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Section 2

Essential Elements of an EPR

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Section 2 Essential Elements of an EPR

What are the essential elements of an EPR?

To produce a quality EPR it is important to consider all of the required elements of reporting prior to drafting the detailed text of your EPR. Apart from providing information on these essential elements, this Section also provides practical information on the report content development process.

Essential Elements

The essential elements that are applicable to all HKSARG departments/bureaux/related organizations, whether your department/bureau/organization is policy-based, office-based or operations-based, are stipulated in the ETWB Circular Memorandum No. 1/2007 and explained in further detail in EPD's A Guide to Environmental Reporting for Controlling Officers (hereby referred to as the COER Guide). These include:

Controlling Officer's Profile of Key Responsibilities
Controlling Officer's Profile of Key Responsibilities
Environmental Goal
Environmental Goal
Brief Description of Environmental Policy
Environmental Policy
Environmental Objectives, Targets and Milestones
Environmental Objectives, Targets and Milestones
Description of Environmental Management and Performance
Environmental Management Analysis
Environmental Performance Analysis
Environmental Actions Requiring Special Attention
Environmental Actions Requirement Special Attention

Click here to download ETWB Circular Memorandum No. 1/2007 PDF File Format for details on each element
Click here to COER Guide for details on each element

Report Contents

The contents of your environmental report should include the most significant or pressing environmental issues to your operations. Every HKSARG department/bureau is unique and as such they are expected to face different issues. Some may have more issues than others simply because of their specific nature, scope and scale of operations. Given the huge number and variety of potential issues, it is always useful to prioritize issues by first addressing those that are of most significant environmental consequences, or those that are most relevant to your core responsibilities and in areas where your influence is most significant. The table below provides some examples of potential issues:

  Examples of Issues to be Covered by the Report
  Procurement and use of raw materials, goods and services  
  Procurement and use of raw materials, goods and services
  Office computing, printing and photocopying equipment and furniture
  Chemicals and other raw materials
  Pesticides, herbicides and related services
  Cleaning and maintenance services
  Fire extinguishing equipment and services
  Vehicles/vessels/aeroplanes /helicopters
  Industrial/special purpose equipment, machines, device, plant and replacement components
  Contracted printing and brochure/report production services
  Contracted souvenir/tailored materials production services
  Contracted refurbishment, construction and demolition services

  Procurement and use of energy and fuel  
  Town gas
  Aviation fuel
  Lead acid batteries
  Solar powered panels and units

  Procurement and use of water  
  Water for washrooms and pantry
  Water for operation of equipment and plant
  Water for construction
  Water for facility and vehicle/vessel/aeroplane/helicopter maintenance and cleaning
  Water for landscaping purposes
  Water for amenities (e.g. swimming pools)

  Procurement and use of ozone-depleting substances  
  Fire extinguishing equipment
  Refrigerants for air-con units and refrigerator
  Refrigerants for plant/equipment/special processes

  Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)  
  IAQ in managed facilities
  IAQ in offices

  Equipment and plant noise
  Vehicle/vessel/aeroplane/helicopter noise
  Construction noise
  Office noise

  Air emissions  
  Pollutants and odour from construction sites
  Pollutants and odour from equipment and plant
  Pollutants and odour from managed facilities
  Pollutants and odour from laboratories
  Pollutants and odour from office equipment (e.g. photocopiers)
  Pollutants from air-con units and refrigerators
  Formaldehyde from office furniture and floorings

  Water discharges  
  Industrial wastewater
  Office sewage
  Site runoff
  Vehicle/vessel/aeroplane/helicopter wash water

  Generation, recycling and disposal of waste  
  Chemical waste
  Construction and demolition waste
  Clinical waste
  Oil and grease
  Garden waste
  Office waste
  Food waste
  Recyclables (e.g. cans, paper)

  Other issues  
  Tree planting, green space management
  Training and awareness raising
  Furniture and office space refurbishment
  Campaigns and promotional events


Use of Indicators to Report Environmental Performance

As the aim of environmental reporting is to report on internal environmental performance, it is of utmost importance that appropriate performance indicators are adopted to clearly achieve this aim.

The diagram below illustrates the process of developing appropriate performance indicators for your department/bureau, and the relationship with target-setting to achieve performance improvement:

Illustration of the Use of Indicator PDF File Format

In principle, your indicators should enable you to directly measure your organization's performance in relation to the significant environmental issues identified for your operations. You could include indicators to:

Further examples of the three kinds of indicators and inspiration for development of indicators are given in GRI and ISO 14031.

Indicators could be presented in absolute or relative terms. Absolute indicators directly show the magnitude (e.g. tonnes of waste generated), while relative indicators (also called normalized indicators) provide a ratio or scale to further assess performance (e.g. % of employees trained out of the total no. of employees that need training). Relative indicators are useful but they should not replace absolute indicators in your EPR.

The following links provide useful examples, solutions and tips to identifying suitable performance indicators, and developing relevant objectives and targets for improvement.


Experienced reporters could adopt indicators suggested by the Global Reporting Initiative in its Guidelines.

Performance Enhancement to Support Reporting

To enhance your department/bureau/organization's performance, refer to Best Practices for Environmental Performance Improvement. These suggestions can help you to improve performance and gather more comprehensive or detailed information for reporting purposes.

Report Framework

A report framework can be produced based on your awareness of the essential elements for reporting and the detailed contents for your EPR resulting from your scoping exercise. A useful way to prepare your framework is by sketching out the EPR as a cabinet with different drawers. Each drawer would represent a specific HKSARG required element, with relevant issues included in each corresponding drawer. Alternatively you could prepare a graphic flow chart or tree diagram to help you visualize each section, the contents of each section and the linkages between sections.

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