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Governance Approach

Sustainability Management

Under the leadership of the senior management, DSD has established a sustainability management structure to address various topics specific to sustainable development, and to provide appropriate recommendations as well as supervise the related initiatives. We also actively adopt suitable international standards and management systems and invigorate our management approach with innovative ideas. Risks are properly managed and multiple channels are in place to enhance interaction with all stakeholders, and for us to address their feedback on our development, enable us to improve our sustainability performance continuously.

Management Structure

We have set up three committees and two working groups, including:

Green Management Committee

Chaired by the Deputy Director, the Committee is responsible for reviewing the environmental management policy, formulating environmental work objectives and targets, and monitoring the effectiveness of environmental programmes and initiatives.

During the reporting period, the Committee held two meetings discuss issues including energy saving, greening, emission reduction and waste reduction in detail, and to review the progress of the environmental initiatives.

Steering Group on Safety

Chaired by the Deputy Director, the Group is responsible for supervising the safety performance of DSD sites, establishing safety standards and guidelines at sites, formulating and improvement measures, and evaluating the execution and effectiveness of the undertakings.

During the reporting period, the Committee held two meetings to discuss topics including the safety performance of the facilities and construction site under DSD, internal and external audit of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and OSH training and promotion programmes.

Research and Development Steering Committee

Led by the Deputy Director, the Committee is responsible for conducting research in support of DSD's development plans. The Committee consists of two teams which coordinate research in civil engineering and electrical and mechanical engineering respectively.

During the reporting period, the Committee held eight meetings and organised DSD Research & Development Forum 2017. In the year, DSD completed a total of 18 research projects on topics covering Blue-Green Infrastructure, odour control, artificial wetland, heat island effect, sewage and sludge treatment, renewable energy and project management.

Energy and Emission Management Team

Energy saving and emission reduction are key environmental issues addressed by DSD. Chaired by the Assistant Director / Electrical and Mechanical, the Team helps improve DSD's energy and emission performance through identifying emission sources, benchmarking performance, implementing improvement measures, and sharing professional knowhow.

During the reporting period, the Team held two meetings to discuss various topics, including energy conservation measures and targets, and applications of renewable energy, etc.

Taskforce on Sustainability Reporting

Chaired by the Deputy Director, the Taskforce gives comments and makes decisions related to the preparation of the sustainability report. These include determining the choice of international guidelines to be adopted for reporting, defining stakeholder engagement plans, and identifying substantive material topics, etc.

Integrated Management System

DSD has begun establishing and implementing management systems in line with international standards since 2002. To date, we have put in place an integrated management system made up of multiple systems that cover the aspects of quality, environment, and occupational safety and health.

  • Obtained ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification

  • Obtained ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification

  • Obtained OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System certification

  • Obtained ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification for Yuen Long STW

  • Obtained ISO 55001 AMS standard certification for nine DSD facilities

  • Obtained ISO 55001 AMS standard certification for 16 DSD facilities

  • Obtained ISO 55001 AMS standard certification for 124 DSD facilities

  • Obtained ISO 55001 AMS standard certification for 229 DSD facilities


We adhere to the "Plan-Do-Check-Act" approach of the management systems and strive for continuous self-improvement. During the year, an internal review was conducted on the ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System with a mission to facilitate smooth transition from old version to the new ones and to meet the requirements of the new standards of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 before the September 2018 deadline.

We strive to optimise asset management to reduce costs to better address the challenges posed by natural environmental change, climate change and urban sprawl. Since 2013, DSD has been implementing in stages an Asset Management System (AMS) to enhance management of our facilities. From May 2014 to May 2018, 22 DSD-operated sewage pumping stations, sewage treatment works and stormwater pumping stations passed the certification audit for ISO 55001 AMS standard, making us one of the first government departments to obtain such accreditation. The percentage of accredited pumping stations and treatment works grew from 3% in 2014 to 5% in 2016, before rising drastically to 40% and 73% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. We aim to extend similar AMSs to the remaining 80-plus DSD-operated drainage facilities in phases by June 2019.

Voice of Our Stakeholders

We value open and candid communication with stakeholders. While sharing the Department’s vision and progresses of our projects with stakeholders, we endeavour to listen to and understand their concerns so as to define our operational goals and expectations accordingly. To this end, we have established multiple channels to communicate with stakeholders regularly on matters relating to projects, daily operations and our development approaches. For details, please refer to Chapter 9 Media Engagement Activities and Chapter 10 Stakeholder Engagement Activities.

Stakeholder Stakeholder Communication Channels / Means of Interaction
Issues of Concern
DSD Staff
  • Employee incentive scheme
  • Employee recommendation scheme
  • Goodwill visits by DSD management
  • Consultative committees and discussion groups across DSD
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee training opportunities
General Public
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Visits to DSD facilities and construction sites
  • Questionnaire surveys
  • Impact of drainage works on residents
  • Operational efficiency
Consultants and Contractors
  • Site visits
  • Experience sharing sessions
  • Construction Sites Housekeeping Award Scheme
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Construction requirements and trends for projects
  • Environmental performance of projects
  • Outreach activities
  • Visits to DSD facilities and construction sites
  • Research and Development Forum
  • Engineering technology
  • Environmental performance of drainage facilities
Green Groups
  • Meeting with environmental groups
  • Site visits to river channels
  • Research and Development Forum
  • Ecological conservation
  • Energy consumption and carbon emissions
  • Green design elements in drainage works
  • Environmental performance of suppliers/contractors
Professional Institutions
  • DSD International Conference
  • Research and Development Forum
  • Engineering technology
  • Asset management
  • Media briefings
  • Progress of works

Since 2012-13, we have been conducting a proactive stakeholder engagement programme for six years in a row. Stakeholder groups, including DSD staff, professional institutions, academia, green groups, the media, project consultants and contractors, are invited to express their opinions expectations on us before writing up the sustainability report. For details of stakeholder engagement programme for this year, please refer to Chapter Two About this Report.