Green Management Policy | Environmental Housekeeping Measures | Initiatives to be introduced in future
Green Management Policy
The Department is committed to be an excellent tax administration that ensures its services to the public as well as internal operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. In pursuance of this commitment, the Department has adopted the following principles:
(a) All the Department's operations should be in compliance with relevant environmental protection ordinances.
(b) The Department should avoid, reduce or control environmental pollution arising from its day-to-day working practice. In particular, it should exercise the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the consumption of materials.
(c) The Department will require its contractors to adopt and implement sound environmental management systems and pollution control measures in support of an environmental responsibility for its service.
(d) The Department will ensure that all staff are aware of its Green Management Policy and will provide information about its Policy and initiatives to those who are interested.
(e) The Department will provide training for staff to increase awareness and promote continual improvement in protecting the environment and preventing pollution.
Environmental Housekeeping Measures
In keeping with its desire to balance operational needs with environmental care and social responsibility, the Department adopted the following measures during the year:
Various steps were taken to reduce the electricity consumption of Revenue Tower. This was achieved by, for example, replacing the old type fluorescent strip lights with electronic ballast ones, reducing the illumination level to the minimum and by conducting routine checks to switch off lights and communal facilities when they were not in use. The Department also provided information and reminders to staff on what they could do to save energy.
In 2000-01, the electricity consumption of Revenue Tower decreased by 1,781,540 kWh as compared with the previous year (the Department occupies over 32 floors in Revenue Tower).
Paper usage was reduced by encouraging:
1. electronic mail;
2. double sided photocopying;
3. use of the reverse side of scrap papers;
4. reuse of envelopes;
5. the uploading of circulars and other information onto the Department's LAN to minimise printing and photocopies;
6. employer's to use the Department's software to file employer's returns in a magnetic format (without submitting paper copies); and
7. the public to use the electronic service provided by the Department under the Electronic Service Delivery Scheme, e.g. to report changes of address, to file tax returns, to pay tax, etc. through the Internet.
During the year, the Department's consumption of paper, envelopes and computer plain stationery dropped by 7.02 million, 2.05 million and 1.35 million respectively, as compared with the previous year.
Paper waste is collected by and sold to contractor for recycling. In 2000-01, over 387,000 kilograms of waste paper was collected.
In March 2001, the Department participated in a trial recycling programme to collect used plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Collection boxes were placed on each floor. The programme has apparently been well received by staff of the Department.
The Department has arranged with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) for an "Indoor Air Quality Measurement" to be conducted in Revenue Tower each year. The test for 2000-01, which was conducted in August 2000, found that the air quality of a few offices exceeded the guideline levels in respect of carbon dioxide and the total viable count of microbial / biological contaminants. It is likely that this resulted from the retarded performance of the ventilation systems in the Tower following refurbishment work. The Department has been working with EMSD to improve the air quality of the offices.
With the assistance of the Environmental Protection Department, the Department organized its first environmental talk, entitled "Green Family", in February 2001.
During the year, "Green Corners" were set up on the Department's notice boards for the purpose of displaying environmental protection information. Internal guidelines on the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the consumption of materials were re-circulated regularly to remind staff of good green management practices.
Initiatives to be introduced in future
The Department aims not only to reduce paper usage internally, but also to extend the practice to the community by encouraging the use of electronic services.
Starting in 2001-02, the Department will capture data directly from tax returns for assessment purposes. This do away with the need to use substantial quantities of input forms currently in use. Further, the Department will gradually adopt "form overlay" technologies to allow the printing of forms "on demand", i.e. as and when they are required, to reduce the need for pre-printed forms. In this way, it is hoped to reduce the wastage which results when pre-printed forms are superseded.
The Department will further promote the use of electronic services. In order to provide more taxpayer services electronically, the Department is participating in the Government's "Electronic Submission of Forms" (e-Forms) Project which is directed at facilitating electronic submissions by members of the public.
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(Last updated/reviewed : February 18, 2002)