Green management has been one of the major commitments of the Information Services Department (ISD). In this 22nd environmental report, we have reviewed the effectiveness of the various environmental initiatives and measures taken in 2020 and set out our green targets in 2021.

ISD’s Key Responsibilities

2. ISD serves as the Government’s public relations consultant, news and advertising agency and publisher. We provide a link between the Government and the media and, through the latter, enhance public understanding of government policies, decisions and activities. We also advise on and formulate Government’s overall public relations strategy, locally and overseas.

Expenditure, Establishment and Offices

3. As at 31 March 2021, ISD had an establishment of 456 posts and the revised estimate for 2020-2021 was $682.626 million. ISD offices are located at Harbour Building, Central and North Point Government Offices, North Point.

Environmental Goal & Policy

4. As in previous years, ISD is committed to ensuring that government’s Public Relations and Information policies, both local and overseas, are implemented in an environmentally responsible manner. Throughout the year of 2020, we have adopted the following policies in meeting our environmental goal -

    (a) implementing the Government’s PR policies in an environmentally responsible manner such as issuing press releases and photographs electronically to all news organisations; promoting the use of the Internet for dissemination of information; uploading the Hong Kong Yearbook onto the Internet and reducing hard copies of publications produced;

    (b) promoting communication within the Department through electronic means via Government Communication Network (GCN) and the Intranet; working towards the concept of paperless office to reduce the use and dispatch of paper; adopting the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in the consumption of materials and seeking continuous improvement in the efficient use of natural resources and energy, e.g. by re-engineering of work processes;

    (c) complying with the relevant environmental protection ordinances;

    (d) providing training for staff to develop an environmentally responsible culture and increasing their awareness of continuous improvement in protecting the environment; and

    (e) recommending to clients the use of environmental friendly paper and ink for printing publicity items and publications.

Environmental Management and Performance

5. With the green commitments in mind, we went through another year of green management in 2020 with the following fruitful results -

Environmental Aspects Measures Performance in 2020
A. Adoption of Energy/Emission Reduction Measures
Energy (a) All officers to comply with the energy conservation policy of switching off lights, air-conditioning units, computer workstations including monitors, photocopiers and other office equipment whenever offices are not in use. Routine checks on staff’s compliance are conducted. Effective compliance.
(b) Reduce fuel consumption and emission of air pollutants by rationalising the trips run by departmental vehicles and organising car pool. Effective compliance.
(c) Use of LCD monitors with LED backlight. Reduce the consumption of power and dissipation of radiation.
(d) Use of energy saving type fluorescent lights/LED instead of T8 type. Saved about 30% energy consumption in respect of lighting.
(e) Reduce energy consumption through adjusting the morning shift hours of staff in an office. Achieved energy saving in respect of air-conditioning and lighting.
(f) Turn off non-essential lights during the Earth Hour organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature to promote energy efficiency and conservation. The Flying Dragon LED lights on rooftop of the Queensway Government Offices turned off from 8:30pm to 9:30pm on 28 March 2020 in support of the function.
Air-quality (a) Conducting random checks to ensure the implementation of Smoke-free Policy for Government Offices following the enactment of the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2006. Departmental Circular on this subject is re-circulated to colleagues annually. Full compliance.
(b) Regularly reminding all drivers of the need to switch off the engines while waiting. Full compliance.
B. Use of Material
Material (a) Adopt measures to economise the use of paper. These include using the blank side of used paper for drafting, printing on both sides of paper, circulating electronic rather than hard copies of daily press cuttings as far as possible, sticking large press cuttings on paper already printed on both sides and reusing envelopes, etc. Effective compliance.
(b) All officers to maximise the use of the Internet and email facilities for communication. Effective compliance.
(c) The ISD Intranet was set up in May 2001 to facilitate communication among officers in the Department and to reduce the need for hard-copy circulation and facsimile transmission of paper and documents. More than 15 categories of electronic documents are posted on the Intranet for sharing to reduce paper usage. All staff can log into the Intranet and gain access to departmental information, thus minimising the need for hard-copy circulation. The on-line booking of conference rooms and departmental transport available on the Intranet was particularly useful in reducing paper forms required for processing these bookings.
(d) Use of computerised office equipment, e.g. high-speed scanners, multifunctional photocopiers with double-side printing capability improved office efficiency and minimised paper consumption. Effective compliance.
(e) An Occurrence Log System set up in 2003 replaced the hardcopy log books of the ISD News Enquiry Desk. In addition to logging incidents, the system serves to record, update, and allow for retrieval of press enquiry records, emergency operations manuals, contact lists, records of exercises and operation of the Combined Information Centre. Linking the system to the ISD Intranet facilitates information sharing among officers of the Department. The Occurrence Log System has eliminated the need for keeping hard copies of these records.

(f) Introduction of environmental initiatives in respect of the production and sales of Government publications minimised paper and plastic bag consumption:

  i) Full set of the Government Gazette has been uploaded onto a website maintained by the Government Logistics Department for public viewing since December 2000.
The number of printed copies of Government Gazette was reduced from 3,500 in 2000 to 240 in 2020.
  ii) Plastic bags had ceased to be provided to customers purchasing Government publications in the Publications Sales Unit since July 2009.
Full compliance.
(g) Environmentally friendly materials and reusable products have been adopted in the design and production of BrandHK souvenirs. Effective compliance.
(h) Duty Officers of News Sub-division have been using “TV Box” for monitoring and recording TV newscasts to replace the use of VHS in the office. Full compliance.
(i) The “” and its social media platforms have facilitated the Government to communicate directly with the public through online platforms. Publicising Government policies electronically reduces the need for printed materials.
(j) Implementation of the e-Leave system in August 2004 obviated the need for application on paper.

