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Sustainable Resource Use

In 2014, we purchased over 1,880 GWh from Hong Kong’s two electricity providers for railway and property operation, representing about 4 per cent of Hong Kong’s total energy consumption. Heavy rail accounts for the vast majority, or about 75 per cent, of the electricity that we consume, with our Property Division also representing about 22 per cent of our total electricity consumption. This calculation includes all properties that we own and manage, but only takes account of energy use that we control in those properties (i.e. it does not reflect energy consumed by our tenants).

Electricity Consumption (MWh)

2013 2014
Total 1,832,919 1,881,469
Railway Operations 1,424,953 1,471,301
Heavy Rail 1,371,918 1,417,339
(Share of total) 75% 75%
Light Rail and Bus 53,035 53,962
(Share of total) 3% 3%
Properties 407,966 410,168
(Share of total) 22% 22%

Energy Efficiency

Purchased electricity represents our largest non-staff operating cost. Even without taking into account the environmental benefits of consuming less energy, the cost consideration alone constantly provides an important incentive to seek out innovative ways to improve energy efficiency.

We normalise electricity consumption in two ways in order to evaluate our performance on energy efficiency:

  • Electricity use per revenue car km (as illustrated in the chart)
  • Electricity use per passenger-kilometre (km) on heavy rail operations

By 2020, our target is to reduce by 21 per cent the amount of electricity consumed per passenger-kilometre in our heavy rail network compared with 2008 levels, the first full year after the merger of the rail operations. In 2014, we achieved a 19.35 per cent reduction of electricity intensity in our heavy rail operations compared with the baseline from 2008.

Trends in Electricity Demand

We anticipate that our demand for energy will continue to increase due to higher patronage, new rail lines and continued growth in other areas of our business.

Trends in Electricity Supply

In Hong Kong, our choice of energy suppliers is restricted to two vertically-integrated companies that are regulated by the Government under a Scheme of Control (SOC) Agreement that is valid until 2018. We anticipate that in the coming years the cost of our electricity will rise on account of tariffs being adjusted to reflect developments in world and regional energy markets, including the impact of policies to reduce air pollutants and mitigate climate change.

During 2014, we participated in a consultation exercise organised by the Environmental Protection Department to consider the future fuel mix of electricity supply in Hong Kong. We emphasised the need for the Government to continue to find an appropriate balance between competing objectives of safety, reliability, affordability and environmental protection.


Learn more...


Information about the regulatory framework governing the supply of electricity in Hong Kong is available from the Environment Bureau.


Energy Saving Measures

We have implemented many initiatives to save energy over the years and continue to find new ways to reduce energy consumption in all areas of our business, particularly in the operation of our railways, management of our properties and design and planning of new buildings. This infographic brings together all these initiatives into a concise summary. Please click on each initiative to learn more about what we are doing in each area.

Energy Savings Initiatives

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) - These are used in stations, advertising panels and on trains to provide energy savings of up to 40 per cent compared to conventional light bulbs. They can last up to 50,000 hours, which is two and a half times longer than conventional bulbs.

Photo-Sensor Control Systems - Redundant lights are switched off automatically on sunny days.

In Hong Kong’s sub-tropical climate, we rely on air conditioning to keep cool for over 200 days a year. Environmental Control Systems (ECS) are an important means of managing energy efficiency in our stations.

Temperature Gradient - We implement gradual changes of temperature from station entrances to the concourse and to platforms in order to reduce overall cooling demand.

Platform Screen Doors - These are important for minimising the cooling volume on platforms and for reducing the piston effect, whereby moving trains pull cooled air from the station into the tunnel and push hot air from the tunnel into the station.

Winter Full Exhaust Mode - When the outside temperature is below 22°C, extractor fans are used to create negative pressure in the station, allowing cool ambient air to be drawn into the station through its entrances and to reduce the overall cooling demand.

Escalator Energy Saving Mode - Redundant escalators are turned off during non-peak hours.

Regenerative Braking - We convert kinetic energy from trains when they are braking into electrical energy and feed it back into the power supply network for use by other trains through the overhead power system.

Trackside Energy Storage (new technology) - We are in the process of implementing new trackside energy storage devices on some lines aimed at better utilisation of surplus energy generated by train regenerative braking.

Train Coasting - When trains are going downhill or preparing to slow down for upcoming stations, the driver puts the engine into neutral to save energy.

Trackside Ventilation Fans - These are optimised during peak and non-peak hours to maintain trackside temperatures suitable for train operation.

