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UPDATED: March 14, 2014 NO. 25 JUNE 20, 2013
Green by Design
Chinese campaigns and initiatives improve the environment, one design at a time
By Tang Yuankai

Message from Yangzhou

In order to better promote the idea of green design, Lu initiated the creation of the World Green Design Forum as an experience sharing platform. The forum was jointly organized by the Dragon Design Foundation, the QSC Foundation, the EU-China Friendship Association and several other Chinese and foreign organizations. The forum's first annual session was held in Lugano, Switzerland in September 2011.

On May 28-29, more than 500 politicians, fashion designers, environmentalists, scholars and entrepreneurs from more than 20 countries attended the third annual session of the World Green Design Forum in Yangzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. It held workshops on green cities and green buildings, green textiles, green transportation tools and green home appliances and office equipment.

As a city with a history of nearly 2,500 years, Yangzhou has built competitive industries of urban, environmental, architectural and industrial design in recent years due to government initiatives. The local government has also vigorously promoted energy-conserving buildings through model programs. As a result, Yangzhou won the UN Habitat Scroll of Honor Award for 2006.

David Dixon, a senior member of the American Institute of Architects and Design Director of Goody Clancy Co. Ltd., participated in the meeting in Yangzhou. He said that the city has succeeded in transforming original ideas into products using brilliant designs to make the city more inhabitable and attractive.

"Green design has created a new type of industrial development in the 21st century by reducing resources waste and creating industrial standards instead of just brand names," said Niu Wenyuan, chief scientist on sustainable development research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Hong Jinshan, a highly acclaimed Chinese fashion designer, won a silver award for green textiles with a paper jacket at this year's session. The new fabric is made of paper pulp and a special coating makes it waterproof and durable. The most outstanding feature of the material is that although it is washable, it is nonetheless biodegradeable.

"Using environmentally friendly materials only no longer qualifies a piece of garment as low-carbon textiles. A 5R principle, including reduce, reevaluate, reuse, recycle and rescue, must be applied," said Hong.

A total of 30 designs under the six categories of architecture/construction materials, transportation tools, telecommunication modes, office supplies, textiles and home appliances won gold awards this year and 60 designs won silver awards.

Green vehicles winning gold awards in Yangzhou included the K9 electric bus made by Chinese car manufacturer BYD and BMW i8, a plug-in hybrid vehicle. K9 is an all-electric bus model with a maximum range of 249 km on a single charge under urban conditions. The bus has been in service in Chinese cities such as Shenzhen, Changsha, Xi'an and Shaoguan and Colombia's Bogota.

A notepad of stone paper, which is manufactured from calcium carbonate mixed with a high density polyethylene bonding agent, is another award-winning Chinese product. This new type of paper is durable, tear-resistant and waterproof. The Guangbo Group Stock Co. Ltd., a stationery maker in east China's Zhejiang Province that produced the notepad, claims that each notepad of 200-gram stone paper could reduce carbon emissions by 21.4 grams, conserve 0.04 cubic meter of water, reduce by 0.024 cubic meters emissions of sewage and other poisonous gases.

"The development of green designs should go hand in hand with new energies as new materials and new energy sources—such as solar and wind power—can allow designers to create wholly new things," said Shi Dinghuan, Co-Chairman of the World Green Design Forum and President of the China Renewable Energy Society.

Nirj Deva, Vice Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Development, is the other co-chairman of the forum. He said that despite the EU's leading position in environmental protection practices a decade ago, many advanced concepts have been suspended in Europe due to the economic recession as the governments of EU member states had to focus more on maintaining job opportunities and economic growth. He suggests environmental protection should be put back on the government's agenda.

Adrian Severin, a member of the European Parliament and former Romanian Foreign Minister, said in Yangzhou that European countries should seek opportunities to establish collaboration with China on environmental protection issues to replace the old practice of making demands of China.

Email us at: tangyuankai@bjreview.com

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