Environmental Protection Department Environmental Performance Report 2004 Environmental Performance Report 2004
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Our Own Operations
  6.3  Greener Office

Working towards a Paper-less Office

The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau has requested all government bureaux and departments to reduce paper consumption by an average of 2.5% a year, from fiscal year 2003/04 to 2006/07, representing an overall 10% reduction. Given that the EPD has reduced paper consumption by more than 11% since 1998, we have difficulty in reaching this target in the current calendar year, although we will try to catch up on this as closely as possible through additional paper saving initiatives. In 2003 we reduced paper consumption by 0.6% and consumed 15 455 reams of photocopy paper, compared with 15 548 reams in 2002.

New initiatives launched in 2003 included:
A quota and trading system to encourage paper saving on a divisional basis and more sharing of documents, rather than photocopying.
An electronic catalogue system for the department’s library, through which library items can be reserved and renewed.
The suspension of subscriptions to hard copies of newspapers, except for the Media Relations Unit. On-line services have been subscribed to instead.
A requirement that all requests for purchase of computer and related items be submitted and approved electronically.
The setting up of an Information Management Committee to oversee the dissemination of information internally and externally through the EPD's IT infrastructure.

17 411
16 211
16 300
15 736
15 548
15 455
A. % reduction vs 1998 figure
B. Total paper saved since
1998 (reams)
1 200
2 311
3 986
5 849
7 805

We aim to exercise the principle of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in our consumption of materials and to make efficient use of natural resources and energy in all our operations.

We will avoid, reduce and control environmental pollution arising from our day-to-day working practices.

We require our contractors to adopt and implement sound environmental management systems and pollution control measures.


Reducing Energy Consumption

The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau has requested all government departments to reduce electricity consumption by 1.5% per year over four years from fiscal year 2003/04, representing a total 6% reduction. The EPD will have difficulty meeting this target. We can reduce energy consumed by lighting, but many of our offices are in buildings with central air-conditioning over which we have little control. Through building management committees, the EPD, Government Property Agency and other departments sitting on the committee have agreed to reduce air-conditioning in offices in the early mornings and late afternoons to reduce energy consumption. In certain buildings, where the situation permits, some lifts have been turned off in non-peak hours to save electricity (for example, Revenue Tower). The results of these initiatives will be followed up in the next report.

The Departmental Environment, Safety & Health Committee has resolved to step up energy saving measures through further staff awareness and action programmes. Many EPD staff who work in cellular rooms have voluntarily switched off overhead lights and now use table lamps, which consume less energy. In a pilot study , half of the lights in four corridors of Revenue Tower, totalling about 200 tubes, have been switched off without compromising occupational safety and health standards. An energy audit of other offices is also underway.

In Island West Transfer Station, where the sole occupant is the EPD, an energy reduction scheme was implemented in 2003. Electricity consumption was reduced by 4% from 683 680 KWh in 2002 to 655 920 KWh in 2003.

Electricity consumption for office operations
Electricity consumption for office operations.

An Experiment in Saving Energy

Air-conditioning systems are our major consumers of energy. The Energy Efficiency Office of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has observed that further improvement in energy saving is possible through the use of variable speed drives (VSD) instead of inlet guide vanes (IGV) in the air-handling unit (AHU) on each floor. The EPD took this suggestion on board and installed VSDs in the air-handling units of the 25th to 28th floors of Southorn Centre. The installation was completed in March 2003.

The VSDs ran parallel with the existing system for six months from April to September 2003 to compare the performance in energy efficiency of the IGVs and the VSDs. Separate meter-reading was taken with and without the operation of the VSDs during the trial period. Based on an analysis by the Architectural Services Department, savings in energy consumption were 27.86% on average when the VSDs were in use. Given the encouraging results, EPD invited the Government Property Agency to consider extending this experimental project to other floors of Southorn Centre or other government buildings if resources permit.

Greener Transport

A number of measures have been introduced to control emissions and lower fuel consumption from the department’s fleet. All EPD vehicles – mainly medium vans, saloons, and motorcycles – run on petrol or liquefied petroleum gas, rather than the more polluting diesel fuel. A non-idling policy is in place to reduce air pollution.

Over the years, all EPD groups and offices have been required to combine trips whenever possible. A transport booking system is in place to log the mileage and number of passengers for each car trip. The information gathered facilitates more flexible deployment of vehicles amongst groups. Riding on the success of reducing the departmental fleet from 61 vehicles to 56 in 2002, one more van has been identified in 2003 to be surplus to the requirements of the department. The van is now serving as a stop-gap measure before several replacement vehicles are delivered to the department. In due course, it will be returned to the Government Logistics Department for deployment to other departments. The departmental fleet will then be further reduced from 56 to 55 vehicles.


A Better Office Environment with Good Indoor Air Quality

Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can enhance the comfort level of occupants, increase worker productivity and attract more tenants or customers. With this in mind, the voluntary IAQ Certification Scheme for offices or public places was launched in mid-September 2003. Owners or property management companies of buildings or premises that are served by mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems may participate in the scheme.

Publications and pamphlets on indoor air quality.
Publications and pamphlets on indoor air quality.

As a responsible organisation and caring employer, the EPD is acting to ensure our facilities and offices meet the IAQ standards under the scheme. In 2003, we had one office awarded with an Excellent Class certificate and four others with Good Class certificates. They included the IAQ Information Centre, Southorn Centre, Revenue Tower, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, and the Wanchai Environmental Resource Centre. IAQ measurements in accordance with the requirements of the scheme will be conducted at our remaining 11 locations by phases.

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