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Chinese companies are championing green solutions

Updated:2018-02-09 10:31:46   China Daily

Qian Xiaohua (center), chairman of the SEE, attends the UNEA 3 forum in Nairobi, Kenya. Photos by Lucie Morangi / China Daily

To manage pollution, SEE initiated the China Real Estate Green Supply Chain Action last year. It consists of manufacturers of steel, cement, glass and paint whose manufacturing processes produce significantly low levels of pollution, and it encourages property developers to buy from the group.

"The 89-member real estate developers in our association account for 17 percent of the market share, with an annual procurement value of 1.9 trillion yuan ($303.7 billion; 245 billion euros; £217 billion)," says Qian, adding that building-related industries in China account for 40 percent of China's carbon emission and 8 percent of the world's total.

The enterprises are eager to share their best practices with the international community. They participated in the third United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, in December, and the Sustainable Innovation Forum in 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco.

"We provide funds and capacity building to our members," says Qian. "We have a science and technology advisory committee that engages with experts to advice us and train the NGOs."

The partnership has resulted in the development of a map that indicates all pollution points in China based, on official supervision records and monitoring data compiled by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"We have pushed 15,000 Chinese enterprises to renovate their technology," says Qian. "If they fail to comply, SEE discourages buyers from purchasing their products."

As these enterprises are pushed by a consensus to drive their goals, Mobike emerges as a solution that combines a healthy lifestyle and a reduction of air pollution by encouraging urbanites to cycle instead of driving.

Mobike's founder says the company's success hinges on partnership with many stakeholders.

Chinese companies are championing green solutions

"It needs governments and users to deeply understand the significance of having bicycles in the city. My intention is not to breed rivalry between bicycles and car manufacturers, but instead to increase the share in the use of bicycles," says Hu Weiwei, who is also president of Beijing-based Mobike.

The youthful entrepreneur, who received a UN award during the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, says that before Mobike, the use of bikes was about 5 percent in China. After 19 months, there was an upswing to more than 11 percent. However, says Hu, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the number of trips by bike is around 60 percent, while in many European countries it is around 30 percent.

"It is still a process in China. We were previously known as the kingdom of bicycles, but once rapid development set in, we turned to cars and forgot the priceless moments of biking," Hu says, recalling her early years when she would pedal around with friends.

A change of mindset has been her greatest goal. Hu says there is a growing fear that the growth of bikes will reduce vehicle use, resulting in lowered income from vehicle parking lots and fewer car buyers, eventually hurting the economy.

"Copenhagen has a goal. It requires governments at all levels to realize a healthy proportion for different means of transportation. Second, to ease the use of bicycles into the city way of life, there would be a transformation in urban planning that would result in a robust economy," she says.

Hu says bikes will likely replace the use of cars for short distances, and shoppers using bikes will be able to access stores along narrow lanes, spurring an active and vibrant city.

"Bikes and cars complement each other. It will gradually become a direction for science and culture development that will build social interaction in cities."

Editor: Wang Shixue

Keywords:   China green solutions