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 aesthetically 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 2017, 8 open space projects (including capital works projects and minor works projects) were completed, resulting in an increase of about 1.54 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 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.

Provision of Open Spaces that are Aesthetically Pleasing

3.3 (II) Beautification of Existing Landscape Areas
  • In 2017, about 17 hectares of existing landscaped areas (including roadside amenity areas) were upgraded through the effort of district staff in carrying out landscape improvement works.  We would continue to enhance the landscaping of parks and roadside amenity areas in order to provide a pleasant environment to the public.
3.4 (III) Planting Programme

Around 2.57 million trees, shrubs and annuals were planted in 2017 (breakdown at Annex II).  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 2017, the Department conducted 50 horticulture courses for 1 500 participants. 

(b) Guided Visits for Schools and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)

The Department organised 841 guided visits for 25 130 participants from schools and NGOs.  They included 635 school guided visits for 20 115 school children at the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Gardens, Green Education Resource Centre, Kowloon Park, Hong Kong Park, Tai Po Waterfront Park, Tuen Mun Park and Boundary Street Nursery.  The guided visit was designed having regard to the curriculum on environmental education for primary schools.  Besides, 181 visits were arranged for 4 565 children from kindergartens to tour around Kowloon Park and Hong Kong Park.  Children were introduced the basic knowledge and concept of plants, environmental conservation and appropriate manners for visiting parks.  Free guided visits were also arranged for 450 participants from 25 NGOs to tour around the Green Education Resource Centre at Kowloon Park.

(c) Conservation Courses for Uniformed Groups

The programmes provided a wide range of courses in gardening and arboriculture and aimed at promoting nature conservation.  A total of 12 conservation courses were organised for 292 participants of the uniformed groups in 2017.  Participants were involved in group discussions, lectures, guided visits and practical learning.

(d) 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 “Miffy and the Ocean” exhibition  from April to December 2017 which allowed children to learn more about the physiology of sea creatures and aroused their awareness of the crisis in our oceans; and
(ii) presenting public lectures on environmental issues in the series of “Science in the Public Service” from August to November 2017, and “Popular Meteorological Science Lecture Series: Understanding Clouds” in November 2017.
  • 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 20 urban and rural locations, including the Space Museum, iObservatory and Astropark.

Education and Promotion on Environmental Protection image

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 3 198 greening activities were organised for the year of 2017, including –

(a) Hong Kong Flower Show
The Hong Kong Flower Show 2017, with the theme “Blossoms of Love” and rose as the theme flower, was held from 10 to 19 March 2017 at Victoria Park, attracting a record attendance of over 670 000 visitors.  The Show aimed at promoting public interest in horticulture and arousing public’s awareness of conservation of natural environment.   This year marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunification with the Motherland.  To highlight the occasion, floral displays and landscaped gardens in the Show were enhanced with a subtle play of light and shadow to showcase the beauty of the blossoms by night.  Visitors were also treated to two brand new attractions, “Floral Marquee” and “Maze Garden”, as well as a great line-up of special evening programmes including “Evening Concert”, “Dance Night” and “Extravaganza”.  Over 240 organisations from 17 countries/regions showcased exotic flowers, landscape and floral art displays.  In addition, a wide variety of community engagement and fringe activities were organised before and during the event involving the District Councils, schools, horticultural organisations, plant nurseries and flower clubs.

Hong Kong Flower Show Photo

(b) Community Planting Day
To promote public awareness in greening, the Department organised 20 Community Planting Days in 2017.  More than 6 500 participants planted over 30 700 trees and shrubs in 18 Districts.
(c) Green Volunteer 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.  498 greening activities were organised for the Green Volunteers with an attendance of around 7 660.  In addition, community leaders were invited to serve as Green Ambassadors to promote community involvement in greening activities.  In 2017, there were 428 Green Ambassadors.

Green Volunteer Scheme Photo

(d) Greening School Subsidy Scheme
In 2017, the Scheme attracted the participation of 881 schools and kindergartens for organising greening activities and implementing planting projects in their campuses with technical advice from horticultural instructors.
(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 2017, 410 000 seedlings were distributed for students to nurture at home or in school.

“One Person, One Flower” Scheme Photo

(f) Greening Hong Kong Activities Subsidy Scheme
The Scheme aimed at encouraging the local community to organise more greening activities.  Five organisations were subsidised under this Scheme in 2017 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 2017 with a view to educating and arousing public awareness in greening.  A total of 388 exhibitions and talks were organised with about 28 000 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, 59 gardening courses were organised in 2017 with about 12 500 participants.
(i) Outreaching Greening Promotional Activities
To promote greening and enhance public awareness in greening and environmental protection, 183 outreaching greening activities were delivered to organisations and schools for about 55 700 participants in 2017.

