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Speech by CE at HKAEE awards presentation ceremony cum launch ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at the 2011 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) awards presentation ceremony cum 2012 HKAEE launch ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today (May 4):

Professor (David) Lung (Chairman of the Environmental Campaign Committee), Professor Tsui (Lap-chee) (Chairman of the Final Adjudicating Panels), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very happy to join you again this year for the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence.

     I am also delighted to meet our awardees who are leading the way in building a better and greener Hong Kong. My warmest congratulations to you all.

     The outstanding examples from our business sector in adopting green management practices and innovative green solutions are indeed very impressive. Enterprises are increasingly aware of the practical dimensions of "going green". Many succeed in taking advantage of sustainable practices to reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness in the global market.

     "Going green" is no longer regarded as an unavoidable cost, but more as an unmissable opportunity to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

     Green practices have emerged as a strong pulling factor for environmentally-conscious consumers. According to a survey by the US-based Society for Human Resource Management, environmentally responsible programmes improve employees' morale, strengthen a company's public image and also raise customer confidence.

     The success of the Government's environment strategies not only hinges on the policies and their implementation, it also depends on the support of the community and contributions from the private sector.

     Allow me to give you a couple of examples. First, recycling. With support from the building management sector in arranging recycling facilities, and backing from community groups in taking forward local recycling programmes, we have managed to achieve a 52 per cent recycling rate.

     Another success story is our Buildings Energy Efficiency Funding Schemes. Here, building owners have drawn up energy-saving proposals while the engineering sector has provided engineering services. Together, they have contributed to an annual energy saving of 150 million kilowatt-hours.

     The Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence offer a great platform to promote the efforts and achievements of our green contributors in the private sector and the community as a whole.

     Through these Awards, our business sector can also benchmark its commitment towards environmental excellence. Since the launch of the Sectoral Awards in 2008, the number of participants has increased significantly. There were over 580 entries in 2011, an increase of over 20 per cent compared to the previous year.

     This year, we have a new award for Green Innovations. This award represents our appreciation for the innovative application of technology to improve the environment, not just here in Hong Kong but around the world.

     In recent years, we have seen stronger mobilisation of green practices and actions in our private sector. The Government looks to your continuing support in encouraging others to join the "green revolution" so that we can secure a brighter future for our next generations.

     Congratulations to everyone involved in this year's Awards, and I wish you all continued success. I also thank the Environmental Campaign Committee for championing this cause over the years.

     Please keep up the good work.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, May 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:37


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