Chapter 3 - Environmental Management and Performance

(A) Providing Aesthetically Pleasing Open Space and Promoting Greening and Horticulture

3.1 In providing aesthetically pleasing open space and promoting greening and horticulture, we have five areas of work. They are –
  • Provision of open spaces that are aethestically pleasing;
  • beautification of existing landscape areas;
  • planting programme;
  • education and promotion on environmental protection; and
  • greening activities.
3.2 (I) Provision of Open Spaces that are Aesthetically Pleasing
  • In 2015, 15 open space projects (including capital works projects and minor works projects) were completed, resulting in an increase of about 2.47 hectares of open space in Hong Kong. A list of these projects is shown at Annex I.
  • In general, 70% of the passive recreation areas will be used as landscape area. Conspicuous flowering and shade trees, colour foliage and flowering shrubs of hardy species will be chosen to create colour contrast and seasonal changes. We aim to achieve sustainable landscape through careful design and use of more native plant species.
  • When planning new open space projects, the facility will be designed and constructed with consideration to its environmental performance, such as application of energy-saving building services installations and use of environmental-friendly materials such as products with high recycled content. Appropriate materials should be used to create an user-friendly, comfortable environment and to achieve low recurrent maintenance cost.
  • Apart from new open space projects, there are on-going improvement and upgrading works to existing parks and playgrounds.
3.3 (II) Beautification of Existing Landscape Areas
  • In 2015, about 12 hectares of existing landscape areas (including some identified prominent roadside amenity areas) were upgraded through the effort of district staff in carrying out landscape improvement works.
  • We ensure that soft landscape areas are maximised in passive recreation areas.
3.4 (III) Planting Programme

Around 2 082 000 trees, shrubs and annuals were planted in 2015 (breakdown at Annex II). To tie in with the tree management policy promulgated by the Development Bureau, we removed peripheral plantings at the tree bases to enhance the tree health and risk assessment arrangement during the year. Besides, we continued the planting of flowering species to enhance the visual impact with more seasonal colours.
3.5 (IV) Education and Promotion on Environmental Protection

(a) Horticulture Courses for the General Public

During the year of 2015, the Department conducted 50 horticulture courses for 1 498 participants, which were well-received.

(b) School Guided Visits

The Department organised 573 guided visits for 19 616 school children. Participants were guided around the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, Tai Po Waterfront Park, Tuen Mun Park, Lower Shouson Hill Nursery and Boundary Street Nursery. The content of the talk delivered during the guided visit was designed having regard to the curriculum on environmental education for primary schools, including topics on plants and animals.

(c) Outdoor Education Activities for Kindergartens

A total of 68 guided visits were arranged for 2 040 children from kindergartens to tour around Kowloon Park and Hong Kong Park. Children were introduced the basic knowledge of plants and taught the concept of environmental conservation and appropriate manners for visiting parks.

(d) Conservation Courses for Uniformed Groups

The programmes provided a wide range of courses in gardening and arboriculture and aimed at promoting the concept of nature conservation. A total of 12 conservation courses were organised for 300 participants of the uniformed groups in 2015. Participants were involved in group discussions, lectures, guided visits and practical services.

(e) Seminar and Gallery on Environmental Protection

  • The Hong Kong Science Museum staged exhibitions and organised lectures to arouse public awareness on environmental issues, including –
(i) staging the “Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project” exhibition in the Special Exhibition Hall from November 2015 to February 2016;
(ii) staging the “Monitoring Hong Kong’s Urban Heat Island” exhibition in the Science News Corner from June 2014 to September 2015 with the exhibition content provided by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and
(iii) presenting public lectures on environmental issues in the series of “Science in the Public Service” from July to October 2015, “Research Grants Council Public Lecture Series” in July 2015 and Popular Meteorological Science Lecture Series: “Climate, Food and Water Resources” in November 2015.
  • The Hong Kong Space Museum, in collaboration with the Department of Physics of the University of Hong Kong, has been conducting the research project “Hong Kong Night Sky Brightness Monitoring Network” on light pollution since September 2010. Funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund initially, the project aims at carrying out a comprehensive monitoring of the condition of light pollution in Hong Kong by studying the night sky brightness at about 18 urban and rural locations, including the Space Museum, iObservatory and Astropark. Besides, the Hong Kong Space Museum jointly presented the “Light Pollution Research Competition 2015-16” with the University of Hong Kong, the Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical Centre and the Office of Astronomy Outreach, International Astronomical Union from November 2015 to April 2016. A “Light Pollution” temporary exhibition to showcase the winning works of the competitions in the foyer of the Museum will be held in June 2016.
3.6 (V) Greening Activities

