(Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, speaks at a luncheon previewing Eco Expo Asia in Hong Kong.)
Embracing the new theme of “Less Carbon, Less Waste, Green Innovation”, the 14th Eco Expo Asia will showcase a wide range of environmental products and solutions from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Asia and the global green tech community.
The expo, running from Oct.30 to Nov. 2 at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong, is jointly organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Messe Frankfurt Ltd., and co-organized by the Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
A networking luncheon was held on March 21 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where guest speakers highlighted some of the latest innovations in environmental protection and shared insights into waste management, reduction and recycling.
Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong Administrative Region, elaborated on how various government initiatives are helping to address the issues raised in the theme of this year’s Eco Expo Asia. “For less carbon, we encourage the application of more clean energy including renewable energy. We introduced the Feed-in Tariff scheme last October to support the generation of renewable energy. We support the industry to enhance energy efficiency in buildings by offering incentives such as tax reductions. We also support more green mobility in the city,” he says.
For less waste, the government has put a lot of effort into the development of waste management infrastructure projects in recent years. For instance, WEEE PARK, the government’s waste electrical and electronic equipment treatment and recycling facility, has adopted advanced technology to turn waste electrical and electronic equipment into usable resources, while O PARK, Hong Kong’s first organic resources recovery centre, converts food waste into energy. The government will build the second O PARK soon and plans to have more relevant facilities to face the challenge of Hong Kong’s food waste.
Kam-sing says the government is also looking into several new initiatives that can improve waste management. “We have submitted the waste disposal (amendment) Bill 2018 to the Legislative Council. We are going to review the plastic shopping bag charging level and exempted items. We are also applying reverse vending machine that can help to collect and recycle plastic beverage bottles. In addition, after the super typhoons in recent years, we are working on a new scheme to see how to make the best use of yard waste.”
Regarding “Green Innovation”, Kam-sing highlighted two key initiatives, namely the E&M InnoPortal and Retro-commissioning. “Launched by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) in 2018, the E&M InnoPortal helps start-ups to find venues for trial applications of their new projects. For instance, the EMSD headquarters building has been designated as a venue for start-ups to test their energy efficiency devices and to collect real data for scaling up their applications. Meanwhile, Retro-commissioning helps to improve energy efficiency for existing buildings,” he elaborates.
Benjamin Chau, HKTDC deputy executive director, pointed out that the promotion of energy saving and waste reduction has become a priority for everyone as society faces ever-increasing volumes of waste and a growing carbon footprint. He took the opportunity to thank the Environment Bureau for its invaluable advice and staunch support over the years, which has been crucial in successfully developing Eco Expo Asia into a premier industry platform.
The Startup Zone returns in 2019 as one of the highlights of Eco Expo Asia. “Start-ups from around the globe can leverage this opportunity to showcase their latest innovative products and solutions and to meet with potential buyers, manufacturers and investors,” Chau says.
Green innovation was the focus of a panel discussion involving Jude Chow, Chairman of the Hong Kong Waste Management Association, and Franz Rossler, Consul and Trade Commissioner of the Austrian Trade Commission. Mr Chow revealed that Hong Kong is trying out an innovative technology to process food waste, which is the major constituent of municipal solid waste in Hong Kong. “We are now working with the Hong Kong Productivity Council to test a new technology that turns food waste into oil, high-value animal feed and biogas that can be converted into energy. This innovation has won multiple awards in Geneva, London and Hong Kong. It requires just one-tenth of the capital investment compared to a traditional large-scale food waste treatment plant and the test results look promising,” Mr Chow said.
Franz Rossler pointed out that an Austrian company that exhibited at last year’s Eco Expo Asia has adopted blockchain technology to keep all players of waste systems in the loop in relation to the management of different landfill sites. He added that Austria has been participating as an Eco Expo Asia organizing group since 2016, saying the expo helps Austrian companies to promote their business not only in Hong Kong, but also in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Alongside the Startup Zone, Eco Expo Asia 2019 also features other thematic zones such as Waste Management & Recycling, Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency, Water Treatment & Quality Management, and Green Transportation. The 2018 expo attracted 338 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions and close to 15,000 buyers from 106 countries and regions.
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. For more info, visit www.hktdc.com/aboutus.