(B) Preserving Assets of Our Heritage

3.7 The Department, through the 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 for Designated Projects under Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499) insofar as their impacts on antiquities and monuments is concerned.  The work involves inspecting sites of cultural heritage, 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 2017, there were 117 declared monuments, including 99 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 Chik Kwai Study Hall in Pat Heung, Yan Tun Kong Study Hall and Tat Tak Communal Hall in Ping Shan, Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall and Kun Lun Wai Enclosing Walls in Fanling, and Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan.

Preserving Assets of Our Heritage Photo

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 Tuen Mun, 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 1 406 heritage educational programmes and produced 14 publications in 2017.

(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 The Department continued to adopt good practices on paper saving using “reduce and reuse” strategy, particularly in replacing paper-based correspondences with electronic means.  Furthermore, about 77% of the paper we consumed in 2017 was recycled paper.  In 2017, we also made the following endeavours –

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;
library users were given the option to receive some library notices through e-mail or library mobile app on smart phones, and thus economised on the use of paper.  As at 31 December 2017, about 440 000 registered borrowers have opted for the email notification, while over 333 000 times of download of library mobile app have been recorded.  In addition,  502 224 kg of unserviceable library materials were recycled in 2017;
museums and Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre and Oil Street Art Space also reduced waste by recycling exhibition materials and placed collection boxes for collecting used guide maps/pamphlets disposed of by patrons after their visits for recycling purpose;

Paper Saving Photo

performing arts venues and programming offices used electronic means to publicise performing arts programmes and collect feedback.  Admission letters to schools rather than individual URBTIX tickets are issued for student group admission of performances.  Printing of flyers and house programmes was reduced by tightly monitoring distribution and minimizing the pages printed.  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 The Government has set a new target of 5% saving in the electricity consumption of government buildings under comparable operating conditions from the financial year (FY) of 2015-16 to 2019-20, using the electricity consumption in FY 2013-14 as the baseline.
3.18 To achieve the target of 5% saving, we have 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 2016-17 and FY 2017-18 were 320.1 million kWh and 319.5 million kWh respectively.  The table below shows the electricity consumption of LCSD buildings in the past five years from FY 2013-14 to FY 2017-18.

Electricity consumption of LCSD buildings Table

(a) Change in Electricity Consumption

3.20 The electricity consumption of government buildings under LCSD continued to decrease in FY 2017-18 as compared to FY 2016-17 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 a Municipal Services Building is counted towards the department holding the Building Management Committee 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 2017 –
maintaining the 25.5°C office room temperature target set by the Government for the summer months in general.  At places such as museums, libraries, sports centres and performing arts venues where we could not strictly maintain this temperature due to essential operational and/or customer service considerations, we worked closely with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) to keep the temperature as close to 25.5°C as practicable;
appealing 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;
using 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 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 or left idle;
suspending 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 implemented other practicable measures that could address their operational characteristics or specific environment for energy saving –

using photovoltaic lighting systems in Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing, Yau Ma Tei Theatre, Tiu Keng Leng Public Library, Kwai Tsing Theatre, Tsuen Wan Town Hall and Tuen Mun Town Hall to promote the energy saving concept by converting solar energy directly into electricity;
installing passenger sensors for lighting at lift lobbies at different levels in Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre to reduce their operation time;
adjusting the timer lighting schedule to fit seasonal need and installing astronomical time switches to the lighting in some parks, playgrounds and civic centres 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; 
using photocell control in some leisure and performing arts 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;
carrying out surprise checks outside office hours to ensure that any unnecessary equipment was turned off while not in use; and
replacing the lights at the corridors near the female toilets at 1/F to 17/F with LED lights.
3.25 We would continue our effort to achieve the Government’s new target of saving 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 in 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 cartridges, 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, 4-in-1 bins and bottle-shaped bins) at over 660 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 the 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;
we issued to staff and new recruits green tips for offices and attending/organising events and meetings for enhancing their awareness of the green measures;
(c) we took part in the lights out campaign of “Earth Hour 2018” organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature on 24 March 2018; 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 31.12.2017, we had a fleet of 154 vehicles.  The total mileage was 1 815 878 km in 2017 and the fuel consumption was 414 883 litres.  The related emissions were about 8 105 kg of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 696 kg of respirable suspended particulates (RSP)2.  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.
in 2017, we replaced six large vans with models of Euro VI emission standard whereas four medium vans and five water wagons were replaced with models of Euro V emission standard. Besides, we procured three hydraulic platform vehicles of Euro V emission standard and replaced one motorcycle with an electric version.  With the replacement and in-take 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 served by central air-conditioning systems wherever practicable.  In 2017, around 180 LCSD venues/facilities had participated in the Scheme. 
3.32  As part of the Government’s efforts in combating climate change, we will conduct annual carbon audit for our major buildings with annual electricity consumption over 500 000 kilowatt hour (kWh).

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

3.33 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.
3.34 We monitored the noise level of outdoor events and ensure that they were within the limits set in the relevant Regulations.
3.35 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.