Environment
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Environment

 "Minimise our environmental footprint and strive to be a community leader in making a positive impact on the environment." 
 We believe that sound environmental stewardship and resource conservation strategies must be fully implemented into our business operations. We have identified a set of environmental priorities to achieve over the next few years. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water use and waste production at our properties remain the immediate key priorities. Longer term priorities include water mitigation, enhancing biodiversity and developing climate change adaptation strategies.
 

Maintaining Good Environmental Stewardship

Combating Climate Change - Reducing Carbon Footprint

The recent increase in extreme weather events has provided a clear signal to many companies around the world of the risks associated with climate change.  Climate change does not just bring more heavy rainfall in Hong Kong, as there has been a trend towards increasing numbers of hot days per year.
 
As the largest retail property owner and manager in Hong Kong, Link plays a critical role in local response to global climate change through our electricity consumption, water consumption and waste management at our properties. Over the past years, this issue stays at the top of our environmental agenda and we have developed strategic programmes to reduce our carbon footprint and adopt measures to cultivate behavioural change and raise awareness in the community. 
  
Link has taken proactive measures to avoid loss and damage and reduce cost arising from extreme weather.  Data on energy consumption for analysing the condition and performance of existing systems, installations, management techniques, and energy bills were collected. We then compare our facility energy performance with benchmarks for our premises and activities of a similar nature. This helps us further improve the energy efficiency in four major energy management areas including housekeeping, operations, maintenance and capital works. 
 
Despite the number of very hot days, our strategic management and our overall 20/30 progress of energy consumption resulted in a 2.7% year-on-year reduction in energy consumption, corresponding to a 34.3% cumulative reduction in CO2e emissions compared to the 2010 level. In the year under review, our total CO2e emissions were 127,097 tons, which comprises our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.  For like-for-like comparison, our total carbon intensity for our portfolio was 12.71 kg CO2e/sq ft, a decrease of 2.9% compared to 13.09 kg CO2e/sq ft in 2015/2016. We have extended our scope 3 emissions to include water consumption which was 734 tons. 
 
The energy intensity at our offices was 1,339.52 kWh per full time employee in 2016/2017.  

We are on track to achieve our 30% reduction target for total energy consumption based on 2010 levels before 2020.​ Link is committed to continually monitor our waste production and recycle, whenever possible. 
 

Capturing Green Building Opportunities

Building energy consumption contributes majorly to Hong Kong’s total carbon footprint. Link has actively considered and adopted green building practices and obtained certifications to improve the energy and operational efficiency of our portfolio.  In 2012, we completed an asset enhancement project at Stanley Plaza and attained the BEAM Plus platinum certification (highest rating). Since then, green building practices have been incorporated into our renovation and operational guidelines for tenants. To date, The Quayside, our joint venture project with Nan Fung Development at 77 Hoi Bun Road in Kowloon East, a Grade-A commercial complex under development, envisions a welcoming, healthy and sustainable office architecture at the heart of Kowloon East, Hong Kong's newest CBD. For its commitment to environmental sustainability and wellness, The Quayside, has received LEED platinum, BEAM Plus platinum and WELL gold pre-certifications.  As of early 2016, nine of our properties (including seven destination properties) have undergone energy audits based on the National Australian Building Environment Rating System (NABERS). Our acquisitions in Shanghai (Link Square 1 & 2) is a LEED Platinum Existing Building rated and 700 Nathan Road, Mongkok will seek BEAM Plus Interiors silver and rating as well. 


Building Resilience and Adaptation to Extreme Weather

The increase in both frequency and severity of extreme weather events make it indispensable for corporates to formulate longer term resilience and adaption strategies to adapt to unexpected ecological events.
 
Link has regularly examined the resilience of our building to weather and climate-related extreme events, in particular, floods and hot weather. We look at how improvements can be made by comparing the options available and considering the fundamental building blocks for resilience. We conduct research to improve the understanding of risks from current weather and to model future climate change impacts as to provide relevant information for management. 
 

Engaging tenants to save energy


Link’s total CO2e footprint comprises mainly scope 2 emissions from energy consumption (indirect emissions from purchased energy).  In addition to reducing our in-house environmental impact, we also support our tenants and service providers to conserve natural resources.  Since launching our ‘Tenant Energy Efficiency Program’ in 2016, we partnered with local start-up company​ to provide smart metering technology and data analysis services to interested tenants. This will empower energy users to understand their consumption pattern and adopt energy saving practices accordingly.  This programme resulted in potential energy savings for retail and F&B outlets up to 3% and 6% respectively. 


Water Management

Water usage was mainly for domestic use purposes at our properties, and our operations do not produce hazardous waste or effluent streams. The total water consumption for 2016/2017 was 1,352,638 cubic metres.
 

