Body Shop Refils

The Body Shop (in the UK) originally started the idea for a store offering refills for customers’ containers. For example, if you need moisture, you take empty bottle/containers to Body Shop they refill it, avoiding excessive packaging, and the resulting negative impacts on the environmental.

If the Government had tightly regulated waste, more businesses would have embraced that model, and I am willing to bet that the Plastic Sea films and videos wouldn’t exist today. Alas its too late now.

Then The Body Shop dropped the whole eco-friendly model, it changed to selling products in single-use plastic containers, the same as every other store.

So what is the point, you’re thinking, it seems that the refillable container concept is making a comeback. We even have an ecostore in Hong Kong with refill station!

credit: ecostore facebook page

I also read that a new type of store opened in Birmingham (UK), the Cleankilo, it is taking the concept farther than cosmetics, it is an entire supermarket, with a range of products following the refillable concept, it is worth visiting their website https://www.thecleankilo.co.uk/

I have said it a million times, and it bears repeating Prevention is better than the cure.

Preventing companies from creating plastic waste, and preventing consumers (that’s you and me) from dumping plastic waste avoids bits of plastic in the ocean and in fish and chips supper will be plastic-free too.

It is far cheaper to prevent pollution than paying the environmental and social costs for cleaning up afterward.

Chinese University & Plastic Water Bottles

Watsons Single Use Plastic Water Bottles – Chinese University – 10-10-2019 -Credit RTHK

Using single-use plastic water bottles, on the stage, visually demonstrates Hong Kong’s Chinese Universities’ environmental policy or lack thereof.

Leaving cash on the energy efficiency table

Hong Kong Electric (HEC) and China Light & Power (CLP) will provide up to 50% of project cost for replacing communal services in buildings with energy efficient plant and equipment.

Yes, that’s right, they are willing to fund Capital investment in Hong Kong buildings, each fund is capped, depending on the exact project details.

http://www.kelcroft.com.hk/clp-energy-power-fund.htm

These funds can be used to replace or upgrade the existing lifts, escalators, water pumps, air conditioning, and lighting in the common areas of residential and commercial buildings.

It is a no brainer, a part of the capital cost is provided as a rebate to the building owner/management after the work is completed, then tenants enjoy a capital cost savings and lower energy bills going forward. You know that small business energy supply usave to create a more environment friendly workplace.

The scheme documentation is somewhat obtuse (HEC smart power fund) and (CLP Eco building fund) require the building owner/management to hire Registered Energy Assessor (REA) to submit the energy saving calculations for “committee” review, but there is no obvious energy-saving target, would 2% PA energy-saving qualify or do they require 10% energy saving? its unclear. In addition, the HEC website also offers opportunities to obtain a loan too!

http://www.kelcroft.com.hk/hke-energy-power-fund.htm

CLP Eco building fund

Greening Existing Buildings

Improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock is a priority, excluding government buildings, there are approx. 42,000 buildings in Hong Kong that desperately need energy efficiency improvement.

These funds subsidise part of the capital cost (CapEx) and simultaneously lowering the long term energy bills and lower operating expenses (OPex) for tenant/owner of the building.

These funds do not subsidise the whole capital cost, only a part of it, but that’s better than no subsidy.

sponsored by :
http://www.kelcroft.com.hk/hke-energy-power-fund.htm

Energy and PPT 2019

the latest version of the EMSD building energy code BEC 2018 came into effect in May 2019 with margin improvements over the 2015 version, here is a summary comparison http://www.kelcroft.com.hk/energy-rea-bec-2015vs2018.htm

Yes, it does have tougher criteria but at the end of the day it’s still just a list of technical requirements, if you own the best chiller in the world, but operate it badly, it will still comply with the building energy code. read my latest energy audit PPT

sponsored by KCE

Lacking Regulation

The above photo shows a Hong Kong shopping mall on 7 July 2019 with a large plastic bottle recycling vending machine on the right and smaller containers for collection and recycling on the left.

But compare that with Shanghai, China, where a compulsory separation of waste law commenced on 1 July 2019, essentially requiring residents to separate all domestic waste, with fines for non-compliance [SCMP report]. At least initially it’s apparent that this new regulation will be rigidly enforced, and that could be just enough for behavior change and changing habits.

Although it does mean, that once again, Hong Kong finds itself lagging behind.

sponsored by sustainable design consultant

Bypassing Government

It is increasingly apparent that administrators across the globe have the same playbook, in the event of a potential crisis, the first step is denial denial denial, event’s in Flint Michigan and closer to home in Hong Kong Public Housing estates exposed us to water contaminated with Lead (Pb) , and both authorities denied it. Private citizens were forced to present laboratory reports to officials, and some still denied the obvious fact.

In Hong Kong, the conservative water authority (WSD) started issuing bulletin after bulletin, but ultimately missing the point I fear. After completion, WSD will never willingly step inside the estate, as they often remind us, their responsibility ends at the site boundary. And inside the boundary, yes the works must comply with the regulations, but its down to the developer. So back to Public Housing, the flat is handed over to the new tenant, with what can only be described as bog-standard fittings, and a visit to the local hardware store is in order, to buy new taps and fittings, and without any import restrictions, every type and model is on display whether certified or not.

With years of experience behind us, have we learnt from the past, not really, the difference is that even your kids know it. Young adults globally have been vocal expressing alarm unhappy with the administrator’s response to climate change. And recent warnings that we have 10-12 years left has not shaken the establishment.

Certainly, some countries are moving forward, but remember the hole in the ozone layer, it needed everyone to be involved, and fully committed, but here are, mid-2019, and there is still no plan. In the United Kingdom authorities are under pressure to recognize the issue and declare a state of emergency, but really that does not help, in a world where China and USA are not on-board. The people, it seems are seriously concerned about sustainability, but not their politicians. Therefore businesses react to the loudest consumers, with often token efforts. the Plastic tonnage in your oceans will not be impacted because a few plastic straws were taken off the counter, look at the scale of plastic pollution and it becomes apparent. Government inaction has also sparked communities to act, with city mayors trying to coordinate their efforts to tackle to climate change, and has that delivered deep carbon emission cuts required? Probably not.

In Hong Kong, the carbon emissions from buildings continue to increase, the latest EMSD data (latest data is 2016) reported building carbon emissions are still increasing, that was caused by us, you and me, using more energy, not the Government. Equally, it’s unsurprising, every year the number of buildings increases, using more energy.

Do nothing and wait is one strategy, waiting for the authorities to finally bite the bullet, create a plan, and implement it might be the ideal, but by then maybe too little too late.

sponsored by commissioning consultant

Hong Kong Energy Audit Data 2018

EMSD Energy Audit data from EMSD public website) mapped to google maps, any data errors call EMSD.

The Energy audit results provide a data set showing energy use for hong kong buildings, and the flaws in the system.

The data contains a mix of different building types, including commerial buildings, car park buildings, and combinations, which skews the results, and hiding the real EUI. 

sponsored by E&M consultant