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         April 2009
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

1.1 Background
The Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence (HKAEE) is striding into its second year and has
been recognized by the community as one of the most prestigious and reputable award schemes in
Hong Kong. It started with the “Environmental Labels” and “Sectoral Awards” in the first year. The
former offers recognition to those that have achieved committed goals in waste reduction, energy
conservation, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and improving product environmental attributes;
while the latter grants awards to organizations with an overall outstanding environmental
performance.      In this year, HKAEE introduces the new Carbon“Less” Certificates scheme to
recognize organizations with carbon reduction efforts.

1.2 Overview of HKAEE

The 2009 HKAEE provides three types of recognition, namely the Environmental Labels, the
Carbon“Less” Certificates and the Sectoral Awards.

The Environmental Labels scheme encourages participants to make self-improvement and
recognizes those that achieved specific environmental goals. The main reason for having this
scheme is that some organizations may be in a position just to perform well in specific areas (e.g.
waste reduction), but not in an overall manner. Their efforts, however, are still worth being
recognized. Participants can join any of the 4 Environmental Labels at any time and there is no
prescribed limit on the number of awardees. Participants will be awarded the “Class of Excellence”
or “Class of Good” Label, depending on their achievements.

The Carbon“Less” Certificates scheme aims to recognize those participants that achieved a verified
absolute reduction of overall carbon emissions. Specific objectives are to:
•    encourage local buildings and organizations to identify, and take measures to reduce their
     carbon footprint;
•    provide recognition to participants according to their respective levels of achievements in
     carbon footprint reduction; and
•    facilitate reporting of third-party verified achievements of overall carbon footprint reduction.

The Sectoral Awards scheme aims to recognize organizations with all-round outstanding
environmental performance in Green Leadership, Programme and Performance and Partner
Synergy in respective sectors. It is an annual competition among participants in 9 selected sectors.
There will usually be 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze, 1 SME Awards and up to 10 Merits for each sector; but
the combination can be adjusted by the Adjudicating Panel as deemed appropriate.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                                    Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence
                 Environmental Labels Carbon“Less” Certificates          Sectoral Awards

Purpose          Recognize                Recognize buildings and        Recognize organizations
                 organizations which      organizations which have       which have demonstrated
                 have attained a          achieved a verified            all-round and outstanding
                 prescribed number        absolute reduction of          environmental performance
                 of specific              overall carbon emissions       within designated sectors
                 environmental goals
Mechanism        Continuous               Measurement and verified       Competition
                 self-improvement         achievement
Scope                Wastewi$e Label          Carbon“Less”                  Construction Industry
                     Energywi$e Label         Certificate                   Financial, Insurance and
                     IAQwi$e Label                                          Accounting Institutions
                     Productwi$e                                            Hotels and Restaurants
                     Label                                                  Manufacturing
                                                                            Property Management
                                                                            Public Sector
                                                                            Schools #
                                                                            Transport and Logistics
Awardees         No prescribed limit      No prescribed limit            For each sector:
                 for each label
                                              Carbon“Less” XX               1 Gold
                     Class of Good            Certificate                   1 Silver
                     Class of                                               1 Bronze
                     Excellence                                             1 SME Award *
                                                                            A maximum of 10 Merits

                                                                         or a combination as deemed
                                                                         appropriate by the
                                                                         Adjudicating Panel
# Restricted to the Champions, First runners-up and Second runners-up of the past Hong Kong
  Green School Award organized by the Environmental Campaign Committee.
* Companies/organizations that meet the definition of SME adopted by the Government will be
  automatically entered into the Sectoral SME Award competition in the sector which they submit
  their applications.

1.3 Eligibility for Sectoral Awards

All businesses and organizations and their functional units operating primarily within Hong Kong are
eligible to apply for the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence – Sectoral Awards.
Functional units within an organization can enter the same or separate sectors but each functional
unit is limited to enter into one sector only. A functional unit of an organization will not be allowed to
enter into the same sector if the organization as a whole has already filed an application for such
sector or vice versa. Multiple entries from different functional units to the same sector would need to
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

demonstrate the specific environmental initiatives arising from individual functional units. Award
applicants meeting the definition of SMEs as adopted by the Hong Kong SAR Government will
automatically be eligible for Sectoral SME Award competition in respective sectors.

To encourage wider participation in the Sectoral Awards, Gold Award winners of each
sector/subsector of the previous year will not be eligible for entering the Sectoral Awards for the
subsequent year.

The organizers reserve the right to determine the eligibility of any applicant.

1.4 Aims and Objectives

The Sectoral Awards aims to:

•   encourage businesses and organizations to adopt green management;
•   benchmark their commitments towards best practices within their sectors; and
•   recognize and acknowledge the efforts of leading businesses and organizations.

1.5 Purpose of this Guidebook for Retailers

The purpose of this Guidebook is to explain the application procedures and assessment criteria for
the sector of Retailers under the Sectoral Awards of the HKAEE. In addition, self-assessment checklist
is provided to assist your organizations to improve the environmental performance.

For details about the Environmental Labels and the Carbon“Less” Certificates under the HKAEE,
please refer to the Guidebooks concerned.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence


                             STAGE                             ACTIVITY

                                                           Document review of
             Stage 1 - Initial Assessment                  all entries

                                                           Field assessment of
             Stage 2 - Detailed Assessment
                                                           shortlisted entries

                                                           Adjudicating panels
             Stage 3 - Final Assessment
                                                           to select winners out
                                                           of finalists

                  1 Gold Award
                  1 Silver Award
                  1 Bronze Award
                  1 SME Award
                  Up to 10 Merits
                  or a combination as
                  deemed appropriate by
                  the Adjudicating Panels

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

Winners will be selected from a rigorous assessment process comprising three stages:

2.1 Stage 1 - Initial Assessment

Upon receipt of the application form, a questionnaire will be sent to the applicants to provide details
of their environmental achievements. All information submitted by each applicant will be reviewed
according to the assessment criteria laid down by the assessors of the awards. The organizers may
request additional documents from any applicant for the purpose of verifying information that was
submitted. The award organizers will then select eligible applicants for detailed assessment in Stage

2.2 Stage 2 - Detailed/Field Assessment

Organizations selected for detailed assessment will be visited by a team of assessors. The visit will
include a tour of applicant’s facilities and interviews with key representatives of the organization
including top management, department heads and general staff. During the site visit, applicants
may introduce their environmental performance to the assessors to provide them with an in-depth
understanding of their environmental initiatives and their status of implementation.

