Supporting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. HKUST is an advocate of UN SDGs that we have put Sustainable Development as the core idea behind our sustainability practices and policies. We have identified several specific Sustainable Development Goals that we believe are mostly connected to our operation, education, network and research.

Campus Food Waste

  • Food waste generated was 16.5kg per capita, which was a 3.2% reduction compared to previous year.  
  • Promote food donation and sharing to collect surplus food. 

Water-Use Efficiency

  • Water consumption per capita had a 3.6% reduction compared to previous year. 

Energy-Use Efficiency

  • Reduce electricity consumption by 3% compared to previous year by implementing energy saving projects.


  • Prof. ZHAO Tianshou of HKUST leads a cross-university research project ‘Creation of Rechargeable Electron-fuels for Stationary Power Supplies and Electric Vehicles’. 

Upgrade Infrastructure

  • Implement electricity saving projects on virtual stack fans, lighting, chiller plant and BMS system. 

Foster Innovation 

  • GREAT Smart Cities Institute and HKUST Sustainability Unit jointly administer “Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab” to inspire students and academics to lead projects that could solve sustainability issues.
  • HKUST Institute for the Environment launched a new mobile app that aims to help users reduce their exposure to outdoor air pollution. 

Sustainable Consumption

  • Reduce the use of printed paper per capita by 10% compared to previous year and increase the proportion of recycled paper among printed paper to 45%. 


  • Recycling amount has increased 31.5% compared to previous year. 

Outreach Activities and Campaigns

  • Collaborate with the National Geographic Society to hold a popular “Planet or Plastic” exhibition.   
  • Work with student societies via Green O’Camp for freshers and Green Promotion activities that contributed to campus waste reduction.
  • Encourage departments and offices to dispense with plastic water bottles and participat in the pilot Green Office Audit Program.  
  •  Work with local universities to jointly organize a “UNIfy- Bring Your Own” campaign to motivate students and staff to reduce waste.
  • Various student groups run different projects and campaigns to reduce climate change impact.

Reduce Pollution

  • Recycle plastics such as plastic containers and polyfoam.  

Learning Opportunities

  • Host workshop to help educators teach sustainability across disciplines. 
  •  Introduced a common core course entitled Introduction to Sustainability for undergraduates with a total of 176 students attending the sessions.
  • Offer Life Cycle Thinking Workshops for engineering students.  


  • Save 114 trees by reducing use of 1,900 reams of paper from previous year. 
*Progress in 2018-19