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Collaborative approach tackles China’s sustainability challenges

Friday, June 29, 2018

In China, the automotive industry provides millions of jobs. But in the new era of green growth, the focus now lies on social and environmental responsibility, rather than job creation. Cleaning up China’s supply chains will take close collaboration between the automotive companies and their 25.000-part producers.

To meet this objective, Drive Sustainability’s local network in China held its first sector exchange meeting this June to discuss how to explore opportunities for multi-sector collaboration.

“Automotive companies, both national and international, have a major role to play in building a cleaner transportation system in China” urged Dr. Xia Guang from the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Centre for Environmental Education and Communication. The government encourages voluntary industry action on environmental protection, but it also pursues strict law enforcement, requiring the whole value chain to reduce, monitor and report pollutants. “Some suppliers face closure, if they do not comply environmental regulations. To avoid gaps in supply, due to shutdowns, automotive companies need to collaborate. They need to work closely with their suppliers on compliance and emission monitoring.”

CLOSE COLLABORATION

The Chinese automotive industry leads the development of 11 industry sectors and provides 4 million direct jobs and 13 million indirect jobs. Thus, cleaning up China’s supply chains and transforming the transportation system will take close collaboration between the automotive and related sectors. In recognition of this, Drive Sustainability’s local network in China held its first sector exchange meeting to discuss how to explore opportunities for multi-sector collaboration.

Taking place in Beijing, it was attended by industry associations in the metals, minerals, chemical, electronics and automotive sectors, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, as well as NGOs and international organisations, exchanging on sectorial approaches and best practices for the promotion of sustainability in China. Reflecting on the meeting, Stefan Crets, Executive Director of CSR Europe stated “The expectations and requirements towards the automotive and other supply chains are only increasing. The approach forward will be to engage the entire value chain, this will require greater cross-sectorial collaboration and alignment. We saw a lot of opportunity today.”

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