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(Hong Kong) On February 1 2023, The Harbour School (THS) located in Ap Lei Chau and its partner school bus service, Jolly Bus Company switched to using biodiesel in two of its school buses.
The Harbour School along with Chinese University Hong Kong (CUHK) are the only educational organizations using biodiesel in HK in their buses. In the lead-up to this pioneering development, The Alliance For Sustainable Schools brought together for the first time leading sustainable schools and industry experts at a workshop designed to take on the challenge of getting biodiesel in school buses. The workshop, held at ReThink 2022 included experts from Shell, ASB Biodiesel, Green School Bali, THS and WWF. Subsequent collaborative efforts between THS and TASS have culminated in THS and Jolly Bus Company agreeing to make this important decision to start using biodiesel to reduce the carbon emissions from its bus service.
With this news, Anthony Dixon, Founder and Chairman of The Alliance for Sustainable Schools states: “Following the launch of our campaign in October to get biodiesel in school buses, we are delighted to be seeing the first results. We congratulate The Harbour School and Jolly Bus Company on their initiative to demonstrate the use of biodiesel in school buses. We look forward to seeing many other school bus companies follow their example.”
B5 Biodiesel is a lower-carbon fuel that is composed of 5% biodiesel and 95% diesel. B5 is currently available in Tsing Yi and Kowloon Bay. Biodiesel has many benefits as an alternative fuel. Firstly, the biodiesel available is locally produced from the waste cooking oil of restaurants. This simplifies and reduces the carbon footprint of the supply chain and removes waste that might otherwise find its way back into the market. Biodiesel is not only a lower carbon fuel that mitigates climate change, but it is non-toxic and biodegradable which reduces toxic particulate matter improving overall air quality.
Transport is responsible for nearly 20% of Hong Kong’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Hong Kong Government’s strategy to decarbonize the economy by 2050 includes widespread use of electric vehicles. However, the transition to EVs will take several decades and requires significant investment in new buses, charging infrastructure, and renewable energy sources. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is a way to reduce carbon emissions that can be implemented without delay
In 2021, THS formed the Social Impact and Sustainability Program (SISP) to improve related practices and operations and has since won multiple awards including three awards under the Project Award category in the UN SDG Achievement Awards 2022 organised by the Green Council. These include the Silver Award according to overall scoring in the large corporate category, Best Approach Award and High Replicability Award. More SISP achievements can be viewed in their new sustainability report. SISP is directly connected to the learning program to have a measurable impact. Currently Grade 8 students are addressing climate change, food security and marine biodiversity through a seaweed farming project coordinated by Professional Biologists at THS’s Marine Science Center. The school is also incorporating biodiesel learning opportunities in the High School Global Project Development course. In May, a team of students will be traveling to Cambodia to work with Song Saa Foundation to explore a pilot biodiesel project for the local community.
After years of driving forward sustainability initiatives, Dr. Jadis Burton, Head of The Harbour School, states, “We have advanced our systems and raised our standards to the point where it is becoming a non-negotiable for us to work with organizations that are consciously aligned with our sustainability-minded mission.”
About The Harbour School
The Harbour School (THS) is a through train American curriculum international school that is at the forefront of progressive education. It recognizes children as complex individuals with differing needs, goals, personalities, and backgrounds with a customized approach to learning. THS is a founding member of TASS.
About The Alliance for Sustainable Schools
The Alliance for Sustainable Schools (TASS) is a non-profit network of schools working together to help accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. The Alliance collaborates with members and innovative companies to catalyse systems change in four areas – school uniforms, school food, school buses and school buildings. The Alliance launched a campaign to get biodiesel in school buses in October and is currently working with its student ambassadors around the region to influence school bus companies to use biodiesel. TASS is also working with Retkyle to increase the trading of second hand school uniforms, and with Grass Root Initiative and school catering companies to improve the sustainability of school food.
About Jolly Bus Company
Jolly Bus Company (JBC) has been serving schools in Hong Kong since its inception in the 1980s. Serving more than 10 local and international secondary schools, primary schools and kindergartens, JBC prides itself in providing safe and efficient bus services for students.
The Harbour School
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