Eyes on PolyU

Greening the workplace? We all have a stake!

Departmental Green Officers from around 60 departments and offices of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University gathered on 22 June 2016 to meet with the senior management and industry’s green experts at the first-ever Green PolyU Awards – Green Office Launch Ceremony. They were united by the common aspiration and motivation for greening their workplaces, and were determined to make serious effort to achieve measureable progress.

It is common for ordinary staff members to wonder what should be done in order to green their individual offices. “We have done our parts already,” or “what we can do?” might be the mostly heard feedback if they were asked. “We have to commence with individual behavioral change, starting from the most neglected and fundamental work practices,” pointed out by Prof. Alexandar Wai, Chairman of Campus Sustainability Committee of the University, at the ceremony. He was unchallengeable when making such a statement publicly as he consistently demonstrates his ‘green’ mode of work to colleagues and peers.

Greening the workplace

It takes no difficulty to understand Prof. Wai’s arguments. Reduce paper use in the office, arrange double-sided printing whenever possible, bring-your-own devices and drinking cups at meetings, switch off unnecessary lights, maintain an appropriate room temperature are all simple steps to implement to make your workday a little more sustainable. And most of all, these are all easy but crucial workplace green practices.

GPA Launch Ceremony

Moving ahead, the University will adopt a proactive approach and take transparent steps in helping individual offices deliver against their sustainability commitments. Phase 1 of the Green PolyU Awards – Green Office programme will be taken forward since July 2016 to help Green Officers and colleagues who share the willingness to work together to reduce the environmental impacts of their daily operations. By participating in this Green Office programme, departments and offices are encouraged to map out sustainability targets and tasks for themselves across different areas such as energy saving, water conservation, waste management, paper consumption, green procurement. They will be provided with systematic training activities, comprehensive checklists, detailed information kits and company visits to help them implement the appropriate environmental steps and achieve their targets in 4 months.

The biggest thing to remember about making green choices at work is that small actions can make a big impact. If everyone at our workplace adopts at least one green work practice, it can amount to big changes for our environment from which we and our next generations can prosper. We all have a stake!


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