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Swire Properties Determined To Fight Climate Change, New 1.5°C-Aligned Science-Based Targets Approved

07 Oct 2021

Swire Properties Determined To Fight Climate Change, New 1.5°C-Aligned Science-Based Targets Approved

Company is once again the first real estate developer in
Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to be endorsed

Swire Properties is accelerating its efforts to fight climate change by setting ambitious new science-based targets (SBTs) that are approximately 50 per cent[1] more aggressive than its original 2°C-aligned SBTs approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi[2]) in 2019. These new goals were officially approved in September 2021, meaning the Company is on the right path to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and is supporting the Hong Kong Government’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.

Swire Properties is committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, which will be supplemented by scope 3 reduction targets for its value chain emissions (upstream and downstream).


Scope 1 & 2
(Operational GHG Emissions)

Scope 3
(Indirect Upstream &
Downstream GHG Emissions)


Reduce absolute GHG emissions by 25% (from a 2019 base year)




Reduce absolute GHG emissions by 46% (from a 2019 base year)

- Reduce GHG emissions from capital goods (embodied carbon emissions of new development projects) by 25% per sqm (from a 2016 – 2018 base year)

- Reduce GHG emissions from downstream leased assets (tenant carbon emissions) by 28% per sqm (from a 2018 base year)

“In response to the dire warning issued by climate scientists, that the next 10 years will be critical to limiting global warming to 1.5°C, Swire Properties is devoting even more resources to help contribute to a sustainable world for future generations and to honour its commitments to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C,” said Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties.

“This ongoing sustainability journey, which began in 2016 with our Sustainable Development (SD) 2030 Strategy, has evolved into more ambitious and extensive goals. Moving forward, our decarbonisation efforts will continue and we’ll adopt and deploy the latest technologies, in addition to partnering with our tenants, customers, supply chain vendors, research institutions and local communities to support the transition to a net-zero future.”


In 2020, Swire Properties achieved more than a 40 per cent carbon intensity reduction compared to the baseline for its Hong Kong and Chinese Mainland portfolios, by continually launching pioneering initiatives and collaborations. 

Several major SD milestones have been reached, including the adoption of 100 per cent renewable electricity at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu and Taikoo Hui, Guangzhou in 2020 and 2021 respectively. These achievements have increased the Company’s mix of renewable electricity in the Chinese Mainland to approximately 40 per cent.

To reduce embodied carbon throughout the lifecycle of its developments, the Company is working with its contractors and suppliers to procure low-carbon building materials and foster better energy management at its construction sites – including One Taikoo Place, Two Taikoo Place and the Company’s upcoming office building on Queen’s Road East. Swire Properties is also the first real estate developer in Hong Kong requiring low-carbon building materials contractually for its new projects, a practice it is exploring for its Chinese Mainland developments as well.


The Company is ramping up its SD efforts by adopting innovative technologies while working closely with its stakeholders, primarily tenants, to help reduce their carbon footprints through a broad range of tenant-engagement activities.

Examples of cutting-edge technologies include energy initiatives such as an integrated photovoltaics (“PV”), fuel cell and direct current (“DC”) microgrid solution at Taikoo Li Sanlitun in Beijing, which can generate and store solar energy, as well as distribute it more efficiently. This breakthrough solution is set to launch in 2022 at selected locations, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 10%, compared to conventional energy-generation systems.

To further improve energy efficiency, the Company continues to roll out a cloud-based smart energy management platform across its portfolios around the world, to generate energy-saving insights through artificial intelligence (“AI”) and big data analysis. In Hong Kong, the smart platform has helped Cityplaza save over 200,000 kWh of energy over three months between June and August 2021; equivalent to the monthly electricity consumption of 500 typical four-person households. 

Through the Joint Research Centre for Building Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, the Company will continue to work with Tsinghua University to develop and test new methods to increase energy efficiency and improve the environmental performance of its developments. 

In terms of tenant engagement, Swire Properties has been offering: free energy audits since 2008 to help tenants identify energy-saving opportunities; the Green Kitchen Initiative, which provides guidelines to in-mall F&B tenants to adopt more sustainable designs and operations, which use less energy and water, and encourages them to reduce waste; and the Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Programme, a Hong Kong office-tenant initiative that launched this year and uses technology to track and gamify the waste reduction journey.

Swire Properties’ 2°C-aligned SBTs were approved by the SBTi in 2019 and the Company was also the first real estate developer in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland to be endorsed. To further strengthen its commitment to long-term decarbonisation, the Company pledged to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C in December 2020, with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

To find out more about Swire Properties’ SD efforts and its SD 2030 Strategy, explore the latest SD Report at

[1] Calculated based on the comparison between the absolute GHG emissions of the original 2°C-aligned SBTs and newly-approved 1.5°C-aligned SBTs.


[2] The SBTi is an international partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature, striving to drive ambitious climate action in the private sector to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.