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Society

How Green Roofs Can Encourage a Green City Revolution

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: KURNIAWAN Trista Vania、AO Wei Ying VinciEdited by: Elif Lale AYHAN、Yee Ling TSANG
  • 2024-05-12

As Brisbane aims to become a greener city, the trend of green roofs is gaining momentum. While green roofs offer benefits, they also present challenges that cities must address before implementing new policies. Green roofs are also just one piece of the puzzle. Rather than relying on green roofs as one solution, cities like Hong Kong should view them as catalysts for inspiring more initiatives that pave the way towards a greener future.

Society

AI-powered health and wellness tools: Personalising medical care at your fingertips

With an iPad’s front camera, artificial intelligence and sitting still for just 30 seconds, Vitals, an AI-powered app, can tell your vital signs by simply scanning the colour changes in your face. Vitals was developed by Panoptic.AI, a Hong Kong-based healthtech company founded in August 2022. The health and wellness monitoring app can identify up to 15 health indicators, including your breathing rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, which can help track current lifestyle conditions and detect any potential health risks down the line. As the colours in your face are affected by blood flow, signals that only show these changes are tracked, which can also filter out “blind spots” such as beards and tattoos. Next, the signals are sent to the company through the cloud, while any personal identifiable information is kept back on the user’s device. Kyle Wong, CEO and co-founder of the start-up, says the product’s idea stems from their previous projects involving temperature screening and thermal imaging technology in large-scale areas, such as border control points and government facilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s team realised that it was challenging to identify asymptomatic patients who did not show signs of fever or had taken medication that lowers their temperature, said Wong. “We were doing a lot of research about using a camera, trying to find what other features we can measure from the person,” Wong said. “That led to the idea of what we have now, which is by using a regular camera, and we're talking about the camera of your smartphone, your everyday, off-the-shelf device, we're able to measure these biomarkers,” he said. Artificial intelligence is developing in Hong Kong’s health technology industry as it transforms health and well-being services into a personalised and self-manageable tool.  The rise of artificial intelligence in digital wellness …

Society

Dyeing for Sustainability: Reviving natural indigo for eco-friendly textiles | Global News Relay

Environmentally-conscious artists and experts in the textile industry want to go back to the basics by promoting the use of natural indigo.

Society

Hong Kong beekeepers find ways to battle extreme weather

The mean temperature of Hong Kong has increased nearly 2 degrees Celsius within 10 years.  Given extreme temperatures and frequent typhoons, it is always challenging to nurture bee colonies in Hong Kong.  Still, local beekeepers are determined in continuing what they love and are able to find ways battling against the unpredictable weather.

Society

Getting to know Hong Kong through sustainable ecotourism

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: KIM Seojoon、CHAN Wing YiuEdited by: Elif Lale AYHAN、Wai Sum CHEUNG
  • 2024-04-17

Stepping into the forest, a symphony of bird songs filled the air. Chow Kwok-pun, 57, could practically name every bird in Hong Kong just from their songs.   “The best way to teach people about conservation and creating a sustainable environment is to bring them to nature and feel it with their hearts,” said Chow, a secondary school laboratory technician. Apart from his regular job as a teacher, Chow has been an eco-tour guide for 11 years with a passion for promoting environmental sustainability. Every weekend, he runs bird watching and stargazing tours all over Hong Kong, spanning both rural and urban areas. Ecotourism, according to the International Eco-tourism Society, is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Tours, like the ones run by Chow, became popular during the pandemic since many people opted for outdoor activities.  According to the World Tourism Organization, the market value of ecotourism is projected to increase from $219.53 billion in 2023 to $249.16 billion in 2024. The growth, according to UNWTO, is the result of rising demand for authentic experiences, government initiatives and policies, the emergence of responsible travel, and efforts on biodiversity conservation, along with the integration of educational components. On weekends, Chow’s eco-tours start at 8 am at early Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, a popular spot among naturalists, biologists and locals who crave serenity. The Reserve covers 440 hectares of forest on the steep catchment area of a stream. The forest extends from 50 metres above sea level to the top of Grassy Hill (Tso Shan), at  647 metrest. “It is the best forest left in Hong Kong. You can see the well-grown canopy,” Chow said. “People think that there are no birds and stars in the city, I’m here to prove …

Society

Hong Kong bus companies roll out electric and hydrogen powered buses to meet carbon neutrality goal

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: WANG Ludan、YANG Shuyi、WANG JingEdited by: Sze Kei WONG
  • 2024-03-29

The first hydrogen double-decker buses in Hong Kong set sail in February for the Vodafone Road route. Starting from 2022, the electric buses are appearing on the Hong Kong’s street to reduce emissions more than diesel buses as part of the public transportation sector’s efforts to help Hong Kong achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.  

