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International Symposium on Green Consumption - 25 Years of China Environmental Labeling Program

Date:2019/10/28 08:58:35

Column:CEC news

The Symposium on Green Consumption - 25 Years of China Environmental Labeling Program was held in Suzhou, China on October 25th. This activity was hosted by MEE Environmental Development Center and organized by China Environmental United Certification Center with strong support from Suzhou Municipal Government, China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) China Office, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN). This activity aimed at exchanging Chinese and international best practice and experience in green consumption; discussing the strategy, tasks and measures for green consumption in the 14th Five-Year Plan period; summarizing the progress, efforts and fruitful results of China Environmental Labelling Program over the past 25 years; exploring comprehensive measures and publicizing the stakeholders who promote and carry out green consumption. More than 300 participants from related governments, industries, scientific institutes, testing bodies, NGOs, certified enterprises as well as the representatives of GEN, UNEP, EDF, IGPN and eco-labeling body of many countries and regions attended this meeting.      

Mr. ZOU Shoumin, Director-General of MEE Department of Science, Technology and Finance attended the meeting and presented an opening speech. He pointed out that in the practice of green consumption, China has carried out effective work, released relevant policy measures, encouraged green consumption conduct and advocated green lifestyle. The practice of the past 25 years demonstrates that environmental labeling program has played an active role in promoting green development mode and lifestyle, conserving resources and energy and protecting of eco environment and made remarkable achievements. China Environmental Labelling has developed a complete regulation system that includes standard development, certification, inspection and quality assurance thanks to the development of past 25 years. The certified products involve many industries such as automobiles, textile, electronics, daily use chemicals, furniture and packaging. Now there are 101 product criteria, covering over 93,000 models of products. At present, the annual output value of environmental labelling products is about 4 trillion Yuan RMB. Meanwhile, as the linkage with public green production and consumption, China Environmental Labelling in the future should grow bigger and stronger and play a bigger role in policy making, technical support, media guidance as well as promoting green development mode and lifestyle.    


Mr. LI Chunjiang, Vice Director-General of the Department of Certification Supervision of State Administration for Market Regulation said that in the development of the past 25 years, the concept and development of China Environmental Labelling highly align with the idea of quality certification work. China Environmental Labelling has accumulated rich and effective experience in areas such as technical study on green and environment-friendly products, establishment of standard system, registration and management of ecolabel and mutual recognition. Now, China Environmental Labelling becomes the role model of voluntary product certification in China and also enjoys strong influence in the world.     

Mr. WANG Yang, Deputy Mayor of Suzhou Municipal People’s Government, delivered a speech at the workshop. He said that Suzhou has been implementing the idea of green development, greatly advocating green office, green procurement and green consumption. Government departments should start with themselves, develop environment-friendly office, advocate paperless office, comprehensively extend energy and water saving equipment and garbage sorting equipment, and strive for the demonstrator and front runner of green office. Taking this workshop as an opportunity, Suzhou City will accelerate transformation, innovation and continue the path to green and low carbon development so that people enjoy higher living standard, beautiful environment and harmonious society.   

Mr. Scott Vaughan of CCICED International Chief Advisor also addressed CCICED has always been attaching importance on green consumption. At present, the economic development mode of China has transformed from export oriented to consumption oriented and gradually become the leader of green consumption. CCICED study project on green consumption will provide China with relevant policy recommendations for the development plan of next five years. It is expected that this international workshop will be a new beginning with more fruitful achievements in the future.  

Mr. Zhao Hualin, Vice-Ministerial cadres of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) and former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SASAC presented an invited report with the title “Attaching Great Importance to the Role of Environmental Labelling System and Accelerating the Promotion of Green Production and Consumption”. In his speech, Zhao Hualin said that with continuous exploration and development of the past 25 years, China Environmental Labelling program has been growing mature and perfect with remarkable achievements and effects. Every China environmental label is a flag for the protection of eco environment with active guiding and pilot role. China Environmental Labelling becomes one of the most influential and effective approaches for guiding and promoting green production and consumption in China. He suggested that China Environmental Labelling Program should make use of the favorable situation and play a bigger role in promoting ecological civilization and green development in the new era.  