Applicants reaching Stage 2 assessment will receive a complimentary assessment report on their
environmental performance. The report will outline the organization’s strengths and areas where
improvements in environmental management could be made. The assessment reports will be
submitted to the adjudicating panels for final adjudication.

2.3 Stage 3 - Final Assessment

Adjudicating Panels of industry and environmental experts will be formed to review the
environmental performance of applicants in the nine sectors. During the final assessment phase, the
Adjudicating Panels may invite candidates to further present their achievements in a meeting. Each
adjudicating panel will comprise representatives from various trade associations, government
departments and professional bodies. After the adjudicating meetings, the panels may choose to
conduct site visits to selected applicants before deciding on the final winners of the awards for each

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

The assessment criteria for the sector of Retailers are based on the well-established “Eco-Business
Model”. This model is designed to exemplify the strong relationship between the internal workings of
a business and the surrounding environment. The key factors, including Green Leadership,
Programme and Performance and Partner Synergy, are generally considered to be vital in the
overall integration of environmental measures within an organization.

                                           Eco-Business Model

  Corporate                                                                              Environmental
  Corporate                                                                             and Community
                                                                                        and Community
   Benefits                                                                                Benefits

Compliance                                           Leadership                           environmental
with                                                                                      awareness
requirements                                                                              Protection of
Cost savings                                                                              resources

Improved                                                                                  Reduced
productivity and                                      Eco –                               pollution
competitiveness                                                                           impacts
Improved                                                                                  Improved
corporate image                                                                           global
and customer                 Programme                              Partner               environment
recognition                      &                                 Synergy                International
                             Performance                                                  recognition of
                                                                                          Hong Kong’s

The Eco-business Model describes the key features that a green retail company should possess. It lists
the criteria for becoming a successful “eco-business” and explains the benefits that can be
encountered if the criteria are fulfilled. If a commitment to environmental management is what you
seek for your company, you should consider fulfilling the model criteria that are organized according
to the following three key components.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

3.1 Green Leadership

The commitment of upper management towards environmental protection will steer the
successfulness of conservation measures taken within any business. This component of the Model
suggests that management is to provide leadership in initiating the environmental measures to be
taken. The efforts of upper management should involve formally stating the goals and policy of the
company’s intended commitment to environmental management, allocating resources to fulfill the
requirements of the company’s policy, communicating policy goals and involving all levels of staff in
the programme. Furthermore, it is important that the upper management establishes channels to
train staff members on how to practise environmentally friendly measures.

On-going improvement is required if high operational standards are to be maintained. Meeting the
demands of clients while maintaining a commitment to environmental management can be made
easy by following the criteria that comprise each component of the Eco-Business Model. Each
criterion focuses on a key aspect of environmental management. They are intended to steer
business by explaining the types of environmental measures that can be used, how these measures
can be put into practice and the recommended ways to implement environmental measures. The
following section lists the criteria of each component.

3.1.1 Leadership

In order to develop a green culture within an organization, the management
should demonstrate commitment and at the same time use incentives to
encourage employees to adopt green measures.

    Be a role model – Practice what you preach by following the same measures you expect your
    staff to follow. This will demonstrate your commitment to your company’s environmental
    programme and turn you into a good role model;
    Get involved in environmental programmes and activities;
    Communicate with your employees in a two-way manner; and
    Establish incentives to encourage environmental conservation within your organization. This can
    include presenting awards for those employees that are highly committed to undertaking
    environmental measures.

3.1.2 Policy

Top management should create an environmental policy that proclaims the commitment of the
organization to protecting the environment. An organization’s environmental policy is a statement of
intent that is designed to outline how it will reduce environmental impacts and improve

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

All organizational activities have potential environmental effects or impacts, which may arise from
purchasing products, energy use and waste management. The role of the environmental policy is
not to list individual initiatives or project to deal with each impact, but to create a framework,
around which such initiatives can be developed, which will lead to improved overall environmental

An environmental policy must not be viewed in isolation, but should be seen as an integral part of
the organization’s business policies. In general terms, it should:

    Demonstrate commitment to adopting good environmental practices.
    Be company-wide: apply to all parts of the organization and not restricted to particular aspects
    of the organization’s operations or focused on individual departments.
    Be strategic: state the aims and objectives of the policy and summarize reasonable activities
    and procedures that shall be undertaken to achieve the aims.

The environmental policy can be a simple and concise statement that is made known to all
employees and be made available to the general public. In general upper management and those
employees responsible for or interested in environmental management can jointly draw up a draft
policy. All members of the organization should be allowed to comment on the policy before it is
finalized. The environmental policy should contain commitments to environmental conservation that
can be turned into actions. Once established the environmental policy should also be properly
communicated to staff, business partners and customers.

