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Environment

Noise

Noise generated by operations of our trains and maintenance activities on our railway network is a major concern for stakeholders who are affected. During 2014, our Operations Division received 170 complaints about noise, accounting for 94 per cent of all environment-related complaints received throughout the year.

In addition to following up on every complaint in accordance with our internal procedures, we conduct regular surveillance on noise levels along our railway and monitor saloon noise inside our trains with reference to an internal benchmark that was established based on feedback from passengers. We are also continually making improvements to mitigate the effects of operational train noise on the community. For example, in 2014 we implemented several initiatives on the East Rail Line such as rail dampers in Tai Po North and a noise mitigation scheme near The Palazzo in Fo Tan.

Air Quality

Monitoring air quality in our trains and stations helps to ensure healthy and comfortable journeys for our passengers, whilst contributing to the wellbeing of our workers. We undertake regular indoor air quality monitoring in our railway premises and owned buildings in accordance with the Hong Kong Government's guidance note for railway facilities.

The carbon dioxide levels at our stations and in our trains in 2014 are within 2,500 ppm in peak traffic hours.* No measurements of carbon dioxide levels during the monitoring periods exceeding the EPD Level One hourly average criteria have been recorded. Air quality of this standard indicates “good air quality and a comfortable railway facility with no health effects or concerns identified,” and is defined as Level One Criteria by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of Hong Kong’s Practice Note for Managing Air Quality in Railways.

*Carbon dioxide is selected as a surrogate indicator because its concentration in an indoor environment is a good indicator of the effectiveness of ventilation systems and the adequacy of ventilation. Reference: 「Practice Note for Managing Air Quality in Air-conditioned Public Transport Facilities.」

Waste

Our new rail projects generate tremendous amounts of construction waste and excavation materials. We adhere to a Government-regulated trip ticket system on all sites in order to keep track of waste and ensure proper disposal, while also continuously exploring new ways to reduce waste.

Discharge of Wastewater

Apart from greywater recycling in LOHAS Park residential estate, all of the water consumed by the Company in Hong Kong is discharged, with appropriate treatment, into the public drainage/sewerage system, which is maintained by the Drainage Services Department.

Recycling of Construction Waste

We are able to reuse or recycle about two-thirds of excavation waste from our network expansion projects and try to find uses for demolition waste generated from our property development business in the local recycling industry. For example, we recycled 60 per cent of the waste generated during construction of our Austin Station residential development into eco-friendly paving blocks and also recycled 60 per cent of waste generated from demolition of an existing car park at our Tsuen Wan West Station Cityside development.

Recycling Waste from Railway Operations

Our Operations Division implements recycling programmes for metals and spent oil. The diagram shows the scale of these initiatives.

Recycling in Managed Properties

We provide waste recycling bins to separate waste for recycling at all common areas of our managed properties. Where possible, we also work jointly with Owners’ Committees and Incorporated Owners to promote waste separation programmes to residents. Through our Green Train initiatives and provision of special recycling bins in the common areas of our managed properties, we collect used clothes, ink cartridges and CD discs. Under the Glass to Brick programme, we went one step further to collect and turn waste glass bottles into reusable materials.

Reducing Food Waste

To learn more about our work to reduce food waste generated by customers in our shopping malls and residential developments, please refer to Value Chain.

Ecology

We are committed to protecting the natural environment during construction of new rail projects and take particular care on sections of the lines that impact natural habitats and areas with high ecological sensitivity.

Lok Ma Chau Wetlands

In 2002, the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, part of the East Rail Line, became a Designated Project under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this project identified the need for a 32-hectare Ecological Enhancement Area (EEA) to mitigate impacts from construction and operation of the spur line on wetland fauna in this biologically sensitive part of Hong Kong. Located on the eastern side of the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site in the northeast New Territories, the EEA was established in 2007 and helps to maintain biodiversity by providing habitat environments for target species. Its success relies on active management of the wetland environment, including water management, structural management, control of access and prevention of avian influenza and botulism.

Conservation of Migratory Birds

The marshes and fishpond areas of the EEA provide important nesting sites for migratory birds. During the 2014 breeding season, for example, 87 pairs of birds representing five different species are believed to have bred successfully. Overall, more than 240 species have been spotted in the EEA since 2007, including the first recorded sightings in Hong Kong of Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) and Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum). There is also high abundance of a globally-threatened species called the Black-faced Spoonbill (Gracupica nigircollis).

Conservation of Other Species

The EEA attracts a large diversity of dragonfly and amphibian species. There have been regular sightings of the Chinese Soft-shelled Turtle (Pelodiscus sinesis), which is a threatened species, and the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra), which is a near-threatened species.

 

Learn more...

 

Project teams working on the Express Rail Link are conserving natural habitats located near the Mai Po marshes.

 
 

Did you know?

 

In our case study on the Island Line Extension to Western District, we mention our efforts to preserve century-old tree walls at Forbes Street in Kennedy Town. The full story of conserving this precious natural heritage is told in a book that was launched on 14 July 2014 entitled Conservation of Stonewall Trees, co-authored by tree specialist Professor Jim Chi-yung, Department of Geography of The University of Hong Kong, and Dr Glenn Frommer, former Head of Corporate Sustainability at MTR Corporation (now retired).

 
 

Food Angel

Each winter it is necessary to drain fish ponds in the Lok Ma Chau EEA to allow migratory birds to feed on small fish and water creatures. This management activity leaves behind larger fish that are unable to survive in shallow water. In 2014, we donated this nutritious and delicious resource to underprivileged communities in Hong Kong via a not-for-profit food assistance programme called Food Angel.