Empowering Environmental Resources – Our Relationship with Resources

Waste Management:

As a property owner and manager, we have three main sources of waste -
1) Tenant operations
2) Shoppers
3) Construction/Renovation

Construction waste materials that are generated from the asset enhancement programmes. We partner with contractors to reduce and recycle waste materials at sites under incentive programmes.
 
For waste collected from our tenants, Link developed a six-step road map that comprises our waste management programme. Developing and implementing waste management programmes requires comprehensive data on present and anticipated waste situations, supportive programme frameworks, expertise and capacity to develop initiatives/systems and proper use of environmentally sound technologies, and appropriate financial instruments to support implementation.

54 garbage collection points are equipped with weigh-in stations. Data on waste collected are being analysed. Preliminary analysis on cost implications has been carried out. Link works towards improving waste reduction performance as to reduce environmental footprint and costs.

Link engages tenants, employees and service providers to build a sustainable culture by raising their awareness for the new programme. Briefing sessions on the protocols were conducted for tenants. Educational material on waste management is included in the e-Learning programme for staff. Link partners with NGOs such as Food Angel, Food for Good, Greener’s​ Action and Conservancy Association​  to collect edible food materials for the creation of nutritious meal boxes for the needy. Link also partners with a local contractor to collect both raw and cooked food waste and turn it into high quality animal feeds. Link works to strengthen service provider partnerships and resolve logistics challenges.

Link supports Hong Kong’s target of reducing food waste disposal to landfills by 40% in 2022. In anticipation of the Municipal Solid Waste Charging Scheme by the HKSAR Government, our property management employees, contractors, and tenants were trained on organic waste source separation and data collection. ​The first phase of fresh market waste separation pilot scheme​​ ended in May 2016, and the second phase has kick-started in June 2016. Learning from experiences we had in the first phase, the performance and efficiency of waste separation process in other fresh markets were improved. All trainings were completed in December 2016 and covered 77 of our markets. 


Green Link

To raise the community’s awareness on environmental protection and aid in the creation of a microclimate for shoppers, Link has adopted both horizontal and vertical greening into our properties. Our in-house Tree and Slope Team has launched a Horticultural Maintenance and Improvement Contract comprising over HK$10 million investment in 2016/2017 to improve better maintenance and greening improvement works. We have planted over 135,000 shrubs across the portfolio in the year under review.  We are committed to planting native plant species wherever possible.

The roof garden proposes a new alternative for enhancing the condition of the urban environment, while maximizing landscape efficiency. Green roofs have been constructed for Oi Man Plaza and Stanley Plaza and one more green wall has been installed at Stanley Plaza. The greenery planted throughout the properties can help filter the surrounding air, and the roof garden provides additional public green space to the nearby residents. Greening Link’s landscape is essential to the health and well-being of the communities we are serving.

 

 
Stanley Plaza Green Roof.jpg


​WWF's Earth Hour:​

On March 25th 2017, our six destination malls (H.A.N.D.S, TKO Gateway, Lok Fu Place, Stanley Plaza, T-Town and Temple Mall) pledged to support Earth​ Hour by turning off all non-essential lights (decorative lighting and individual Link logo signage) for one hour at 8:30pm. 
 

Case Study Sharing

Hong Kong Green Shop Alliance

The Hong Kong Green Building Council launched its Green Shop Alliance (GSA), an initiative to promote Green Shopping practices in Hong Kong.  Link is a supporter of environmental initiatives and believes that the GSA programme can help us identify how to improve our business in socially and environmentally responsible manners. It is only with collaborative effort that we can Link People ot a Brighter Future. The GSA has identified simple measures in six areas that shops can focus on in order to improve their businesses. These are:

1) Better use of Energy
2) Better use of Water
3) Municipal Solid Waste Reduction
4) Reuse and Recycling of Materials
5) Social Green Behaviour
6) Green Procurement

To date, 67 of our tenants across our destinations malls (H.A.N.D.S, TKO Gateway, Lok Fu Place, Stanley Plaza, TTown and Temple Mall), have participated in this programme. Shops are free to set targets and implement any of the listed green measures that meet their operational requirements. The HKGBC will issue certificates stating the committed green measures to the Alliance members to recognise their effort in going green. The Alliance and the Pledge can be renewed at any time or expired in time with the leasing agreement. 

 
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Euromoney Real Estate Awards 2013 Best Investment Manager in Hong Kong 2015 Institutional Investor Most Honored Company in Hong Kong 2015 The Asset Triple A Awards Property Investor of the Year DJSI Asia Pacific FTSE4Good GRESB Green Star 2014 Hong Kong Awards for Industries: Customer Service Grand Award Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme