Apr 2017

With probably way more than 50 shades of ‘green’, the CUHK campus boasts total green coverage in excess of 60%, over 10 Gold-rating-or-above green buildings, green promotions too many to enumerate that are undertaken by the Colleges, Faculties and administrative units, and a dozen environmentally-related student societies. The idyllic campus provides fertile ground for eco-awareness and is virtually a boot camp for green pioneers.

No wonder at the prize presentation ceremony of the Sustainable Development Promotion Award for Students of Higher Education Institutions (SDPA) held on 26 February, CUHK became the big winner reaping four of the five awards conferred. 

Launched in 2016 by the Environment Bureau’s Council for Sustainable Development, SDPA aims to raise the awareness of sustainable development among youngsters and encourage them to engage in sustainable practices in their daily lives and spread green messages.

Held for the first time, the competition consisted of the Proposal Phase and the Implementation Phase. The best five proposals in the former were given the Proposal Award—a cash prize of $3,000. Winners then entered the Implementation Phase to carry their projects through. Successfully implemented ones were granted the Implementation Award with another cash prize of $7,000. Among these winners, the best performance group received the Outstanding Project Award with another cash prize of $10,000.

A total of 19 entries were received from the participating institutions. Among the five finalists (i.e., the Proposal Award winners), three out of the four coming from CUHK went on to garner the Implementation Award with their projects respectively entitled ‘Second-handed Exchange Platform’, ‘The Two-generation Bouquet’, and ‘Knowledge Vending’. The ‘Second-handed Exchange Platform’ project ended up as the ultimate winner of the competition by landing the Outstanding Project Award. 


According to Latvia Ng, one of the founding members of the student co-op, the shop serves as a platform for students to donate more and use more of their spare items. It is hoped that they will develop a more responsible attitude towards managing their personal belongings, and will incorporate resource sharing into their daily lives. 

‘The credit system can facilitate students’ continued participation and offer greater flexibility in the exchange process than traditional practice. Members can have more time to think about what they really need before deciding on what to exchange for. This will help to further minimize waste,’ she said.


Creating 50 vegetable bouquets overnight, as revealed by Emily Shum, president of the Agricultural Development Group, was no easy task. Fortunately, with elbow grease and team spirit, they were able to pull off the impossible feat. ‘The bouquets might not be perfect, but all our team members were driven by determination, commitment and eagerness to give the kids a pleasant surprise,’ she added. 


Kelly Lau, who is responsible for administrative and financial matters in the Knowledge Vending project, thanked the SDPA contest for prompting them to turn imagination into reality. ‘At the Proposal Stage, everything looked perfect, until reality kicked in. At one point we were challenged by angel investors on the project’s feasibility; at another we were rejected by NGOs who said they had no time for us.

‘Despite all the setbacks, we managed to carry things out with a simple conviction: sustainability should be a value shared by all. That belief propels us to keep promoting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations.’  


Ms. Vivian Ho, Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability, is thrilled that CUHK students’ eco projects have made their mark in the higher education community. ‘In recent years, the University and its various Colleges have done a lot in terms of environmental policy and hardware, and have also spared no effort in building a green campus culture through all kinds of activities. We hope more students will make good use of their creativity and promote a green lifestyle, thus becoming sustainability-minded leaders of our future,’ she said.


<em>CUHK reaps four of the five awards conferred at the SDPA ceremony</em>



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The Sustainable Campus e-newsletter is published by the Information Services Office and the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office, CUHK.