ESG – an expense or a profit?

Climate change is a burning issue. Human activity is recognised as the main of climate change. The harmful act is burning fossil fuels that release large amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas and are trapped in the atmosphere. We never thought our presence would change our planet to such a level, though we hear it on the news daily. It is our time to learn how to minimise our impacts while making our living. Governmental, commercial, industrial, and individual. It is not only for us but also for the next generation. We would not want our next generation to live in a messy world.

For Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ had issued to engage the business sector and community to combat climate change in full force and sets an ambitious target of carbon intensity reduction by 65% to 70% by 2030. In 2021, it developed to Hong Kongs Climate Action 2050, embracing four NetZero strategies—NetZero electricity generation, energy-saving and green buildings, green transport, and waste reduction.

While at the governance side, the Companies Ordinance requires Hong Kong companies to include descriptions of the company’s principal risks and uncertainties, environmental policies and performance in their directors’ reports for each financial year (for a public company). The company must comply with relevant laws and regulations that significantly impact the company. Just as importantly, a company’s relationships with its employees, customers and suppliers would substantially affect the company and on which its success depends.

Keeping up with the world trend of transparency, the Hong Kong Exchange has been part of the global movement to disclose ESG performance. The listing rule has been upgraded to requiring listed companies to make mandatory public disclosures about their ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance and risk management on ESG report annually, starting from 2016.

In combating climate change, benchmarking is needed to evaluate progress and performance. Benchmarking requires data. Without data, performance cannot be quantified, and targets cannot be planned accordingly. Without a clear goal, policies and strategies cannot be formulated, let alone implemented.

The first is regarding the data. Scoping climate change-related data is complicated. Here below are examples of Greenhouse Gas emission scopes. Greenhouse Gas emission is one of the most significant contributors to climate change.

  • Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Direct emission data includes the stationary combustion sources (e.g., electricity, heat or steam generation), mobile combustion sources (e.g., motor vehicles and ships), and the use of refrigerants (e.g., HFC and PFC) and any other emission activities. 
  • Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Energy indirect emission data, such as the electricity purchased from electricity suppliers and the gas purchased from the energy company, can be inputted and calculated through the system.
  • Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Throughout the supply chain, Indirect emission data like landfill gas generation, business travel, electricity consumption by freshwater and wastewater processing, paper consumption and other emission activities are suggested and included in the current system.

The following issue is that people face problems when compiling reports for their company, such as complicated Unit Conversion for non-ESG Background Colleagues. Emission Factors and Standard Requirements are constantly changed. Internally, staff are using different formats of data collection.

Hence, companies invested in ESG Dashboard that can handle Unit Conversion and emission factors and simplify data collection amongst group companies/subsidiaries. Because accuracy is essential as this will affect the decision-making. Imagine that you have the wrong data about electricity consumption and the incorrect action/remediation to the problems. In the long term, it’s becoming a substantial wrongful total energy consumption calculation. The dashboard can support companies handling complicated data collection, streamlining the process, and generating accurate ESG reports.

Photo Above: ESG Dashboard handling complicated data collection, streamlining the process, and generating accurate ESG reports

After all, In the context of a company reporting or investing, would you say ESG is an expense or a profit? This dilemma is like when your room cooler is broken, you go to the shop and have choices of 1) room cooler of old model which is not an energy-saving type, and 2) the room cooler granted with Energy Efficiency Label. The former is cheaper than the latter, but in the long run, the latter induces lower electricity bills. Which room cooler would you choose? On the technical side, we always perform a life cycle assessment – a cradle-to-grave analysis to assess impacts associated with a product from raw materials extraction to manufacturing, distribution and use. We consider all the stages of thinking if it’s “worth” making it. When we put this concept and practice into ESG reporting and investing, paying a bit more upfront on governance tool—the ESG dashboard, discovering the issues and controlling it through effective ESG data management. It will result in savings, enjoying lower operation and reputation costs, and costs to the environment.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

How to get on track in transforming construction with global responsibility

Environmental good is always precious to preserve, but what does it mean in practice? As environmental impact assessment practitioners, market players still struggle with cost-effective, modernised, scientific approaches to achieving overall environmental, social, and governance (ESG) on the decarbonisation roadmap. We want to help the industry comprehend ESG implications and the latest digitalisation development reaching eco-goals.

Where do we start? Let’s begin with the market.

