Pursuing a long-term ambition of decarbonisation

The world needs to act decisively to mitigate climate change. To play our part in this, we aim to decarbonise our operations progressively.

Our ambition is to be leaders in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emission in the industries in which we operate. This will contribute to the fight against global warming and reduce our own costs.

We aim to reduce our emissions in line with international carbon reduction goals. Innovation and adoption of new technologies will be key to this.





Climate change through extreme weather is a material risk to our businesses, so mitigating its effects is a major business imperative. To reduce the risks associated with climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. We work with industry groups and regulators to support emissions reductions.

Greenhouse Gases

The Aviation Division accounts for 96% of our total emissions. In 2016, our total greenhouse gas emissions were 18.6 million tonnes of CO2e, an increase from 18.3 million tonnes of CO2e in 2015. This increase is due to more jet fuel consumption by the Cathay Pacific group, as a result of more flights being operated.

Cathay Pacific has set a target of improving fuel efficiency by 2% per annum up to 2020 and achieving carbon neutral growth thereafter. This exceeds the agreed industry target of 1.5% per annum. In 2016, Cathay Pacific increased fuel efficiency by 1%, principally as a result of using more fuel efficient aircraft. Ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft were delivered in 2016.

We encourage the long term use of sustainable biofuels in the engines of our aircraft, vehicles and vessels and have taken our first important steps. Cathay Pacific is a member of the Round Table on Sustainable Biomaterials and of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group Asia.

Carbon Offsets

Carbon offsets are purchased by Cathay Pacific and Swire Pacific Offshore. In 2016, under Cathay Pacific’s FLYgreener carbon offset programme, 14,400 tonnes of CO2 were offset by investments in carbon credits certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) including wind farms in Taiwan and clean biomass stoves in Mainland China. In 2016, Swire Pacific Offshore purchased credits worth 250,000 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2) emissions from two dual accredited projects.

  • 150,000 tCO2 carbon credits came from the Ecomapuá Amazon REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) project in Brazil.
  • 100,000 tCO2 carbon credits came from a wind farm project in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The projects were selected having regard to their expected environmental, economic and social benefits.


Electricity consumption is our second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. As the cost of electricity rises, making our buildings and operations more energy efficient is a priority. In 2016, our emissions from using electricity increased by 4% to 618,000 tonnes of CO2e. This increase resulted from an increase in the scope of this report. All operating companies are encouraged to reduce energy use and to set energy efficiency targets.

Swire Properties achieved a 17.8% decrease in energy usage from 2001 to 2016 despite a 16.6% increase in gross floor area over the same period. Energy intensity per square metre decreased by 2% in Swire Properties’ Hong Kong and Mainland China property portfolios in 2016.

It is Swire Properties’ policy to try to obtain the highest or, as a minimum, the second highest international or local building environmental certification for its new and substantially renovated buildings. At the end of 2016, 70% of the total property portfolio had been certified or provisionally certified as green buildings under the Hong Kong BEAM Plus standard and the global LEED standard.

As part of its SD2030 strategy, Swire Properties is committed to the following by 2020:

  • a 27% reduction in carbon intensity in its Hong Kong portfolio
  • a 29% reduction in energy intensity in its Hong Kong portfolio
  • A reduction in energy consumption in its Mainland China portfolio of 23 million kWh/year

Swire Properties offers free energy audits to tenants. Since 2008, audits have covered 433,000m2 of commercial space, identifying savings of 6.3 million kWh per year.

The principal companies in the HAECO Group are required to carry out energy audits every five years, to manage their impact on the environment and to look for opportunities to save energy.

Swire Properties has obtained ISO 50001:2011 certifications for its energy management systems in its entire Hong Kong property portfolio and at its Taikoo Li Sanlitun, Beijing and TaiKoo Hui, Guangzhou developments in Mainland China.

We work with others to provide innovative solutions to our energy needs. In 2016, Swire Beverages joined Swire Properties in establishing a partnership with Tsinghua University to explore energy efficiency and management at Swire Beverages’ bottling plant operations in Mainland China. The Joint Research Centre for Building Energy Efficiency & Sustainability of Tsinghua University will provide onsite energy consumption monitoring, analysis and research. The aim is to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The Centre will help to develop a code of practice, energy saving standards and operational guidelines and will provide staff training.

Renewable energy

We are exploring the use of renewable energy. 56 million kWh of electricity was generated from renewable energy sources at Swire Pacific Offshore, Swire Beverages and HAECO Xiamen in 2016.

At Swire Beverages, renewable energy has contributed 50,000 GJ of energy since 2004. In 2016, solar photovoltaic panels at the Hangzhou and Hefei bottling plants generated 8.15MWp of electricity, so saving the equivalent of 9,750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on how we manage our energy consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions in some of our operating companies please check out the Property and Aviation Division pages.


World’s Longest Biofuel Flights by our New Airbus A350 Aircraft

World’s Longest Biofuel Flights by our New Airbus A350 Aircraft

In 2016, Cathay Pacific took delivery of 10 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Advanced aerodynamics, lightweight composite materials and more fuel efficient engines result in a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the wide-body aircraft which they replace, with corresponding reductions in CO2 and NOx emissions and less noise.

All of Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-900 aircraft are being delivered from Toulouse to Hong Kong using a 10% blend of biofuel. Sugar is fermented with yeast to produce hydrocarbons which are processed into jet fuel. Cathay Pacific’s use of biofuels on delivery flights accustoms it to using such fuels ahead of them become available in large volumes in the future.

Cathay Pacific has a minority interest in Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. (Fulcrum), a company based in the United States which converts municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel. Cathay Pacific has entered into an agreement with Fulcrum for the supply of 375 million US gallons of sustainable aviation fuel over 10 years.


Installation of Innovative Oil-free Magnetic Bearing Chillers

Installation of Innovative Oil-free Magnetic Bearing Chillers

In 2016, Swire Properties installed an oil-free magnetic bearing chiller at Lincoln House in Taikoo Place, Hong Kong. The design of the new chiller allows it to operate without lubricating oil, so reducing energy losses due to friction and increasing heat transfer efficiency. It is expected to save 117,500 kWh of electricity per annum. Three further such chillers are planned to be installed at Taikoo Place. They are expected to save 900,000 kWh of electricity per annum.





Contributing to Climate Change Science

Contributing to Climate Change Science

Under the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) programme, which is supported by the European Union, Cathay Pacific has equipped one of its Airbus A330-300 aircraft with instruments which record data on ozone, carbon monoxide, water vapour and clouds during take-off, cruise and landing. The results are sent to the IAGOS database, where they are available to scientists and policy makers. Since the equipment was installed in 2013, the aircraft has operated over 1,400 flights. Data collected is used in connection with weather prediction, air quality forecasting and climate models. More information can be found at




In 2012, Swire Pacific Offshore voluntarily adopted a policy that if it sent any vessels at the end of their working life for recycling, then this would only be to yards that as a minimum, adhere to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmental Sound Recycling of Ships.


Our equal opportunities and diversity council, is responsible for encouraging and advocating equal opportunities and diversity within Swire Pacific and monitoring and measuring the group’s equal opportunities and diversity achievements.

Photo credit: Captain Hau Wan Sim


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