Accelerating the Scaling of Low-Carbon Construction Supply Chains in Hong Kong

From Left to Right: Liam Salter, CEO RESET Carbon, Margaret Ho, Senior Manager, Industry Development for Construction Industry Council, Samanta Pong, Executive Director for Shiu Wing Steel Ltd, Susan Siu, Head of Procurement for Gammon Construction, and Mark Lam, Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Sustainability for Hongkong Land.

During ReThink HK, RESET hosted and moderated a panel session focused on strategies to reduce embodied carbon in the construction industry. We summarise the key takeaways from the insightful conversation below.

RESET’s panel session on accelerating the scaling of low carbon construction supply chains at ReThink HK brought together a cross-section of the supply chain, including experts from Hongkong Land, Gammon Construction, Shiu Wing Steel and the Construction Industry Council. With the challenge of embodied carbon within the construction industry impacting, and requiring action from, all players along the value chain, it made for a well-rounded discussion.

Moderated by our CEO, Liam Salter, the panel examined the challenges of building a supply chain for cement and steel to meet the growing demand from Hong Kong’s developers who are increasingly pushing for low-carbon options. This push is part of a shift within the sector towards the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and adoption of Scope 3 targets. Hong Kong’s developers are active buyers of cement and steel, purchasing millions of tons each year. With cement and steel being incredibly carbon-intensive sectors, and major GHG emitters, pressure is building to find a solution that can provide the scale required.

It was observed that although low-carbon steel and cement exist, demand and supply need to be aligned to better manage pricing and availability. The panellists agreed that making demand visible through standardising procurement approaches will support this and that construction companies and leading suppliers are increasingly aware of the trend and are adjusting their strategies accordingly.

The discussion also addressed the role of the Hong Kong Government, which – once baseline demand has been established – has a valuable role to play through both government procurement and introducing regulations to mandate the consideration of low-carbon construction materials for new projects.

Finally, it was observed that because of its cluster of aligned companies, Hong Kong is in a unique position to drive a trend into other markets such as the Greater Bay Area.

What’s next and how do we continue to drive action?

RESET will continue to support Hong Kong businesses to develop this supply chain, particularly through our work with the Proptech Alliance to help aggregate demand for low carbon construction and provide a market signal to the value chain.

We are also in the midst of developing standardised procurement guidelines to support the sector and accelerate people’s understanding of how to procure low-carbon materials. By bringing all the right actors together we aim to create more momentum for low carbon construction solutions. These guidelines will be ready for release in early 2024.

For buyers or suppliers looking to take the next step, please connect with our team who are here to support and guide you through the process.

Stay tuned for further developments as we continue to collaborate with various players in the sector to drive meaningful change.