Environmental Report 1999 Information Services Department


Introduction

This is the Information Services Department's first Environmental Report. It sets out the department's environmental policy, commitments and progress of green measures taken in the year 1999.

2. The Information Services Department is responsible for implementing Government's Public Relations and information policies, both locally and overseas. The department has an estimate of $403.7m on Recurrent Expenditure and an establishment of 503 posts for 1999-2000. There are five Programme Areas, namely :-

Programme (1): Overseas Public Relations

Programme (2): Local Public Relations and Public Information

Programme (3): Public Opinion

Programme (4): Civic Responsibility

Programme (5): Publishing
 

Environmental Goal

3. The Information Services Department is committed to ensure that government's Public Relations and information policies, both locally and overseas, are implemented in an environmentally responsible manner.


Environmental Policy

4. The Information Services Department has adopted the following environmental policies in meeting its environmental goal :-

    (a) implementing government's PR policies in an environmentally responsible manner such as issuing press releases and photographs electronically to all news organizations; promoting the use of internet for dissemination of information; publishing the Hong Kong Annual Report on internet and in CD Rom format; and reducing hard copies of publications produced;

    (b) promoting communication within the department through electronic means via GCN and intranet; working towards the concept of paperless office to reduce the use and dispatch of paper; adopting the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the consumption of materials and seeking continual improvement in the efficient use of natural resources and energy, e.g. by re-engineering of work processes;

    (c) complying with relevant environmental protection ordinances;

    (d) providing training for staff to develop an environmentally responsible culture and increasing their awareness of continual improvement in protecting the environment; and

    (e) recommending to clients the use of environmentally friendly paper for printing publicity items and publications.
     

Environmental Management and Performance

Environmental Aspects Measures Performance
A. Use of Energy and Material
energy All officers are requested to comply with the energy conservation policy of switching off lights and air-conditioners whenever offices are not in use. Routine checks are conducted. Effective compliance
material

 

 

 
All officers are reminded to reduce the use of paper Christmas card and maximize the use of internet and e-mail facilities for seasonal greetings. The Internet Resource Centre has, as in previous years, arranged for electronic Christmas cards for use by Government officials with a view to reducing the need for paper Christmas cards. The number of departmental Christmas card printed in 1999 was reduced by 27%.
Measures are taken to economize in the use of paper. This includes using computer fax, using blank side of used paper for drafting, printing on both sides of paper, wider use of e-mail and internet mail, re-using envelopes, using electronic means for press announcements and putting public and departmental information on Government and departmental web-sites and departmental electronic bulletin boards as far as possible. Effective
Government news releases are uploaded onto the Internet since April 1998. Hard copies of the Daily Information Bulletin are no longer published.
Arrangement is made for members of the public to place order for Government publications by electronic means through the Internet, in addition to by fax and by mail. There is an increasing number of orders received electronically.
B. Pollution Prevention
air-quality Government's Smoke-free Workplace Policy has been implemented. Random checks conducted. Full compliance.
  All drivers are briefed on the need to switch off engines of cars while waiting. Random checks conducted. Full compliance.
waste
(i) paper waste Paper waste is collected by GSD's contractor regularly. In 1999, 26,158kg of paper waste was collected.
(ii) used printer cartridges

 

 
 
Used printer cartridges were collected for re-cycling. For the period between June and December 1999, 138 used printer cartridges were collected and sent to the Post Office. $1,794 was donated to Sowers Action under the Recycling Campaign.
(iii) fax machines Thermal-paper fax-machines are gradually replaced by plain-paper ones. There were 18 thermal-paper fax-machines as at 1.1.99. Ten machines were replaced by plain-paper ones in 1999. The rest will be replaced in 2000.
(iv) used plastic film container  Plastic film containers are collected by a private firm for recycling. About 4,500 plastic film containers were collected for recycling in 1999.
purchasing Wider use of green products, eg. recycled photocopying paper, alkaline batteries, refillable ball-pens. Green products are widely accepted by users.

 
New equipment purchased are recognized energy efficient models. - Conscious assessment and judgement on environmental friendliness and energy efficiency was made for all equipment procurement.
hazardous waste management Chemical waste emitted in the course of photo-processing is properly contained and stored and was collected by EPD's contractor for disposal. - Arrangement in compliance with the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation
  - The contractor to dispose chemical waste in an environmentally safe manner.
Regular site inspections. - Full compliance
C. Management Actions/Initiatives on Environmental Improvement
Green Management Initiatives Implemented
(i) Green management scheme

 

 
Each Division has nominated an officer to be the Green Management Co-ordinator who is responsible for gauging staff's views on environmental improvement, relaying views to management and conducting regular checks and reviews on progress of green housekeeping measures implemented. Close liaision has been maintained between management and the green management co-ordinators. Progress of green housekeeping action plans was highly satisfactory in 1999.
(ii) Environmental policy

 
Departmental management, in consultation with staff, has developed an environmental policy. The policy has been implemented smoothly and will be kept under regular review. The environmental policy was introduced in December 1999. The Policy Statement was published for staff's information in December 1999.
Education and Training
(i) Training



 
Environmental audit training is arranged for staff in the Photo Section to equip them with knowledge on handling chemical waste discharged in the course of photo-processing. All officers handling chemical waste attended related training.
(ii) Green practice guideline/ information for staff Departmental circulars on energy conservation, economy in the use of paper and other environmental protection matters are circulated to all staff periodically and placed on the Lotus Notes Bulletin Board for easy access and re-circulation. Continual effort is made on dissemination of information on environmental consciousness.
Work Systems and Processes (i) Reviews on day-to-day operations and work processes of sub-divisions/sections are conducted with a view to identifying improvement opportunities on more environmental-friendly work procedures. More and more information eg. posting orders, departmental circulars, requisition forms, were placed on the Lotus Notes Bulletin Board for easy access. Trial runs will be conducted in selected offices for the implementation of Electronic / Paperless Office.
(ii) Periodic reviews on newspapers and periodical subscriptions. Subscription for 12 newspaper/periodical were cancelled with an annual saving of around $23,000 in 1999.
(iii) Production of the Hong Kong Annual Report in electronic format to reduce the number of printed version. The number of printed copy Annual Report was reduced from 43,000 in 1998 to 27,000 in 1999.
(iv) Media summaries/special reports are sent to users via computer networks. Electronic delivery of information reduces paper consumption and saves manpower.
(v) A Digital Photo System was introduced in June 1997. News photographs are distributed to news organisations and other users in digital format. The number of printed copies of news photographs has reduced significantly since June 1997.


Environmental Actions Requiring Special Attention

5. The department will continue to make use of technology to enhance green management practices. This includes :-

    1. conducting a review on Information Systems Strategy (ISS) in 2000 to identify areas for enhancement, improvement and further development in the use of Information Technology (IT) for various work processes of the department with a view to increasing its efficiency and cost-effectiveness;

    2. setting-up of an electronic distribution system to receive and distribute incoming fax by computer to facilitate information access, quick follow-up action and minimizing the need for photo-copying;

    3. setting-up an Intranet Web Server in 2000 with a view to reducing the need for hard-copy circulation and facsimile transmission of papers and documents and enhancing communication among officers in the department;

    4. implementation of a computerised personnel and training record system in 2000 which will enable a reduction in the printing and copying of staff records such as staff lists, establishment and strength position, and training records;


Your suggestions are welcome

6. If you have any suggestion or points to make on this report, you can telephone, call at or write to the Departmental Secretary (Telephone No. 2842 8780, Fax No. 2868 5609, internet e-mail address ghychu@isd.gcn.gov.hk).




GIC