Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

December 5th, 2012:

Fourth batch of enterprises commended as Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners

Fourth batch of enterprises commended as Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner
Production Partners

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The fourth Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner Production
Partners Recognition Scheme presentation ceremony was jointly held by
Hong Kong’s Environment Bureau (ENB) and the Economic and Information
Commission of Guangdong Province (GDEIC) in Guangzhou today (November
20). At the ceremony 136 enterprises were commended as Hong Kong –
Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners, comprising 109 Hong Kong-owned
manufacturing enterprises, three sourcing enterprises and 24
environmental technology service providers.

Officiating at the presentation ceremony, the Under Secretary for the
Environment, Ms Christine Loh, said the Cleaner Production Partnership
Programme has been well received by the industries. So far, more than
2,000 funding applications have been approved and about 27,000 people
from enterprises in Guangdong and Hong Kong have participated in various
awareness promotion activities, surpassing the initial targets set for
the Programme.

Ms Loh said, “By implementing cleaner production, enterprises can
support realisation of the vision of green development, which emphasises
energy saving and environmental protection as set out in the National
12th Five-Year Plan. Indeed, it has been a priority area for Hong
Kong-Guangdong regional environmental collaboration to encourage and
facilitate enterprises in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region to adopt
cleaner production.

“The Government plans to extend the Programme for another two years.
This will tie in with the work of promoting energy efficiency and
reducing emissions as stated in the National 12th Five-Year Plan, and
further reduce the emission of air pollutants in the PRD region.”

Also attending the ceremony today were the Vice Governor for the
People’s Government of Guangdong Province, Mr Liu Zhigeng, and the
Counsel of the GDEIC, Ms Bi Zhijian.

About 400 representatives from government, trades and industries in both
Hong Kong and Guangdong were also present.

Under the Programme, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), in
conjunction with environmental technology service providers in Hong Kong
and Guangdong, offers professional advice and technical support to Hong
Kong-owned factories in the PRD region to encourage and assist them in
adopting cleaner production technologies and practices. By reducing
emissions and enhancing energy efficiency, participating factories can
contribute to improving regional air quality. The Programme was launched
in April 2008 and its coverage was widened in early 2010 to include the
provision of professional advice and technical support to factories in
the treatment and reduction of effluent discharges.

To further promote cleaner production, the ENB and the GDEIC launched
the Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners Recognition Scheme
in August 2009 to commend enterprises that pursue and promote cleaner
production. Fifty-one enterprises received commendation in 2009, while
115 and 139 enterprises were commended in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The Scheme has three categories.

“Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners (Manufacturing)”
recognises Hong Kong-owned factories that have achieved good results in
cleaner production, and encourages them to sustain their efforts.
Sourcing enterprises which have actively encouraged their Hong
Kong-owned factory suppliers to adopt cleaner production are recognised
under “Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners (Supply
Chain)”. Lastly, environmental technology service providers which have
made commendable efforts in promoting the Programme and providing good
services to Programme participants are recognised as “Hong Kong –
Guangdong Cleaner Production Partners (Technology Service)”.

More details of the Programme and the Hong Kong – Guangdong Cleaner
Production Partners Recognition Scheme are available on the HKPC’s
cleaner production website:

BA’s London biofuel plant cleared for take-off

BusinessGreen: Sustainable Thinking

BA’s London biofuel plant cleared for take-off

Airline has secured an exclusive option on an unnamed site and started consent work

By Will Nichols

05 Dec 2012

More from this author

Be the first to comment

British Airways has secured a site for a state-of-the-art sustainable jet fuel facility in London, providing a key building block for the airline’s efforts to secure “carbon neutral growth” from 2020.

BusinessGreen revealed in September that work would begin on the company’s joint venture biofuel with Solena before the end of the year and accordingly BA announced late last week the GreenSky London initiative has signed an exclusive option on an as yet unnamed site for the facility and begun consent work.


·       London hopes to repair landfill problem with new re-use centre

·       Novozymes grows bioagriculture business with Natural Industries acquisition

When complete the site should be capable of turning around 500,000 tonnes of waste that would otherwise go to landfill into 50,000 tonnes of sustainable jet fuel each year.