Energy Savings Initiatives

Efficient Lighting Systems

Our Operations and Property Divisions are implementing programmes to install energy efficient lighting systems in our railway network and managed properties. This table provides a summary of recently completed and ongoing initiatives.

Status of Energy-saving Lighting Initiatives

Initiatives Description of Initiatives Status
LED lighting on trains 93 M-trains on Urban Lines
21,000 LED lamps installed between 2009 and 2013
Completed in 2013
11 trains on Airport Express Line; 3,400 LED lamps installed between 2013 and 2014 Completed in 2014
32 trains on Disneyland Resort Line, Tung Chung Line and Urban Lines Ongoing
LED lighting in stations Fluorescent lamps replaced by LEDs at all heavy rail stations Ongoing
365 light boxes installed at Lam Tin Station Completed in 2014
400 light boxes installed at Kowloon Tong Station
100 light boxes installed at Diamond Hill Station
110 light boxes installed at Tai Koo Station
LED advertising panels 467 panels installed at Choi Hung, Hung Hom, Causeway Bay, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Airport, Kwai Hing, Kwai Fong and Sheung Wan stations Completed in 2014

Energy-saving initiatives in our Maritime Square Extension


When designing the Maritime Square Extension, one of our managed properties, we implemented a number of energy-saving initiatives such as an energy management system, water-cooled air conditioning system with a combination of conventional and oil-free chillers, air lock lobbies and energy efficient lighting.


C40 Pilot Scheme

We implemented a pilot project in 2011 for energy savings at Olympic Station in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40). We applied energy-saving window films to reduce heat gain from sunlight and deployed highly efficient Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) in the ventilation system. We have been monitoring the impact of these initiatives over time, and following on from the success of this scheme VFD are being implemented in seven other stations on the West Rail Line and Tseung Kwan O Line.

C40 Pilot Scheme Outcomes

  Energy Savings (MWh) Carbon Savings (Tonnes CO2e)
2011 to 2012 324 ~190
2012 to 2013 518 ~325
2013 to 2014 547 ~350
Total to date 1,389 ~865

Learn more...


The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.


Green Buildings

Starting in 2010, we were the first company involved in property development in Hong Kong to implement voluntary environmental standards in a systematic way when we decided that most of our new residential property developments would achieve a minimum of Hong Kong BEAM Plus Gold certification. This is the second highest level in a five-tier system. Where appropriate, we are also implementing BEAM or LEED standards in other properties and railway stations.

This table provides a summary of properties and stations that received provisional assessment or certification for environmental standards by the end of 2014.

BEAM Plus, BEAM and LEED Certifications for Properties and Stations

Building Standard Property/Station Year
BEAM Plus Gold (Provisional Assessment) Austin Station Residential 2012
BEAM Plus Gold (Provisional Assessment) Nam Cheong Station Residential 2013
BEAM Plus Gold (Provisional Assessment) Tsuen Wan West Station Bayside Residential 2014
BEAM Silver Kowloon West Rail Terminus 2010
BEAM Platinum The Riverpark, Shatin 2013
LEED Operations and Maintenance: Gold Two IFC 2013
LEED Core and Shell: Silver University Station entrance 2013

Learn more...


Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) is a rating system for green buildings launched in Hong Kong in 1996.

BEAM Plus is a comprehensive environmental assessment scheme for buildings recognised by the Hong Kong Green Building Council. The current version, BEAM Plus version 1.2, has been available for formal registration since November 2012.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a set of rating systems developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings.


Water Consumption

All of our water is sourced from the mains supply provided by the Water Supplies Department. The most important uses of water in our railway operations are for cleaning trains, railway infrastructure, and stations.

Water Supply Risks

We recognise that consumption and availability of water is an important issue for our stakeholders. Hong Kong is highly dependent on the Dongjiang River basin for up to 80 per cent of its water supply, which is threatened by rapid urbanisation and climate change, among other factors.

Water Consumption Trends

Managed and investment properties account for the majority, about 60 per cent, of our total water consumption. In recent years, there has been a trend towards greater consumption of water in our properties due to the growing size of our property portfolio and more intensive use of water from landscaping and swimming pools.

Water Consumption (m3)

  2013 2014
Total 2,060,759 1,960,585
Railway Operations 846,709 851,639
Managed and Investment Properties 1,214,050 1,108,946

Conservation of Water

We implement measures to conserve water in our managed properties. For example, grey water recycling systems at The Capitol, Le Prestige and LOHAS Park collect and treat up to 440,000 litres of water a day. These systems recycle some of our wastewater for re-use in landscaping and cleaning of outdoor public areas.