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Concerted efforts for cleaner production (with photo)

    The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will launch a five-year programme to encourage Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region to adopt cleaner production technologies and practices to further improve the regional air quality.

     Officiating today (October 16) at the Conference on Joint-Efforts with Industries in Cleaner-Production, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, said cleaner production was not only a good concept from environment protection perspective; but when put into practice, could bring real benefits to factories by cutting costs and reducing wastage.

     "There are also increasingly more business clients who attach great importance to environmental performance when looking for potential partners and suppliers," he said.

     With the support of key industry associations, the department commissioned the Hong Kong Productivity Council in November, 2006, to conduct a Cleaner Production Technical Support Pilot Project, to support voluntary efforts and to speed up adoption of cleaner production of Hong Kong-owned factories in the PRD region.  Fifteen factories participated in the pilot project. Their experiences were shared at today's conference.

     "The pilot project has produced encouraging results. It had gained the support of the factory owners, representatives of the industry and trades. To build on the success, we are going to launch a five-year programme early next year to encourage Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta Region to adopt cleaner production technologies and practices to further improving the regional air quality," Mr Yau said.

     Through on-site assessment of the production processes, establishing real case examples with technology demonstration and verification of their effectiveness, the programme will give professional and technical support to participating factories in adopting cleaner production technologies and practices.

     The ultimate aim was to help the factories reduce emissions and enhance energy efficiency, thus further improving the regional air quality, he said.

     The programme will be implemented by the Hong Kong Productivity Council in collaboration with other environmental technology and service providers.

     The EPD would consult the relevant trades and industries on the programme and seek funding support from the Legislative Council in the coming months.

     Mr Yau said the Hong Kong business community was keen to work with the governments of the HKSAR and Guangdong Province for better air quality and living environment in the PRD region. In addition to the governments' efforts, proactive actions were being taken by trades and industries to improve the environment.

     In August this year, the governments of the HKSAR and the Guangdong Province signed a co-operation agreement to further strengthen efforts in promoting energy efficiency, cleaner production and comprehensive utilisation of resources among enterprises in Hong Kong and Guangdong.

     Today's conference brought together more than 100 manufacturers, business decision-makers and professionals in the environmental technology and service field.

     Also attending the conference were the Vice-Director of the Economic & Trade Commission of Guangdong Province Mr Yang Jianchu, the Deputy Director of the Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Zhongbing, the Chairman of HK Productivity Council, Mr Andrew Leung, and representatives of the business and industrial sectors.

Ends/Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Issued at HKT 17:41


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