C. Promoting Community Involvement

1.      Many sustainability initiatives cannot succeed without the community's support and participation. The following programmes aim to promote public involvement.

Community Awareness

2.      We organise two annual community-wide events to galvanise the general public to take action to protect the environment. World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 and the Environmental Protection Festival is normally held in the winter. The theme for both events in 2008 was Waste Reduction. In addition, the 'I Love Hong Kong! I Love GREEN!' publicity campaign promotes green practices in daily living.

3.      We also maintain Environmental Resource Centres and other facilities in the community to make environmental information accessible to people. More than 85 000 people visited these facilities in 2008 (see Figure 1 below). Two new centres opened in 2008, the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre, which is operated in partnership with the University of Hong Kong, and the Kennedy Town Environmental Exhibition Corner.

Figure 1 - Use of community-based facilities in 2008

(i) Distribution of visitors and participants#
Total visitors and particpants#: 87 047
(ii) Distribution of guided visits/workshops (iii) Green desks available and talks delivered
Total guided visits/workshops: 1 824  

Capacity Building

4.      We organise training and awareness programmes to improve the environmental performance of all community sectors, including civil servants, and to recognise good practices (see Table 1 below for details ). A major initiative in 2008 was the launch of the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence, a prestigious awards scheme to encourage green management and benchmarking by companies and organisations (see Case Study 4).

Table 1 - Capacity Building Programmes in 2008
Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence
366 entries competed for the Sectoral Awards; over
2 000 applied for Environmental Labels.
Environmental Awareness Talks for the Community
39 sessions organised for 1 365 participants from schools, NGOs and private companies.
Environmental Training Programme for Civil Servants
49 talks organised for 950 participants.
Sustainability Workshops for Civil Servants
320 staff participated.
One Tonne Challenge
A joint initiative with local green organisations and the Government-appointed Environmental Campaign Committee resulted in pledges by individuals to reduce their CO2 emissions by a total of more than 14 000 tonnes.

Site Visits to Waste Management Facilities

177 visits organised.
Outreach Environment al Programme for the Elderly

12 talks held for 767 participants.

Environmental Certificates and Badges for Boy Scouts and Girl Guides

233 certificates and badges awarded.
Community Outreach Programme for Sustainability

An outreach programme was held in Tai Po.


5.      Two government-backed funds offer financial support to community and non-government groups in organising green projects. The Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF), established in 1994, supports projects for environmental education and community action, research, and waste recovery. It received an additional $1 billion injection from the Government in early 2008 and during the year it granted about $117.62 million to 147 projects (including those under a new area, minor works, to help schools and charitable organisations install environmental features). Some $150 million was also earmarked for energy-cum-carbon audit projects and $300 million for energy efficiency projects, to promote a low-carbon economy and support international efforts to combat climate change. Applications for these will be vetted by the new Energy Conservation Projects Vetting Sub-committee.

6.      The Sustainable Development Fund supports community initiatives to enhance public understanding of sustainable development and encourage people to put it into practice in their daily lives. Since 2003 it has granted a total of $21.8 million to support 26 sustainability projects. In May 2008 a booklet describing funded projects was published to further promote such initiatives.

This green roof, installed over a school hall, is an example of the projects funded by the ECF.


7.      Schools-based activities cultivate green practices from an early age. The Student Environmental Protection Ambassador Scheme encourages green leadership and in 2008 attracted 18 121 participants, while more than 35 000 preschoolers enrolled in the Little Green Ambassadors Scheme 2008, organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee and Dairy Farm International Group. Schools themselves are encouraged to adopt green management through the Hong Kong Green School Award, in which 189 schools participated in 2008.

8.      The concept and practice of sustainable development are promoted through the School Outreach Programme, which enrolled 61 new schools in 2008-09, and the new Sustainable Development School Award Programme, which bestowed Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards to 33 schools in 2007-08. About 32 000 students, teachers, parents and members of the community were involved in the Award Programme. Both activities are organised by the Council for Sustainable Development.

Supporting EPD Programmes

9.      Community awareness activities are essential to the Programme on Source Separation of Domestic Waste, which relies on people's commitment to reduce waste. In 2008, waste reduction was adopted as a theme of various on-going community-based activities and 20 roving exhibitions on waste separation were organised in shopping centres and housing estates. The ECF extended funding for facilities for source separation of waste in housing estates, to include commercial and industrial buildings. The Environmental Campaign Committee has also set aside funds to provide new recycling bins to housing estates, commercial and industrial buildings, schools and public recyclables collection points, to further promote and improve waste recycling in the community.

10.     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) also keeps the public informed about our work and the state of the environment through regular reports on beach water quality, air quality, the Pearl River Delta regional air quality, prosecutions, environmental impact assessments, solid waste arisings, and river, stream and marine water quality. The public and operators can also use the Environmental Protection Interactive Centre to set parameters for obtaining environmental information, and apply, pay for and receive permits and licences online.

Children learn about waste separation through games

Case Study 4 - Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

The Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE), launched in 2008, is a merger of three awards schemes and is intended to put a sharper focus on our efforts to encourage green management in companies and organisations. It was formed from the Hong Kong Eco-Business Awards, Wastewi$e Scheme and Hong Kong Energy Efficiency Awards. Participants can apply for Environmental Labels, under which they have to attain an approved number of specified environmental goals. They can also compete for Sectoral Awards, which honour all-round, outstanding environmental performance in various sectors. In 2008, 366 companies and organisations participated in the Sectoral Awards and more than 2 000 companies and organisations applied for Environmental Labels.

The EPD organises information and experience sharing seminars for companies and organisations to enhance understanding of the HKAEE.
The HKAEE are sponsored by the ECF and have a high degree of stakeholder involvement, being jointly organised by the Environmental Campaign Committee, EPD, Advisory Council on the Environment, Business Environment Council, Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Chinese Importers' & Exporters' Association, Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Hong Kong Productivity Council.  

See also: Targets - Our Progress and 2009 Aims.