Environmental Protection Department Environmental Performance Report 2004 Environmental Performance Report 2004
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9  Verification Statement
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Verification Objective

BMT Asia Pacific Limited was appointed to verify the contents of EPD's Environmental Performance Report 2004 (EPR 2004). The verification intends to provide EPD's stakeholders with external assurance of the accuracy and completeness of information presented in the report.

This Statement is issued based on:

  • Independent third party opinion - BMT was not involved in any aspects of the preparation of EPR 2004; and
  • The findings of a verification process that involved validation of a representative selection of data and claims, checking of data collection mechanisms and information management systems, assessment of the report's comprehensiveness, and identification of areas to improve EPD’s reporting process.

Approach

A series of meetings covering data review sessions was held between 29 June and 5 July 2004 with EPD’s divisional representatives including senior professional and technical staff. During the process, BMT reviewed, examined and checked selected claims and reported figures, relevant supporting data and documented evidence, as well as data systems. BMT also requested EPD to further substantiate specific claims and make amendments to the report as necessary. The Department's approach to management and implementation of policy and initiatives under specific programme areas were also discussed.

Scope

The following elements of EPR 2004 were sampled during the verification:

  • Implementation of EPD's policy, major projects under each programme area and improvement initiatives;
  • EPD's facilitation of, and input to, major government-wide policies, strategies and greening initiatives;
  • Local and regional partnerships and plans for pollution reduction;
  • Improvements in environmental conditions associated with the implementation of EPD's initiatives;
  • Development and enforcement of environmental legislation;
  • Legal compliance of EPD's contracted and self-managed facilities;
  • Contractor and supply chain management;
  • Emergency preparedness and response;
  • Complaints handling and response;
  • Consultation and address of public concerns and feedback;
  • External awareness raising campaigns, community-based programmes and training initiatives;
  • Internal green management and measures; and
  • Target setting, implementation and progress monitoring mechanisms.

Results and Commentary

Report Accuracy

  • The claims made in EPR 2004 examined by BMT represent an accurate account of EPD's actions and performance in 2003. EPD has made amendments, to BMT's satisfaction, to claims and figures that were deemed questionable or unclear during the verification;
  • Data collection mechanisms and information management systems are generally efficient, organised and effective. In particular, data were systematically collected, recorded, stored and analysed in accordance with prescribed methodologies, and specific data used to support claims and compile reported figures were appropriately retrieved and interpreted; and
  • Reliability and efficiency of several data systems have been improved by expanded functions, strengthened archiving and the application of new information technology.

Report Coverage and Relevance

  • EPR 2004 provides a balanced overview of EPD's performance in 2003 with respect to its roles and responsibilities within government, key programme areas and relevant projects, and significant environmental aspects related to daily operations and services;
  • As with EPR 2003, EPR 2004 puts forth an extensive account on the partnerships that EPD has formed on various levels to raise awareness, advance local trade-specific programmes, reinforce regional efforts and further sustainable development;
  • The report clearly sets out EPD's on-going measures to address impacts arising from its own operations and services. It also provides year-on-year review by systematically covering year 2003 improvement targets under each programme area, specific actions taken and progress recorded in 2003 and planned targets for year 2004 and beyond;
  • The report considerably increases disclosure of EPD's actions to address negative public opinions and concerns related to on-going projects and emerging controversial issues.

Recommendations for Future Reports

EPD is encouraged to:

  • Further improve the presentation of achievements and progress against policy commitments and strategic goals by providing an at-a-glance overview, preferably in graphical format, for each programme area; and
  • Move towards sustainability reporting by including elements on financial, health and safety, social and sustainability performance, considering relevant guidelines by the Global Reporting Initiative.

14 July 2004

Ben Ridley
Director, BMT Asia Pacific Limited
Deanna Li
Lead Verifier, BMT Asia Pacific Limited
Federick Wong
Data Reviewer, BMT Asia Pacific Limited
 

 

   
   
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