our approach to the sustainable use of resources, climate change and environmental protection. A data table containing all key performance indicators (KPIs) for environmental performance is available in the Performance Metrics section.


Climate Change Policy

Our Climate Change Policy acknowledges that climate change is affecting Hong Kong and other locations where we operate. We are committed to mitigating climate change by providing low carbon transport and lifestyle opportunities for customers and communities, and also to adapting to climate change in order to ensure safe, reliable and efficient delivery of our services in years to come.

Biodiversity Policy

Our Corporate Biodiversity Policy commits us to safeguarding ecologically sensitive areas. Under this policy, we have integrated biodiversity considerations into our Environmental Management Systems and continue to manage the Lok Ma Chau Wetlands Ecological Enhancement Area.

Green Procurement Policy

Our Green Procurement Policy incorporates principles for responsible management of natural resources.

Managing Risk

Risks associated with the environment are subject to regular assessment by our Enterprise Risk Committee. In the case of climate change for example, we distinguish between direct risks that impact service delivery, asset management, staff, and customers, and indirect risks that affect our supply chain and the communities that we serve.

Energy Efficiency

We have been a signatory of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Manifesto for Energy Efficiency in Buildings since October 2012. When it comes to energy efficiency, we strive to go well beyond regulatory compliance.

For more information about energy efficiency, please refer to electricity consumption and energy-saving measures.


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In support of the Environmental Protection Department’s Energy Saving Charter, we voluntarily set average indoor temperatures at MTR Headquarters and common areas of office buildings and shopping malls under our management to 24–26°C during summer months.


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According to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, buildings account for about 90 per cent of total energy consumption in Hong Kong. The regulatory framework governing energy efficiency in Hong Kong comprises the Building Energy Efficiency Ordinance and Building Energy Code.



Environmental Impact Assessment

We follow a robust statutory process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for new projects involving public consultation, report preparation and expert review. Based on the outcomes of this process, environmental permits issued by the Government specify conditions that must be complied with throughout the lifespan of our projects, including control of environmental impacts relating to noise, water pollution, air pollution and waste disposal.

Environmental Management Systems

Our Environmental Management Systems (EMS), which are designed and certified to the standard of ISO 14001:2004, support our teams from the Operations, Projects and Property Divisions to identify environmental impacts and achieve continuous improvement.


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ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer of voluntary international standards. ISO 14001:2004 provides a framework that any company or organisation can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.