3.1.3 Organization and Resources

Appropriate resource allocation of both human and financial aspects is required for the success of
implementation of environmental initiatives within an organization. The first step of implementing
your environmental initiatives is to secure the support of your colleagues and supervisors. This will
increase the chance of programme success. Due to the diverse nature of most environmental
management measures, all members of your organization will conceivably be required to help
running the programme. You are likely to see better results if all staff join in the effort than if only a few
individuals participate in the programme. Furthermore, by informing colleagues about the
programme before you implement measures, it will help them to understand the benefits and
rationale behind the measures being taken, while getting them involved in making decisions to
ensure that the programme runs smoothly over the long term.

You can appoint a “Green Manager” (GM) within your organization. This individual shall be
responsible for encouraging colleagues to support environmental measures and for co-ordinating
programme implementation. Your selected GM should be committed to fulfilling programme
requirements and to protecting the environment. The GM’s responsibilities will vary according to the
programme that you have designed. However, the GM should assume a number of fundamental

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

duties that are listed below.

    Encourage staff to involve in the programme. This can be achieved by arranging information
    sessions and by encouraging staff participation in preparation of an environmental policy
    Collect staff’s ideas and answer their questions or concerns regarding the programme;
    Ensure that realistic objectives and targets are set;
    Ensure effective implementation of the environmental programme;
    Oversee internal checks;
    Encourage staff to give suggestions and feedback; and
    Communicate the results of the environmental programme with the community.

You can also refer to the Environmental Protection Department’s publication “Green Managers in
Business” to find out more information on green manager appointment.

In general, if all members in your organization take a little bit of effort to help run the programme, you
will experience benefits. Therefore, to help boost programme participation, the GM can identify
enthusiastic colleagues from different levels to help in programme implementation. The staff
selected by the GM should be capable of undertaking monitoring tasks and be committed to
undertaking environmental measures within the workplace. The number of individuals chosen to help
guide programme implementation will depend upon the size of the organization. If your
establishment is small in size, you may need only one person to co-ordinate your environmental
programme. However, if your establishment is substantial in size, then it would be best to encourage
colleagues from all levels (middle management, colleagues from the personnel and administrative
departments, etc.) to participate in your programme.

If your GM has enlisted a number of colleagues to help run your programme, these members could
form an “Environmental Task Force”. The role of the Task Force is to decide upon ways to co-ordinate
implementation efforts. The Task Force shall meet on a regular basis (e.g. monthly) and review the
progress of the programme.

3.1.4 Environmental Communication

An organization should develop channels that enable effective and timely communication of
environmental message and other useful information. Two-way communication is preferable and
can exercise different forms including the following:

    Vertical and horizontal communication– between all staff within the organization; and
    Communication between the organization and business partners and the community.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

3.1.5 Environmental Training

Environmental training can enhance the competence of employees and lead to overall
improvements in organizational performance.

Aims of Environmental Training include:

    Ensure all employees are acquainted with the organization’s environmental policy and
    environmental initiatives;
    Harness a commitment to the implementation of an organization’s environmental policy;
    Secure co-operation in the functioning of the environmental initiatives;
    Ensure that all staff are aware of the legal liabilities associated with their activities, both to
    themselves and their employer;
    Raise staff awareness of the environmental impacts associated with     particular activities;
    Improve environmental performance and encourage a responsible attitude to environmental
    Encourage the development of practices that can reduce environmental impacts; and
    Improve communication on environmental issues within the organization.

3.1.6 Managing for Continual Improvement

To encourage members of organization to strive for continual improvement, you can use a number
of mechanisms to encourage environmental initiatives. A regular review of the organization’s
environmental programme and the operational practices can usually serve the purpose. Regular
checks can help an organization:

    To get an understanding of the overall effectiveness of the organization’s environmental
    activities or initiatives;
    To identify appropriate corrective or preventive actions necessary to eliminate the causes of
    identified problems; and
    To identify further environmental initiatives that can be implemented within the organization for
    achieving continual improvement.

3.2 Programme and Performance

3.2.1 Environmental Programme Implementation

Once management is committed to adopting environmental conservation measures, an
environmental programme that defines the objectives, targets and schedule of various
environmental initiatives can be formulated. Your environmental programme should be designed to

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

meet your organization’s specific needs. Setting up your own environmental programme makes
good business sense. Such a programme can streamline operations, cut costs, improve
environmental performance and improve your image in the eyes of your staff, partners and the

The following outlines the approach you can take to create your own environmental programme.

    Understand Your Needs - Carry out an environmental review to determine the status of your
    organization in relation to protection of the environment (the Self Assessment Checklist for
    Retailers Section in Appendix I can be a starting point). The checklist should help show you what
    your organization’s strengths and weaknesses are and help you to prioritize the actions that you
    need to take.
    Define Your Objectives - Once you have identified the key areas that need improvement within
    your organization, you can begin to determine which priority areas that you intend to make
    Define Your Targets - According to the objectives, define specific, practicable and measurable
    targets for implementation.
    Formulate Your Action Plan - Formulate in detail the measures that will be taken to achieve the
    targets and the schedule for implementation. At the same time determine the staff that will be
    responsible for undertaking different measures.
    Monitor Your Programme - Keep track of the progress of the programme defined.
    Review the Results - Review monitoring data to identify if improvements or additional resources
    are required.

Now that you understand how to approach the development of an environmental programme
within your company, you can begin to determine the measures that your company will take.

3.2.2 Energy Conservation

Electricity is the main form of energy used within most establishments in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s
electricity is primarily generated through the combustion of coal and gas. Both coal and gas are
natural resources, they will eventually run out. Furthermore, coal burning can result in the release of
undesirable air pollution. Actions to reduce electricity use will result in the preservation of natural
resources. Many measures can be taken to reduce the use of energy in your establishment. Most of
which involve simple yet effective practices that require minimal time and effort from everyone.
Some suggestions are shown below:

    Review energy bills to define the amount of energy used on an annual and monthly basis.
    Determine the main sources of energy usage or energy loss (e.g. energy loss could include the
    effect of an open window in an air-conditioned building).