Mr. Eric Solheim, CCICEC Vice Chairman and former UNEP Executive Director gave an invited report with the title “Sustainable Concumption and Ecological Civilization”. In his speech, he said with continual globalization, international communities are striving for global ecological civilization and building a clean and beautiful world as the key measures for promoting the community with shared future. They accord with global green development trend and the common will of the people of all countries in the world. He identified the following four concerns: 1) transformation from quantity oriented to quality oriented socioeconomic development; 2) transformation from traditional economic mode to circular economy mode; 3) transformation from product oriented to service oriented; and 4) transformation from brown economy to green economy.    

Mr. Ren Yong, Director-General of Environmental Development Center, MEE presented a keynote speech with the title “China’s Strategy to Promoting Green Consumption”. He gave elaborations about the following three topics: 1) Why China attaches great importance to green consumption? 2) Challenges and opportunities for China to promote green consumption; 3) Strategy and policy recommendations.      
Mr. Charles Arden-Clarke, Executive Director of UNEP One Planet Network and Mr. Sebastien Paquot, Counsellor Climate Action and Environment, EU Delegation in Beijing gave a keynote speech respectively.
After the opening ceremony, two parallel forums were held. Forum I was International Symposium on Green Consumption. CCICED Task Force on Green Consumption and Production established the special study on green consumption. Mr. Ren Yong, was the Chinese co-chair of the study project and Ms. Asa Romson, CCICED Member and former Vice Prime Minister of Sweden served as the International Co-chair. This workshop aimed at discussing the important mechanism and role of green consumption pattern in facilitating green transformation of China. Forum II was “Environmental Labelling — Connecting Green Production and Consumption”. The leaders of the competent authorities and representatives from industrial associations, enterprises and stakeholders gave their presentations respectively on topics such as environmental labeling and green procurement; green supply chain and environmental risk management; the active role of China Environmental Labelling Program in guiding readjustment of product mix and promoting green development of enterprises.  


The Hand-Over Ceremony for IGPN Chairman was held during this activity with the release of the Report on the Influence of China Environmental Labelling and Report on Environmental Performances of China Environmental Labelling Products (2018-2019). The findings of the first report show that 70.95% respondents know “China Environmental Label”. 82.06% respondents are willing to pay equal or higher price for the products with “China environmental label”. This fully demonstrates broad impacts of China environmental label. Environmental label could do more in areas such as low carbon, green and circular economy; public health; enterprise integrity and corporate social responsibility and play a bigger role in implementing new development idea and facilitating “great synergy”. The findings of the Report on Environmental Performances of China Environmental Labelling Products show 524900 t reduction of VOCs emission in 2018 due to the consumption of environmental labeling products, equivalent to 17.5% of annual VOC emission of petrochemical industry; 3.6805 million t reduction of CO2 emissions, equivalent to the annual carbon sink of 386400 ha forest. In reducing the discharge of water pollutants, the consumption of environmental labeling products achieved 4574 t reduction of TP discharge in 2018, equivalent to 10% of annual TP discharge of all cities and towns in the Yangtze River basin in the same year. In conservation of energy and resources, environmental labeling products saved 17998 million kW·h energy in 2018, equivalent to 15.9% of annual electricity consumption of Beijing in 2018; 131 million t water, taking up about 8.76% of domestic water consumption of Beijing in 2018; 11400 t plastics; and 1.3229 million t paper with reuse of 25 million remanufactured toner cartridges and inkjet cartridges.  


The implementation of China Environmental Labelling Program has created active impacts on the improvement of ecological environment of China. Meanwhile, it follows up ecolabel international trend and develops actively international cooperation. Mr. Bjorn-Erik Lonn, the GEN chairman awarded GEN international cooperation system (GENICES) certificate to Ms. Xiaodan ZHANG, General Manager of CEC during the meeting.


This meeting has presented honors to senior leaders who help and promote the China Environmental Labelling Program as well as typical enterprises and institutions that support China Environmental Labelling Program. Meanwhile, to advocate the green and low carbon idea, CEC the meeting organizer accounted CO2 emission of this meeting and procured equivalent carbon reduction credits to neutralize all carbon emissions resulting from this activity. Therefore, this meeting achieved the target of “zero carbon emission”.