Advancing sustainability has been the major focus of Glenn’s work since MTR’s IPO in 2000, and spans an impressive portfolio of environmental, social, governance initiatives and international collaborations. He has also developed the use of sustainable development tools in preparation for and after the merger of MTRC and KCRC in Hong Kong and provided advice on related issue to MTR’s Board.
Glenn started the use of multi-stakeholder interventions in Hong Kong, piloted with the Tung Chung Cable Car Project in 2001 and vastly expanded through the last tranche of MTR railway projects. All of MTR’s Projects Division of more than 2000 staff are required to undertake extensive stakeholder engagement training and the procedures and their achievements are regularly audited.
Under Glenn’s leadership, MTR was the first company in China to publish a sustainability report in 2001. He developed an entirely new methodology for business consideration of sustainable development focusing on the integration of risk, engagement and company culture, the Sustainable Competitive Advantage. This was the first time that risk management was integrated with sustainable development. Glenn was intimately involved in the development and implementation of the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and stakeholder engagement systems at MTR following the Deming Cycle (Plan–Do-Check–Act).
Glenn has worked with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) since 2000 on their reporting standards and has championed the use of Key Performance Indicators for sustainability reporting and management and the use of Materiality Assessments to provide organizational value. He has also worked with the British Standard Institution with BSi 8900, a standard providing guidance for managing sustainable development. He produced a simple radar plot interpretation of the standard that allows visibility of resource allocation and achievement. He also was involved with the Hong Kong Government in the Chief Executive’s Policy Address in 1999 where sustainable development and its governance were proposed as key initiatives.
Glenn has led the development of the Sustainability programme at MTR and in Hong Kong. He developed the MTR Sustainability Framework, assessed risks to business continuity and coordinated implementation of actions through extensive internal and external engagement. These achievements were included in the series of sustainability reports Glenn edited and wrote for the MTR from 2001 – 2013. The reports, discussion with senior management and change management have fundamentally transformed the perception of sustainable development programmes and reporting internationally. Sustainability vision and management have also been the cornerstone for MTR’s inclusion into sustainability stock listing ratings: DJSI, FTSE4Good, CDP, Global Knights 100 Most Sustainable Companies, Bloomberg, oekom, Vigeo, Hang Seng Sustainability Index, HKQAA HSBC CSR Ratings and others.
Glenn developed Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA) as the management framework that integrates the dynamics of competitive advantage into organisational development. It has been tested at the MTR since 2002 and is now recognized as an international best practice. Glenn was one of the first to implement a risk management approach to sustainability.
The underlying management approach of the SCA model references Michael Porter’s work on competitive advantage.* Achieving advantage hinges on the ability to be superior in at least one of the three generic strategies of cost leadership, focus or differentiation. By translating these strategies into the SCA model, superiority is established in risk management and stakeholder engagement by fine-tuning process management through the strategy or focus. Second, through the reiterative interaction of the three processes, shared value is generated.
A series of prioritised material issues are determined through the systematic processes of the SCA model. Material issues as those issues that are of highest importance to both the business and the stakeholders. The degree of materiality is determined by the level of potential impact on the combined interests of business and stakeholders.
In the context of sustainability, the interaction between risk and engagement allows identification of a smaller number of sustainability priorities that encompass all material issues. These priorities directly influence social, economic and environmental development. Over the past decade, I have observed that these priorities generally remain constant due to direct correlation with the core issues of enterprise viability.
The dynamics of the SCA framework are central to the well-established culture of continuous improvement. The Business Management Cycle frames a business management as an eco-system in constant interplay. It demonstrates the model’s role in decision making and frames the feedback loop for continuous improvement.
The SCA model is an important tool for the long-term guidance of organisational development. As a robust framework, it is resilient to the influences affecting business and societal development and provides the mechanisms in which to align organisational development.
The MTR Corporation and the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) merged in 2007. Glenn undertook the Due Diligence study for the merger prioritizing the risks in terms of expenditure to ensure compliance to the Hong Kong environmental ordinances. Of particular concern were waste water from older depot installations, storage of chemical wastes and noise impacts from older railway lines.
Glenn also laid out a clear roadmap for sustainability through a merger. A predictor – corrector methodology was overlaid on the Sustainable Competitive Advantage concept. Prior to the merger an enlarged portfolio of risks was identified. These were mitigated by a significant increase in in engagement over the following two years with a new strategic focus. The Roadmap to Sustainability is found in detail in the MTR Sustainability Report 2007 on page 15.
Glenn led the EIA for the extension of the Chinese High Speed rail network to Hong Kong. Considerations for high speed rail design, operations and maintenance had not previously been an MTR focus and Glenn evolved the new skill sets needed to deal with higher requirements for vibration track form design, ventilation design, a new type of rolling stock and environmental considerations in pristine and built up areas of Hong Kong. The design of the Express Rail Terminal is on track for an HK BEAM Silver Certification for energy management, rain water recycling, waste minimization and indoor air quality management. There is also a carbon target for the construction of the terminal. Noise monitoring of the construction works for the terminal, tunnels and facilities are undertaken automatically by the award winning ANDANTE system.