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    Establish a total energy reduction target for your entire establishment as well as for individual
    energy using components (e.g. set a 10% target for reducing overall energy consumed, and a
    30% for the amount of energy consumed by your air conditioning system, to be achieved by the
    end of next year).
    Determine and implement procedures to reduce the amount of energy consumed for each
    major energy source within your establishment.

Ways to reduce electricity consumption can include, but not limited to, the following:

Lighting and equipment
    Ensure that lights in your stockrooms, showrooms and all other areas within your store are turned
    off after use. This can be achieved by posting signs near the room exits.
    Consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent lights and lamps, especially during
    replacement of damaged light bulbs. These types of lights use only a fraction of the energy of
    regular incandescent bulbs to produce the same illumination level and last much longer.
    Consider turning off a portion of office lights during lunch breaks, during overtime work and after
    normal office hours.
    Ensure lights in conference rooms/ meeting rooms are turned off after use. This can be achieved
    by posting signs near the room exits.
    Install timers on lights and occupancy sensors so that lights are turned off when not in use.
    Check the lighting levels to determine if there is more than enough light then adjust levels
    Encourage the use of natural lighting where possible.
    During replacement of damaged ballasts, consider using electronic ballasts to replace
    conventional electromagnetic ballasts.
    During the purchase of new appliances, check with suppliers to determine the energy efficiency
    of the products and chose those products (with energy labels) that will save the most energy
    Consider stopping your escalators from running during non-peak hours.
    Encourage employees to take the stairs instead of lifts whenever possible.

Ventilation and temperature control
    Ensure air conditioning units in stockrooms are turned off after use. Encourage your building
    manager to turn off air conditioning systems after normal store hours. Install timers or computer
    controls on units to ensure that they are turned off after regular work hours.
    Establish a maintenance programme to ensure that air conditioning/ ventilation equipment is
    checked on a regular basis, to ensure that it is operating efficiently. Regularly clean dust filters of
    air conditioning/ ventilation systems. Fix problems when they are detected and if possible
    replace items with more energy efficient options. Remove items that restrict flow of air through
    cooling units.
    Restrict access to the control of air conditioning units to discourage abuse of the units.
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

     Regularly check indoor temperatures to determine if controls are correctly set.
     If your establishment is equipped with blinds or curtains, use them to deflect the heat of the sun
     (to reduce air conditioning loading) during summer time and open them to allow in heat from
     the sun during colder months.
     If appropriate, keep all windows and outside doors closed when air conditioning units are

3.2.3 Water Conservation and Waste-water Control

Many members of the community enjoy bathing Hong Kong waters, particularly in
the summer when people escape to the beaches to cool down. Hong Kong
coastal waters also support a wide array of marine life and species that help to
feed the population. However, at present most of the wastewater produced daily is still discharged
into the harbour. Simple measures can be taken to protect coastal water by simply cutting down on
the amount of water consumed on a daily basis. Reducing the amount of wastewater produced in
your establishment will benefit the environment and people in Hong Kong, and also result in cost

Ways to conserve water and minimize water pollution inside your establishment include:

     Install flow restrictors, aerators, toilet dams and automatic shut off systems and other water flow
     devices to faucets and water fountains within the establishment. This will ensure that water use is
     reduced at all times.
     Encourage staff to always completely turn off all faucets and report any possible leaks. Post
     reminder signs to tell people to turn off faucets and indicate the number to call to report leaky
     Establish a monitoring and maintainence programme to ensure that pipes are in good working
     order and that leaks and other problems are repaired as soon as they are detected.
     Consider the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products (e.g. use vinegar to wash
     windows instead of astringent window cleaners, use biodegradable liquid soap in toilet and in
     the pantry for dish washing).

3.2.4 Waste Management

Landfills are quickly becoming full. However, since land in Hong Kong is a precious
and scarce commodity, there is little space for the creation of new landfills. A
portion of the waste disposed of every day can be reduced through reuse or
recycling. In an office environment, large amounts of waste are generally from
packaging materials, waste paper, cardboard boxes and food waste from lunches, etc. The
following outlines measures that can be taken to reduce the amount of waste which ends up in

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    Sealing packages – Minimize the amount of tape strapping and shrink-wrap used.
    Use reusable shipping crates in place of cartons.
    Choose proper sized packages to pack goods and avoid using an excess amount of fillers.
    Handle and store materials carefully to reduce breakage and spills.
    Rent pallets to transport merchandise to your stores instead of purchasing new ones.
    Encourage the use of staff bulletin board or e-mail for both internal and external
    communication, or if this is not possible, circulate material rather than making copies for
    Avoid handing out paper flyers, instead post advertisements over the Internet, in newspapers,
    on billboards and on television.
    Chose solar powered appliances such as calculators to avoid battery disposal.

Reduce - In the pantry
    Post signs around the pantry to encourage staff members to bring in their own lunches in
    reusable containers, this will help to avoid the excessive wastage that arises from fast food
    Use reusable (not paper) cutlery, dishes, cups and coffee filters wherever possible.
    Use refillable containers for cleaning products.
    Develop a “no paper towel policy” by keeping cloth rags on hand to wipe up spills.

    Reuse the boxes that you receive from your suppliers for delivering products to your customers.
    Offer your unused boxes back to your suppliers for reuse.
    Use shredded waste paper for packaging.
    Establish a collection bin for used packaging materials that can be reused.
    Choose renewable resources, sustainable or recycled materials for packaging of goods.
    Reuse envelopes by attaching new labels on them.
    Encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags. This can be achieved by giving
    customers a small discount when they re-use bags.

