Neighbour Advice-Action Council

Harmony Manor – Promoting Green Living to Social Service Users

"Do not fail to commit an act of kindness just because it is small in scale." Apart from doing daily good, this Chinese proverb is also relevant to environmental protection and energy saving.

In recent years, many social enterprises and non-profit organisations have adopted and implemented the energy-saving measures suggested by the CLP GREENPLUS programme. Other than reducing operating costs, these organisations are keen to spread the idea to their fellow Hongkongers, whose collective efforts will surely have a positive impact to the entire society.

Improvements in energy efficiency not only benefit the environment but also financial budgets. Therefore, many social enterprises and non-profit organisations have become more than eager to implement energy-saving measures. While trying to set a good example to promote environmental awareness, they would like to ensure that their resources are well-utilised so that their service users, as well as the entire society, are benefited.

Exploring new ways to save energy, make good use of electricity for better environment

To provide a comfortable and safe environment for their service users, the Neighborhood Advice-Action Council Harmony Manor in Shatin has been switching to energy-efficient electrical equipment gradually since 2009 according to CLP's recommendations. Environmental awareness of their employees, service users and family members has been lifted while resources are being put to good use.

Harmony Manor currently provides one-stop integrated training and accommodation services to 200 mentally-challenged persons. Other than T5 energy-efficient fluorescent tubes, the rehabilitation centre also adopted time switches for outdoor lighting systems and electrical cooking equipment at their restaurant for enhancing energy efficiency and safety. With CLP's technical support and Wai Yin Association's sponsorship, Harmony Manor installed an electricity-generating unit that consists of 2 solar panels and a set of 120 small windmills on the top storey. It supplies power for the lighting system outside the family holiday apartment, which is located on the same floor.

In the opinion of Ms. Marian Ngai, Service Coordinator of the Neighbour Advice-Action Council, energy saving and emission reduction would doubtlessly bring cost efficiency. "However, our ultimate wish is to motivate the stakeholders to put environmental protection into practice through relevant measures and activities, so as to build an integrated community for both the disabled and the non-disabled," she said. Ngai added that a step power generator provided by CLP will be installed at Harmony Manor, so that members of the rehabilitation centre can experience how to generate power with simple motor actions. In September, Harmony Manor organised the Green Carnival and Initiation Ceremony of Renewable Energy System to promote energy saving and emission reduction within the community.

YMCA

Eco-friendly camp site aims for zero carbon footprint

For YMCA, which is enthusiastically involved in whole person development of the youth, gradually adopted T5 fluorescent energy-efficient tubes, LED emergency exit lights, and the energy-saving swimming heat pump at their Kowloon Clubhouse. Besides, replacement and rebuilding works are also ready to kick off at their Wu Kai Sha Youth Village that goes in line with the 'Zero Carbon World' environmental awareness campaign.

Mr. Lee Man Key, Coordinating Secretary of YMCA, explained, "With the ever increasing service use, it is of course important to cut energy costs. However, we would like to save energy in exchange for more resources to facilitate new projects too. We encourage our employees and service users to change their daily habits for a sustainable environment."

At present, 20 solar panels have been installed at Wu Kai Sha Youth Village that make up part of their power supply. Lee said that with CLP's support, the Youth Village is going to install 500 solar panels on the roof of the hall to provide electricity for the entire site. In response to the 'Zero Carbon World' campaign, YMCA is rebuilding 10 of their camp quarters into eco-friendly ones, which are all equipped with power consumption monitoring systems for the residents' tracking of their own electricity usage. These facilities are estimated to be ready for use by mid-2013.

Christian Family Service Centre

The Christian Family Service Centre aims at providing different types of services to people from all walks of life. They received CLP's detailed energy audit on their office and amenities complex in Kwun Tong in 2009. Starting from last year, they have gradually replaced their conventional light tubes with energy-saving ones and adopted LEDs. They have also installed motion sensors in certain places of the complex, including the pantry and the photocopying room.

Cost-saving, optimised services

"According to the statistics, the adoption of 1,500 T5 energy-efficient fluorescent tubes alone can cut electricity consumption by 226,000 units per year, which means saving about HKD 230,000 on energy bills." Although it is true that the cost cut allows enhancement of their current services or facilitation of other programmes, Mr. Lo King Sang, the Centre's Corporate Affairs Director, emphasised that the social responsibility involved is much more important than the economic benefits.

