4 ADDRESSING SOCIAL NEEDS
A. Working with Stakeholders

Consulting Stakeholders

1.     Stakeholder involvement is essential in ensuring our policies and programmes meet the community's aspirations for a quality environment and account for different views. We have a variety of avenues through which we welcome and encourage stakeholders to contribute their views:

1.1

Formal meetings. The Environment Bureau (ENB) and Environmental Protection Department (EPD) meet regularly with the Legislative Council and the Advisory Council on the Environment, keep District Councils up to date on environmental matters affecting their districts, and organise meetings of EIAO User Liaison Groups so works-related government departments, corporations, consultants and contractors can liaise on EIA-related issues.

1.2

On-going channels. The EIA process allows for a high degree of public involvement early in the planning process to enable the adoption of environmentally friendly designs and ensure wider public support for projects.

1.3 Stakeholder-based consultations. The EPD seeks out key target groups, such as local residents, experts or community groups, for their input on specific policies. In 2008 we consulted key stakeholders on integrated waste management facilities, sludge treatment facilities, the review of Air Quality Objectives, the proposed Geopark, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and controls on products containing volatile organic compounds and ozone-depleting HCFCs.

1.4 Public consultations. Formal consultations, typically lasting three to five months, allow the general public to submit views on proposed initiatives by the Government. These are publicised in the media and meetings and seminars are organised to gauge the views of the general public and relevant stakeholders. In 2008 we completed consultations on the proposed mandatory implementation of the Building Energy Codes and a proposed ban on idling engines.

1.5 Council for Sustainable Development. Public views on key sustainability issues are channelled through the Council for Sustainable Development's public engagement process. The Council conducts public engagement exercises on priority issues and uses the results to propose recommendations to the Government. A recent exercise on air quality, which received more than 80 000 responses, resulted in a 2008 report to the Government recommending a holistic and comprehensive approach to combat air pollution. The Government fully agreed with such an approach and is reviewing Hong Kong's Air Quality Objectives in preparation for developing a long-term air quality management strategy.

Engaging Operators

External operators
2.      The EPD reaches out to operators to ensure they understand their responsibilities to the environment and to better understand their needs. Formal partnership programmes have been set up with four key polluters: the construction industry, restaurants, vehicle repair workshops and property management companies. Operators in all industries can also seek advice and information at the Compliance Assistance Centre, which handles about 440 cases per month.

3.      In addition, businesses can share good practices through the online ISO 14001 EMS Directory, which lists ISO 14001 certified companies and invites them to explain why they sought certification. More than 140 organisations have responded.

Contractors
4.      The contractors of new waste management facilities are required to implement an environmental management system that complies with ISO 14001 standards, and to obtain certification for long-term contracts. In addition, all new contractors to the EPD are encouraged to sign the Clean Air Charter.

 

Members of the public are invited to share their views at the "Air Summit" organised during the Better Air Quality Engagement Process.

Representatives of the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited visit the Compliance Assistance Centre.