Society

Hong Kong bus companies driving toward carbon neutrality

  • By: YANG Shuyi、WANG Ludan、WANG JingEdited by: KONG Tsz Yuen
  • 2024-03-25

Electric buses are appearing on Hong Kong's streets starting in 2022,  transforming the city’s image of traffic clogged up with old double deckers that belch out pollution. These buses use environmentally friendly new energy as fuel, which can reduce emissions better than diesel buses. Citybus will put Hong Kong’s first hydrogen bus into road commissioning this month, and it will soon come into the market.  “We plan to test the performance of diesel, electric, and hydrogen buses by deploying five buses of each type on the same route in the second half of this year. ” said Lee Ka-ming, Citybus's Head Engineering Manager. “Based on the results, we will decide on the proportion of hydrogen and electric buses in our plans. We prefer to use data comparisons to support our decisions on which buses to choose,"Lee said. At present, there are 21 KMB routes serving the public with electric buses, accounting for about 56 electric buses. “Double-decked electric buses have been in service since 2023, and their performance has been very satisfactory. Since a bus can operate for 18 years, we will continue to monitor its performance and prepare to cope with any possible difficulties,” said Kenny Kan, Head of KMB's corporate communications and public affairs department. “KMB expects to replace diesel buses with fully electric ones by 2040,” he added.  According to local think tank, Civic Exchange, Hong Kong's transportation sector accounts for the second largest share of total Greenhouse gas sessions, emitting 18.7%. Commercial vehicles such as buses only account for 20% of the total number of vehicles in Hong Kong but contribute over 90% of nitrogen oxide (NO) emissions, a significant contributor to roadside air pollution. “Compared with diesel buses, new energy buses do not produce harmful emissions, thus directly reducing the use of non-renewable energy such …

Business

New ESG platform aims to benefit local firms

  • By: YANG Haicen、BO ChuxuanEdited by: Ji Youn Lee、KONG Tsz Yuen
  • 2024-01-25

A new eco-community-based platform aimed to help small to medium size enterprises realise their sustainability goals  launched on Jan. 22. The platform, ESG One, was unveiled at ForeSight 2024, an annual event organised by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. “The newly launched ESG One is an ecosphere that provides guidance and services and enables SMEs to share information and resources at all levels,” said Mohamed Butt, the Chief Executive Officer of the HKPC in his opening speech at ForeSight 2024. “ESG is now crucial for corporate strategy and a key indicator of a company's value and prospects in today's business environment,” he added. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has been actively promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance, in its bid to make the city a green finance trading centre.  On its website, HKEx states its policy of enhancing “ the transparency of sustainable financial products, improving supply information and opening up opportunities to promote the development of sustainable finance in Asia.” Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Joseph Chan Ho-lim said SMEs have not yet reaped the full benefits of these ESG initiatives. He said "SMEs would face numerous obstacles in implementing ESG, such as a lack of resources, especially after the three-year epidemic." As of September 2023, over 360,000 small and medium-sized enterprises operated in Hong Kong, making up over 98% of all business establishments in the region and creating jobs for over 1.2 million people, according to the government. In this context, encouraging ESG practices among SMEs is crucial to the region's long-term economic viability, according to Butt. At the forum, leaders from different industries discussed and exchanged ideas on how to promote ESG practices in SMEs. Law Ka-chun, the President of China Light and Power Company Syndicate, suggested uniting Hong Kong's forces to help SMEs reduce …

Society

“Seed to Cup” promotes coffee farming culture in Hong Kong

  • By: Ngai Fung NG、Wai Yan MIUEdited by: Tsz In Warren LEUNG
  • 2023-11-09

A newbie farmer right here in Hong Kong is promoting locally-grown coffee, the “Seed to Cup” project aims to take coffee lovers from the beans to a steaming hot drink.

Society

Copenhagen Airport said Storm Babet causes Flight chaos

  • By: Tsz Yau CHANEdited by: Rajnandini PANDEY
  • 2023-10-31

On Friday, storm Babet caused 142 flight delays or cancellations at Copenhagen Airport. Denmark’s state forecaster issued a category 3 warning on storm surges in the southern area of Denmark and lifted the warning the next morning. According to the Danish Meteorological Institution, DMI, on the night of the violent storm surge, several regions across the nation recorded the highest water levels in 100 years, with sea levels rising to two meters above normal in some places.  There was no significant damage to airport facilities, and minor damages were repaired swiftly. All affected passengers were compensated with hotel stays and rebooking of flights in the following days. At midnight, more than 200 passengers were stranded at the airport waiting for hotel accommodations and flight rearrangements. Ellia Osborna and her friend Faye Ainsworth, both 22-year-old physiotherapists, visited Copenhagen for three days and were about to return to Manchester, England, when storm Babet hit. Their flight was delayed for over two hours and was eventually cancelled. They were compensated with a hotel stay for two nights and a rebooking of a flight transferring at Amsterdam two days later. “We are supposed to be working tomorrow for a football match, but now we’ll have someone to cover for us, which causes us to lose about 50 GBP (HK$475) each,” said Osborna. “The waiting process was tiring but it could have been worse,” she added. Ainsworth said that the airport ground staff was not very helpful throughout the process. “The staff just gave us a piece of paper and told us to complete all the rebooking process on the app, without much explanation,” said Ainsworth. “I think the staff is not really prepared for such situations,” she added. Another traveller, Hussein Shaheen, 63, was travelling to Belgrade, Serbia, to visit his friend but was …