EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Environment Bureau and Environmental Protection Department are committed to minimising our environmental impacts and improving Hong Kong's environment. We also seek to promote sustainable development in Hong Kong.

We oversee eight programme areas, including environmental protection, sustainable development and energy. We develop policies and programmes in consultation with stakeholders and the community, and we also have a strong working relationship with authorities in Guangdong to address cross-boundary pollution. In addition, we recognise our international responsibilities in respect of climate change and other issues, and we adhere to a number of international conventions.

Internally, we are implementing the Government's commitments on the Clean Air Charter and we are continuing to investigate and implement opportunities to reduce our impacts on the environment.

Our key achievements in 2008 are described below and divided according to the triple bottom line for sustainable development: environmental, social and economic.

Key Achievements in 2008
Environmental
Social
Economic

Began construction of the advance disinfection facilities for treated effluent.

Enacted the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance to require mandatory labelling of certain products.
Proposed to establish a Geopark to protect geological resources.
Agreed with Guangdong to further deepen environmental co-operation and jointly draw up strategies to transform the Pearl River Delta region into a green and quality living area.
Launched the 5-year Cleaner Production Partnership Programme to encourage and facilitate Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta region to adopt cleaner production technologies and practices.
Launched the first guidelines for conducting carbon audits at buildings in Hong Kong.
Saw our electricity consumption fall by 1.8 per cent and paper consumption fall by 4.3 per cent.
Consulted the public on the mandatory implementation of Building Energy Codes.
Saw the Council for Sustainable Development issue a report on the findings of a public engagement exercise on Better Air Quality, which attracted more than 80 000 responses, and make recommendations to the Government.
Launched the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence to encourage green management and benchmarking by companies and organisations. This is a consolidation of three other awards schemes.
Opened the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.
Finalised new Scheme of Control Agreements with the power companies, which include financial penalties and incentives to improve their environmental performance.
Adjusted the Trade Effluent Surcharge imposed on businesses with more polluting wastewater in recognition of some operators efforts to control their pollution.
Enacted the Product Eco-Responsibility Ordinance which provides a legal framework for mandatory product responsibility schemes. A 50-cent levy was proposed for plastic shopping bags.
Began a Baseline Study on commercial and industrial establishments to collect information for developing municipal solid waste charging options.