As part of its ongoing effort to adopt innovative solutions to drive decarbonisation and help limit global warming to 1.5°C, Swire Properties has introduced its Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Programme, a first in Hong Kong, engaging office tenants and its own staff in a waste-reduction challenge in their workplaces.
Launched earlier this month, the programme involves 15 participating teams that will compete against each other in a six-month challenge. The teams are drawn from tenants in seven office towers in Hong Kong managed by Swire Properties, including Atlas Air and Polar Air, Boston Consulting Group, Eversheds Sutherland, Greater Bay Airlines, JLL, LVMH Fragrance Brands, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Societe Generale as well as the Company’s own offices. The programme has been developed in partnership with cleantech start-up company Spare-it and is supported by the Swire Pacific Sustainable Development (SD) Fund.
Teams participating in the challenge will embark on a waste reduction journey that marries technology with an action-oriented engagement programme. All teams receive recommendations to optimise the design and layout of their office waste bins, such as replacing individual desk-side rubbish bins with centralised collection and sorting stations.
Smart scales have been fitted under the centralised stations that collect live waste disposal data and generate insights. Digital dashboards placed near the stations help participating teams monitor their waste reduction progress in real-time and benchmark against other teams, helping them to visualise the cumulative impact of their waste disposal habits and meet collective waste reduction goals.
“Tenants and building users account for about 90% of the waste generated in our portfolios. By providing them with data and insights, we can help our tenants identify improvement opportunities and devise waste reduction strategies by understanding their own waste-generation patterns and recycling performance. Waste reduction requires an orchestrated effort to achieve significant results. We look forward to working together with our tenants and partners such as Spare-it to bring about behavioural change that can contribute to a net-zero and sustainable future,” said Elizabeth Kok, Director & Senior Advisor of Swire Properties.
“The Spare-it team is honoured to work with Swire Properties as our first Hong Kong partner. We are investing in Hong Kong to support community efforts and move employee engagement on sustainability to the next level. Through the use of technology, our unique solution provides live data insights on each tenant's waste disposal and offers a digital engagement platform to gamify collective sustainability efforts. More and more leading companies are investing in sustainability as a key driver for growth, and we are excited to support their journey,” said Laurent Canneva, Chairman of Spare-it.
Participating teams are given tailored tips to support them in their waste reduction efforts, while a regular forum for tenant teams encourages the sharing of waste management ideas and how to overcome specific challenges. The programme will recognise the teams that demonstrate the most outstanding progress in reducing waste as well as the most proactive employee participation.
The Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Programme aims to reduce waste and enhance resource recycling in the workplace, and eventually support the transition to a circular economy, by influencing participants to use resources wisely and keep products in use.
In 2019, Swire Properties became the first real estate developer in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to have its science-based targets (SBTs) approved to steer its decarbonisation efforts. The Company further stepped up its sustainable development ambitions in December 2020 when it joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, which will see its current SBTs ramped up to align with the pathway of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
The innovation partner in the waste-reduction campaign, Spare-it, is a Boston-based cleantech start-up that offers unique solutions for the real-time tracking of waste streams and sustainability education in workplaces through proprietary technology. Spare-it has partnered with renowned organisations such as Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Moderna, and has recently been extending its smart waste reduction solutions into Asia.