To respond to the condition in the Environmental Permit for the High Speed Rail Line, Glenn led the development and implementation of the Automatic Noise Data Management E-system (ANDANTE) that uses a network of CCTV and noise and weather monitoring equipment at 35 locations. The purpose was to monitor the magnitude of noise created by current and future construction activities by railway operations in a cost-effective fashion.
ANDANTE is technology innovation at its best. The system uses automatic monitoring and is supported by a technology platform that allows access by authorised parties through a spectrum of IT devices including smart phones and tablets. The system automatically alerts users to noise level breaches while the CCTV allows visual confirmation of source. All data is stored and immediately accessible for use. The system provides substantial savings in manpower and costs for site monitoring works and improves information sharing amongst project parties.
The ANDANTE system is a powerful tool for the construction industry and universally, was the first of its kind for site noise management. It introduced a step change in accepted systems for environmental monitoring and auditing of infrastructure projects. This tool is now included in all future MTR rail projects.
In 2012, ANDANTE was awarded the Certificate of Merit in the Best Green ICT Award category under the annual Hong Kong ICT Awards scheme.
Glenn identified early on public transportation’s exposure to climate change. Increased flooding would impact bus and rail traffic, flooding and rising sea levels would impact water borne transport, increased temperatures would impact maintenance and assets lifetime and increased wind speed could damage fixed installations and blow trains off the track. Glenn authored a Climate Change Policy at the UITP, which was approved in 2006. MTR adopted the same policy a month later and Glenn was given the responsibility to identify, prioritize and mitigate climate change risk at the MTR. The Enterprise Risk Management framework was used to assess the risks and a cross company multi-stakeholder group assisted in developing a financial assessment for the risks. Measures were implemented to reduce exposure to flooding impacting operations. New recovery procedures from typhoons resulted, providing additional resilience to MTR’s business. Glenn has shared his experience with the Hong Kong Government and through his chairing of the Climate Change Business Forum’s (CCBF) Best Practice Committee. A number of best practice documents and reports including renewable technology have been published on the Internet. The information was also submitted to the C40s Cities meeting in Hong Kong 2010 by the Secretary for the Environment and received much acclaim.
Glenn led the EIA for the design, construction and operation of the MTRC rail line connecting the north and south coasts of Hong Kong as well as the design development for the rolling stock. Prior to commencement of design, Glenn worked with many of the local stakeholders to provide strategic visioning and planning of the stations and alignment. The multi-stakeholder dialogue with the public sector was critical in defining the sustainable development for the southern side of Hong Kong Island. This included a transport corridor and areas for hospital, hotels, shopping and local community development. A collaboration with Hong Kong’s green groups on bird life was also a highlight of the study. Archaeological considerations were also resolved through proper dialogue.
The Shatin to Central Line presents a major change to rail infrastructure connecting Hong Kong to the Mainland of China and directing mass transport along new East – West and North – South corridors. Glenn led and coordinated 5 separate EIAs and teams involved with the design and planning for these works. They include an improved bus station, new rail lines through one of the most densely populated areas in Hong Kong (Mong Kok) and older areas (Ma Ta Wai) and a further tunnel connection from Kowloon to Hong Kong under Victoria Harbour. The immersed tube tunnel needed to be complaint with the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance that significantly restricts any reclamation of Victoria Harbour.
Glenn also implemented carbon footprint assessments for the design and construction of new stations including carbon footprint specifications for all Electrical and Mechanical equipment, training both MTR staff and the contactor’s staff in the new design concepts. Glenn also undertook a Quantitative Risk Assessment for the redevelopment of the Government’s Water Treatment Facility at Sha Tin working closely with the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments on chlorine transportation. Facilitating government and non-governmental groups, Glenn successfully moved a number of unique monuments related to Hong Kong film industry and the Kai Tak airport away from the proposed alignment. Even though Hong Kong was fully sensitized to environmental issues, there was no public comment or debate on the projects EIAs and all contracts were commenced on time and no further environmental costs resulted.
Glenn led the EIA and environmental team involved this extension of the existing MTR Line to a new section of the city in Ho Man Tin, Kowloon. Because the alignment was restricted, Glenn worked with a number of community groups to get acceptance for the railway plans as well as the new stations and access points. Environmental concerns regarding vibration from tunnelling and ecological issues were of importance.
Glenn led the EIA and the environmental team involved in this extension of the MTRC Island Line. As the line is under some of the oldest structures in Hong Kong and in a densely populated area on the Island, facilitation with multi-stakeholder groups was a key aspect. Of critical importance was the design of the works to accommodate tunnel blasting with electronic detonators, a relatively new technology to Hong Kong. Government approval for the use, supply and delivery of explosives was also a contentious point.
