Dear Members and Partners,
Wishing you all a prosperous, healthy, low carbon and low waste New Year.
2011 looks set to be an exciting year – the mandatory building energy codes, waste management strategy, air quality objectives, and action agenda for climate change were all up in the air in 2010.
Secretary Yau has kicked off the New Year with a full platter of waste management plans. Coincidently, we pick up the thread on waste in this E-flash with a piece on food waste management opportunities.
The waste issue has always presented an opportunity for business, but these have largely been left to the big boys of waste infrastructure or the back street waste recovery and export businesses. With new pressure to find sustainable waste management solutions there are now many reasons for businesses to engage, and turn waste problems into new business opportunities. The last decade however, has been somewhat sterile and its time to find innovative and value adding solutions.
Waste evokes unpleasant and unwanted, best out of sight reactions. We need to banish the word from the dictionary and replace it with words such as resource, fuel, commodity or material. Most people are surprised at the amount of recovered recyclable materials exported from Hong Kong some 3.18 million tonnes per year worth HK$5.8 billion in 2009 (EPD, 2010), but we are doing little to add value to the material exported.
So BEC’s New Year resolution is to raise awareness of the need for Hong Kong to become a zero waste society, and to facilitate the business involvement in the circular economy.
This means converting underutilized, and as yet unappreciated resources into valuable feedstock for new products or energy production. I hope you will come and join us in the challenging endeavour!
Dr Andrew L Thomson
Chief Executive Officer
Business Environment Council
The Government conveyed waste-recovery target
The Hon. Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment has announced the new waste-recovery target, which is to increase the current rate from 49% to 55% in 2015. It is part of the overall waste management plan proposed by the Government to mitigate the pressing waste problem as quickly as possible.
In the press briefing on 4 January 2011, Hon. Yau announced the action plan that includes initiatives to reduce and recycle waste from the upstream, extend landfills and build modern waste-treatment facilities are at top priorities.
Having a pressing need of extending landfills to buy time for the establishment of waste treatment facilties, the Government is proposing that only odourless waste such as construction waste would be disposed to the TKO landfill, in order to have the support from the residents at Tseung Kwan O whom demonstrated strong opposition to the previous landfill expansion proposal.
Combating Climate Change through Food Waste Management
by Ms Suzanne Cheung | Head of Environmental Management
Recently, the Government has made new proposal and demonstrated determination to mitigate waste problem with targets and priorities to having modern waste treatment facilities, extending landfill and reduce waste from source. Indeed, how would the waste management strategy affects greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in Hong Kong?
Waste Management Contribution in GHG Emissions in Hong Kong
In the Consultation Document, the Bureau published the GHG emission data in Hong Kong from 1990 to 2008. It is worth noting that 5% of Hong Kong GHG emission came from waste treatment. While this percentage is not significantly high, there is much room for reduction.
Different from other major cities around the world, Hong Kong has only one waste treatment solution – landfilling. The GHG generated from landfills (namely methane) is 21-23 times more potent, and which imposes a much higher global warming effect than usual CO2 emissions.
Food Waste Management – Opportunities?
Methane is generated when organic materials decay at the landfills and one of the major organic components is food waste. In 2009, Hong Kong generated over 3,000 tonnes per day of food waste. The first organic waste treatment facilities (OWTF) will be commissioned in early 2011 with capacity of 200 tonnes per day. The second OWTF will be developed with capacity of 400-500 tonnes per day.
Even with both OWTFs in operation, slightly over 20% of food waste will be treated, which mean plenty of food waste still going to end up in landfills. This challenge, on the other hand creates the opportunity for some local environmentally responsible organizations to promote minimising food waste by food donation programmes, or converting them into fishmeal with food decomposing machines.
According to Environmental Protection Department’s information, most of the food waste is created by households. Yet there are only few residential areas promote food waste reduction or recycling. While the policy makers are the key drivers to create the change, voluntary changes motivated from bottom up is also a powerful signal to better handle food waste too.
Contributor: Ms Suzanne Cheung, Head of Environmental Management, BEC. Ms Cheung and her colleagues had extensive experience on waste management and had conducted various surveys and marking research on behalf of EPD, such as Study on a Waste Management Plan, Survey of MSW and Selected Waste Types by Source, Computer Automation of Waste Reduction and Monitoring & Evaluation Manual and Survey of Household Waste Recovery at Selected Housing Estates. One of their focuses is waste generation survey and recycling plan for individual companies.
Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy & Action Agenda Consultation Document – BEC & CCBF’s Submission to the Government
Having a broad representation of the businesses in Hong Kong, BEC and its initiative, CCBF jointly submitted a fair, transparent and collective response paper reflecting the views and recommendations to the Government’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda on 17 December.
