Sweden is a pioneer in environmental policy, a leader in environmental research and innovation, and is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most sustainable nations. It is the first country to pass an environmental protection act and establish an environmental protection agency in 1967. To combat climate change, Sweden set ambitious targets such as banning the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2030, reaching 100% renewable electricity production by 2040, and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
In 1972, Stockholm hosted the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (“The 1972 Stockholm Conference”). To commemorate 50 years since that landmark Conference, the United Nations General Assembly will convene an international meeting – Stockholm+50: A Healthy Planet for the Prosperity of All – Our Responsibility, Our Opportunity – hosted by the Government of Sweden on 2 and 3 June 2022.
The 1972 Stockholm Conference was momentous in many ways. It recognised the environment as a major issue and made it a focal point of global concerns. It fostered the spirit of multilateral co-operation on environmental conservation with the Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for the Human Environment, setting the tone for future agreements including the Kyoto Protocol, the Montreal Protocol, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Paris Agreement. It also led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In the past five decades, we witnessed growing awareness on the environment and sustainable development from national governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals. The 1972 Stockholm Conference was attended by delegates from 122 countries, whereas the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (“COP26”) brought together political leaders and other participants from almost 200 countries. We also saw the establishment of environment ministries around the world since the 1970s, marking a new era of environmental management, regulation and governance.
Despite the positives, the world is still facing daunting environmental challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, and waste management, not to mention pressing social sustainability issues such as equity, diversity, education and health, as well as COVID-19. These issues and their impact on mankind are exacerbated by overpopulation, overurbanisation and overconsumption of natural resources – world population more than doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.8 billion between 1970 and 2020, with urban population grew over threefold from 1.35 billion to 4.38 billion during the same period; Earth Overshoot Day moved forward from 30 December in 1970 to 29 July in 2021, showing human demand for ecological resources largely surpassed what the planet can regenerate in a year.
Stockholm+50 is therefore much more than a commemoration. The meeting offers an opportunity to reflect on the shortcomings in the past 50 years, galvanise and accelerate bold action and action-oriented engagement from all sectors of society towards a sustainable and healthy planet for current and future generations.
Thousands of miles away from Sweden, Hong Kong should keep an eye on Stockholm+50, which is highly relevant to us being part of the international community facing climate emergency, post-COVID recovery and other global sustainability challenges. Hong Kong has set ambitious targets to achieve carbon neutrality, zero landfill and better air quality in the coming decades. Action and togetherness are required more than ever. To celebrate BEC’s 30th anniversary, we are planning a series of activities with the overarching theme of Galvanising Business Action Through Leadership, Innovation and Partnership. The first major event of the year will be a full-day EnviroSeries Conference “Driving Business Ambition into Action for a Net-zero Hong Kong” on 17 June. Mr Per Augustsson, Consul General of Sweden to Hong Kong and Macau, will deliver a speech that connects insights from Stockholm+50 and action in Hong Kong. Other speakers will showcase the importance of setting business climate ambition and taking early action, and illustrate how innovation and partnership can bridge the gap between pledges and action.
At ImpactHK we provide accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.
Once someone is psychologically and physically settled in a secure, safe private space, they have the best chance of moving on and being independent once more.
At ImpactHK we provide direct holistic support to people experiencing homelessness and empower people to transform their lives – and our accommodation programme is a key ingredient. A safe and secure living environment gives people respite from being in ‘survival mode’ and the chance to focus on their recovery journey. You can give someone the chance to sleep indoors and begin to restore their wellbeing.
Play your part in giving someone a home:
1. Start you own fundraiser
HK$18,000 covers the rent of our co-living apartment for three people for a month
HK$1,400 can provide a week’s emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness HK$200 can keep an individual safe in our emergency shelter for one day
3. Share this campaign with your friends
In the 2021 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, outlining the development of 300km2 of land in the Northern New Territories that will provide Hong Kong with a new economic engine, meet the housing shortage, and provide closer integration with Shenzhen, the Greater Bay Area and the Mainland over the next 15 years.
As part of the Hong Kong Young Leaders Programme, participants from government, business, civil society and academia have come together to create policy proposals, in support of the Government’s development of the Northern Metropolis, to drive the creation of equitable economic growth, improve the quality of life, and ensure societal resilience in the region.
Please join us on Friday 24th June, for the Global Virtual Forum that concludes the month-long journey the participants will have undertaken, to learn more about fresh, new ideas that will enable inclusive housing, low carbon development, a robust I&T ecosystem, and eco-cultural tourism in the region!
Date: Friday, 24th June
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm (GMT +8 Time)
Event will be conducted over Zoom (a link will be shared with you closer to event day upon registration) RSVP: https://global-inst.com/hong-kong-young-leaders-programme-registration-form/
The three-month public consultation on a proposed producer responsibility scheme for plastic beverage containers ended last May. But there have been no updates from Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing regarding details of the legislation. The minister’s term of office will end next month.