Located in Brussels, the UITP is the International Association for Public Transport. It involves more than 3,000 members internationally including all forms of public transport: heavy and light rail, trams, buses and ferries. As Chair, Glenn led the formulation and development of the Sustainable Development Commission over an 8 year period. The highlight off these activities was the growth of the UITP in its collaboration with the United Nations, European Union and national authorities on sustainable transport. Glenn provided strategic advice to senior management of these organizations regarding sustainability, programmes, policies and indictors. Glenn authored and promulgated the UTIP Sustainable Development Charter which now covers more than 130 companies in 55 countries, all of whom report regularly on their sustainability achievements, providing a role model for sector reporting. All of UITP’s bus manufacturers are also included. International training workshops and meetings in Milan and Bilbao where held. A number of documents were also issued under Glenn’s leadership and these remain available at the UITP website. The documents provide sustainability insight into public infrastructure planning, construction, maintenance and operations, energy planning and management, rail and bus fleet operations, fleet maintenance and the continued role of public transport in developing sustainable cities. Current activities are focused on public transport as an accredited mitigation measure for Green House Gas reduction under the UNFCCC.
As a member of the Working Group on Disclosure of Management Approach (DMA), Glenn led the multi-stakeholder parties to a new focus on materiality and its importance in sustainability strategy, thinking and reporting. This is now the critical focus in the sustainability world influencing both Integrated Reporting and SASB materiality.
Glenn participated as a member of the GRI Working Group to develop and write a document clarifying the definition, use and importance of material and content in a sustainability context. Working in a multi-party context and in several international groups, a cogent and cohesive document resulted. The document became one of the most referenced guidance notes for the GRI G3.1.
Glenn led the EIA and the team in completing the EIA for the Disney Resort Line. Though only a small extension of 3.5km, the public visibility of the project and on Hong Kong Disney placed enormous pressure on the teams to deliver the railway on time and on budget. A major hurdle was the remediation of an old shipyard and the high concentration of pollutants in the soil and water. Because of the high risk due to the ground based contamination, Glenn supervised, coordinated and provided oversight to the projects and professional teams. The rail line was delivered ahead of time and within budget and there were no environmental issues raised during the construction.
The 5.7km long Tung Chung Cable Car connects the railway station at Tung Chung to the Po Lin Monastery and the Great Outdoor Sitting Buddha. The project was envisioned as a response to the Asian crisis in 1998 focusing on Hong Kong as a unique tourism destination. Glenn established the Sustainability Advisory Board for the project, a unique initiative. All parties involved in the construction and operation including the monastery, bus company, local schools, local communities and contractors were included in a facilitated group to assist in the design and construction of the cable car and the future economic development of the Ngong Ping Plateau. The Ngong Ping community has provided new jobs and has grown in subsequent years. This initiative is frequently cited by the Hong Kong Government and NGOs an excellent example of a multi-stakeholder dialogue.
Glenn led the EIA and teams for the design, construction and operations of this new line extending the catchment of the MTR network in Kowloon. The project built on the newly developed Design Standards Manual and Environmental and Safety Management Systems. Glenn used the project to test and develop environmental and safety auditing procedures resulting in a significant decrease in environmental fines to contactors and a significantly reduced Accident Frequency Rate.
Glenn had the full responsibility for designing and undertaking the Environmental Impact Study for the Lantau and Airport Railway, and implementing the recommendations. This project was the first to implement an EIS in Hong Kong and Glenn used the study to train teams, develop relationships with governmental and non-governmental organizations and develop a cohesive contractual requirement for environmental specifications. The detailed EIS provided the Particular Specifications for the contracts. Glenn introduced acoustical criteria for stations, platforms, rolling stock and building services and in working with contractors, used his experience in oversight and coordination impacting budgeting and schedules. As a unique set of specifications was developed, Glenn worked with each major contractor to ensure compliance, frequently visiting manufacturers and testing facilities. Floating track slab was designed and used at each major station and the rolling stock included a Noise Management Plan to ensure quiet internal and external environments. This aspect has now become an industry best practice for the new rolling stock and Glenn has trained MTR contractors at ROTEM (Korea) and CRC (China).
The construction of underground tunnels through radon-bearing rock poses a radiation health risk to tunnelling workers from exposure to radon gas and its radioactive decay products. Glenn developed and implemented a practical application of a radon assessment strategy suitable for the measurement of radon in tunnelling work environments in Hong Kong. The assessment strategy was successfully evaluated on a number of underground railway tunnelling projects over a 3 year period. Radon measurements were undertaken using a combination of portable radon measurement equipment and track etch detectors (TEDs) deployed throughout the tunnels. The radon gas monitoring results were used to confirm whether ventilation rates were adequate or identified, at an early stage, when further action to reduce radon levels was required. Exposure dose estimates based on the TED results showed that the exposure of tunnel workers to radon did not exceed 3 mSv per annum for the duration of each project. This has since become a standard for monitoring tunnelling work in Hong Kong and the results has been reported in international medical journals.
Glenn project managed a team at Vipac Engineers and Scientist Pty Ltd to re-design mining vehicles to minimize noise and vibration emissions. The vehicles would be manufactured in Australia, used in their mining facilities and exported worldwide. Working with multiple stakeholders ensured that this project succeeded on time and within budget.
Glenn invented a new type of sound absorbent material to replace mineral wool in perforated ceiling panels in offices and in ships. The work was done for Dampa A/S in Denmark and was a key success factor in maintaining the company’s business. Glenn worked with multiple stakeholders to get them to endorse the new products: Hospital Authority in Denmark, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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