Hong Kong Business Survey on Climate Change
Hong Kong businesses recognise the risks to their businesses posed by climate change, but have yet to prepare in earnest, according to a survey conducted by CCBF, an initiative of the BEC among 500 business managers in the Hong Kong SAR. Among the top concerns are rising energy prices (71%) and disrupted transport and logistics networks (58%). [More]
New BEC Members
BEC warmly welcomes the three new members to join this sustainable platform for businesses!
DHL Global Forwarding
Global Power Manufacturing Ltd
DHL Global Forwarding (Hong Kong) Limited – The Company specialises in providing air and ocean freight services. It transports goods and merchandise to an agreed destination, at a customer specific agreed delivery time and price, providing customized solutions for major logistics projects, as well as comprehensive customs services.
Golden Power Manufacturing Limited – The Company with design and sales consultants in USA, contracts with Chinese manufacturer to make thermostats for sale in USA and Canada. Customers include The Home Depot, General Electric and Duracell etc.
OKIA Optical Company Limited – The Company is an integrated eyewear service provider specialising in design, logistics and production. It adopts state-of-the-art technologies and innovative materials to better accommodate to the market demand.
Upcoming BEC Events
Post COP 16 Debrief – Steps forward from Cancun, 10 January 2011
The UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP 16) in Cancun in December was the latest chance to advance a global climate deal. In collaboration with the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, the Climate Group, Civic Exchange, CCBF – one of BEC’s initiatives, jointly organise the debriefing session on 10 January. Having overwhelming support from interested public, this event is oversubscribed, you are most welcome to contact email@example.com for more information. [More]
Member visit to Hong Kong International Airport, 19 January 2011
The monthly member visit of January would be taken place at the Hong Kong International Airport. Participants would have the opportunity to know more about the green initiatives implemented by the HKIA.
Spring Cocktail, 17 February 2011
BEC members are cordially invited to join our Spring Cocktail on 17 February (Thursday), 6:00 – 8:00pm, to celebrate the Year of Rabbit and networking with the fellow BEC board directors, members, associates and colleagues to open up another year of success!
Member visit to Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, 18 February 2011
Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station is CLP’s first step into low emission power generation in Mainland China. Supply from Daya Bay is a clean energy which produces zero emissions. Join us to visit the role model for operational excellence on 18 February 2011 (Friday), 7:50am – 2:00pm. Interested members can click this link for further information and registration form. For registration, please send the form to Ms Fiona So at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EnviroSeries, 25 March 2011
We are delighted to inform you that the upcoming EnviroSeries Conference, the BEC signature event, would be held on 25 March, 2011, with the theme of sustainable technology.
More about EnviroSeries Conference
Buildings and Energy Efficiency (BEE) Team
The Buildings and Energy Efficiency (BEE) team of the BEC has been at the forefront of the green building movement in Hong Kong since the early 1990s driving the sustainability agenda and energy efficiency in the built environment
Corporate Sustainability (CS) Team
The Corporate Sustainability team is delighted to be the co-organiser of the business award programme, HSBC Living Business Awards in 2010, and pleased to continue to co-organise this meaningful event in 2011 with HSBC to provide recognition to responsible business models to foster long-term business success.
HSBC Living Business Awards is an annual award scheme aims to recognise SMEs who manage their business responsibly and sensitively with regard to people, the community and the environment to ensure long-term business success. Over the last 6 years, the award has recognised over 800 local SMEs from a wide range of industries, including catering, property management, manufacturing, trading, hairdressing services, environmental technology, health services, elderly services, travel and tourism.
A new awards structure was introduced in 2010, which focuses on the three pillars of CS – environmental protection, community engagement, and care for employees. The three individual award categories – Community Engagement Award, Green Achievement Award and People Caring Award – aim to recognise SME’s contribution and commitment to sustainability in these three important areas of CS. With the new awards structure, the HSBC Living Business Awards 2010 received over 500 entries from 230 SMEs, which is almost 10 times the number of entrants in 2004 when the awards scheme was first launched. Results of the HSBC Living Business Awards 2010 were announced on 11 November 2010. Below is the souvenir programme of the HSBC Living Business Awards 2010 which includes further information on the 2010 Awards and the winning companies. Please click here for more about HSBC Living Business Awards 2010.
Environmental Management (EM) Team
The Environmental Management (EM) team of the BEC provides support to businesses in identifying and managing eco-footprints and offers strategic consultancy in achieving environmental excellence.
BEC Supports Event
Emerging Technologies Forum - Smart Grid Technologies
CityU Business and Industrial Club (CUBIC) of the University’s Knowledge Transfer Office is going to organize the Emerging Technologies Forum (ETF) on Smart Grid on 27 January 2011. In this Forum series, speakers from industry and research institutions are invited to talk about the latest government policies, technological trends, local and regional initiatives or product development strategies related to their sectors. Business Environment Council is pleased to support this meaningful event.