Apr 2017

CUHK’s primary mission is to enhance the well-being of people via our education, research and knowledge transfer endeavours. However, inspiring others to put knowledge into practice need not happen only in the classrooms—with some 8,000 staff and over 160 buildings on campus, a long-lasting impact can also be made by engaging the University workforce.

Recognizing the potential of staff engagement, in 2012 the University launched the Green Office Programme (GO!), a programme that aims to promote and institutionalize green office solutions. Fulfilling the Programme’s basic requirements is simple—offices just need to fulfil at least half of the actions in a ‘GO! Checklist’. It is found that many offices’ quest for excellence extends to the eco-friendliness of their workplaces, and a number of them are also eager to share their green ideas and tips via their Checklist comments to help other offices go greener.


<em>Sharing of green initiatives by winners of the 'Greenest Office' Award featuring </em>(from left)<em> facilitator Ms. Vivian Ho, Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability; Prof. Lam Ching-man, Acting Chairperson of Department of Social Work; Ms. Kennis Chan, Assistant Registrar I of Graduate School Office and Mr. Edmond Lam, Director of Estates Management</em>


While over 90% of the 180 offices participating in ‘GO!’  fulfilled the programme requirements last year, some offices have gone beyond the requirements of ‘GO!’ to implement additional green measures in their offices. In December 2016, in conjunction with the submission of the ‘GO! Checklist’, the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office organized the ‘GO!’ Green Awards—the second such event since the launch of the Programme—to gauge the state of adoption of ‘GO!’ measures in offices and to acknowledge the commitment and contribution of these green pioneers. At a ceremony officiated by Prof. Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President and Chairman of the Committee on Campus Sustainability on 26 April 2017, awards in the areas of ‘Energy Conservation’, ‘Waste Reduction’, ‘Green Purchasing’, ‘Awareness and Engagement’, ‘Greenest Office’ and ‘Best Green Idea’ were presented to 13 CUHK offices:


Energy Conservation
  • The Asia-Pacific Institute of Business
  • Estates Management Office
  • The Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Waste Reduction
  • Graduate School Office
  • Institute of Space and Earth Information Science
  • Department of Social Work
Green Purchasing
  • Graduate School Office
  • Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity
  • Personnel Office
Awareness and Engagement
  • Estates Management Office
  • New Asia College
  • Office of CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia
Best Green Idea
  • Campus Development Office
  • Information Technology Services Centre
  • Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability
(Offices are listed in alphabetical order)

Three offices with the highest combined scores for all actions in the ‘GO! Checklist’ as well as additional actions listed received awards in the ‘Greenest Office’ Category:


Greenest Office


Estates Management Office
Graduate School Office
Department of Social Work
(Offices are listed in alphabetical order)


All three ‘Greenest Office’ winners have implemented various notable or innovative measures: The Estates Management Office installed a timer for the water boiler in its pantry, and is also doing a trial run of an energy-efficient ‘LED tube’ as a new option for office lighting systems; The Graduate School Office has dramatically decreased the quantity of printed prospectuses from 3,600 copies in 2015 to 2,000 copies in 2016, reduced the number of prospectuses sent to its Mainland branch office ten-fold, and is encouraging prospective students to check the University’s programme information online; the Department of Social Work reduced its A4 paper usage by 15% via more intensive use of Blackboard and other electronic tools, setting a print quota for graduate students, and helping users keep track of how much paper they are obtaining from the inventory.


A new feature of the ‘GO!’ Green Awards this year is the ‘Best Green Idea’ awards: 10 green measures implemented by various CUHK offices in the ‘2016 GO! Checklist’ were selected by the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office on the basis of their innovative element and/or replicability, and all staff of CUHK were invited to vote online for their favourite ones.


Ratings based on online popularity were then combined with ratings assigned by a judging panel of CUHK sustainability experts, who assessed the green initiatives according to their elements of sustainability, innovativeness and practicality. The online voting attracted around 110 CUHK staff from over 60 offices. Below are the three highest-scoring ‘Best Green Ideas’ and some of the reasons CUHK staff liked them:


Campus Development Office Information Technology Services Centre Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability

We encourage our members to dress casual if they do not have to participate in formal meetings or events, and switch off unnecessary air conditioning in offices so as to save energy.

We allow building management to shut down the chiller plant of our building during non-office hours.

We encourage participants of our events to bring their own container for water.

Staff comments:

Staff comments:

Staff comments:


‘We can be flexible and switch on the air conditioner only when it is necessary.’
‘Being able to work comfortably makes one happy, and saving energy is a direct action that addresses the environmental protection issue.’
‘Washing light clothing does not require much water.’


‘Cooling and heating consume a huge amount of energy. Since this action is done during non-office hours, it is relatively easy to implement.’
‘This can help save much energy.’


‘We have quite a lot of events or activities that offer water to participants. This measure will bring significant impact.’
‘We don’t need to buy anything special to implement this action, and everyone can participate in waste reduction.’
‘It can help people develop a less wasteful lifestyle.’


Participants of the online voting were also invited to rate each green action on whether it is suitable for his/her office. The Campus Planning and Sustainability Office will consider adding one or more actions deemed practical for widespread implementation to the ‘GO! Checklist’ next year.




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