The process uses Solena’s high temperature gasification technology to produce a synthesis gas, which is then cleaned and converted into liquid hydrocarbons using British company Oxford Catalyst’s patented Fischer-Tropsch reactors.

BA has committed $500m to purchasing 10 years’ supply of the fuel and joins Lufthansa, KLM, Virgin and several other large carriers experimenting with alternative fuels as oil prices spike.

Jonathon Counsell, BA’s head of environment, told BusinessGreen earlier in the year that by 2015 the plant could account for two per cent of BA’s fuel and produce the green fuel at a similar price to fossil fuels.

He added that if the plant proves to be successful, the company will look to build several facilities in the UK. Dr Jeremy Tomkinson, chief executive at NNFCC, which has providing technical consultancy on the GreenSky project, said he expected many new plants to be built in the coming years.

“Biofuels are the only low carbon alternative to fossil fuels in the aviation sector and as a result GreenSky London is likely to be the first of many similar projects built in the years to come,” he said. “Every new market needs a pioneer and it is pleasing to see the UK take a leading role in its development.”

Welcoming remarks by SEN at Better Air Quality 2012 conference

Welcoming remarks by SEN at Better Air Quality 2012 conference

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Following is the full text of the welcoming remarks by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, at the Better Air Quality 2012 conference this morning (December 5):

Director Li, Robert, Sophie, Christian, Professor Tong, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. It is my pleasure to be here to welcome all of you to Hong Kong to attend this conference on behalf of the Hong Kong Government. It is the second time for Hong Kong to host this Better Air Quality (BAQ) conference.

Last time it was in 2002, which was 10 years ago, co-organised by the Clean Air Initiative and the Hong Kong Government. This time, we welcome the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong to join the league to co-organise this event. As mentioned by Professor Tong, partnership is very important and it is also important to have regional and international co-operation on this very important topic.

I have been in this post since July 1 this year and am quite new to this post.

But I, together with my partner, Ms Christine Loh, am placing air quality as the top-most policy area and priority. It is very important for Hong Kong to improve this area for public health.

This conference’s topic, “Growing Cities, Healthy Cities”, is very important. While we are having a growing economy, growing population and growing infrastructure, we are also facing growing aspirations for better health and for better living quality.

While Sophie’s scoreboard talked about standards, capacity and policy, I can tell you that Hong Kong is going to implement our new Air Quality Objectives very soon. We are setting the bar higher, closer to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines (AQG) and interim targets. It will become effective in 2014, and we are also going to upgrade it every five years so that we can get closer to the WHO’s AQG soon.

Our Chief Executive here in Hong Kong, in his first address to the Legislative Council earlier last month, clearly stated that air quality is our priority for public health. So we will launch our clean air policy taking pubic health into account closely.

Before I took up this post, I was an architect researching green cities and green buildings. In 2003, Hong Kong faced the outbreak of SARS that was a crisis in Hong Kong.

But Hong Kong took that as an opportunity to invest in research about how the city, given its high density, can improve air ventilation in the urban areas. So I think, similarly for air quality, we have room for improvement, through building up our infrastructure and also to tighten our policies.

I can cite a few examples on infrastructure and capacity. Probably we are the only city in the world that has incentives for developers when they are building new developments in which they would have to have all car-parking spaces to be electric vehicles enabling, that means all new car-parking spaces in the new developments have to provide charging points for electric vehicles (EVs).

So in Hong Kong in future, given our high density, we can be more supportive to a growing number of EVs.

We are not only looking into private cars. Because Hong Kong is a walkable city with very good mass transit, we are going to focus on public transport. For instance, we have a Pilot Green Transport Fund supporting our bus companies to invest in innovative and clean buses in Hong Kong.

Not only for new buses. We also retrofit the existing buses because they are a large number and replacement takes time. We are going to have a test on them and the test will be completed very soon so that we will install catalytic converters to upgrade the Euro II and Euro III buses to become Euro IV and Euro V standards in terms of emissions.

So we can keep our dense urban area with heavy dependence on buses to become a cleaner area.

Not only buses, we are also going to invest in marine transport. Hong Kong, with the harbour, has many ships and vessels passing through the city. We are having an incentive scheme to encourage the ocean-going vessels to use cleaner fuel when they are berthing in Hong Kong.