    Ask suppliers about the possibility of returning used products and if possible return used
    corrugated cardboard, paper boxes and shrink-wrap to them.
    Establish waste paper collection boxes in your establishment near to photocopiers, printers and
    fax machines as well as at people’s desks to enhance waste paper recycling.
    Set up a return or refill programme for items that can be reused or refilled within your
    establishment. For example, some cosmetic containers can easily be refilled many times before
    they are discarded.
    Liaise with cleaning staff and encourage them to help in the waste paper separation
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    Participate in the development of a community-recycling programme.

3.2.5   Housekeeping

The general appearance of your retail establishment is a key factor to attract customers. It is
therefore important to create a pleasant atmosphere in your establishment by ensuring that your
facilities are well maintained. An orderly and clean establishment is more likely to attract customers
than one in disarray. Your customers and staff will appreciate a clean environment. You can
enhance the ambience of your premises by ensuring that your retail store is well lit, clean and that
your merchandise is presented and stored in a manner that is accessible to customers and staff.
Furthermore, the methods you use to handle and store your products will also affect your
establishment's work environment. Some of the products that you use and sell on a daily basis have
the potential to cause harm to your staff, customers and the environment if they are not handled
and stored properly. To decrease mishaps and create a positive work environment, you should also
take measures to store products properly.

    Train employees for good housekeeping practices. That should include staff familiarization with
    the location and size of products.
    Set aside a designated area within the establishment to store inventory and potentially harmful
    Ensure proper procedures are followed during the handling and storing of these potentially
    harmful substances. This can be re-enforced by posting signs to inform employees of good
    practices for handling and storing materials.
    Design a catalogue system to keep track of inventory. If possible, use a computerized store
    inventory system to save on manpower, increase efficiency and account for dangerous goods
    that may potentially cause harm to staff, customers and the environment.
    Monitor inventory storage procedures on a regular basis, to ensure that safety standards are
    being achieved.
    Keep merchandise handling instructions in an accessible area.
    Always use the “First-In-First-Out” principle to avoid expiry of materials.

3.2.6 Indoor Air Quality

The air inside buildings can contain numerous airborne pollutants. Pollutants including toxic
chemicals, dust, mites, bacteria, fungal spores and viruses are commonly detected in sealed indoor
environments. Many retail stores in Hong Kong are located inside sealed buildings that receive
outside air passing through air conditioning system and circulating around the establishment.
Although air can be contaminated through outside influences in some cases, air conditioning
systems are culprit behind contamination if they are not properly maintained. Other nuisances that
contribute to indoor air pollution within retail stores include chemicals generated from new furniture,
carpet, renovation work, smoke, dust from unclean furniture, equipment and pollutants produced by
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

machinery. In some instances, poor air circulation can result in a build-up of carbon dioxide levels
causing discomfort. Other air pollutants including smoke, dust, ozone and air-borne bacteria can
cause a wide array of human health problems when inhaled. There are a number of measures can
be taken to improve indoor air quality within your retail stores.

    Check with your facilities management if there is sufficient fresh air supplied to the building.
    Ensure the inlet of fresh air supply is not located near outdoor air pollution sources (e.g. chimney
    exhaust from adjacent building).
    Ensure that air outlets, ducts, filters and cooling coils within air-conditioning systems are cleaned
    and, if necessary, replaced on a regular basis.
    Clean carpet and fabric furniture on a regular basis.
    Photocopiers generate ozone during operation and therefore it is important that you allocate
    these machines in ventilated areas.

3.2.7 Transportation

In Hong Kong air pollution can be largely attributed to motor vehicle use, power station emissions
and transboundary sources. Road vehicles in Hong Kong are usually powered by fossil fuel. The
combustion of fuel in car engines results in the release of air pollution particles. When inhaled these
particles are proven to cause respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Furthermore, these
air pollutants also contribute to global warming and acid rain. As more and more motor vehicles
drive on Hong Kong streets, the air pollution situation worsens. However, we can help to reduce air
pollution by switching to alternative forms of travel.

Ways to improve Transport Efficiency within your establishment

    Encourage staff and customers to use public transport or to walk to work whenever possible. In
    your advertisements you can supply information regarding public transport options customers
    can take to get to your store.
    If parking facilities are available at your establishment encourage staff to car pool.

Ways to improve Transport Efficiency if you operate a vehicle fleet

    Establish a vehicle maintenance programme to ensure that vehicles are well maintained.
    Encourage the manager of your vehicle fleet to purchase non-diesel powered vehicles.
    Vehicles that are powered on gasoline are readily available and are cleaner than diesel
    powered options. Furthermore, vehicles powered on natural gas or propane produce even
    fewer emissions. Hybrid or electric vehicles can also be good substitutes.
    Encourage the manager of your vehicle fleet to determine the most efficient transport routes
    and design a schedule according to these routes to be followed by all company drivers.
    Encourage the delivery of materials during non-peak traffic hours.
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    Enforce a “No Idling” policy to ensure that company vehicles are turned off and not left to idle
    when they remain in one place for more than a few minutes.

3.3 Partner Synergy

3.3.1 Using Your Buying Power

You can contribute to environmental protection by purchasing products that will result in a reduction
of pollution. Every product that you purchase for you establishment, whether it is used by staff or for
sale to customers, has the impact on the environment. You can reduce the amount of waste that
you produce through making careful decisions when you are purchasing goods. Products that are
biodegrade, can be fashioned into new items or may even be reused several times before they are
disposed of, will reduce stress on landfills. Furthermore, in some instances, your waste is actually worth
something. In Hong Kong, items such as paper and newspapers can generate revenue when they
are collected and sold to recycling companies.

