the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) today held a press launch cum exhibition to announce the launch of the Hong Kong Green Shop Guide (the Guide), a new set of guidelines to inform retail stakeholders, including developers, facility managers, mall and shop owners and tenants, as well as consumers, of industry standards on sustainable planning and building. The Guide aims at encouraging the sector to pursue green building measures and eco-friendly purchasing habits among the general public.
Municipal solid waste management is one of the latest environmental issues to hit the headlines. Some shopping malls and shops have accelerated efforts to reduce waste, while implementing energy and environmental improvement measures such as recycling and reuse as well as introducing green technology to treat waste, including food waste. Shopping is an integral part of Hong Kong life. If the retail industry demonstrates its commitment to waste reduction and saving energy, it will significantly ease the burden on landfills and result in a considerable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The press launch was held at Domain Mall in Yau Tong and was officiated by Mr WONG Kam-sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment of the HKSAR Government; Ir Conrad WONG Tin-cheung, BBS, JP, Chairman of the HKGBC; Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, SBS, Vice Chairman of the HKGBC and Ir Prof. Ronald CHIN, Executive Director of Hong Kong Green Building Council. CAllStar, the famous vocal group, was appointed as the Green Ambassador of the Hong Kong Green Shop Guide to promote a sustainable lifestyle in shops and the community.
A considerable number of malls and shops have, in recent years, begun employing environmental technologies, designs and operational measures with the objective of promoting waste reduction and energy saving in the retail sector. Mr WONG Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment pointed out in his welcome address, that more than 120 shopping malls and 550 retail shops have signed the Energy Saving Charter on Indoor Temperature since its launch in 2012, pledging to maintain an average indoor temperature of between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius during the summer. In addition to the efforts made by the retail industry, Mr WONG Kam-sing noted that community participation is of equal importance. He encouraged the public to think of the impact the products they want to purchase may pose to the environment. By taking environmental protection and energy conservation into consideration, shoppers can benefit by saving money while helping to reduce the energy footprint and waste.
The Hong Kong Green Shop Guide was written under advisement of the Steering Committee of the HKGBC’s Public Education Committee. The Steering Committee comprises professionals from the building and utilities sectors. Ir Conrad WONG Tin-cheung, Chairman of the HKGBC, explained that a concerted effort from multiple parties is required to promote environmental protection in the retail sector and achieve green goals such as green building, emissions reduction and energy conservation. Therefore, the Guide provides comprehensive and practical solutions to various stakeholders, including developers, property management professionals, shop owners and also consumers, in order to steer all parties toward environmental protection.
He further stated that the Guide contains a full range of information from green building design, planning, facility operation and management, the cost-effectiveness and return on investment of green initiatives, to green consumer habits. Shopping centres and shops, on one hand, will be able to reduce operational costs and increase competitiveness with emissions reduction and energy saving initiatives. On the other hand, the green building and energy saving initiatives taken by the retail sector will raise consumer awareness of environmental issues. Consumers will learn ways to shop green and join the force in creating a green and low carbon shopping environment.
For example, the Guide advises on the use of construction technology and facilities that are energy-efficient and on the adoption of passive design in the planning of shopping centres. Natural elements should be incorporated in the design, such as cross-ventilation and daylighting to reduce reliance on air-conditioning and electric lighting so as to lower energy consumption. Moreover, outdoor green zones or green walls could be established for embellishment and to reduce the urban heat island effect. The use of recycled materials, green certified wood and low-PVC materials helps minimise waste and the use of construction materials. Meanwhile, shops can contribute both in waste reduction at source and recycling by placing recycle bins and food waste decomposers, as well as avoiding plastic shopping bags and over-packaging. These recommendations help shopping centres and shops build a comfortable and green environment, and create the opportunity for both the retail sector and consumers to practise a green lifestyle.
The public may access and download the Hong Kong Green Shop Guide at the website below:
To encourage the public to learn more about green shops and the Hong Kong Green Shop Guide, a public exhibition by the HKGBC is open from now on until 15 March at 2/F, Domain Mall, Yau Tong.