HKUST Implements Tree Felling & Planting Policy for Sustainable Campus Development

Starting from 18th April 2024, HKUST has taken a significant step towards sustainable campus development with the publication of its Tree Felling & Planting Policy. This policy sets guidelines that all contractors and consultants engaged in development projects on the HKUST campus must comply with, emphasizing the importance of responsible tree management.

The trees adorning HKUST's landscape are not only valuable resources but also contribute to the aesthetic appeal and allure of our campus for residents and visitors alike. Recognizing their ecological and biodiversity value, HKUST places great importance on preserving and maintaining these cherished assets.

While acknowledging that some trees may need to be removed within project boundaries, HKUST is committed to maximizing the full range of value derived from these resources. Previous projects have seen the successful harvest of valuable hardwood, utilized in furniture, decorations, souvenirs, and landscape amendments, showcasing the university's dedication to creative resource reuse.

Under this policy, contractors and consultants bear the responsibility of ensuring that their activities do not pose risks to existing trees beyond the project boundaries. They are also required to implement measures to protect trees during the development process.

The Tree Felling & Planting Policy comprises three key components:

  1. Pre-construction assessment: Before commencing any tree felling work, contractors and consultants must identify and protect trees of conservation value, in accordance with local regulations and international standards. Additionally, saplings with high ecological value should be considered for replanting, with close coordination and communication with HKUST to ensure policy adherence.


  1. Sustainable Tree Felling: When tree felling is necessary, contractors are required to carry out the work in a manner that maximizes the potential for timber reuse. Organic waste that cannot be repurposed will be sent to Y-Park for processing into useful materials, such as wood chips, minimizing waste and promoting a circular economy.


  1. Responsible Replanting: In line with HKUST's commitment to environmental sustainability, any trees removed during construction must be replaced with an equal or greater number of trees within the project's scope or in designated areas approved by campus management. The replanting plan prioritizes native or adaptive tree species with dual purposes, such as fruit-bearing and carbon sequestration, to enhance the ecological value of the campus environment.

The Tree Felling and Planting Policy underscores HKUST's dedication to responsible tree management. By integrating sustainable practices, preserving valuable trees, and promoting tree planting, HKUST strives to create a greener, more environmentally friendly campus. The compliance of contractors and consultants is crucial for the successful implementation of this policy and the long-term sustainability of the campus. Together, we can build a vibrant and eco-conscious community at HKUST.


Read more about the policy by clicking here.

Story about new Student Center reusing Acacia Wood.

Story about transplanting of saplings from development sites.

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