CUHK Recognised as Caring Organisation by HKCSS for the Fifth Consecutive Year
With its distinguishing humanistic spirit, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has striven to serve the community, care for its employees and protect the environment. This year, CUHK was recognised as a “Caring Organisation” by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) for the fifth consecutive year, which is a strong indication that CUHK is committed to building a sustainable and caring society.
CUHK cares about the community. With the establishment of the “CUHK • Care Service Team” in 2013, a solid network of volunteers composed of students, staff, alumni and friends has been built. “CUHK • Care Service Team” aims to promote the benevolence that CUHK values, in the hope of having a positive impact on society. The team has grown over the years with over 1,300 members. Around 300 social services have been arranged and collaborated in with different non-profit organisations, including giving CUHK mooncakes to 1,000 elderly people in Shatin and Tai Po as an annual key community care activity, and other types of visits to social minority groups.
CUHK treasures its staff by attending to their physical and mental health, respecting their familial obligations and advocating a work life balance. CUHK provides family friendly measures through its personnel policies and benefits, like adoption leave, 14-week maternity leave, 7-day paternity leave and the provision of nursing rooms. The University also hosts various seminars, workshops and conducts surveys to explore the working developments and family needs of the staff. CUHK is also actively engaged in building a positive workplace. The “CUHK Staff Thankful Day” was held for the fifth consecutive year to promote positive communication and appreciation between co-workers to create a harmonious and productive working environment. CUHK’s effort has been recognised by the community, and received three awards in the 2017/18 Family-Friendly Employers Scheme organised by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Family Council. They are “Meritorious Family-Friendly Employers”, “Special Mention” and “Award for Breastfeeding Support”.
CUHK has always been committed to being a leader in the research, teaching and institutional practice of environmental sustainability and has implemented a wide range of green policies and measures. CUHK has won the Pioneer Award (Government Institutions & NGOs) in the Green Building Leadership Category of the Green Building Award 2019 organised by The Hong Kong Green Building Council and the Professional Green Building Council, for its exploration of green building opportunity in respect of the infrastructure, facilities and buildings design among the existing buildings/structures on campus, demonstrating a leadership role in green building innovation among government institutions and NGOs. CUHK has been putting in place a range of waste reduction and recycling programmes. In 2015, CUHK introduced new methods to implement its waste management initiatives. Radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic tags were put on rubbish bins and recycle bins to trace and record the amount of rubbish so that waste audit and analysis can be done for the future evaluation of the waste management plan.
A green purchasing policy has also been set up in the University, to guide different departments in CUHK to purchase products that reduce environmental pollution. CUHK has installed a variety of energy-saving and renewable energy measures in the campus. In 2014, CUHK introduced a pioneering Energy Conservation Incentive Scheme to reduce its impact on the environment, and distributed to various departments the electricity consumption and carbon emissions of their buildings so that their colleagues can clearly understand their electricity consumption patterns and methods for saving electricity. An audit system, as well as rewards and penalties, was also introduced to encourage electricity consumption reduction. Compared with the 2005/06 academic year, the per capita electricity consumption and per capita carbon emission in the 2017/18 academic year decreased by 16% and 21% respectively. The effect was very significant. CUHK also participated in the “Earth Hour” event organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to enhance staff members’ awareness of conservation of the environment and to make efforts towards it. The overall environmental protection work done by CUHK has been recognised by society. It has received the Hong Kong Green Organisation Certification from the Environmental Campaign Committee and the Environmental Protection Department several times since 2016.
The Caring Organisation Scheme
Launched by the HKCSS, the Caring Organisation Scheme aims to build a cohesive society by promoting strategic partnerships among public sectors and social service partners and inspiring corporate social responsibility through caring for the community, employees and the environment.