Consensus enhanced as awareness of environment and carbon control grows
High-quality growth, the most-mentioned phrase during the Two Sessions, will keep guiding China's new route of development. As a bellwether city, Shanghai takes a model role in mapping out growth of high quality, and here is what we find in different sectors of our life.
Carbon neutrality has become a general consensus in China, and the first Carbon Neutrality Expo, due to open on Sunday at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), means to enhance such a consensus and generate new inspiration.
The four-day Carbon Neutrality Expo, or Shanghai International Carbon Neutrality Expo in Technologies, Products and Achievements, is expected to attract visitors from all around as carbon emission control involves all.
It will be another highlight after rounds of initiatives taken recently by companies, consumers and other entities on different occasions to protect the environment and reduce carbon emission.
Consumer-oriented changes may lead to better business
As consumers increasingly favor sustainable shopping options, companies are leveraging environment protection occasions to strengthen waste management and environment protection.
The most recent occasion is the Ocean Day on June 8.
This year the theme of Ocean Day is "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing" and stresses that by protecting the ocean, people are ultimately protecting themselves.
Industry watchers point out that consumers' choices will encourage more retailers, and restaurants to purchase sustainable products, leading more stakeholders to push sustainable ocean management.
One example is that McDonald's has announced to offer all of its fish burgers with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainable label, becoming the first Western fast-food brand in China to do so.
It says it has been dedicating efforts to follow international standards in crucial areas such as healthy fish stocks, impact on ecosystems, and fishery management to assess their suppliers for fish ingredients.
The fast food chain already sources pollock from fisheries certified by the MSC sustainable standards.
McDonald's China's Chief Impact Officer Adelaide Gu said that the company actively creates a sustainable supply chain to reduce environmental impact when purchasing products while ensuring fresh and safe food supply for customers.
The MSC, a non-profit organization working for marine conservation, said it plans to triple the number of certified sustainable marine products to around 1,000 in China by 2030.
The council has been working with organizations including China Fisheries Association, China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance to jointly promote the concepts of sustainable sourcing.
Business model revolution
The World Environment Day on June 5 is another occasion.
On that day, Alibaba's retailing arm Freshippo said it had set up a sustainable development department to focus on ensuring the sustainability of Freshippo's agriculture and supply chains.
With a focus on areas such as organic, ecological and low-carbon farming, the company said the positive impact it brings to agriculture and supply chains is well aligned with business growth.
The number of customers for organic products at Freshippo has increased annually to nearly 10 million since the launch of this product category in June 2018.
Waste collecting facilities have been set up at selected communities in Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi'an to encourage a circular economy.
For brewer Budweiser APAC, it also announced on the World Environment Day to join forces with upstream and downstream value chain partners to reduce carbon footprint together.
"Carbon reduction is a mission for all businesses. As we have a relatively long value chain, we ought to unite stakeholders throughout the entire chain for a sustainable development. It is not easy, but we will try," said Jan Clysner, vice president of sustainability & procurement at Budweiser APAC.
Budweiser APAC has created various platforms, such as the Budweiser APAC Supplier Strategic Alliance (SSA), Vendor Strategic Alliance (VSA), and 100+ Innovation Hub, to share advanced technologies, resources, and experiences with upstream and downstream partners.
As of 2022, Budweiser APAC has helped seven suppliers to map their carbon footprint planning and conducted visits to eight supplier sites. In 2023, Budweiser plans to help 29 suppliers and 60 sites develop site-specific carbon footprint maps and establish carbon baselines, covering 32 percent of the carbon emissions footprint for the entire value chain.
Campaigns involving multiple shareholders are effective to raise awareness
Sports retailer Decathlon has launched its third annual water sports and environmental protection month with the theme "From Explore to Protect."
This aims to spread the idea of strong connection between sports and the climate, especially water sports such as swimming and surf paddle boarding.
It's also strengthening interaction with consumers on environmental protection by conducting public lecturers on marine protection for juveniles and teenagers. Professionals explain marine protection knowledge and guide them to build ecological and environmental awareness from a young age.
China's biggest tourism platform Trip.com has teamed up with nine tourism destinations and domestic ocean parks to call for better awareness and sustainable travel.
Trip.com said this year the amount of spending for aquarium tickets jumped 95 percent from 2019. It has dedicated efforts to promote ocean relevant knowledge through designing ocean related travel routes.
The new initiative, which also includes participants such as the Wuzhizhou Coral Island and Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, calls for eco-friendly travel and responds to the theme for this year's World Environment Day "Beat Plastic Pollution."
Also, leading food company Nestle hosted a campaign last month in Yunnan Province, one of the places it sources coffee beans, and livestreamed the campaign to share its low-carbon practices in production, marketing and logistics. It also called on consumers to use more recyclable products and thus contributed to carbon reduction.