Many similar pledges and pilot schemes have appeared locally and abroad already. In February, Coca-Cola Company pledged to make at least 25 per cent of its global beverage packaging reusable by 2030. Its franchise in Hong Kong, Swire Coca-Cola, has yet to commit to any similar target.
Beverage producers worldwide have been criticised for being too slow in tackling plastic waste caused by their massive adoption of single-use packaging.
In late 2018, Swire Coca-Cola, Vitasoy and Watsons Water announced through Drink Without Waste, a not-for-profit platform, their pledge to increase recovery rates for used beverage containers by 70-90 per cent by 2025. Reducing excess packaging was one of the proposed strategies, but no commitments were made or any specific reduction targets set.
Reducing the production of single-use packaging is not a direction welcomed by producers, as it might adversely affect sales volumes and profits. So they embrace recycling instead. However, plastic cannot be recycled endlessly.
Beverage producers worldwide are well known for their lobbying activities, dating back half a century, against policies that pose a threat to their business.
When California considered enacting a container deposit law in 1974, Keep America Beautiful, an organisation backed by the beverage industry, opposed it. In 2020, the Changing Markets Foundation published a report disclosing lobbying efforts in Austria against the introduction of a bottle deposit return system that has proven effectiveness in reducing plastic pollution.
In Hong Kong, The Green Earth and other green groups have been urging the government to make producer responsibility mandatory via a deposit return system, coupled with meaningful targets, to put the responsibility back on drink producers and retailers.
Countries worldwide have adopted different mandatory measures to penalise producers should they fail to meet targets. For instance, Norway has introduced an environmental tax to encourage beverage packaging recovery and penalise producers.
Does the long delay in announcing details of the producer responsibility legislation in Hong Kong indicate that the administration might have been successfully lobbied by beverage interests?
To make drink producers responsible for the pollution arising from their single-use packaging, the legislation must have targets and teeth, and require producers to publish relevant reports verified by a third party annually.
An SCMP article contributed by Mr Edwin Lau,
Founder & Executive Director of The Green Earth
The Hong Kong SAR Government announced a four-pronged decarbonisation strategy under Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 – net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport and waste reduction – with an interim target to half Hong Kong’s carbon emissions before 2035 compared to the 2005 level, and to ultimately achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The upcoming BEC #EnviroSeries Conference: “Driving Business Ambition into Action for a Net-Zero Hong Kong” on 17 June (Friday) aims to prepare and galvanise Hong Kong businesses to join force in the race to net-zero carbon.
We are excited to have Mr KS Wong, Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong SAR as our keynote speaker, follows by a list of renowned sustainable policymakers, pioneers and enablers from government bureaus, international organisations, consulates, public utilities and business sector, to share their insights on transformation for a net-zero and sustainable Hong Kong.
For further information and online booking: https://bec.org.hk/en/eventinfo?eid=128
You can choose Fairtrade, enjoy Fairtrade, and understand Fairtrade. Sounds like a lot of travel to do? GOOD NEWS! You can do them all at the Fair Trade Fiesta!
Happening on May 14&15 at D•PARK, Tsuen Wan, Fair Trade Fiesta 2022, themed “Co-creating a Fair World”, will bring together brands and businesses to tell their stories with Fairtrade, and they’ll also offer a full range of Fairtrade or ethically made products. We look to promote understanding of the Fairtrade Movement, and encourage the public to switch to an ethical consumption lifestyle.
In Hong Kong and cities around the world, many races and events have become more aware of fulfilling ‘green event’ principles, and some even pledged to make their events a Net Zero Carbon Event or/ and achieve SDGs. During the pandemic, all of the events had to stop. But, as events are gradually resumed, it’s a good time to restart the green event momentum and take new steps to develop sustainable events in Hong Kong.
The Green Earth will launch the first of its kind online resources platform specifically dedicated to the event industry. With Hong Kong’s first green event supplier database which organisers can select the sustainable services that suit their needs and a web-based and self-operated consultancy service to obtain guidance covering different stages of the event cycle.
We are inviting interested parties to join us for the “Launching Ceremony and Film Screening” on 10 June 2022. This would be a great chance to learn more about the new online platform and network with others who share the same vision in putting sustainability as one of the key elements of their events as organisers, sponsors, suppliers, supporting parties or volunteers.
A documentary film titled “The Story of Plastic” to highlight the global plastic pollution crisis will be screened; you are invited to stay for a discussion session after the film screening to explore how we can tackle plastic pollution through green event organizing and participation.
Green Monday Group, the award-winning social venture and sustainability champion celebrates a decade of driving their mission for sustainable living worldwide. Green Monday started as a movement on Earth Day 2012 with the mission to take on the world’s most pressing crisis of climate change, food insecurity and public health through our food choices, advocates for individuals to dedicate at least one day of the week going “meatless”. Changes happened throughout the past 10 years, with Green Monday growing from a local movement into a multi-faceted platform that enables corporations, restaurants, schools and the general public to join efforts in reducing the carbon footprint while promoting green, healthy and sustainable living. The population of “flexitarians” in Hong Kong has increased tremendously from 5% to 40%, and the movement continues to grow and has now spread globally.
