HKBN Energy Initiatives – “Something for Nothing”
Results & Impacts
- 23% carbon footprint reduction in the first year of the scheme (2013)
- HK$3.5 million projected OPEX saving over 5 years following 2nd phase CAPEX investment (starting 2016)
- Awards and recognition from WWF, HKAEE, Friends of the Earth and others – creating positive publicity and brand awareness for HKBN
Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) aims to minimise the environmental footprint of its network and operations as part of its commitment to responsible business. The company recognised that reducing energy and carbon emissions could also help to reduce costs.
To identify specific opportunities, an energy audit was commissioned. HKBN’s data centres were identified as a major source of energy consumption; consequently a pilot a scheme was launched in one of the larger data centres, progressively raising the room temperature to reduce energy for air conditioning. The performance of server equipment was closely monitored throughout to ensure service quality remained consistent.
Additional measures included replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs, removing excess tubes, and zoning air conditioning and lighting so that areas not in use could be shut down more easily.
Together, these initiatives reduced HKBN’s overall energy consumption by nearly a quarter (23%) in the first year – creating internal support and momentum for further initiatives across the business.
“Going green is the social responsibility of every corporation, but we fulfil our environmental responsibilities in an innovative way.”
– Bonnie Chan, Co-owner & Manager, Corporate Social Investment, HKBN
Preparations for Phase 2 began in August 2015 with a detailed energy audit across all HKBN operations. The audit identified opportunities to save a further HK$3.5 million over five years through benchmarking and setting new temperature standards in other data centres, replacing belt-driven air conditioning fans with high-efficiency chillers, and continuing to update lighting and install infrared motion sensors.
The programme required an upfront capital investment totalling some HK$1.74 million – a significant cost for a medium-sized company. Yet through an innovative financing partnership with independent energy consultant Blue Sky Energy, HKBN will pay nothing upfront.
Instead, the CAPEX is funded exclusively by the consultant, who will receive a share of the resultant OPEX savings over a contract period of five years. This presents a true win-win, providing HKBN with “something for nothing” – a zero-risk opportunity – while securing a long-term income stream for Blue Sky Energy.
Dialogue for Success
Preceding the initial phase of the programme, HKBN defined four clear sustainability priorities with senior management support – talent, environment, community and social enterprise. In working to become a green office, colleagues or ‘talents’ were guided by the ‘4 Cs’: commit, calculate, cut, communicate.
Internal collaboration was critical in making the initiative a success. A cross-departmental committee was established to educate and engage staff on environmental sustainability.
When piloting the new data centre temperate standard, close communication between HKBN’s sustainability and technical teams helped to build trust and ensure potential issues were identified and addressed early on.