At present, about 20 employees of the Centre are appointed as Environmental Protection Ambassadors. They educate their co-workers via internal newsletters and activities, and look to promote energy saving and emission reduction in daily life to their service users and collaborative partners in the form of coupon rewards. Lo revealed that to further increase energy efficiency, the Centre is considering installing motion sensors on every floor of the complex, as well as replacing the air-conditioning cooling systems and cooking equipment at the suitable time.

Hong Chi Children Home

Installs the First Solar Thermal Heat Pump in Hong Kong

Hong Chi Association provides a wide range of services for people with intellectual disabilities.

Hong Chi Children Home in Tai Po is one of the Association's 78 service units and offers a nurturing home environment for children in need.

Hong Chi Children Home used to rely on storage type electric water heaters which require a lengthy pre-heating period to produce hot water for showering. Recognising the advantages of the spacious and sunny environment at Children Home, CLP recommended Hong Chi to leverage on this readily available renewable energy by installing the first solar thermal heat pump in Hong Kong.

Renewable energy generated can provide over 3,000 low carbon showers each year. With the best of both worlds, the solar thermal heat pump system offers many benefits, including:

Cost saving: Lower energy cost by 80%

Environmentally friendly: Reduce carbon emissions by 2 tonnes per year

SAHK

New SAHK Hostel Gets a Great Start

SAHK (formerly known as The Spastics Association of Hong Kong), a rehabilitation service organisation, operates early education and training centres, special schools, sheltered workshops as well as hostels for persons with varying levels of self-reliance. SAHK is adding to its current base of 11 hostels by opening a new hostel with a capacity of 200 beds in Homantin. The new hostel provides an exciting example of how NGOs like SAHK can leverage smart energy management to lower their operating costs while serving the community well.

By incorporating CLP’s custom-designed energy-efficient solutions at the planning stage, SAHK has ensured the new hostel will run with excellent energy efficiency and minimised operating costs right from the get-go.

Among some of the key energy-saving features being implemented are the solar water heating system, energy-efficient lighting, air-conditioning and electric kitchen which will help to save around 20% annual consumption. Recognising that hot water would be a major energy need at SAHK’s new hostel, CLP proposed to install solar water heating system on the roof of the establishment. This will enable the hostel to use renewable energy to heat the water it needs, reducing the hostel’s carbon footprint and energy consumption. In addition to cutting energy consumption, the electric kitchen also creates a safer, cleaner and more comfortable cooking environment.

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

Social Responsibility Across Different Sectors: Making Environmental Protection a Reality

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs), as a role model, is making every effort in fulfilling its corporate social responsibility as an eco-friendly group. Environmental protection measures are implemented in various aspects of its operations, including medical and health services, education services, community services and properties management, while multiple energy saving projects were completed within the group and an annual carbon audit for whole organization has also been launched. TWGHs and CLP have been working closely together as industry pioneers in terms of energy conservation and environmental protection. The group won 'Energy Saving Award of Excellence' and 'Joint Energy Saving Award' of CLP GREENPLUS Award in this year in recognition of its teams’ joint effort in energy conservation.

The group has been reinforcing energy saving measures in various areas at different levels. At Kwong Wah Hospital, a hospital under TWGHs, heat pumps were installed to re-use waste heat for the air-conditioning system. A green trail and the 'Hospital Green Ambassador' scheme have also been set up to convey the message of eco-friendliness.

As for the education services, a series of tailor-made conservation education campaigns have been carried out for students from kindergarten to secondary levels of TWGHs schools to arouse their environmental awareness in daily life while being motivated as green leaders. As for community services, new energy-saving devices are replacing the traditional ones and solar hot water systems have been installed in four of the service buildings. In partnership with CLP, the workshops have been held to share the operation of energy saving equipment and green tips to the staff members as well as the services recipients.

As for properties management, energy audits have been conducted at five of TWGHs’ properties in Kowloon with energy-efficient equipment installed around the same time. Moreover, green roofs were constructed in various TWGHs properties with introducing the tenants about the benefits. There is a further strive to promote green living, i.e. carrying out organic farming on the green roof at the administration headquarters, which put the belief of environmental conservation into practice.

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