SwedCham HK’s Sustainability Platform consists of 15-20 companies, all committed to adopt sustainable business practices in Hong Kong and beyond. We have given the committee members and other friends of SwedCham HK a chance to further explain their ambitions and thoughts on the subject. Their views are presented as a series of sustainability stories on our website every week. This week’s story comes from Conal Chan at Envac, a member company of SwedCham HK which creates smart waste management systems for sustainable cities, hospitals and airports.
How would you describe the way you work with sustainability in your company today?
– The story of Envac started – with one simple question: “If we can vacuum the dust from every corner of the hospital in one single system, why can’t we do the same thing with waste?”
Today, Envac is one of the most innovative players in the global waste collection industry and inventor of the pneumatic waste collection system. The system transports waste at high speed through underground transport pipes to collection stations where it is compacted and stored temporarily in containers under an enclosed condition. When a container is full, it is hauled away and emptied. The system facilitates waste separation and sustainable recycling. Envac is also backed up by Optibag, which is an automated optical sorting system for municipal waste and recyclables. The technology offers the possibility to develop a resource-efficient circular economy by upcycling household waste into a variety of valuable and recyclable fractions
At Envac’s office, our staff is also trained to be environmentally friendly. They are instructed to only print documents when it is necessary. For information communicated internally, our staff is to use emails instead of paper notice. When records of a document are required, we tend to keep pdf-files instead of hard copies. All disposable plastic or paper cups have been replaced with personal ceramic mugs or glasses. Most lights will be switched off during lunch hours and all computers are to be switched off after office hours.
Tell us about your own journey within sustainability!
– I believe that many small, but important, efforts can make huge differences. At home, wastes are separated into fractions of general wastes, papers, plastics and tin cans and finally dumped into the material recycle bins in the refuse room. I switch off the lights when a room is not occupied. The standby mode of water heaters will be switched off after taking a shower and the air condition is only used when I am at home and the indoor temperature is above 27 degrees. When the temperature is below 27 degrees, electric fans will be used instead. These, and many more, everyday actions can easily be conducted in order to help save the environment.
How would you like to help make Hong Kong and the world more sustainable?
– Envac’s operations can contribute to develop fully sustainable cities, hospitals and airports and create sustainable waste management systems. For example, refuse collection vehicles are a soon-to-be-distant memory. The automated vacuum collection system with its self-emptying system is here to stay.
On a personal note, I would like to share my way of environmentally friendly life with everyone that I know and support policies that facilitates environmental protection. I encourage my colleagues to participate in social events promoting sustainability. I also like to donate to NGOs working for environmental protection.