The Department continuously promotes a green culture in the community through a series of educational and community involvement programmes. A total of 3 134 greening activities were organised for the year of 2015, including –

(a) Hong Kong Flower Show
The Hong Kong Flower Show 2015 was held from 20 to 29 March 2015 at Victoria Park attracting over 590 000 visitors. The Show aimed at promoting public interest in horticulture and arousing public’s awareness of conservation of natural environment. A total of 217 local and overseas horticultural organisations participated in the Show. The special display of Oncidium was well-received by visitors. Other major attractions included –

(i) colourful garden displays and flower arrangements staged by horticultural organisations, plant nurseries and flower clubs;
(ii) beautiful plant exhibits; and
(iii) floral art arrangements entered for competition by individuals and schools. A wide range of educational activities, musical performances and entertainment programmes were also provided for the enjoyment of visitors.
(b) Community Planting Day
To promote public awareness in greening, the Department organised 18 Community Planting Days in 2015. More than 4 800 participants planted over 26 900 trees and shrubs in 18 Districts.
(c) Green Volunteer Scheme
Under this Scheme, Green Volunteers were recruited in 18 Districts to serve as stewards in greening promotion activities, and to assist in tree surveillance work and report problematic trees. They were encouraged to participate in greening their neighbourhood. 470 greening activities were organised for the Green Volunteers with an attendance of around 7 400. The scheme was expanded through recruiting local celebrities as Green Ambassadors. In 2015, 355 local celebrities joined as Green Ambassadors.
(d) Greening School Subsidy Scheme
The Scheme was launched for schools and kindergartens to implement planting projects in their campuses with technical advice from horticultural instructors and to organise greening activities. It aimed at fostering green consciousness among students. This Scheme was very popular and attracted the participation of 877 schools and kindergartens in 2015.
(e) “One Person, One Flower” Scheme
The Scheme aimed at enhancing the knowledge of students about plants and cultivating their interests in growing them. In 2015, 361 000 seedlings were distributed for students to nurture at home or in school.
(f) Greening Hong Kong Activities Subsidy Scheme
The Scheme aimed at encouraging the local community to organise more greening activities. Three organisations were subsidised under this Scheme in 2015 to organise greening activities.
(g) Greening Exhibitions and Talks
Greening exhibitions and talks on horticulture were organised at the Green Education and Resource Centre at Kowloon Park in 2015 with a view to educating and arousing public awareness in greening. A total of 400 exhibitions and talks were organised with about 30 000 participants.
(h) Community Garden Programme
To encourage the public to participate actively in greening activities at the neighbourhood level and to adopt greening activities as part of daily life, 55 gardening courses were organised in 2015 with about 12 000 participants.
(i) Outreaching Greening Promotional Activities
To promote greening and enhance public awareness in greening and environmental protection, 176 outreaching greening activities were delivered to organisations and schools for about 42 600 participants in 2015.

(B) Preserving Assets of Our Heritage

3.7 The Department, through its Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO), is committed to preserving Hong Kong’s cultural heritage. Under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) advises the Secretary for Development, i.e. the Antiquities Authority, on matters relating to antiquities and monuments. The AMO works closely with AAB and acts as the Authority’s executive arm under the Ordinance.
3.8 In addition, the AMO plays an important role in monitoring Environmental Impact Assessment projects insofar as their impact on antiquities and monuments is concerned. The work involves inspecting cultural heritage sites, examining mitigation measures to remedy any possible damage to the sites and conducting, where necessary, rescue excavations at archaeological sites and cartographic recording of historic buildings.
3.9 The AMO also organises educational programmes to promote heritage preservation among the public.
3.10 The Department firmly believes that cultural heritage not only enhances our built environment and the natural landscape, but also provides an essential and irreplaceable link between the past, the present and the future. It forms the basic points of reference for our cultural identity and traditions.
3.11 Up to end 2015, there were 111 declared monuments, including 93 historic buildings and structures as well as 18 rock carvings, forts, stone inscription and archaeological sites.
3.12 The AMO carried out restoration and repair works on a number of monuments and historic buildings, mainly including Morrison Building in Tuen Mun, Tang Ancestral Hall in Ping Shan, Chik Kwai Study Hall and Leung Ancestral Hall in Pat Heung, Tang Ancestral Hall in Ha Tsuen, Kun Lun Wai Enclosing Walls and Corner Watch Towers in Fanling, Residence of Ip Ting-sz in Sha Tau Kok, Man Mo Temple in Tai Po, two timber poles in front of Hung Shing Temple in Ap Lei Chau and The Helena May and St. John’s Cathedral in Central.
3.13 Archaeological surveys and excavations necessitated by small-scale development projects such as small house development in the New Territories were conducted by the AMO in Sai Kung, Cheung Chau and Lamma Island. The archaeological surveys and excavations have successfully salvaged the archaeological heritage, if any, found at the sites.
3.14 On education and publicity, the AMO organised a wide variety of educational and publicity programmes, such as exhibitions, displays, lectures, guided tours and workshops, to promote heritage conservation. A long-term exhibition on the archaeological and built heritage has been staged in the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre. In total, the office conducted 1 407 heritage educational programmes and produced 14 publications in 2015.

