Climate and Nature

Climate-related Disclosure

We recognise climate change is highly material to our business, posing both risks and opportunities to our existing operations as well as future development. To this end, we have in place a governance structure to ensure climate-related issues are discussed at the board level and the regular assessment of our climate-related risks through the Corporation’s Enterprise Risk Framework.

In response to climate change, we have developed a Climate Change Strategy following a 3-pronged approach. We have concentrated our efforts to provide a low-carbon transport network, improve energy efficiency and strengthen climate adaptation and resilience measures in our operations. Our strategic guidelines are set at a Group level, whilst entrusting each subsidiary to tailor their approach to climate change in accordance with specific regional standards and priorities specific to their own operations.

In 2020, we conducted an Extreme Weather and Climate Change Impact Study to review how extreme weather and climate change-related events could impact our railway networks and operations in Hong Kong. The Study has also reviewed MTR’s current preventive measures and asset enhancement programmes and assessed site conditions through surveys and inspections to evaluate and examine the resilience of our railway networks to extreme weather. Based on the Study results, we have developed a detailed adaptation and mitigation action plan to strengthen our climate resilience. Examples of key measures include the provision of flood boards in areas with high flood risks, enhancement of the stability of a few man-made slopes along the East Rail Line and further investigation to improve our resilience measures.

We have commenced a high-level climate diagnostic study on our railway and property assets in Hong Kong to assess their exposures to climate-related physical risks under different time horizons and climate scenarios based on the Representative Concentration Pathways (“RCP”) designed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Study will help us identify critical exposed assets at risk, which enables us to plan for a more in-depth scenario analysis where appropriate.

Since 2020, we have started to publish climate-related financial disclosures with reference to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) to provide our stakeholders with comparable and consistent information on how we are tackling climate change and managing the associated risks and opportunities. We have structured our climate-related financial disclosures under the four core areas recommended by TCFD: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. Details of our disclosures are provided in our Sustainability Report. We also disclose our climate-related information through our publicly available CDP response.

Flood Prevention Measures at MTR Stations

To tackle the threats of flooding at MTR stations and underwater tunnels caused by inclement weather, we have implemented the following measures:

  • With regard to railway and road infrastructure, we carry out the design, construction and maintenance of the flood protection and drainage systems of the railway and its facilities in accordance with the requirements stipulated by the Drainage Services Department. We also review and formulate the preventive measures regularly, and strengthen the protective equipment as needed;
  • The entrances/exits of most MTR stations are by design at least 450mm above street level and equipped with 1.2m high flood boards; waterproof doors are installed at the underground entrances/exits connecting MTR stations and other facilities as needed; floodgates are also installed at the immersed tube tunnel of railway tunnels where necessary to prevent ingress of flood water; and
  • Emergency procedures for coping with catastrophic floods have been formulated to evacuate passengers from MTR stations as soon as possible in case of emergency, and drills are conducted on a regular basis.

Enhancing Preparedness for Typhoon at MTR Properties

Extreme weather events, such as rainfall, storm surges, lightning and typhoons, appear more frequently and become more threatening to Hong Kong. The Corporation has assessed the geographic conditions of each property site and adopt suitable measures to deal with severe weather conditions.

The Super Typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018 brought severe storm surge to the territory, in particular the coastal areas such as Heng Fa Chuen. Since then, we have implemented a series of enhanced preventive measures in Heng Fa Chuen to strengthen its preparedness for extreme weather events in future. These include:

  • Appointment of consultant to carry out technical studies to determine the preventive measures;
  • Installation of floodgates at entrances and plant rooms in building blocks that are located near the coast and basement carpark;
  • Installation of flap valves at the drainage pipe to avoid back flow of seawater;
  • Construction of planter walls at Heng Fa Chuen Playground to prevent the influx of overtopping wave water;
  • Replacement of the ordinary manhole covers to those with drainage holes to facilitate discharging the water surrounding club carpark;
  • Installation of water sensors at the basement carpark and reservation of hourly parking spaces in the shopping mall nearby for emergency use when the basement carpark is closed in situations where flooding risk is high during typhoon;
  • Designation of temporary parking areas at the Podium for vehicles parked at the reclamation areas;
  • Arrangement of backup management office at the Podium multistorey carpark to maintain services for the residents; and
  • Conducting typhoon drill on a regular basis.

Upon receiving storm surge notification from the Home Affairs Department, we take immediate actions to get prepared and reduce flood risk as much as possible, including:

  • Clearing drainage pipe inlet;
  • Installing the floodgates for all blocks and basement carpark in reclamation area;
  • Messaging the residents and carpark owners and draw their attention to weather condition;
  • Informing the basement carpark owner to move their vehicles to temporary parking space in hourly carpark of Paradise Mall; and
  • Allowing temporary parking in podium area.

Nature-related Disclosure

To conserve natural habitats and nurture biodiversity, we take great care in implementing our Environmental & Social Responsibility Policy, particularly in ecologically sensitive areas. We recognise the importance of protecting natural resources for the conservation of biodiversity in the operating regions, especially in the sites of special scientific interest and protected areas as defined by the local statutory regulations and international convention. We strictly adhere to relevant environmental legislations and requirements and avoid and minimise adverse impacts on ecology and biodiversity relating to our operations and new development projects.

MTR's approach to protecting biodiversity is based on the "Avoid, Minimise and Mitigate" hierarchy, which aims to avoid or minimise the impact of its construction or operations on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Corporation also seeks to mitigate any residual impact through biodiversity offsetting, which involves the restoration or creation of habitats to compensate for any loss of biodiversity resulting from its operations.

We have been actively involved in the management and maintenance of the Lok Ma Chau Wetland, which included 32 hectares of enhanced wetland habitats and ongoing ecological monitoring, demonstrating a strong commitment to conserving natural habitats and maintaining biodiversity in a sustainable manner. The Corporation's efforts in the Lok Ma Chau wetland area have focused on creating and managing wetlands to attract wildlife species, particularly birds. It is considered as one of the best practice examples of biodiversity management in the region, hosting over 280 bird species as well as dragonflies, reptiles, mammals and amphibians including those classified as endangered, vulnerable and near threatened. The Corporation has also implemented adaptive conservation management with long-term ecological monitoring at the Lok Ma Chau Wetland, reflecting its dedication to the ongoing preservation of biodiversity in the area.

Besides, we support the preservation of trees during the planning and construction of new lines. Along open sections of our operating railways, we reduce the risk of fallen trees through biennial large-scale tree surveys and a smart tagging system to monitor, assess and enhance our care of the trees to help avoid unforeseen impacts on our operations. Our Tree Management Team adopts Near-field Communication (“NFC”) technology to conduct regular monitoring and maintenance for around 25,000 trees along the railway lines.