General rules for environmentally responsible product purchasing

Encourage the purchase of products that meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

    Purchase products that are reusable or contain reusable parts such as refillable pens and
    rechargeable batteries.
    Buy products that can be recycled, such as uncoated paper bags that can be easily recycled.
    Buy products that reduce the use of resources. For example, energy efficient light fixtures should
    be purchased over less energy efficient options.
    Choose products that are designed to last longer than conventional items and are easy to
    repair instead of replacement.
    Choose to purchase products that contain fewer toxic pollutants such as low pollution
    water-based paint. Using these types of products will also help to reduce safety hazards in the
    Strive to purchase merchandise that is environmentally friendly so that your customers have the
    option of buying such products.

Purchasing procedures

    If your establishment has a purchasing department, it should be devoted to purchasing
    products that are environmentally friendly. If the department does not have any policy guiding
    the purchase of products, encourage them to design one that favours their purchasing of
    environmentally friendly products. This policy should be made known to suppliers.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    Encourage those colleagues responsible for purchasing goods to conduct simple research into
    heavily used items within your establishment (paper products, plastic bags, etc.) that could be
    substituted by other more environmentally friendly options.
    Encourage communication between your maintenance and purchasing departments to
    examine the possibility of repairing items instead of purchasing new ones. In many instances
    office furniture can be refurbished for a fraction of the cost of purchasing new items.
    Encourage colleagues to suggest products that are known to be more environmentally friendly
    than what you are currently using.
    Encourage ethical purchasing, the practice of avoiding products that have been created as a
    result of environmental degradation. For example, do not buy products that have been
    manufactured out of rainforest wood since the destruction of these forests contribute to many
    environmental problems including global warming, deforestation, biodiversity loss and more.
    Buy goods in bulk quantities.
    Avoid purchasing disposable items as far as possible.

3.3.2 Communication and Motivation

Once you have committed to environmental conservation measures within your organizations, you
should share your efforts with others. Your suppliers, customers and other business partners deserve to
learn about the positive actions that you are now taking. Knowledge of your environmental
programme is valuable to others since seeing your accomplishments can motivate them to establish
their own programme. In some instances, your partners may have no knowledge of the benefits of
establishing such a programme. In other instances, they may be interested in starting up their own
programme yet they need some initial guidance as to how to begin. It is therefore important that
your policy is made available to interested parties. By assuming a proactive stance you will
encourage others to learn about environmental protection and give your organization more
exposure within the business world.

Communicating with Suppliers
A sound environmental programme will demand that you purchase and use environmentally friendly
products whenever possible. Therefore, it is important that your suppliers and other relevant partners
are made aware of your programme requirements and are capable of meeting your needs. There
are a number of activities that you can undertake to clearly communicate your requirements to your

    You should inform suppliers of your environmental policy and provide them with your mission
    If you have a long-standing established relationship with your suppliers, you can work with them
    to help capture the type of products that you seek at a competitive price. The best approach
    you can take is to ask your suppliers to identify environmentally friendly products that can be
    substituted for those you currently use (at a comparable price). This will also help to boost the
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

    suppliers’ business since they will now be capable of supplying other purchasers with
    environmentally sound products.
    Encourage suppliers to provide you with documentation that guarantees the ‘environmentally
    friendly’ authenticity of the products that you are purchasing.

Communicating with Customers
Just as you appreciate your suppliers for providing you with various environmentally friendly products,
your customers will appreciate your efforts to provide them with quality goods. It is therefore a good
practice to supply your customers with information regarding the environmental measures that you
are taking and the nature of the products they are purchasing. There are many ways in which you
can help your customers to be aware of your efforts and to support your environmental programme.
For example, you can post information about your products in front of each display, label your
environmentally friendly products and educate your staff about the ways in which the products are
contribution to environmental protection.

    Post your environmental policy in a prominent place within your establishments.
    Label products that are recycled, I can be reused or are not harmful to the environment.
    Post information regarding the products on signs in front of each display.
    Listen to your customers to identify those areas requiring improvement and how you could be of
    Encourage customers to share their comments regarding the environmentally friendly products
    that you offer as well as suggest any products that they may wish for you to sell.

In general, by communicating the message that you are environmentally responsible you can
increase customer loyalty.

Communicating with Members of the Community
Everyone in Hong Kong experiences the effects of pollution. Many people would like to help to
improve environmental quality, however, not everyone knows how to get involved. As a ‘green’
business operator, you deal with environmental management issues on a daily basis. You are in a
strong position to help the community to implement green measures. By helping your community, in
return you can gain satisfaction through knowing that your efforts can improve the environment and
give you good standing within the community. Furthermore, taking simple initiatives including efforts
to report the lessons that you have learnt in setting up your programme and other useful information
can help in raising community awareness. There are a number of ways that you can get involved.

    Get involved and support local initiatives. Community involvement can range from organizing
    ‘clean up the beach’ campaigns to funding projects that will aid in the establishment of
    conservation areas.
    Set up donation boxes and give proceeds to local environmental charities.
    Report your environmental initiatives and achievements in newsletter and other publications.
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

     Apply for awards to gain formalized recognition for your efforts.

3.4 Weighting of Assessment Criteria
     Sector        Green         Programme            Partner             Special Focus
                 Leadership           and             Synergy
 Retailers       25%            50%                  25%         Energy Efficiency & Supply Chain
                                                                 Solid Waste Management

In order to recognize the participation and efforts of applicants in the Environmental Labels,
Carbon“Less” Certificates and other recognized certification or award schemes, a maximum of 9
bonus points will be given during the assessment of the applicants in the Sectoral Awards scheme, as

Bonus Points Awarded for Efforts in Environmental Labels (maximum 4 bonus points)
•   Applicants who have entered into any of the Environmental Labels will earn 0.5 bonus point per

•   Applicants who possess any valid Environmental Labels will earn an extra 0.5 bonus point per

Bonus Points Awarded for Efforts in Carbon“Less” Certificates (maximum 2 bonus points)
•   Applicants who have entered into the Carbon“Less” Certificates scheme will earn 1 bonus point.

