Award ceremony for Charter on External Lighting held today (with photos)

     The Environment Bureau (ENB) held the award ceremony for the Charter on External Lighting today (June 15) to commend organisations which complied with the switch-off requirement in the past year.

     The ENB launched the Charter last year to invite owners and responsible persons for external lighting installations to switch off lighting installations with decorative, promotional or advertising purposes that affect the outdoor environment during preset times, so as to minimise energy wastage and light nuisance, and to provide residents with a better environment conducive to sleep. The Charter took effect in April last year. Signatories include premises from various sectors such as property development, building management, hotels and catering, retail, laundry, banking, travel and cinemas, as well as schools, public utilities and public/non-governmental organisations.

     Over 3 000 properties and shops that fulfilled the pledge to switch off external lighting from 11pm to 7am were awarded the Platinum Award, and more than 1 200 organisations that switched off external lighting from midnight to 7am were awarded the Gold Award. In addition, more than 300 properties and shops signed up to the Charter this year and were granted certificates. The signatory list has been published on the new website for the Charter.

     Officiating at the award ceremony, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said that he was pleased to see more than 4 300 properties and shops had taken action to support the Charter in the past year. He said he hoped that more shops and organisations would sign up to the Charter and participate in collaborative efforts to mitigate the problems of light nuisance and energy wastage caused by external lighting, with a view to building consensus and changing the habit of switching on unnecessary lights at night.

     The Chairperson of the Working Group on the Promotion of the Charter on External Lighting (the Working Group), Ms Caroline Mak, said that the promotion of environmental protection and sustainable development had become an important part of corporate social responsibility. In addition to multinational enterprises and major business groups, small and medium enterprises have become increasingly aware of the importance of environmental issues, and were pleased to contribute, she said. As such, apart from appealing to major chain stores to participate in the Charter, the Working Group also stepped up the promotion of the Charter at district level by joining with the ENB to distribute leaflets to sole proprietors and individual shops to invite them to sign up to the Charter.

     To better promote the Charter, the Government will launch a Partnership Scheme to invite advertising companies, trade/professional bodies or associations to become Charter Partners. The partners will encourage through their networks other companies, business contacts, partners and clients, etc, to sign up their premises with external lighting installations to the Charter. Under the Scheme, Gold and Platinum prizes will be awarded to partners who recruit over 50 and 100 signatories respectively before April 1 next year.

     Apart from launching the Charter, the ENB also re-launched the Guidelines on Industry Best Practices for External Lighting Installations (the Guidelines). The ENB has also hosted a number of seminars starting from May last year to appeal to various sectors to observe the Guidelines and to adopt the good practices in the Guidelines when planning or managing their external lighting installations. In addition, all Government departments are required to switch off external lighting with decorative, promotional and advertising purposes at 11pm, and to observe the good practices in the Guidelines.

     The Government set up the Task Force on External Lighting in 2011 to advise it on the appropriate strategy and measures to tackle nuisance and energy wastage problems caused by external lighting. The Task Force, having studied international experience and practices and considered the views and comments received during the engagement exercise, submitted its report to the Government in April 2015. The report recommended a multi-pronged approach to address the problems caused by external lighting, including the introduction of a Charter and the re-launch of the Guidelines. The Government accepted the Task Force's recommendations, and set up the Working Group in June 2015 to plan and promote the Charter. The Working Group comprises members from the advertising, catering, property management, hotel and retail sectors, as well as District Councillors. The list of over 4 800 signatories has been published on the Charter’s new website (

Ends/Thursday, June 15, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:45