||Support Packages on Environmental Management Information and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) completed an SME Study in 2001. The study concluded that the majority of ISO 14001 certified companies were large companies rather than SMEs, and about 83% of local SMEs had little or no knowledge on EMS/ISO 14001 and did not perceive the benefits of implementing ISO 14001 EMS. As recommended in the study, the construction sector and electrical/electronic sector were identified as high priority sectors, warranting support for EMS implementation. The recommendations of the study were further supported by the recent global and local trend in ISO 14001 certification and the current trend of supply chain pressures.
In view of the sustained needs of the SMEs in the construction sector and the electrical/electronic sector for the support in implementing EMS, it is recommended to compile environmental management information related to the latest trend in supply chain pressure and international environmental requirements, and develop user-friendly generic ISO 14001 EMS templates with sector-specific practical examples (the support packages) for the SMEs in the two selected sectors, to facilitate their adoption and implementation of ISO 14001 EMS.
To widely disseminate the support packages to local SMEs and to help them stay competitive in the environmentally conscious business market, two trade specific seminars were held in December 2004 and January 2005 for the construction sector and electrical/electronic sector respectively. These seminars successfully attracted about 350 representatives from the trades. The majority of participants surveyed ranked the seminars as "good" to excellent" and found the support packages useful for developing and implementing an EMS for their own companies.
Seminar held on 2 December 2004 to disseminate the EMS support package to construction sector SMEs.
Seminar held on 19 January 2005 to disseminate the EMS support package to electrical/electronic sector SMEs.
As the existing ISO 14001:1996 certificates will expire on 15 May 2006, the EPD proactively launched the updated support packages in November 2005 to meet the latest requirements on ISO 14001:2004 version. The launching of the updated support packages represented the continual efforts by EPD to proactively develop international environmental management tools and provide SMEs with the most current environmental information.
For wider dissemination of the updated support packages to the relevant trades, the packages produced in CD-ROMs were sent to the guest speakers/participants who were involved in the seminars held in December 2004 & January 2005 and to relevant stakeholders of corporate environmental management. Hyperlinks were also arranged with our strategic partners' web sites including the Trade Development Council; Trade & Industry Department; Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency; Hong Kong Productivity Council; Business Environment Council; and Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association, for better outreaching effect to our target stakeholders. The aim is to encourage them to further promote ISO 14001 EMS implementation through their business partners and stakeholders, and to fully extend the influence of supply chain management.
EMS Support Packages widely disseminated to relevant stakeholders through strategic partners.
Although the support packages are developed for specific SME sectors, the User Manual and the Generic ISO 14001:2004 EMS Templates of the packages are designed to assist SMEs in any sector to develop their own EMS. The support packages in CD-ROM form are freely available at EPD's offices and can also be downloaded from the EPD's web site at