•   Applicants who possess a valid Carbon“Less” Certificate will earn an extra 1 bonus point.

Bonus Points Awarded for Efforts in Other Schemes (maximum 3 bonus points)
•   Applicants who possess a valid certificate from environmental schemes such as ISO 14001, IECQ
    HSPM QC 080000, Hong Kong Green Mark Certification Scheme or other schemes recognized by
    the organizers will earn 1 bonus point. The organizers reserve the right to grant or not to grant
    bonus points to any applicants.

*Note :
1. ISO 14001 is an environmental management system certification scheme operated by the
    International Organization for Standardization.
2. IECQ HSPM QC 080000 is a system certification scheme on hazardous substances process
    management operated by the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components.
3. Hong Kong Green Mark Certification Scheme is a system certification scheme operated by the
    Hong Kong Q-Mark Council, Federation of the Hong Kong Industries.
2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

Please complete the following Application Form and send it by fax or mail to:

                                      Hong Kong Productivity Council
                                      3/F, AED, HKPC Building,
                                      78 Tat Chee Avenue
                                      Kowloon, Hong Kong
                                      Tel : (852) 2788 5903
                                      Fax : (852) 2776 1617

Application forms should be postmarked no later than 30 June 2009.

You may also submit the application via the web site below:

SECTION 1 - Organization Profile

Name of Organization:

             in English
             in Chinese

Name of Functional Unit (if applicable):

            in English                                       in Chinese

             Telephone:                                       Facsimile:

Existing number of employees in Hong Kong, Mainland China & Overseas

            Hong                                 Mainland                       Overseas:
            Kong:                                  China:

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

SECTION 2 - Contact Details and Declaration

Please provide the following information about your organization contact person for further liaison.

Name of Contact





I hereby declare that the information given above is accurate to the best of my knowledge, and
agree that all decisions made by the Organizer and the Adjudicating Panel are final and binding in
all aspects relating to the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence.

Signature with Organization


Name of Signatory:

Designation of Signatory:


 All information supplied will be used strictly for the assessment of HKAEE and
 will be kept strictly confidential.

Applicants should call the 2009 HKAEE hotline for confirmation, if you do not receive any
confirmation of your application from the organization within 2 weeks.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence



Environment and Conservation Fund


Environmental Campaign Committee
Environmental Protection Department
Advisory Council on the Environment
Business Environment Council
The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce
The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong
Federation of Hong Kong Industries
The Hong Kong Chinese Importers’ and Exporters’ Association
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
Hong Kong Productivity Council


Hong Kong Productivity Council

Tel : 2788 5903
Fax : 2776 1617
Website :


The information contained in this guidebook has been produced for guidance only. While every
precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy, no responsibility for any claims, losses or
expenses as a result of any material in this publication can be accepted by the authors or any
organizations involved in this project.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                          Appendix 1 – Self Assessment Checklist for Retailers

                                                                                                     Yes   No


         Commitment demonstrated from management.

         Involve management in the environmental programme and activities.

         Communicate with employees in a two-way manner.

         Establish incentives by management to encourage the employees to practice green



         Establish an environmental policy.

         Commitment to environmental conservation contained in environmental policy.

         Apply the environmental policy company-wide.

         Direct the stated aims and objectives of the policy towards the organization’s activities

         and procedures.

Organization and Resources

         Appoint a “Green Manager” to coordinate the environmental programme.

         Establish an Environmental Task Force to steer and facilitate the environmental

         programme implementation.

         Allocate sufficient resources for environmental programme implementation.

         Encourage colleagues’ involvement in the programme.

Environmental Communication

         Publicize the environmental policy, initiatives and accomplishments.

         Encourage staff to give suggestions or feedback to the environmental programme.

         Collect staff’s ideas and answer colleagues’ questions or concerns.

         Offer incentives or rewards to staff for their environmental initiatives.

         Communicate the accomplishments of the environmental programme to the community.

Environmental Training

         Define environmental training needs for individual staff.

         Maintain environmental training records.

Managing for Continual Improvement

         Devise a simple plan to schedule regular checks of the organization’s environmental


         Properly document the findings of checking and implement any corrective actions arising

         from the checking.

         Monitor if appropriate corrective actions are taken.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                                                                                          Yes   No

Environmental Programme Implementation
     Carry out an environmental review to determine areas requiring improvement.
     Define your objectives and targets.
     Formulate measures to achieve the objectives and targets.
     Determine the staff who will be responsible for undertaking different measures.
     Monitor the progress of the programme defined.
Energy Conservation
     Review energy bills regularly.
     Determine the main sources of energy usage or energy loss.
     Establish an energy reduction target.
     Determine and implement procedures to reduce energy consumption.
Light and equipment
     Use energy-saving fluorescent lights instead of incandescent light bulbs.
     Turn off a portion of light during lunch hour, overtime work and after normal
     operating hours.
     Install timers or occupancy sensors so that lights are turned off when not in use.
     Adjust the lighting levels appropriately.
     Encourage the use of natural lighting.
     Turn off electronic equipments when not in use.
     Use electronic ballasts to replace conventional electromagnetic ballasts where
     During the purchase of new appliances select those products that are more
     energy efficient.
     Post signs on electronic appliances to remind people to turn off electronic
     equipment when not in use.
     Use timers on electronic equipment to ensure that they are turned off after work
     Consider stopping escalators from running during non-peak hours.
     Encourage employees and customers to use the stairs whenever possible.
Ventilation and temperature control
     Install timers or computer controls to turn off air-conditioning system.
     Establish a maintenance programme on air-conditioning/ ventilation systems.
     Limit access to the control of air-conditioning units to discourage abuse of them.
     Regularly check room temperatures to determine if controls are properly set.
     Use blinds or curtains to deflect the heat of the sun in summer and open them to
     allow in heat from the sun during colder months.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                                                                                            Yes   No

