SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production
HKU acknowledges the importance of sustainable consumption and production and strives to minimise its resource use and pollution. In particular, HKU works to reduce waste generation and promote prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. As part of the Ditch Disposable campaign, and the University's preparations for the Disposable Plastic Free Campus Policy, the Sustainability Office held a BYO Market in March 2019. Student groups and local retailers sold reusable products and bulk groceries to those that brought their own containers to encourage the idea of “bring your own” reusable container. The Sustainability Office also worked with the Department of Earth Sciences and over 100 undergraduate students to conduct a waste audit on key campus buildings and public spaces in 2017. The audit not only provided useful information on the campus waste situation but also gave the students a tangible reminder of how much waste is produced on campus.
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The University works to holistically manage waste across the entire campus and encourage waste reduction and recycling among all stakeholders. In early 2019, HKU engaged Secure Information Disposal Services Limited (SSID) as the University’s first comprehensive waste management service contractor. SSID now collects a significantly expanded list of recyclables from campus so that the university now recycles 16 different categories of waste. SSID is also working with the Sustainability Office and Estates Office to set waste reduction targets for the University and design engagement campaigns and waste reduction initiatives in order to achieve these targets. Through this collaborative initiative, the University hopes to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills.
The HKU Libraries (HKUL) put significant effort in extending useful life of library resources and reducing paper consumption. Since 2014, HKUL installed an express scanner in the Main Library to reduce the need for printing and photocopying. Over 1,051,088 pages have been scanned on the new device to date, equating to an average of over 16,170 pages per month. Online surveys and online registrations were introduced to replace paper forms. In 2017/18 and 2018/19, the use of electronic materials continued to increase to approximately 86.5% and 89.1%, compared to just 12% in 2001/12. The spending on electronic contents has reached over HK$101M in 2018/19.