Labour Department

Environmental Report for 2016

Introduction

This report covers the environmental performance of the Labour Department (LD) for the year 2016.

The Labour Department and its Services

The Labour Department is the principal agency in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) responsible for the execution and co-ordination of major labour administration and occupational safety and health functions. Its aim is to enhance the well-being of the workforce progressively and promote the safety and health of those at work. It has four key programmes of work: Labour Relations, Employment Services, Safety and Health at Work and Employees’ Rights and Benefits.

In 2016, LD continued to closely monitor the employment market situation and enhance our employment services on all fronts, especially in netting suitable vacancies from the market and rendering assistance to job seekers. During the year, LD undertook a number of new and enhanced activities, for instance, organising 19 large-scale job fairs and 960 district-based job fairs; launching the Construction Industry Recruitment Centre to provide a venue for organising job fairs for the construction industry; carrying out a wide range of promotional activities on the employment related ordinances and good people management practices; organising various publicity activities to promote the Minimum Wage Ordinance; and reinforcing inspection, enforcement and publicity efforts in relation to safety at work in major works projects.

As at 31 December 2016, LD had an establishment of 2 352 posts, accommodated in 43 office locations throughout the territory. The actual expenditure of LD in 2016-17 was $1,852 million, including recurrent expenditure of $1,550 million and non-recurrent expenditure of $302 million.

Our Environmental Policy and Measures

LD is committed to environmental protection by acting in compliance with the relevant legislation and codes of practices, meeting the commitments of the Clean Air Charter signed by the HKSARG, as well as providing a green environment for staff and members of the public visiting our offices.

The following measures were adopted in pursuit of such commitments:

(a) Implementation of Green Housekeeping Measures

LD implemented green housekeeping measures targeting at minimising resource consumption, promoting waste recovery and energy conservation, and had closely monitored their effectiveness. For instance, LD offices arranged daily waste paper collection through cleansing contractors of respective building management offices engaged by the Government Property Agency. Separately, LD offices also engaged service contractors to collect waste paper for large scale exercises (e.g. file disposal exercises). In 2016, about 48 000 kg of waste paper was collected for recycling. Other green housekeeping measures taken were set out at Annex.

(b) Training and Publicity among Staff

Through promotional and educational programmes, LD aimed to raise staff members’ awareness of their environmental responsibilities. Government guidelines on green management practices, green procurement, electricity saving, green government buildings, external lighting and carbon management were re-circulated regularly to publicise green management. LD also encouraged its staff members to participate in green management seminars organised by other bureaux/departments as well as the following environmental activities in 2016 with a view to promoting their environmental awareness:

  • Earth Hour organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature;
  • Green Day organised by the Community Chest; and
  • No Car Day organised by Friends of the Earth (HK).

(c)  Review of Office Practices

LD regularly reviewed office practices to enhance environmentally friendliness and introduced improvement measures whenever feasible, such as the use of high efficiency lighting equipment in its premises and installation of occupancy sensors/timers to automatically switch on and off lighting in offices and public areas.

(d) Minimisation of Environmental Pollutants

LD observed the guidelines issued by the Department of Health in the disposal of clinical wastes by the Occupational Health Clinics, and took measures to minimise the production of environmental pollutants and/or nuisance. Chemical wastes from the Occupational Hygiene Laboratory were collected by specialised waste collector. Asbestos wastes produced by the Laboratory were disposed of by licensed asbestos waste collector as required. LD also helped reduce air emissions by observing the Clean Air Charter.


Performance

Paper Consumption

Paper Consumption

We have made our best efforts in economising the use of paper. The increase in paper consumption in 2016 was due to the increase in overall activities and additional offices as a result of enhancing our services on all fronts.

Electricity Consumption

Electricity consumption of LD’s offices in premises for which LD is responsible for paying the electricity bills in financial year (FY) 2013-14 and FY 2016-17 is tabulated below:

 

Electricity consumption
(million kWh)

Electricity consumption under comparable operating conditions
(million kWh)
(See Note 1)

FY 2013-14
(baseline)

1.89

Not applicable

FY 2016-17

1.73 (-8.4%)

1.73 (-8.3%)


Note 1:

The figure has taken into consideration significant changes in premises, plants and equipment, number of staff and service hours, etc. for a like-for-like comparison with the baseline.

(a)Change in Electricity Consumption

As set out above, the change in electricity consumption of our offices from FY 2013-14 to FY 2016-17 was -8.4%, mainly because of the on-going efforts of our offices in implementing various green house keeping measures to save energy.

(b)Saving in Electricity Consumption

Under comparable operating conditions of FY 2013-14, the saving in electricity consumption in FY 2016-17 was 8.3%, after implementing various energy saving measures:

  • maintaining lighting which is essential for safety and security in areas that are infrequently occupied;
  • installing timers to automatically switch on and off the lighting panels at main corridors;
  • switching off some of the lighting during lunch time;
  • purchasing equipment with Grade 1 energy label or with automatic energy saving mode upon replacement of old equipment; and
  • arranging the last officer out to check and switch off unnecessary lighting and air-conditioners.

Emissions from Vehicle Fleet and Electricity Consumption

 

Sulphur dioxide
(SO2)

Nitrogen oxides
(NOX)

Respirable suspended particulates
(RSP)

2015

2016

2015

2016

2015

2016

Emissions from Vehicle fleet

NA

NA

580 kg

563 kg

34 kg

34 kg

Emissions from Electricity Consumption
(See Note 2)

3052 kg

3233 kg

1854 kg

1964 kg

96 kg

102 kg


Note 2:

The emission figures are directly related to electricity consumption in the calendar year. Raw electricity consumption in 2016 has increased by about 6% when compared to that in 2015.

