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Sustainability within the Institute

In the face of a rapidly changing world, the Institute acknowledges the vital importance of incorporating climate and sustainability aspects into the accounting profession. With its ongoing adaptation and evolution alongside the profession, the Institute remains steadfast in its dedication to advancing sustainable business practices, raising awareness, and offering guidance to members on environmental, social and governance issues. With a commitment to fostering a sustainable efforts, we have joined 13 other accounting bodies, all members of Accounting for Sustainability (“A4S”), in publicly committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within our own organizations, as well as provide an enabling environment for our membership to do the same. Below is an update on the progress of our carbon reduction efforts and pathway to net-zero.


Our carbon footprint

In 2022, the Institute commenced its first carbon footprint exercise covering four major sources of emissions, including:



The use of purchased electricity at our Hong Kong office and training facilities at Wu Chung House to support our operations and members services.

                                  Paper used for the printing of our publications, training and exam materials, as well as internal printing at our offices.

                                  Air-flights taken by the Institute’s representatives and staff for necessary business purpose to Mainland China and overseas.

                                  Daily travels of employees to and from our office using various means of transportation. 



Carbon footprints across four financial years from 2019/20 to 2022/23 were calculated and the results are summarized as below:


Remarks: due to the nature of the Institute’s operations, no material scope 1 emissions were generated. Please refer to the Notes below for the methodology of our carbon emissions calculation.


Our achievements to-date

Our carbon emissions have decreased by 38.4% in FY2022/23 as compared with FY2019/20, with significant reductions noted across all our emission sources. These were mainly due to our continued decarbonization efforts and also partially owing to reduced headcount under the further regulatory reform. Highlights of our recent environmental initiatives are as follows:


Office space optimization

To enhance our operational and resource efficiency, we have begun to review the usage of the office space and commenced the remodeling projects to increase the utilization and reduce the energy use of each office floor. Contractors were asked to implement environmental design and measures where possible, and relevant environmental, health and safety requirements were also clearly set out. About 20% of annual energy consumption could be saved upon the completion of the project.


We are in the progress of further digitalizing our operations and publications, which include our Qualification Programme and the A Plus magazine. This will allow us to save about 35 tonnes of paper and keep our paper use at a minimum.

Reduction of business travels

We aim to further reduce our business air travel even after the travel restrictions have been lifted as compared with pre-COVID-19 levels in FY2019/20, by utilizing technology as much as possible and practicable. We believe this will bring a positive impact to our efficiency as well as environmental performance.


Other environmental initiatives

The Institute actively promotes recycling and reuse of resources, and has established a Green Corner and recycling stations to collect used paper, stationeries, glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans as well as used batteries. To support the Energy Saving Charter on Indoor Temperature, the Institute has set and maintained an average indoor temperature at 24°C or higher in our office during the summers. All copy machines and computers of the Institute have been defaulted to energy saving mode when they are not in use. Our effort is recognized by the Wastewi$e and Engerywi$e Certificate issued by the Environmental Campaign Committee.


Our way forward



This requires additional efforts in identifying new carbon reduction measures. We believe that by having a clear tone at the top and enhancing our staff members’ environmental awareness, we can achieve our goal in the years ahead.


The Institute will continue to monitor our carbon emission performance and develop more initiatives that will help achieve our reduction target going forward. For our initiatives relating to sustainability education, standard setting and advocacy, please refer to our Annual Report.




Notes: Methodology of carbon emissions calculation


Carbon emissions were calculated according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol published by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, with emission factors sourced from:

  Sustainability Report of HK Electric Investments Limited 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022
  Sustainable Finance Report of MTR Corporation Limited 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022
  International Civil Aviation Organization Carbon Emissions Calculator
  “Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Conversion Factors” issued by the UK Government 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022

The data sources and assumptions used for our emission sources are as follows:


Use of electricity

Use of electricity included the electricity consumption of our Hong Kong office at Wu Chung House that were fully controlled and paid directly by the Institute, and consumption data was obtained from the electricity bills issued by HK Electric. Electricity consumption of other building facilities that were centrally managed by the building management office were not included due to the data being unavailable.


Paper consumption

Paper consumption data were captured internally through the printing systems consumption and procurement records. The paper consumed by pieces were converted to weight based on the size and grams per square meter of various types of paper for calculating carbon emissions. 


Business air travel
Business air travel data was obtained through the internal travel management system with details such as number of passengers, destination and flight class of each trip. 


Employee commuting

Employee commuting data was collected through an employee commute survey conducted in August 2023, and emissions were calculated on the basis of distance travelled and mode of transportation taken by our employees on working days. The results from the survey were also used to estimate the FY2019/20 & FY2020/21 emissions from employee commuting. 


The Institute will continue to review its methodology and make necessary enhancements over time to support its efforts to reduce carbon footprint.