The group has cooperated with companies across different sectors and sizes. Since 2020, we have has organized or co-organized various ESG activities for more than 100 companies. In 2021, Green Monday donated over 68,000 vegetarian lunch boxes and goodie bags to the community in need, while some of the activities are undertaken in cooperation with companies to establish CSR best practice. The “Green Monday ESG Coalition” is launched in the same year, aimed to unify businesses with concrete plant-based solutions to rebuild a more sustainable and resilient future. Throughout this coalition, Green Monday teamed up with over 20 corporate signatories to devise actionable roadmaps with quantifiable green strategies and achieve UN sustainable development goals.
To learn more about how your company can make a difference, reach out to us here
EuroCham, together with EU Office, will be hosting a European Pavilion at ReThink HK 2022, gathering European and local companies operating in the sustainable landscape, both showcasing solutions and products.
In order to cater different needs, we will be offering different booth layouts and an exclusive networking lounge to mingle with costumers and fellow exhibitors, and where we activities and live workshops will be held.
We offer a super early bird price until February 25, don’t miss it!
Should you be interested in joining our pavilion, please reach out to Emma at email@example.com
Global Social Innovation Summit (“GSIS”)is a flagship program of Enactus Hong Kong organized annually to inspire university students with innovative solutions, explore issues related to the green economy and promote the concepts of social innovation and Creating Shared Values. The world has been experiencing unprecedented challenges in the past years; we wish to provide a platform for bright minds to connect with like-minded individuals and foster interactions across the globe. In 2021, we attracted over 100+ students worldwide joining us online for the 2-day online summit, with supporting partners from Taiwan, Canada, Nepal, and Hong Kong.
In 2022, we will be offering both online track and offline track for local participants and participants over the world. Both tracks consist of sharing sessions from corporates, non-governmental organisations and start-ups, case-tackling workshops, training workshops and a networking session. Students will be guided to develop innovative strategies to solve the problems and be inspired to strive for positive changes for the global community.
We are now looking for organizations to join hands with us and become a financial sponsor/case partner/guest speaker at the summit.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong was a proud Supporting Organization of ReThink 2021. CanChamHK Member Anne Copeland (Copeland & Partners Ltd.) moderated the RETHINKING SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS panel alongside speakers Dr Peter Lee (Nano and Advanced Materials Institute), Tim Parker, (Circular City) and Rob Garrett (Black Sheep Restaurants).
While enjoying various aspects of the Conference, CanChamHK connected with Sidhant Gupta, Founder and CEO of local start up – Clearbot – an AI enabled, self-navigating, self-charging, robot that could collect trash found in the sea.
With an aim to have an educational element to their event, CanChamHK invited Clearbot to be their community partner for the CanChamHK Annual Clean Up in November 2021, attended by Rachael Bedlington, Consul General of Canada in Hong Kong and 50 volunteers from RBC, CIBC, Canadian University Association and the CanChamHK community.
While Butterfly Beach appeared to be clean at first glance, microplastics were hidden from plain sight and plenty of rubbish was waiting to be collected along the rocky shoreline and the non-gazetted beach further down the coast. CanChamHK volunteers collected 14 garbage bags of trash. Clearbot conducted a demo and workshop on marine waste giving Volunteers a glimpse of the unending task that clean-up crews face and encouraged them to be more mindful of their waste.
Co-organized by CanChamHK and the Sustainable Development Committee, the Event was sponsored by RBC. Supporting organizations included the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong & Macao, CLP and the Canadian University Association with food provided by Morty’s.
The 12th Anniversary Celebration Event of Hong Kong Green Building Council was successfully held at CIC-Zero Carbon Park on 9 Dec 2021. Started with the warm Welcome Speech by Mr CHEUNG Hau-wai, Chairman of HKGBC, and the inspiring Opening Speech by our Guest of Honour – Mr Michael WONG, Secretary for Development, the Event highlighted two keywords – Collaboration and Passing On.
With collaborations amongst the government and industry stakeholders, HKGBC carried out a series of initiatives in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, we realised the message of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 must be passed on to our next and perhaps also our next next generations. Therefore, in this HKGBC 12th Anniversary Celebration, we invited three youngsters, including two winners from the tertiary category of “My Green Space” Student Competition, and a 6-year-old girl who participated in the HK Green Building Week TV Commercial in 2020 and 2021, Alexandra, to join a dialogue with two industry experts who had recently won the “Advancing Net Zero” Ideas Competition and also HKGBC directors. Two experts shared their knowledge and thoughts on green buildings with our young ladies, passing on the passion, knowledge and experience to for the continuation of the green building effort in the future 29 years.
Our mission is not only to build a net-zero environment but also to nurture talent and future leaders so they can carry on our work to build a sustainable future. Moving forward, we will count on your continuous support and partnership to transform Hong Kong into a zero carbon and liveable city for our future generations!
Click HERE to find out the significant milestones and highlights of the 12th Year of Hong Kong Green Building Council!