We have incentive schemes, but they may not be enough. So we may have stronger policies with carrots and sticks. For instance, we are facing pollution from diesel commercial vehicles.

They are a large number in an ageing fleet. Probably we will have stronger policies. On one hand, we will provide incentives to them so that they can be phased out sooner.

At the same time, we will probably set a deadline for ageing diesel commercial vehicles so that we can, by a certain time, have cleaner air in Hong Kong.

Partnership is very important, so we would like to learn through this kind of conference where we can share knowledge, expertise, policy and wisdom.

To end, I would like to welcome all of you again and probably if the future BAQ conference is going to be held in Hong Kong and if you will come back to Hong Kong, probably we will see and feel better air in Hong Kong.

Thank you.

Give us fresh air, or give us death!

By Victor Fung Keung (HK Edition)

‘Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” were words in a speech made at the Virginia State legislature in 1763 by Patrick Henry, a state councilor. Henry’s words swung the vote in favor of sending troops to join the Revolutionary War. I would urge some interest groups in Hong Kong to adopt this slogan – “Give us fresh air, or give us death” – and persuade our government to improve air quality in the city.

Indeed, I strongly believe that Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s chief executive, will win the hearts of thousands, if he undertakes to make Hong Kong’s air a bit easier to breathe.

Am I an alarmist? I beg to differ. Hong Kong’s air pollution, as measured by the concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the air that we inhale, is almost three times higher than those in Sydney, New York and London. For God’s sake, it is three times higher, not three percent or 30 percent!

The city’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) since 2006 has set a target of “no days” with the air pollution index over the “very high” level of 100. In 2007, the number of days exceeding the “very high” level totalled 74. If you think the number of days has declined since, you are only day dreaming. Sadly, in 2011 the number of days exceeding the “very high” level was 175, up 136% from 2007.

These numbers and criticisms come not from me but from the government’s Audit Commission. It issued a report in mid-November, questioning the effectiveness of the commercial diesel vehicle replacement scheme introduced by the EPD in 2000. After spending HK$1.8 billion, we still see 50,000 highly polluting vehicles (one-third of them are more than 17 years old) on the city’s busy and congested roads.

The Audit Commission in its report also cast doubt on using government (or taxpayers’) money to help equip polluting buses which are close to the end of their lives with devices to cut down nitrogen dioxides levels.

We know too well the sources of air pollution. We have too many vehicles on the roads and too many polluting trucks and buses; and we can’t stop the heavily polluted air floating to Hong Kong across the Shenzhen River. Mr Leung’s new government should have the fortitude to “tackle the bulls by the horns”.

There are three kinds of “bulls”. The first kind of “bulls” are businessmen in Hong Kong. The government should tell them to replace their commercial vehicles which are more than 10 years old to help reduce pollution. The second type of “bulls” are middle class people. Licence fees for cars over seven years old should be doubled or trebled to encourage owners to switch to new cars which cause less pollution. It would be all the better if some owners give up driving.

The third kind of “bulls” are the most fierce and hardest to tackle. These are factory owners in the Pearl River Delta. We can talk with the Guangdong provincial government to cut down the quantity of pollutants released by factories in the delta, but Hong Kong has no political muscle to get what we want. If there is no gentlemen’s agreement (or having agreements that aren’t workable), the Leung government is well-advised to resort to an “out of the box” approach.

The Hong Kong government could establish a fund to reward factories in the Pearl River delta that voluntarily work to reduce pollution that they produce. If the factories achieve certain targets, we would give them a cash bonus. We have billions of dollars of reserves. Few people in the city would object to such an idea.

Being a commentator, I must declare my own interest. I have suffered from having an allergy which is linked to bad air. My doctor gives me nasal sprays to stop my running nose but he warns me that the medicine is composed of steroids. Everybody knows that steroids are harmful to people’s heath in the long term. To halt my nose from running (such as five minutes before a class that I teach begins), I have to swallow one or two Piriton pills, which has the side effect of making me drowsy for the whole day.

Deep in my heart I often cry in despair: “Give me fresh air or give me death!”

The author is coordinator of the B.S.Sc in financial journalism program at Hong Kong Baptist University.

(HK Edition 11/23/2012 page3)

Copyright By All rights reserved