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Advisory Council on the Environment

The Green Manager Scheme and
Controlling Officer's Environmental Report

 

(ACE Paper 20/99)
for information

Introduction

This paper briefs Members on the progress of the Green Manager Scheme (GMS) and introduces members to the Controlling Officer's Environmental Report (COER) in the Government.

Background

2.In 1992, the Government committed itself to setting a good green example for the private sector. In 1993, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) proposed the establishment of the Green Manager Scheme (GMS) in the Government. The GMS came into operation in January 1994, and was further extended to cover environmental audits (EA) and environmental management systems (EMS) in 1995. Under the scheme, Green Managers (GM) were appointed in each government bureau/department to oversee and report environmental measures to PELB which administers and assesses the effectiveness of the scheme.

3.The progress made over the last year in the GMS is highlighted at Annex A.

Controlling Officer's Environmental Report

4.In 1998, SPEL took the lead to promote more environmentally responsible management within the public sector, by introducing a requirement that all Controlling Officers publish annual reports on their environmental policies and actions. We are also encouraging the government-owned public corporations to do likewise. Three seminars on COER were arranged for all government bureaux/departments and government-owned public corporations. These attracted an encouraging turnout, 130 officers from 82 government bureaux/departments and 50 representatives from 26 public corporations. Perhaps more important than the numbers, there were many policy secretaries and Heads of Departments and their deputies present.

5.A circular outlining the framework of the COER and a Guide to Environmental Reporting for Controlling Officers (the Guide) (attached) were issued to all bureaux/departments and public corporations. These are available on the home page of PELB at http://www.pelb.gov.hk and Environmental Protection Department at http://www.info.gov.hk/epd. We have emphasised that it is the Controlling Officer's responsibility to decide the contents, style and format of the COER. The Guide is no more than a guide. The first COERs, on the calendar year 1999, should be published in the year 2000.

6.It is encouraging that two government departments, Architectural Services Department and the Government Supplies Department, have taken the initiative to issue their 1998 environmental reports already.

Co-existence of GMR and COER

7.Whilst it will vary from department to department, inevitably there will be duplication between the Green Manager Reports and the Controlling Officer's Environmental Reports. We have not yet taken a view on whether to discontinue the Green Manager reports.

Advice sought

8.Members are requested to note the contents of this paper.


Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
May 1999

Annex A

Progress on Green Manager Scheme in 1998

The following points are of note -

 

  (i) Eighty-nine government bureaux and departments have appointed GMs.
  (ii) GMs have adopted a total of over 70 green housekeeping measures involving waste minimisation, waste recovery, energy conservation, staff participation, publicity and education. At present, all bureaux and departments use the blank side of used paper for drafting/printing and collect waste paper. In 1998, compared with 1997, the number of bureaux and departments that used E-mail for communication and minimising copies of flimsies increased by 17% and 13% respectively. An increase of 15% in the number of departments collecting used printer cartridges was recorded. The consumption of paper slightly increased by 1% in 1998, although the envelope consumption decreased by 13% compared with 1997 and lowered down to the 1996 level.
  (iii) The consultancy project for EA training and site audits was completed in September 1998. An EA training video was distributed to all bureaux and departments for their internal training. The consultant conducted EAs on 17 government sites and offices.
  (iv) Nineteen bureaux and departments have provided their staff with EA training and 16 conducted internal EAs at their sites/offices.
  (v) One GM Plenum took place in January 1999 to brief GMs on various environmental developments, to share experiences on EA and EMS, and to review the GMS. Eighty-four GMs from 62 government bureaux and departments attended the Plenum.
  (vi) Eight bureaux and departments now use E-mail for GMS communications. A set of programmes was developed for report compiling. All GMs are required to submit their reports on 1999 through E-mail next year.
  (vii) A set of Guidelines for the Management of Surplus Office Furniture was distributed to Green Managers. Arrangements for replacing and disposing used government furniture were devised.
  (viii) The contents of the GMR were reviewed taking into account the new environmental developments. Some new green measures were added.
  (ix) The Government is continuing to promote the GMS in the private sector. The EPD maintains regular contacts, through liaison meetings with Industry Department, Hong Kong Productivity Council, Centre of Environmental Technology and Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency and collaborates on new corporate environmental management initiatives and training for interested private sector companies.
  (x) The Government continues to distribute a wide range of publications and videos on environmental protection to the private sector.

 

 

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