(C) Practising Waste Reduction and Energy Saving

3.15 We proactively explore ways to promote paper saving, energy saving and waste reduction, including conducting energy audits to identify good energy management practices. Measures/housekeeping practices adopted are shown in the ensuing paragraphs.

(I) Paper Saving

3.16 Good practices for economy in the use of paper such as using both sides of every piece of paper, reusing envelopes and loose minute file jacket, minimising the number of photocopy, etc. are set out in departmental circular and circular memorandum, which are re-circulated to staff periodically as a reminder. We promoted “reduce and reuse” for saving paper. We met the target for shifting 70% of the total paper consumption from wood free paper to recycled paper. We also made the following endeavours in 2015 –

applications of PCs, Intranet and e-mail were widely adopted in the Department for internal and external communications, as well as conveyance of digital photographs and design works;
we provided an electronic newspaper clipping service to the Department’s Lotus Notes users to ensure that the number of hard copies is kept at a minimum;
we produced e-versions of the departmental yearbook and departmental Christmas cards only;
we recycled paper and unserviceable library materials. In 2015, 395 960 kg of unserviceable library materials were recycled. In addition, library notification service provided readers with the option to receive overdue and reservation notices through e-mail or library mobile app on smart phones, and thus economised on the use of paper. As at 31 December 2015, about 402 000 registered borrowers have opted for the email notification, while over 163 000 downloads of library mobile app has been recorded;
museums and Hong Kong Film Archive also reduced waste by recycling exhibition materials and placed collection boxes for collecting used guide maps/pamphlets disposed by patrons after their visits for recycling purpose;
performing arts venues and programming offices used electronic means to publicise performing arts programmes and collect feedback. Printing of flyers and house programmes was reduced by tightly monitoring distribution. In addition, unused copies of flyers and house programmes were recycled; and
in line with the Government’s initiative of paper saving, the tenders and quotations issued by the Headquarters Supplies Section were made in electronic format (i.e. by means of CD-rom) and suppliers were encouraged to adopt environmental-friendly measures in the preparation of tender/quotation documents (such as using recycled paper) and to minimise the use of packaging materials.

(II) Energy Saving

3.17 In accordance with the target-based green performance framework set out by the Environment Bureau, the Department has already accomplished the target of 5% savings in normalised electricity consumption of government buildings from the financial year (FY) 2009-10 to 2013-14 under comparable operating conditions, using the electricity consumption in FY 2007-08 as the baseline.
3.18 In 2015, we continued our effort to manage our resources responsibly. Energy-saving building services installations and environmental-friendly materials were used whenever applicable.
3.19 The electricity consumption of government buildings under LCSD in FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16 were 336.5 million kWh and 329.8 million kWh respectively.

(a) Change in Electricity Consumption

3.20 There was a decrease in electricity consumption of government buildings under LCSD in FY2015-16 as compared to FY2014-15 by 2% under comparable operating conditions. The decrease was mainly due to sections/venues’ implementation of practicable housekeeping measures and best practices for energy savings, including switching off unnecessary lights, air-conditioning installation, equipment and appliances, replacement of equipment by energy efficiency models, etc. The details of housekeeping measures for energy saving were provided in paragraphs 3.22 to 3.24 below.
3.21 The change in electricity consumption has factored in significant changes in opening/closure of venues/facilities, addition/reduction of services, addition/removal of plants/equipment, extended/shortened service hours, increased/decreased demand for services, change of chairmanship of Building Management Committee1, etc. for a like-to-like comparison.
1 The electricity consumption of the MSB is counted towards the department holding the BMC chairmanship.