     Keep windows and doors closed when air-conditioning units are running.
     Encourage your building manager to turn off air-conditioning systems after normal
     office hours.
Water Conservation and Wastewater Control
     Install flow restrictors and automatic shut off systems or other devices to reduce
     water use.
     Encourage users to always turn off faucets completely and report any leakage.
     Establish a monitoring and repair programme to ensure that pipes are in good
     working condition.
     Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
     Carry out watering of vegetation in the morning or evening.
     Abandon the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizer on vegetation.
     Provide support / guidance to building occupants in piping trade effluent to
     proper effluent discharge points.
     Ensure that building occupants connect their effluent to the foul sewers instead of
     stormwater drains.
     Maintain drainage pipes within the premises to avoid pipe leakage or
     blockage-caused flooding.
     Ensure that the communal effluent treatment system operates properly.
Waste Management
     Use double-sided photocopying.
     Encourage the use of E-mail for both internal and external communication.
     Streamline operation procedures and eliminate unnecessary forms . records.
     Avoid photocopying faxed documents unless required.
     Avoid handling excessive paper flyers.
     Minimize the use of tape and strapping when sealing packages.
     Choose proper sized packages and avoid using fillers in packaging.
     Avoid breakage and spillage of materials when handling.
     Keep reusable cloth rags on hand to wipe up spills.
     Choose solar powered appliances to avoid battery disposal.
     Encourage staff to use re-useable containers, dishes, cups and coffee filters in the
     pantry wherever possible.
     Use refillable containers where possible.
     Use shredded waste paper for packaging.
     Reuse envelopes by attaching new labels to them.
     Reuse the boxes you receive from yours suppliers for storing materials or delivering
     products to your customers.
     Offer your unused boxes back to the supplier for reuse.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                                                                                           Yes   No

     Establish collection bins for used packaging, cord binding, envelopes and other
     materials than can be reused.
     Establish waste paper recycling boxes for individual workstation.
     Encourage waste paper separation within your establishment.
     Return used products, corrugated cardboard, paper boxes and shrink-wrap to
     suppliers if possible.
     Use recycled paper, refillable pens, recycled toner cartridges, re-chargeable
     batteries and other recyclable materials.
     Recycle used materials as far as possible.
     Participate in community recycling programme.
     Provide separate collection facilities for different recyclable materials to
     encourage source separation.
     Place the recyclable waste collection facilities at easily accessible location
     Establish an orderly and clean store environment.
     Always use the ‘First-In-First-Out’ principle to avoid expiry of material.
     Post signs to inform employees of good practices for handling and storing
     Keep an inventory of substances that may potentially cause harm to people and
     the environment.
     Designate an area to store potentially harmful substances if relevant.
     Exercise safety procedures during the handling and storing of these potentially
     harmful substances.
Noise Control
     Schedule noisy store or building renovation works during times that do not conflict
     with work.
     Cover or relocate noisy equipment to an area where it will not disturb people at
     Service air-conditioners regularly.
     Implement measures to minimize nuisance to occupants at noise sources (e.g.
     pump room MVAC system, etc.).
     Report excessive noise to EPD.
Air Pollution / Odor Control
     Instruct contractors to follow regulations on the use of refrigerants in the
     air-conditioning systems.
     Locate odor generating sources (e.g. sewage treatment room) far away from
     occupants or consider installing odor control devices.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

     Assist occupants (e.g. catering business) in determining the best practicable air
     emission control scheme if necessary.
Indoor Air Quality
     Check if there is sufficient fresh air within the building.
     Ensure that the air supplying the establishment is not located near outdoor air
     pollution sources.
     Clean the air outlets, ducts, filters and cooling coils in air-conditioning system
     Clean carpet and fabric furniture regularly.
     Located photocopier and laser printers in properly ventilated areas.
     Report any air pollution nuisance from outside sources to EPD.
     Instruct contractors to use materials contain low volatile organic compound
     (VOCs) during renovation.
     Obtain Certification to IAQ for premises.
     Encourage staff and customers to use public transport or walk to work whenever
     Encourage staff and customers to car pool if parking facilities are available.
     Establish a vehicle maintenance programme.
     Encourage purchase of non-diesel powered vehicles.
     Encourage all company drivers to use the most efficient transport routes.
     Encourage delivery of materials during non-peak traffic hours..
     Enforce a “No-Idling” policy for company vehicles or at managed properties.
     Choose plants that are suitable for the site.

2009 Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence

                                                                                           Yes   No

Customers’ Needs
     Communicate regularly with customers.
     Determine environmental needs of customers.
     Pay attention to environmental needs of customers.
Customers’ Support
     Involve customers in planning and implementation of environmental programmes.
     Organize environmental activities for customers.
     Customers’ support of environmental activities.
Encouragement and Motivation of Customers
     Encourage participation of customers.
     Look for opportunities to praise participants.
     Provide supportive coaching to customers.
     Set goals and provide feedback to customers on progress of environmental
     Create opportunities to project a positive image of community that you manage.
     Organize activities to foster unity and camaraderie.
     Create opportunities for sharing of goals and accomplishments.
Customers’ Feedback
     Solicit feedback from customers.
     Respond appropriately to customers’ comments and enquires.
Suppliers and Contractors
Using Your Buying Power
     Purchase products that are reusable, recyclable, contain reusable parts, use
     minimal resources, are designed to last for longer time periods and contain fewer
     toxic pollutants.
     Establish a guiding policy that favors staff purchases of environmentally friendly
     products and make the policy known to suppliers.
     Support the purchase of products that bear recognized environmental logos or
     Encourage staff to examine the possibility of repairing items instead of purchasing
     new ones.


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