In line with the Government's environmental goals, the department takes environmental considerations into account from project inception to management and operation, with the aim of minimising pollution, conserving resources, protecting the natural environment and promoting the appreciation of the beauty of our environment.
The LCSD is committed to:
- Providing aesthetically pleasing open spaces;
- Promoting greening and horticulture;
- Preserving assets of our heritage;
- Practising waste reduction and energy saving; and
- Minimising air and noise pollution when organising leisure and cultural activities.
We follow these environmental policies both when planning new facilities and maintaining our existing ones. This involves us, for example, in adopting energy-saving building service installations and environmentally-friendly materials, and using high-efficiency lighting systems as far as possible. Unless needed for operational reasons or for safety and security, we switch off the lighting overnight for outer walls or outside areas of some venues all year round. Wherever feasible, we keep the need for artificial lighting and cooling at our offices and venues to a minimum by maximising the use of natural light, shortening pre-cooling hours, separating the lighting and air-conditioning controls in different zones and areas to save energy, and installing occupancy sensors. In summer, we generally maintain the Government's recommended office room temperature of 25.5°C. At places such as museums, sports centres and performing arts venues where we cannot strictly maintain this temperature due to essential operational or customer service considerations, we work with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) to keep the temperature as close to 25.5°C as practicable.
Apart from these widely adopted housekeeping measures, some venues also implement other energy-saving measures that address their specific operational characteristics or environments. For example, some museums utilise photovoltaic lighting systems, while some parks and playgrounds have had astronomical time switches installed that switch lighting on and off according to sunset and sunrise times, along with remote control devices that control lighting during inclement weather.
Other major environmental efforts undertaken over the year included:
- Upgrading existing landscape areas and planting more trees and shrubs;
- Running community greening activities, such as the Hong Kong Flower Show, the Community Planting Day, the Green Volunteer Scheme and the Greening School Subsidy Scheme;
- Organising public lectures, exhibitions and publicity programmes to raise public awareness about environmental issues and to promote heritage conservation;
- Saving water by planting drought-tolerant species in suitable locations, using less water for water features in major parks, and installing water efficient fittings and salt water flushing at various facilities;
- Conducting energy audits and energy-saving improvement works where practicable, in collaboration with the EMSD and the Architectural Services Department;
- Taking part in the Earth Hour 2016 lights-off campaign in March 2016, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature;
- Gradually replacing conventional departmental vehicles with environmentally-friendly vehicles;
- Widely promoting good environmental practices and circulating green tips on saving paper, conserving energy and reducing waste in offices and at events and meetings;
- Promoting greater use of green products such as food waste compost and animal waste compost, using environmentally-friendly pesticide for plants, and recycling yard waste as soil conditioner for planted areas;
- Reducing yard waste by planting more flowering perennial/woody shrubs instead of seasonal annuals as part of our greening projects;
- Signing the Food Wise Charter under the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign, and promoting food waste reduction to catering service contractors operating in our leisure/cultural venues;
- Engaging contractors to recycle magazines, newspapers, waste paper and printer cartridges;
- Encouraging waste reduction as well as the recycling of waste paper, metals and plastics through poster promotions, and by installing more waste separation bins at our venues;
- Recycling paper and unserviceable library materials, and reducing paper by giving users the option of receiving overdue and reservation notices by email;
- Recycling exhibition materials at museums and the Hong Kong Film Archive, and placing collection boxes for used guide maps and pamphlets;
- Publicising programmes and collecting feedback electronically at performing arts venues and programming offices;
- Cutting down on printed material by tightly monitoring its distribution, and by recycling unused flyers and programme guides;
- Reducing the distribution of reusable shopping bags when organising events and activities; and
- Conducting an annual performance review to monitor the adoption of green measures and waste reduction practices by individual sections/offices.
In January 2016, the department issued its 15th Environmental Report, which describes our green management practices and activities in greater detail.