(b) Housekeeping Measures for Energy Saving

3.22 The following housekeeping measures for energy saving were commonly adopted in the Department’s offices and venues (including leisure venues, performing arts venues, libraries and museums) in 2015 –
Generally speaking, we maintained the 25.5°C office room temperature target set by the Government for the summer months. At places such as museums, libraries, sports centres and performing arts venues where we cannot strictly maintain this temperature due to essential operational and/or customer service considerations, we work closely with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) to keep the temperature as close to 25.5°C as practicable;
we appealed for staff’s support in adopting a more relaxed code of business attire and dress down in the summer for energy conservation and improving air quality in Hong Kong;
high-efficiency lighting systems (fluorescent tubes with electronic ballasts, motion/occupancy sensors and optical fibres) and energy efficient lamps such as T5 and LED lighting were used to achieve energy saving as far as possible;
rationalizing the number of fluorescent lamps and operating hours of offices/venues lightings as appropriate to reduce electricity consumption;
switching off the lights for facilities without booking;
suspension of external lightings used for decorative, promotional or advertising purposes from 11pm to 7am daily except for those decorative lightings that are required to cater for some special festive occasions such as Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year;
shortening pre-cooling hours as deemed appropriate;
separating the lighting/air-conditioning controls in different areas/zones of venues so that the lighting/air-conditioning system could be tuned or switched on as necessary to save energy;
save for operational needs and safety/security reasons, switching off external lighting installation of some venues all year round;
shortening the operation hours of water features where applicable;
maximising the use of natural light and turning off the lights in the venues where illumination level was acceptable; and
installing speed control/passenger sensors for escalators or reducing their operation time as deemed appropriate.
3.23 Apart from the above commonly adopted housekeeping measures, some venues also implement other practicable measures that can address their operational characteristics or specific environment for energy saving –

Photovoltaic lighting systems were installed at Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing and Yau Ma Tei Theatre to promote the energy-saving concept by converting solar energy directly into electricity;
adjusting the timer lighting schedule to fit seasonal need and installing astronomical time switches to the lighting at some parks and playgrounds so that the lighting would be switched on/off according to astronomical time of sunset and sunrise to save energy. Besides, remote control devices were installed in some parks to switch on/off park lights by mobile phone during inclement weather;
photocell control was installed at some leisure venues to automatically control the light in response to the intensity of the natural light;
turning off the air-conditioning system in the main foyer half an hour/one hour before the close of the performing arts venues when there was no performance/activity in the venues; and
for public libraries, solar control films or blinds for windows were installed as appropriate to reduce sun heat, some decorative lights were switched off, computer monitors and multimedia players at all Multimedia Information System workstations were switched off after closure of libraries.
3.24 At the headquarters building, the following practicable measures were also implemented –

Replacing the motors and controllers of all lifts with energy efficient models;
using solar control window films at all windows of the building;
installing occupancy sensors on all floors to control the on/off of the lights;
switching off part of the lighting at G/F entrance and lobby area;
using timers to control the water flushing of urinals at male toilets;
suspending the operation of lighting at the open space car park and outdoor planter boxes;
installing carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sensors to control the speed of ventilation fan at the basement car park;
using separate electricity meters at G/F to 17/F to monitor the electricity consumption of individual floors; and
carrying out surprise checks outside office hours to ensure that any unnecessary equipment was turned off while not in use.
3.25 The Government has set a new target of 5% saving in the electricity consumption of government buildings under comparable operating conditions from 2015-16 to 2019-20, using 2013-14 as the baseline. We would continue our effort to achieve the Government’s new target and identify energy management opportunities specific to the operational and technical characteristics of individual buildings by conducting energy audit for buildings with annual electricity consumption of more than 500,000 kilowatt hour in 2013-14.

(III) Other Green Measures

3.26 Other green measures adopted are listed below –

Water Efficiency

we exercised vigilance in the use of water by regulating outflow of water taps and replacing them with timer-taps at our offices and venues as far as possible. Any leakage of water taps were repaired as soon as possible; and
we achieved water saving by stepping up site inspections of irrigation systems to prevent water leakage, using spray nozzles for irrigation to reduce water loss from the soil surface, planting drought tolerant species at suitable locations and using less water for water features in major parks.

