Inland Revenue Department 2008-09 Annual Report
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Environmental Report

Green Management Policy

Inland Revenue Department is committed to providing a green office environment and to ensuring that its operation is conducted in an environmentally conscious and responsible manner. Consumption of paper and energy in the office remains the Department's green target in view of its office-based operations. We strive to protect and conserve the environment through:

Ensuring the Department's operations will comply with the relevant environmental protection ordinances;
  Adopting green housekeeping measures, by avoiding, reducing or controlling environmental pollution and wastage arising from its day-to-day work practice;
  Requiring its contractors to implement sound environmental management systems and pollution control measures;
  Ensuring that all staff are aware of its Green Management Policy and will provide information about its Policy and initiatives to those who are interested; and
  Providing training courses and workshops on green management for staff to increase their awareness and encouraging them to participate in environmental protection programmes.

Green Management and Promotion of Green Awareness

Green Management
The Environment and Records Management Committee meets every 6 months and is chaired by the Departmental Secretary, the Department's Green Manager, and composed of green executives from various Units and Sections. During the year, the Committee continued to seek staff suggestions, set directions in our green policies, issued green office guidelines and updated staff on new green initiatives adopted. The appointed floor green ambassadors assisted the Department's Green Manager in promoting green awareness and implementing environmental programmes on a floor basis.

Green Education
Various measures were taken during the year to promote environmental awareness amongst staff, including:

Regular updating and displaying of environmental protection promotional materials on notice boards;
  Posting notices besides the relevant facilities to remind staff of energy saving;
  Releasing updated environmental protection information in the "Green Corner" of the Department's Intranet; and
  Disseminating useful and practical "Green Tips" via e-mail or the Departmental Newsletter to all staff to promote green living and green culture.

The Department also organised a tree-planting day at Tung Tsz, Tai Po in April 2008, and participated in various activities such as "Green Day" which was organised by the Community Chest in order to arouse our staff's awareness on environmental protection.

The IRD Sports Association also assisted in promoting green awareness and healthy living among staff by organising a variety of activities in the year, including thematic talks, and outings to the countryside.

Environmental Protection Performance

To balance operational needs with environmental care and social responsibility, the Department focused its efforts to provide a healthy working environment with satisfactory indoor air quality, and to achieve energy conservation, reduction of paper consumption and waste minimisation and recovery.

Smoke-free Workplace
Inland Revenue Department continued to adopt the smoke-free workplace policy by designating all indoor areas being smoke-free. Non-smoking signs were displayed at conspicuous locations. Departmental circulars were re-circulated regularly to remind staff about the importance of maintaining a smoke-free working environment and providing green healthy public areas to visitors.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Our staff spend most of the time in offices and other indoor environment, therefore, we also strive to provide and ensure good indoor air quality for them. Commissioned by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, a comprehensive IAQ measurement was conducted in the Department's offices located in the Revenue Tower to measure the twelve parameters indicating IAQ as recommended by the Environmental Protection Department, including the intensity of Carbon Dioxide, Respirable Suspended Particulates, Air-borne Bacteria and Radon. The award of the "Indoor Air Quality Certificate (Good Class)" to Revenue Tower in September 2008 shows that our office fully meets the requirements of the IAQ.

Energy Conservation
The Department is proactive in energy conservation. An overall drop of 13.15% was observed since 2002-03, when the Government's Economy Drive to economise on the use of resources was initiated. The Department will continue to closely monitor electricity consumption and adopt various energy saving measures, such as:

Replacement of T8 fluorescent tubes by T5 types by phases so that more energy could be saved;
  Adoption of the "last-man-out" arrangement to ensure that lights and electric facilities / appliances would be switched off during lunch hour, after office hours or when not in use;
  Adjustment of timers so that the lights in the corridors and lift lobbies could be switched off on both Saturdays and Sundays to reduce electricity consumption; and
  Maintaining air-conditioned room temperature at 25.5ºC during the year.

Adherence to the "3R" Principle
The Department continued to adhere to the 3R principle - "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" in the consumption of materials.

Reduction and Reuse of Paper
The Department continued to adopt the following measures in the year to reduce its paper and envelope consumption:

Encourage staff to minimise photocopying and use both sides of recycled paper and / or the clean side of waste paper for printing and photocopying instead of virgin paper;
  Encourage paperless means of internal and external communication by using e-mail and floppy diskettes;
  Implement the "Electronic Leave Application and Processing System" for leave applications and approvals;
  Make optimum use of the Department's Intranet to enable more environmental friendly, and speedy internal information transmission. Administrative Instructions, Staff Handbooks, training materials, reference materials, guidelines, monthly reports, meeting minutes, etc. were uploaded onto the Intranet to facilitate updating and retrieval on-line, and dispense with the keeping of personal hard copies;
  Circulate and re-circulate Departmental and Unit Circulars / Circular Memoranda / Posting Notices by e-mail;
  Review regularly the need for the preparation of periodical reports, the distribution lists of outgoing correspondence and hard copies required for circulation;
  Promote the use of multiple screen method in printing on-line enquiries;
  Replace the pre-printed forms with templates or use overlay printing. The templates of the forms are uploaded onto the Intranet so that the forms can be printed as and when required;
  Continue to view reports on-line through the Computer Output On-line Retrieval System, thus obviating the need for printing computer reports in hard copy;
  Encourage the public to file tax returns electronically by eTAX or through other media like diskettes and use the Department's electronic services under GovHK; and
  Launch e-Seminars for employers and tax representatives to reduce paper consumption by obviating the need to print invitation letters, tickets and handouts.

Waste recycling
We encouraged staff to participate in the recycling programmes. Bags and boxes were placed at various conspicuous locations on all floors of the Department, to facilitate the collection of three recyclable wastes, namely recyclable papers, aluminium cans and plastic bottles. Besides, used printer cartridges were also collected for recycling. The Department collected some 269,118 kg of waste paper, 37.94 kg of aluminium cans, 145.39 kg of plastic bottles and 7,051 used printer cartridges during the year.

New Initiatives and Targets

Inland Revenue Department will strive to enhance its green performance through formulating and taking forward new initiatives and targets for environmental protection. The Intranet and the Departmental Portal will continue to be widely utilised by the Department for the enhancement of e-office facilities. Continuous efforts will be made to economise on the consumption of electricity and paper, and to promote the selection of recycled paper and green products in our procurement.