For vehicle fleet, LD had 27 vehicles in 2016, including one electric vehicle, eight vehicles using gasoline-electric hybrid energy and one using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The total mileage travelled was 407 829 km; and fuel consumptions were 40 465 litres of petrol and 2 066 litres of LPG. The emissions of air pollutants from the vehicle fleet were slightly reduced when compared with the figures in 2015. To support the Clean Air Charter, LD adopted the following measures to minimise the emission of air pollutants by its vehicular fleet:

(i)   using electric and hybrid vehicles and running other vehicles on unleaded fuel or LPG;

(ii)  reminding our motor drivers to comply with the statutory requirement to switch off engines of vehicles while waiting to achieve fuel saving and avoid idling emissions; and

(iii)  arranging regular vehicle servicing and preventive maintenance to minimise the emission of pollutants from vehicles.

Future Targets

Looking ahead, we will continue our efforts in green management and contribution to improvement of the air quality of Hong Kong. We will continue our effort to promote environmental awareness among staff members and encourage them to explore new ideas for delivering services in an environmental-friendly manner. We will also continue to implement green measures in consumption minimisation, waste recovery and energy conservation, as well as appropriate measures to attain the objectives of reducing air pollution. In particular, we shall endeavour to meet the electricity saving target of 5% from financial year 2015-16 to 2019-20 as set out in Environment Bureau Circular Memorandum No. 2/2015.

Feedbacks and Comments

If you have any comments or suggestions on this report, please send them to the Green Manager of LD at:

Mail: 17/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road
  Central, Hong Kong
E-mail: [email protected]
Fax: 2544 3271

 

 

 

 

 


Annex

Green Housekeeping Measures Taken

Minimising Paper Consumption

  • Using both sides of paper –
    All photocopying machines in LD were equipped with the double-side photocopying function. We also encouraged staff members to write and print on both sides of each piece of paper.
  • Minimising hardcopies of circulars, gazette notices and other publications –
    Both internal and external circulars were disseminated to staff members through e-mail. We also made wider use of internal portal and internet with a view to minimising the requirement of hardcopies.
  • Communicating by e-mails –
    All staff members have been provided with individual e-mail accounts to facilitate electronic communication both within and outside LD.
  • Using Departmental Portal –
    LD launched its Departmental Portal to provide a platform for information sharing and e-transactions within LD, including on-line access to the e-Payroll System of the Treasury and the e-Leave System for handling leave application, thereby reducing paper consumption.
  • Adopting electronic version as the mode of publication –
    LD adopted electronic version as the mode of publication for its publications, such as the Annual Departmental Report and staff newsletter.
  • Using plain paper fax machines and avoiding the use of fax leader pages –
    LD adopted the use of plain paper fax machines and encouraged staff members to avoid the use of fax leader pages.
  • Minimising the use of envelopes –
    Staff members were encouraged to minimise the use of envelopes and re-use envelopes whenever practicable.
  • Minimising the use of loose minute jacket –
    Staff members were encouraged to re-use loose minute jackets whenever practicable.
  • Sending greeting cards in festive seasons by electronic means.

Using Environmental-friendly Products and Encouraging Green Procurement

  • Using refillable ball pens –
    All staff members were provided with refillable ball pens for their daily work.
  • Minimising the use of products which were not environmental-friendly –
    Observing guidelines on green procurement issued by the Environmental Protection Department and encouraging divisions to adopt relevant green specifications when procuring products and services as far as practicable. In 2016, the value of LD’s green procurement was $4.3 million.

Waste Recovery

  • Collecting waste paper for recycling –
    Boxes were provided in all offices to collect waste paper. LD also arranged contractors to collect waste paper for recycling. In 2016, LD offices arranged service contractors to collect about 48 000 kg of waste paper for recycling.
  • Using recycled paper –
    In 2016, LD consumed 37 600 reams of paper and 100% of the paper consumed was recycled paper.
  • Collecting obsolete personal computers –
    Obsolete personal computers were collected for trade-in through contractors.
  • Redeploying serviceable furniture and equipment for further usage.
  • Collecting used toner cartridges–
    Toner cartridges for printers were collected and returned to suppliers for recycling.
  • Requiring the cleansing contractors to use degradable plastic bags/plastic bags with recycled content for garbage collection.

Energy Conservation

  • Switching off electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Adopting the use of high efficiency lighting equipment –
    We adopted the use of high efficiency lighting equipment in all new premises and arranged to replace older lighting equipment with more energy saving system when opportunities arose, e.g. during office renovation.
  • Adjusting the illumination of lighting equipment to the lowest comfortable level.
  • Using LED light bulbs for spot lights.
  • Maintaining lighting which was essential for safety and security in areas that were infrequently occupied.
  • Installing occupancy sensors/timers to automatically switch on and off lighting in offices and public areas.
  • Adjusting the air-conditioning system with a view to keeping the room temperature to 25.5°C in accordance with the advice of the Environment Bureau.
  • Switching off air-conditioning with independent air-conditioning control when occupancy was low such as on Saturday, lunch time or after office hours.
  • Encouraging staff to dress casual and smart in summer months and to lower and close venetian blinds when direct sunlight is penetrating a window in the summer season.
  • Ensuring proper maintenance of our departmental vehicles and using more clean energy.
  • Reminding our drivers to comply with the statutory requirement to switch off the vehicle engine whilst waiting to achieve fuel saving and avoid idling emissions.
  • Appointing Energy Wardens in all locations to monitor the effective implementation of energy saving measures. For LD’s offices in premises for which LD is responsible for paying the electricity bills, the monthly electricity consumption is brought to the attention of management of these premises for constant monitoring with a view to reducing electricity consumption.