Saved about 5,076 sheets of paper in 2020.

(k) With the launch of the new Government News and Media Information System (GNMIS) in July 2016, press releases and other attachments in multimedia format are disseminated through electronic channels. Dissemination of attachment in multimedia format to the media resulted in substantial saving in paper.
(l) Duty Officers in News Sub-division use email to circulate agency reports, radio/TV news and important press releases to bureaux/departments since December 2007.

Saved about 265,000 sheets of paper annually since then.

(m) i) Setting up of an electronic archive system for storage of Government publicity materials such as TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest (API), scripts and production related information in early 2006 helped reduce the use of VHS, Betacam/Digital Betacam tapes, MDs, mini-DVs and paper in the office.

ii) Full implementation of file-based delivery of TV API to replace the delivery of HDCam tapes to all TV stations from early 2019.
Effective Compliance.
(n) Adopting virtual machine (VM) and cloud services as a means of server consolidation. Save the need to acquire physical servers.
(o) Continuing to use recycled paper for photocopying in 2019. Effective Compliance.
(p) Officers in International Promotion Sub-division maximise the use of electronic means to send publicity materials including photos and video clips to Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices and stakeholders. Substantially reduced the need for printing and reproduction of publicity materials.
(q) Use of electronic means to deliver media summaries/analyses to principal officials since November 2009. Delivery of e-cuttings resulted in substantial savings in paper.
C. Pollution Prevention
Waste (a) Collecting used printer cartridges and waste paper for recycling. 125 used printer cartridges and 16,225 kg of waste paper were collected in 2020 for recycling.
(b) News photographs generated by digital cameras are distributed by Digital Photo System to news organisations and other users in digital format.
No recycling of used plastic film containers was required since 2009.
(c) Reusable tableware sets are provided for departmental functions or colleagues’ use with an aim to reducing the generation of plastic waste.
Continue to provide reusable tableware sets.
(d) Printing of performance pledge booklets was ceased with effect from 2020, while the performance pledge continues to be uploaded onto the ISD website.
Saves around 4,800 sheets of paper per year.
Purchasing (a) Wider use of green products, e.g. recycled photocopying paper, recycled paper hand towel, alkaline batteries, energy-saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, refillable ball-pens, etc. Wider practice of the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” principles in the procurement and consumption of materials. Green products are widely accepted by all users.
(b) Including “Trade-in option” of stores items in quotations.
“Trade-in option” has been adopted in arranging purchase of multifunctional machines and photocopiers.
(c) Purchase of environmentally sound products such as fax machines using plain paper and photocopiers with double-side photocopying feature. Environmentally sound model of fax machines and photocopiers will continue to replace the old equipment in phases.
(d) Purchase of “TV Boxes” with built-in recording functions to replace defective equipment to save the needs for procuring additional recording devices and video tapes. Effective compliance.
(e) Promulgating green specifications with a view to aligning with Environmental Protection Department’s initiative for green procurement in the Government. Departmental Circular has been updated to cope with the promulgation.
D. Management Action/Initiatives on Environmental Improvement
Green Management Initiatives Implemented
Green management scheme Each sub-division/unit/section has nominated an officer to be the Green Management Co-ordinator who is responsible for gauging colleagues’ views on environmental improvement, relaying views to management and conducting regular checks and reviews on progress of green housekeeping measures implemented.
The management maintains close liaison with the Green Management Co-ordinators. Progress of green housekeeping action plans was highly satisfactory in 2020.
Environmental policy Departmental management, in consultation with colleagues, has developed an environmental policy. The policy has been implemented smoothly and is kept under regular review.
The environmental policy was first introduced in December 1999. The Policy Statement is made available on the Intranet for colleagues’ information.
Support of green activities Colleagues have been encouraged to participate in green activities organised in the community.
Colleagues participated in the Community Chest Green Low Carbon Day in June 2020 and Community Chest Dress Casual Day in October 2020.
E. Education and Training
Training Colleagues have been kept abreast of green housekeeping measures through seminars and workshops.
Colleagues were encouraged to attend seminars and workshops organised for Government departments in 2020.
Green practice guideline/ information for staff Departmental circulars on energy conservation, economy in the use of paper and other environmental protection matters are re-circulated to all colleagues periodically and placed on the Lotus Notes Bulletin Board for easy access. Continuous effort is made on dissemination of information to enhance environmental awareness.

Environmental Initiatives in 2021

6. The Department will make continuous efforts to implement green management in our workplace and further improve the housekeeping green measures. In line with the Government’s Economy Drive to economise on the use of resources, we will continue to work closely with all Green Management Co-ordinators towards the goal of environmental protection within the office with a view to achieving further saving in the coming years.

Feedback and enquiries

7. If you have any suggestions or points to make on this report, you can telephone, fax or email to the Information Services Department (Telephone No. 2842 8777, Fax No. 2530 2426, Email:

Previous Environmental Reports

Last updated : Jul 2021