According to Future of Construction: A Global Forecast for Construction to 2030, global construction output is foreseen to rise by 6.6% in 2021. Government stimuli and residential demands will increase construction by 42% by 2030. What the sector growth implies is a greater risk of pollution and waste. The current 40% of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions from the construction sector have covered a wider environment – the construction supply chain.

The roadmap is the decarbonisation journey requiring a lot of footsteps to achieve. Each footprint is associated with stakeholders’ enactment. Stakeholder groups in construction sector: The project sponsor, Contractors and subcontractors, Materials suppliers, Designers, Employees, The Authorities, Professional bodies, Communities, End users, etc.

Why is supply chain important in decarbonisation? In the construction sector, from raw materials to steelworks and concrete production, the suppliers may not be listed companies, but they are in the supply chain affecting ESG performance.

Each company has their carbon footprint. So have their suppliers. Let’s take building materials companies’ ESG risks as examples. S&P Global ratings unveil building materials companies consume substantial fuels for production, resulting in greenhouse emissions and other kinds of pollution.

What do we do to get on track in transforming businesses with global responsibility?

Law enforcement elevates the environmental consultancy industry – Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance. Environmental Licence Permit holder is liable for breaching, including all their suppliers’. There are emerging needs other than EIA, such as ESG reporting, roadmap, implementation plan.

Listed construction companies are now reporting on ESG matters. In 2016, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the HKEX”) raised a requirement for listed companies in Hong Kong to report their ESG performance. Supply chain management is one of the reporting areas.

Source: HKEX

Practitioners have a responsibility to advise their clients about ESG matters of their construction project. Because ESG risks, including ESG supply chain risks have negative effects on 1) non-alignment with investor values, 2) operational risks, and 3) financial risks. (source: UNPRI.org)

It is also not a straight road towards the new direction. For construction sector, we observe numbers of challenges for them to reach comprehensive ESG targets. They are:

1) The project stakeholders have to handle a high volume of environmental data

2) It is time-consuming and labour-intensive for data collection and distribution

3) It is a pain point to identify the source

4) Data storage capacity is always a problem

5) It is difficult to communicate effectively to project sponsors and stakeholders

6) It is disputable to assign responsibility when handling the complaint

Can technology disruption help the challenges? Yes, technology can help a great deal. Technology advancement enables web-based, online, open system architecture. “Control Centre” Concept allows one-stop EM&A workflow management. Secured remote access, real-time data reporting & data analysis, and real-time event/action triggering & warning secure data integrity, which eventually leads to close-to-the-reality decision-making. Preventive maintenance echos with compliance management. Smart manufacturing streamlines sound facility management.

We believe in the power of digitalisation. Digitalisation powers communication, interaction, scalability, intelligence, and integration. Learn more about our key solutions for your eco, profitable goals.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

How can you correctly measure noise?

You may be engaged in noise measurements in a workshop, measuring with all objects running simultaneously. If you stay there, you will get the data for all objects and the overall sound pressure level in the room. In many cases, background noise may drown out the particular machine noise during measurement. How do you eliminate the background noise and correct the influence?

What you need to do is to measure the sound pressure level with the objects running, and then switch off the objects and measure the background level, calculate the difference between these amounts, locate this on the horizontal axis on the graph below, go up until you intersect the graph, and then go to the vertical axis to the left. Subtract this value from the overall level, and you get the machine sound pressure level. Alternatively, you can utilise the equation to get the result.

Background noise matters to our noise measurement. Before measurement, we have to observe the environment to measure the noise level and identify the ideal location of the monitoring station. There are numbers of points we need to pay attention to when observing the environment. How many noise sources can you find in the environment? What characteristics do the noise sources have? Which location at the site can we pinpoint most of the noise sources? At the site, which directions do the noise sources come from? How far apart are the noise sources? Are there any walls/structures that may cause reflection?

Besides background noise, external factors such as the angle of the sound level meter are placed, and the weather impacts the monitoring. Do we cover most of the noise sources? Is the station close to the noise sources? Is the area encountering human activities? Do we have a good wifi signal and a stable electricity supply? Last but not least, is it safe to access?

After identifying the monitoring location, let us find out what instrument we need for noise measurement.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

When inevitable, how do we do to tackle the noise issue affecting us?

Years ago, ANewR had received a call: “We know we are noisy, it is inevitable. We still want to reduce the noise impact, but we do not know who is the most severe noise generator. We are puzzled.”

Photo above: How would you feel you live nearby? What should the authority do for the neighbourhood?

ANewR told the client: “Noise monitoring is our strength. We have everything here to support. Let us help you.”

