Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department, the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission, and the Hong Kong Productivity Council have worked with local businesses to launch the Cleaner Production Partnership Programme.
Hong Kong's Secretary for the Environment, Edward Yau, said in a press statement, "Cleaner production seeks to achieve improvements in the entire production process, from design, materials procurement, production techniques to workflow, through the application of advanced technologies and management practices. Not only will it reduce pollutant emissions and treatment costs, but it will also bring about reduction in production costs by cutting material and energy consumption, thereby enhancing the competitiveness and profitability of the factories."
Hong Kong's government will provide funding support to Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta region to help them reduce emissions and enhance energy efficiency. This five-year program covers four key initiatives: awareness promotion; on-site improvement assessment; demonstration projects and verification of the effectiveness of improvement projects. Through cleaner production, participating enterprises will be able to upgrade their environmental performance and reduce production costs. It will also help enhance their competitiveness and the all-important corporate image. This program will target eight sectors: textile, non-metallic mineral products, metal and metal products, food and beverage, chemical products, printing and publishing, furniture manufacturing, and paper/paper products manufacturing.
Professional advice and technical support are instrumental in improving factories' production processes, so the participation of environmental service providers is essential. Under the program, funding support will be provided to factories to engage environmental consultants to conduct on-site improvement assessment, which will propose practical solutions to achieve energy saving and emission reduction. Participating factories will receive funding support at 50% of the related costs subject to a cap of HK$15,000. In collaboration with environmental technology firms, factories can also apply for funding to carry out demonstration projects. The amount of funding support for each demonstration project averages HK$160,000.
The Hong Kong Productivity Council is the program's implementation agent. Apart from collaborating with environmental technology service providers in Hong Kong and the Mainland to provide technical support, the productivity council will organise awareness promotion activities to encourage factories to participate in the programme, and strengthen their awareness and knowledge of cleaner production technologies and practices. The council will also provide independent third-party verification services on the effectiveness of improvement projects implemented by factories.