Our Mission

Civic Exchange is an independent public policy think-tank with a vision to shape a liveable and sustainable Hong Kong.

Our mission is to engage society and influence public policy through research, dialogue and the development of practical solutions. We undertake research in three major areas: air quality, nature conservation and the urban environment, with an overarching framework of promoting wellbeing.

Civic Exchange is regularly ranked among the top 50 environmental think-tanks in the world by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. 


Civic Exchange was founded in Hong Kong in 2000 by environmental researcher Lisa Hopkinson and Christine Loh, who later went on to be the Undersecretary for the Environment (2012-2017).

In the early 2000s, Civic Exchange was the first organisation to conduct in-depth surveys on Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta residents’ environmental behaviours and attitudes.

In 2006, Civic Exchange produced Hong Kong’s first comprehensive air management policy, and also published a groundbreaking report on local vs. regional pollution sources. That was followed up in 2007 with the first report on climate change in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.

From 2009-2012, Civic Exchange was involved into the development of the Hedley Environmental Index, which tracks the financial and human cost of pollution.

Civic Exchange was also instrumental in crafting The Fair Winds Charter, adopted in 2011 to encourage shipping lines, cruise liners and outliners to use fuel with lower sulphur content.

In 2016, Civic Exchange hosted the first international Walk21 conference to be held in Asia. Walk21 Hong Kong attracted 156 speakers from all over the world, 600 delegates, as well as 300 participants in public forums.

Civic Exchange’s work on water resources in the Pearl River Basin started with a report in 2009, and continued with 2017’s “Illusion of Plenty” report, which received widespread attention in the media, public and government.

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How We Operate