Going green becoming good business amid pandemic
The term "Green Economy" has become fashionable among all kinds of enterprises seeking better value and higher quality, with local influencers, multinationals, startup companies and communities trying for environmental protection.
A wide range of initiatives promoting renewable energy products and services beneficial to the sustainable development of the planet is being promoted after this year's Earth Day last Friday themed "Invest in Our Planet."
Shanghai vlogger Su Yige, nicknamed "One Small Bag," has added nearly 50,000 follower since she started to record her minimalist lifestyle on Bilibili two years ago.
She has posted more than 50 short videos on waste reduction measures, why we should avoid plastic-packaged products and promoting minimalist tools and actions.
In many of her videos, she encourages people to keep in mind the environmental impact of their actions and also says everybody can find their own suitable ways for eco-friendly consumption instead of simply looking to other people.
She warns against brands that simply claim they have a "green mindset" without committing to real environmental protection, such as those with excessive packaging or who simply slap a "green" description on their products.
Rachel Jiang, working at a consultancy firm in Shanghai, carries her coffee cup around almost every day for price cuts at a local coffee chain and she'd be willing to keep doing so to reduce the use of paper cups even if there are no promotions to save her money.
Although she still orders food takeaway occasionally and cannot completely avoid plastic packaging, she keeps doing her best to use recycled materials and packaging.
The business-initiated drive, with price cuts or gift incentives to achieve carbon neutrality, has already changed the mindset of consumers.
Shoppers take notice of trends from leading brands and retailers and have included eco-friendliness as a crucial part in their buying choices.
Many factories and local branches of multinationals in China have announced zero emission targets.
Local consultancy Syntao which focuses on promoting sustainability and social responsibility expects more firms will announce carbon neutrality targets following two important policy documents released by the central government last year for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.
Drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim has upgraded to photovoltaic power generation at all its three domestic production sites.
As a part of its "Sustainable Development for Generations" initiative, its Zhangjiang site for medicine is also working to achieve carbon neutrality and net-zero energy.
French food giant Danone aims to achieve carbon neutrality for all its production of Mizone in China by 2023.
Two Mizone factories in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, and in Qionglai in Sichuan Province, have already achieved carbon neutrality with a combination of measures including the adoption of green energy, recycling of waste and enhancing water re-use.
Beauty product manufacturer L'Oréal's Yichang Tianmei Plant plans to cut energy by another 40 percent from 2019 output after becoming the first for the company in the Asia-Pacific region to do so in early 2015.
The plant's general manager Lu Xiangling expects to double the capacity of the site this year thanks to higher hygiene standards in order to produce skincare and beauty products with more natural ingredients.
It will soon use degradable packaging and preservative-free formulas to cater to consumer demand for green and eco-friendly products.
About 30 percent of Chinese households are now environmentally conscious and want to change their behaviors to cut emissions, according to consulting firm Kantar Worldpanel's latest survey.
About 20 percent respondents are aware of the ecological issues but do nothing because it costs more and is inconvenient.
Rising awareness is giving rise to a wide range of consumer products containing recycled materials.
Adidas' outdoor line TERREX has unveiled a hoodie using wood-based fibers in partnership with Finnish textile material company Spinnova.
Reducing plastic waste has been a part of the sportswear company's ongoing effort with its long-time partnership with Parley for the Oceans to turn marine pollution like plastic bottles into shoes and sportswear.
Clothing brand Uniqlo's sun-safe jackets and other clothing also use recycled polyester fibre made from used polyethylene terephthalate beverage bottles.
Pet owners and animal lovers are showing increasing awareness of pet health and nature.
Domestic market research firm iResearch expects an annual increase of 14.2 percent in the domestic pet industry, hitting 446 billion yuan (US$70 billion) a year next year.
Boehringer Ingelheim has formed a strategic relationship with local pet healthcare group New Ruiping Group, and tied up with domestic insurer Taikang Online for integrated insurance, medication and medical treatment services.
Food processing and commodities trading corp ADM in December acquired full ownership of pet nutrition company Invivo Sanpo and plans to introduce more premium pet nutrition brands this year.