Sustainable development is a balance between the needs of the environment, society and economy in order to maintain a quality standard of life for both present and future generations. According to the Sustainable Cities Index, Hong Kong ranked ninth worldwide in 2018, down from eighth in 2015, and five places behind Singapore. The major challenge to achieve sustainability is that businesses focus on maximizing short-term profits and the society has different notions of sustainability. Professor Kira Matus, Associate Head of Division of Public Policy, HKUST suggested that Hong Kong can transition into a cleaner society through relatively less costly, more adaptable changes in business practices and consumption behaviors. Her previous co-authored research has pointed out that achieving sustainable consumption and production in urban settings requires profound systemic changes and transitions. She is optimistic that Hong Kong can make strides in transforming its economy into a sustainable one. There is tremendous energy at the ground level to support innovative, sustainable businesses and community projects. She also advocated us to start undertaking small-scale initiatives that experiment with social organization and sustainable lifestyles.
Read her opinion piece published on The Standard on 31 July 2019.