Al Gore's award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth brought to the fore what green groups have been lamenting for years: our environment is in rapid demise and action needs to be taken before it is too late. Slowly but surely companies across the board are doing their part to address the effects of global warming and other associated environmental problems. Corporate solutions in Hong Kong have stemmed from joining the Lights Out campaign to curbing the use of electricity and employing an in-house 'green' manager to look into energy efficiency. The Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) last month launched a professional diploma course in corporate environmental management. The one-year part time evening programme, scheduled to start in June, will cover a range of environmental topics, including global warming from the international and Hong Kong perspective, how corporations can manage risk in environmental problems through cost reductions, and how the role of corporate social responsibility can influence environmental practices, sustainable development and a company's brand image. 'The programme seeks to enrich general environmental knowledge and skills, and provide corporate executives with different experiences to learn about the environmental costs to corporations,' said Glover Chan Wing-wah, the association's senior marketing manager. 'Executives will be more capable of developing in-house corporate environmentally friendly actions towards the environment,' Mr Chan said. Course organisers see the urgent threat posed by environmental problems and they hope the programme can further promote an environmental protection culture to businesses in Hong Kong. 'With corporations and the public gaining more awareness of environmental issues we see strong demand for environmental management knowledge,' Mr Chan said. He said that businesses could implement green practices across industries from purchasing to manufacturing, marketing to retail. 'This will not only increase their operational efficiency but will improve their competitiveness and image in a dynamic business environment.' Students will be assessed based on coursework, assessment tasks and examinations over a three-term programme. The diploma will be conducted in Cantonese, supplemented with some English, while course materials will all be in English. Applicants must be at least secondary school graduates and have a minimum of two years of work experience. They also need to have a reasonable command of written English. The application deadline is May31. The HKMA is a professional organisation that offers a range of training courses to working executives. Established in 1960, it has a membership of more than 11,000 executives and organises more than 2,000 programmes annually.