Let’s look back: Over the past few years, ANewR has set up the 24-hour noise monitoring system and stations. We have been in charge of the noise monitoring operation and management.

The monitoring approach adopted was scientific; it validated all the reporting and the recommendation to identify the noise impact on our client’s surrounding areas.

Another merit given to the approach was that applying systematic monitoring already ensured compliance with international standards.

Our noise monitoring management process is based on flexibility, and it works. An improved IT infrastructure is supposed to make a quick response to the incident.

In case of the connection failure, the system automatically reconnected to the fixed aviation noise monitoring station and generally operated after a few hours, or resumed regular operation after ANewR reaching to restart the sound level meter short period.

Why do our clients stick with us? Because they can trust in our work. That’s why ANewR has been endeavoring for quality service and IT measure development.

ANewR encourages our clients and staff to find the potential for improvements and innovations.

ANewR is happy about our trustworthy cooperation during the past few years – and the new collaboration will come. Let’s tackle the difficulties together!

Video – When inevitable, how do we do to tackle the noise issue affecting us?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJxUtcEqIH8&t=2s

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

What move could the corporates take to demonstrate their authentic selves?

The bottom line is the final total of an account or balance sheet. In 1994, the bottom line concept was essentially transformed because of the entrepreneur and business writer John Elkington. The triple bottom line was coined. The three bottom lines (Profit, People, and Planet) harmonise seamlessly with ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) that the corporates are coping with nowadays.

“Triple bottom line (TBL), in economics, believes that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. TBL theory posits that instead of one bottom line, there should be three: profit, people, and the planet. A TBL seeks to gauge a corporation’s level of commitment to corporate social responsibility and its impact on the environment over time.” (Investopedia)

If the corporates do not look into the triple bottom line, they will be noted as obsolete. They may fall into a reputational crisis when they do not act on it. The operational practice mirrors the actual value they hold. Profit is straightforward to quantify as it is numerical. What about the intangible people and planet that seem not initiatively be compatible in the accounting? The far-reaching environmental and social impacts ironically shorten the sight into the business resolutions. It matters to sustainability, and this is the total cost of doing business, after all.

It is tricky to measure and communicate solidly for something uncertain. Standards are established to guide sustainability performance with a KPI set. It highly concerns stakeholders the business would affect. The corporates should get the KPIs managed with authentic actions.

What move could the corporates take to demonstrate their authentic selves?

When involving people, preventive maintenance will significantly change the course, and the result can be observed in the accounting – Total recordable incident rate (TRIR) and fatality rate for direct employees and contract employees.

Preventive maintenance is the systematic approach the owners take to protect the stakeholders from catastrophic operation failures in a precautionary way. The process entails routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs on assets. Not at the time when it breaks, but before it reaches its expiry.

In the building aspect, asset deterioration means a shorter building life expectancy and an unfriendly environment for tenants. In a factory area, machinery failure causes operation discontinuity; and affects operability and profitability. If corporates can predict the breakdown and act on it before, they will avoid vital loss on the asset, people, and eventually businesses. When the failure happens on consumer commodities, the prevention measures become more evident because the potential casualty points to productivity, safety, and reputation issues.

The above vivid revelations turn the triple bottom line apparent and the need for inspection, detection, correction, and prevention. These proactive procedures diminish the asset depreciation rate and extend the life of the assets, which would be exposed in the monetary term—notably, the financial consequence resulting from legal proceedings associated with defect- and safety-related incidents.

Our prime case study of the predictive maintenance using the acoustic camera to detect the flaws conceivably provoking derailment has shown us that the manual cost is 1.3 times higher than the predictive-maintenance-with-IoT cost. It is over 95% of accuracy to pick up the defect wheel of Rolling Stock. In worldwide, McKinsey once estimated the global rail maintenance market to be about EUR 50 billion per year. Among which, 25% efficiency is lost due to inefficient, unreliable predictive condition-based maintenance. SMRT’s 2016 annual report unveiled the number of rail maintenance staff by almost a quarter since 2013. Nearly half of the rail revenue was spent on maintenance-related tasks, rising by $18.0 million or 14.8% to $139.9 million, associated mainly with the strict maintenance regime for the ageing network and more trains scheduled overhaul, maintenance work.

