In 2014, perceptions of China will take another significant turn, as consumers come to realize China is fast becoming the epicenter of truly innovative, superior green consumer innovations, too*.
* Alongside leading Chinese brands in sectors such as mobile tech, luxury and fashion (from WeChat to Bosideng, from Shang Xia to Xiaomi and more) that are simply MADE BETTER IN CHINA.
That shift will be driven by China’s relentless, large-scale efforts to address massive environmental challenges such as energy, transport, construction and more (see a few examples below).
In fact, the idea among many consumers worldwide that Chinese brands and businesses lag behind when it comes to green thinking might just be one of the last great competitive advantages that ‘Western’ brands enjoy.
When that preconception is overturned in 2014, one of the last barriers keeping Chinese brands and global consumers at a distance is lifted. Just another small, yet pivotal moment in the remapping of global consumerism 😉
Beijing showroom is world’s first LEED v4 beta certified project
In October 2013, furniture manufacturer Haworth announced that its Beijing showroom had been recognized as the world’s first certified LEED v4 beta project by the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) new program. The USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system considers the building’s eco-credentials, including location, energy performance and water efficiency. The showroom is located inside Parkview Green, and incorporates reconfigurable workspaces, and eco-friendly lighting and furniture.
Rewards commuters for recycling plastic bottles
In May 2013, the Beijing Subway introduced 40 ‘reverse vending machines’, which enable passengers to offset their travel costs by recycling plastic bottles. For every empty plastic bottle recycled using the machines, commuters receive discounts of between CNY 0.05 and 0.10 on their travel pass.
Philips & CEC
Intelligent street lighting in Chinese cities
The Philips and China Electronics Corporation (CEC) partnership, announced in July 2013, marked an attempt to develop and implement intelligent road and street lighting in cities across China. The joint venture will focus on LED fixtures and lighting management, including Philips CityTouch, a web-based system that allows streetlights to be used when and where they are needed.
Shanghai store made entirely from trash
Opened in Shanghai in August 2013, Nike’s concept store is entirely constructed from trash, including drinks cans, water bottles and old CDs and DVDs. The store can be adapted to different retail layouts and the no-glue construction ensures all materials can be reused.
Chinese Academy of Science
‘Smart’ window saves & stores solar energy
Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Science have unveiled a ‘smart’ window that can save and generate energy. Coated with temperature-sensitive vanadium oxide (VO2), the window can regulate the amount of energy entering a building and store light energy in solar cells within the window frame.
Resource-efficient city prioritizes pedestrians
Tianjin Eco-City is a sustainable city initiative developed by the governments of Singapore and China. Located 150km from Beijing, and with a footprint of 30 sq. km, the city is designed to be socially harmonious and resource-efficient. Pedestrians, non-motorized vehicles and public transport take priority alongside green urban spaces. Due for completion in 2020, the Tianjin Eco-City will house around 350,000 residents.