Waste Reduction

we promulgated on our Document Library a list of sales term contracts for waste disposal/recycling to facilitate the sale/recycling of unserviceable items;
we used recyclable and reusable office stationery, such as rechargeable batteries, recyclable ink/toner catridges, refillable pen shafts and greener clutch pencils, etc.;
(c) we promoted the use of more green products, such as food waste compost, animal waste composts, and environmental-friendly pesticide for plants, and the recycle use of yard wastes as soil conditioner for planting;
(d) we signed the Food Wise Charter under the Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign, disseminated information on food waste reduction to catering service contractors operating in our leisure/cultural venues, and displayed posters/publicity materials which promoted the Food Wise Charter;
(e) we recycled yard waste generated from horticultural maintenance works at Kowloon Bay Recycling Centre in Kowloon and Animal Waste Composting Plant in Ngau Tam Mei;
(f) we planted fewer seasonal flowers, which are of short life span, for beautification and landscape work so as to reduce yard waste;
(g) we placed waste separation bins (including 3-coloured and 4-in-1 bins) at over 480 venues, including leisure and cultural venues and the headquarters building;
(h) for purchase of regulated products, we requested suppliers/manufacturers to provide the regulated products that are in compliance with the Volatile Organic Compound limit, including documentary proof in the quotation document;
(i) we incorporated a provision in the cleansing and horticultural maintenance service contracts that contractors shall collect and sort all refuse in an environmental-friendly manner, and remove and dispose of the refuse properly in recyclable polythene bags;
(j) we reminded colleagues to send invitation in electronic means for organising events/meetings, not to use corsages, reduce name badges to an absolute minimum and avoid using throw away paper cups and utensils as far as practicable;
(k) we reminded colleagues to help reduce the use of plastic shopping bags upon the commencement of the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags on 7 July 2009, to avoid the distribution of reusable shopping bags (including but not limited to non-woven bags) except on a need basis in publicly funded activities, and to seriously review the need of providing umbrella bags to the public on rainy days. If provision of umbrella bags was necessary, plastic recycling bins were provided, where appropriate, to collect used umbrella bags for recycling; and
(l) we conducted annual performance review to monitor the adoption of green measures and waste reduction practices by sections/offices.

(IV) Environmental Awareness among Staff

3.27 For raising environmental awareness and promoting waste reduction, saving energy and natural resources among staff –
we promoted and regularly re-circulated circulars and good practices in paper saving, energy saving, waste avoidance and reduction and improving air quality to staff and contractors. These circulars and good practices have also been uploaded onto the Department’s document library for staff’s easy reference and retrieval;
green tips for offices and attending/organising events and meetings were also issued to staff and provided to new recruits during the induction programme for their awareness of the green measures;
(c) we took part in the lights out campaign of “Earth Hour 2016” organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature on 19 March 2016; and
(d) we regularly reminded our colleagues to choose energy efficient products in line with the mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme under the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance. For procurement of the prescribed products (i.e. room air-conditioners, refrigerating appliances and compact fluorescent lamps), only those which bear ”U1 energy labels” should be chosen.

(V) Clean Air Charter

3.28 On 27 November 2006, the Chief Executive signed the Clean Air Charter on behalf of the Government at the “Business for Clean Air” seminar organised by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. The Charter was initiated by the business sector in support of the Government’s appeal to improve air quality in Hong Kong.
3.29 As at 31.12.2015, we had a fleet of 151 vehicles. The total mileage was 1 778 783 km in 2015 and the fuel consumption was 369 768 litres. The related emissions were about 9 585 kg of NOx and 792 kg of RSP2. We have implemented the following measures in support of the Government’s policy to improve air quality in Hong Kong –
2. The indirect emissions from vehicle fuel are calculated according to the formulae set out in the Guide to Clean Air Charter Report Writing published by EPD in Jan 2008.
we replaced one large bus, thirty-four trucks with vehicles in Euro V emission standard and one large saloon car with environmental-friendly version in 2015. With the replacement of more environmental-friendly vehicles, emissions and fuel consumption will be reduced;
we have a plan to replace more conventional retired departmental vehicles with fuel efficient and low emission environmental-friendly ones continuously; and
we regularly refresh all departmental drivers about eco driving skills and remind them of good practices in operating the vehicles for reducing emissions.
3.30 For improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and providing quality services to the public, we engaged EMSD to carry out proper maintenance and retrofitting works for the ventilation and air-conditioning systems at our offices and venues.
3.31 In support of the Government’s drive of improving IAQ, we also participated in the IAQ Certification Scheme and engaged accredited IAQ Certificate Issuing Body to carry out regular IAQ inspection for LCSD venues/facilities with construction floor areas exceeding 10 000 square metres and were served by mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems. In 2015, around 100 LCSD venues/facilities had participated in the Scheme.

(D) Minimising Air and Noise Pollution in Organising Leisure and Cultural Activities

3.32 We monitored closely the generator and machinery installed for activities to ensure that dark smoke emission would not exceed the prescribed requirement as stipulated in the relevant Regulations.
3.33 We monitored the noise level of outdoor events and ensure that they were within the limits set in the relevant Regulations.
3.34 Following the amendments to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap 371) in 2006, statutory no smoking areas have been extended to cover all indoor workplaces and public places as well as some outdoor public places. The Department has implemented the smoking ban in these premises with effect from 1 January 2007.