Put yourself into the shoes of other infrastructure industries; when the asset size grows with extended operation hours, the duration between each checking for the same asset set also doubles. The preventive maintenance practice identifies a potential problem without interrupting regular operation. The method can reduce the number of breakdowns, unplanned maintenance, and the required level of reserve asset capacity. Once any irregularities have been detected, the department in charge will receive an alert, and hence they can follow-up action and repair the assets immediately to minimize accidents. It helps enhance the company’s corporate image by promising stakeholders and employees safety and customer services. Since the preventive maintenance is non-intrusive, i.e., being monitored and analysed in real-time, interruption to the regular operation remains ultimately minimal.

Maintenance is one of the value chains to support the corporate’s market status and customer service commitment. The predictive maintenance on the railway has reached tangible benefits – enhance the passenger safety, the feasibility of maintenance schedule of rolling stock, and the accuracy of maintenance checking. The performance can be seen in corporate’s integrated reporting. It is time to consider the transformative predictive maintenance approach for your assets.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Meeting with ocean warriors

We are happy to meet a community influencer who voluntarily contribute his time and effort to cleanup work and awareness talk.

Photo above: Meeting with ocean warriors (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnlDUJll0aE)

Who is the community influencer that we talked to?

Harry Chan, a diver who is going to be in his 70s in the coming years, is awarded the 2020 HKSAR Honours and Awards Medal of Honour (M.H.) in recognition of dedicated community service. Since eight years ago, he has been working on marine protection like ghost nets, shorelines, beaches, and mangrove tree areas. Ghost Net is a significant part of his work in the sea.

Therefore, he is known as “Ghost Nets Killer.”

Why the ghost net? Ghost net poses harm to life – human life and marine life. As a diver himself, he has experienced tangling in a ghost net that caused him so much trouble to get out of it. You can guess the potential consequences.

He has seen much marine life killed by ghost nets – crabs trapped, coral lack of sunlight to survive, boat anchor caught.

At the retirement age, he has determined to “do good things, spread good works.” The success in talking in seminars over a hundred times, being nominated as an influencer, and having a supportive relationship with the authority drives him more into the cleanup promotion campaigns. It is not because of fame, but because of the works have progress and the message widespreads.

Years ago, nobody around him cared about ghost nets. They would think about why it matters to them. Now, Harry is happy that more and more people come to him, joining their green events, spreading the words for underwater ghost nets issues with their company staff and organization members.

The public relations work takes him a lot of time, but he knows he has to do it. Just do it to make sure the cleanup works continue to the next generations.

Setting an example by personally taking part in an underwater cleanup makes him be friends with a lot of young, enthusiastic divers. Harry truly wishes them to continue the cleanup work in the future when he is unable to work no more.

Video – Introducing Harry Chan – the pioneer ghost net killer in Hong Kong (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1knrx3E1iI)

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Green resolution is always hard – this is why we need environmental consultant.

Thanks to Julia Park to explain why retrofitting existing buildings is not always easy and straight forward. It is advantageous to get the environmental consultant involved and apply environmental design in the early development stage. In the 21 century, let’s take a long-term environmental impact and healthy living conditions into consideration in the early urban development plan. 

Reference link: https://www.building.co.uk/comment/a-green-homes-revolution-or-total-mayhem/5109039.article

Protecting our environment is one of our right

What is Human Rights Day about?

10 December is Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights #30 – No One Can Take Away Your Human Rights. A pleasant environment for our living and working is one thing; another is about our obligation to protect it. Explore with ANewR for how to improve our environment hand in hand.

Video – What is human rights day about?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J2lpug-QnM&t=3s)

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

Be a prestigious corporation, join green building action

We are your green building consultant.

Do you know? According to the official website, BEAM Plus, formerly known as HK-BEAM (first initiated in 1996), is one of the most widely used voluntary green building certification schemes of its kind globally, on a per capita basis.

Video – Our green building certification and BEAM plus consultancy services in Hong Kong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykpAl2ANRx8&list=PLAhMRxVnpy35mkq6fNDM-n9FCQJGxNVdE

This is ANewR. We are the BEAM Plus consultant for developers, architects, planners, building owners, contractors, and operators.

ANewR advises our clients on a wide range of green building matters, from project planning to detailed design and building construction. Our team is proficient in environmental monitoring, green building assessments such as noise from building equipment, life cycle costing, water-saving or reduction estimations, water quality survey, indoor air quality, thermal comfort measurements, construction IAQ management, room acoustic, and vibration.

Comprising numerous BEAM Professional, we can support your projects to achieve a higher environmental standard in compliance with relevant credit requirements of BEAM Plus for various types of buildings, including New Buildings, Existing Buildings, and Interiors.

Be a prestigious corporation, talk to ANewR about how to transform your premises into green spaces.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)