Preserving natural resources
Embracing green office principles of reduce, reuse, replace and recycle are becoming increasingly important for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Baguio Waste Management and Recycling - gold award winner in the Hong Kong Green Awards (HKGA) 2010 green office management category (SME sector) - is a firm believer that green office initiatives, including waste reduction, energy saving and green purchasing, help to preserve natural resources.
'We take every opportunity to recycle, reuse and reduce,' says Ben Ng, Baguio's managing director. 'We have recycle bins placed around our office and encourage our staff to recycle metals, plastics and paper.'
He says purchasing green business materials and supplies, such as T5 fluorescent tubes, recycled paper and installing electronic appliances with Grade 1 energy efficiency, are key examples of steps taken that help to maintain a green office environment.
Baguio, which operates integrated environmental services ranging from cleaning, environmental hygiene to pest control, landscaping and recycling, also promotes green office management to staff through an 'Environmental Ambassador' programme.
'Operating a green office helps to create a cleaner and healthier workplace for our staff, which greatly helps to enhance our productivity and improves staff morale,' Ng says.
'In addition, green practices can be converted into cost savings through reducing energy consumption.'
He says by participating in the awards programme, Baguio would like to foster closer communication with other green companies and organisations.
'We treasure the opportunity we have to share experiences with other green companies on green office management practices,' Ng says.
'We hope that we can learn more from the programme and introduce even more environmental best practices into our office.'
Sailing Boat Catering Management, which introduced recyclable meal boxes to Hong Kong more than a decade ago, is another company that believes exemplary green office management is an important part of the firm's enterprise culture. Sailing Boat, which jointly received a silver award with three other enterprises, says environment protection is one of the company's core focus issues.
Four companies, Tat Shing Electrical and Trading, Sailing Boat Catering Management, Management Company of Olympic House and BioCycle (Hong Kong), received the silver award for green office management.
'The advantages of implementing a green office are manifold,' a company spokesman says. 'Not only can business operations costs be lowered, we are able to create a better working environment for our staff. Moreover, being a forerunner of green office practices, we are able to act as a role model for other companies, which have yet to take steps to adopt environment protection initiatives.' In addition, Sailing Boat says environmental best practices help to improve the competitiveness of the company and gain trust from clients.
The spokesman says through providing systematic environmental policies, regular training sessions and sharing experiences, Sailing Boat is able to raise staff awareness towards environment protection. 'This approach is not only beneficial to our enterprise, but also to the wider community. We have been practising our civic duties with an active attitude for years, taking the initiative to establish better living conditions for our society and future generations.'
The company says participating in the awards provides an excellent opportunity to receive independent evaluation of 'green' initiatives and identify areas for improvement. 'We are inspired to make a continuous effort in modifying our company by sharing experiences with different enterprises and learning how they achieve their environmental goals,' the spokesman says.
Another silver award winner, lighting supplier Tat Shing Electrical and Trading, says the company welcomes the opportunity to be a role model by installing LED light panels with the aim of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Jacky Liu, Tat Shing Electrical and Trading's business development manager, says by setting the office air conditioner at 20 degrees Celsius, instead of 18 degrees, the company is able to reduce electricity consumption.
Tat Shing has also managed to reduce paper consumption by as much as 50 per cent by using both sides of photocopier paper.
'After we fitted the office with lower energy powered LED lights, we calculated we could save more than 11 per cent in electricity usage,' Liu says. 'Our efforts are not just intended to save costs, we want to contribute to making the environment better for the next generation.'