2 August, 2013
Greening the commute
Public transportation company takes on sustainability measures

If you live in Hong Kong, you’ve probably already taken the MTR at least five times this past week. We already know that taking public mass transportation, rather than individual transportation, is better for the environment. But the Mass Transit Railway Corporation is taking it a step further.

According to their 2012 Sustainability Report, the MTR is taking the public’s green expectations a notch higher by incorporating more eco-friendly methods into their daily operations.They are tracking carbon emissions of their railway projects to become more aware of their carbon footprint. They will then implement a system to plan “meaningful carbon reductions in the future” in the near future.

They also have a Life Cycle Carbon assessment protocol in place, to monitor their company’s carbon emissions created from construction and operations of trains. They are tracking carbon emissions from the West Kowloon Terminus, Express Rail Link tunnels and South Island Line (East), in order to become more cognizant of their carbon footprint.

Waste management systems in various MTR stations are also being improved. Shopping malls, rail networks, and construction sites have put in place alternative options to reduce electricity use, increase water conservation, and encourage recycling. Several MTR stations have installed water tanks to recycle rainwater collected during monsoon seasons as well as water from the train-wash facilities.

One of their eco-friendly measures has led to internationally credited result. Last year in May, the new University Station entrance received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver pre-certificate for its entrance design. The station is the first from all MTR projects to receive a LEED rating, and features a holistic design that uses minimum energy and water in its daily schedule.

The station also uses water-efficient fixtures in their bathrooms to limit the use of water and harvest rainwater (up to 5,500 liters) to irrigate their greenery. The station is expected to see an annual energy reduction of 19,191 kWh, which is the equivalent to planting over 3,300 trees or relieving the earth from 1.8 million car miles.


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Images via: MTR Sustainability Report 2012


By: Soo Jin Kim


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