U.S.-China Public-Private Partnership to Green the Supply Chain

September 24, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — The Institute for Sustainable Communities and its partners joined President Bill Clinton on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative today to announce a $2.3-million commitment to boost Chinese factories’ compliance with environment, health and safety (EHS) policies and achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Accompanying President Clinton on stage were Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of the GE Company, Margot Ellis, Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia for the US Agency for International Development, Matt Kistler, Senior Vice President for Sustainability of Walmart, George Hamilton, ISC’s President, and Zhang Ye, ISC’s China Representative.

The GE Foundation is the lead funder with a $1.5 million grant over three years. Just this week, USAID joined the partnership with a $6-million grant to ISC for its US-China Clean Energy and Climate program. Additional funding comes from the Walmart Foundation.

The commitment – a public-private partnership – scales up ISC’s Environment, Health and Safety Academy, which officially launches this month in Guangdong, by establishing a second academy in another major industrial province in China in 2010. Industry is the largest source of climate pollution in China. The academy equips supply chain managers with the leadership skills they need to systematically address EHS priorities, including energy efficiency and pollution reduction. The training draws on the best practices of companies such as GE, Honeywell and Adidas, all of whom helped develop the core curriculum.

By basing the first EHS Academy at Sun Yat-sen University’s Lingnan College, a respected business school in Guangzhou, ISC and its partners aim to build in-country capacity that will support the growth of robust EHS profession within China. When fully operational, each academy will train at least 2,000 managers a year. Over the next three years, ISC estimates that 5.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions will be averted through the interventions deployed by trained factory managers.

“In China, as in many emerging markets that make up the world’s supply chain, the push for growth has outpaced the capacity to safeguard the environment and protect worker health and safety,” says George Hamilton, president of the Institute for Sustainable Communities. “By scaling up the EHS Academy, we believe we can help Chinese industry significantly improve environmental health and reduce climate pollution.”

To help China transition to a low carbon economy, ISC and its partners will take steps to institutionalize greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement and reduction as a core responsibility of the emerging EHS profession. Actions include advising Chinese authorities on the development of a new EHS certification protocol that incorporates clean energy and GHG standards, also providing a strong incentive for enterprises to send their managers to the EHS Academies.

ISC’s EHS Academy is a broad partnership between businesses, government agencies and nonprofits. Chinese partners include the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Other funders of the EHS Academy include Honeywell, SABIC Innovative Plastics and the Citi Foundation.

More than 24 corporations are already sending their supply chain managers to the EHS Academy in Guangzhou. Starbucks is the most recent corporation to sign on, joining such companies as GE, Nike, Honda, Dell, Timberland and Walmart.

ISC and its partners invite companies doing business in China to send managers to the Guangzhou Academy. More information is available at www.iscvt.org or by contacting Mr. Asia Wang at wangyazhou@iscchina.org.

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Tuesday awarded a three-year, $6-million cooperative agreement to ISC to launch a new US-China Clean Energy and Climate Partnership program. ISC and the World Resources Institute will implement this public-private initiative focusing on two of China’s most industrialized provinces – Guangzhou and Jiangsu. Its aim is to build the capacity of industries, the electric power sector, and selected cities to become more energy efficient while reducing GHG emissions.

Building the success of ISC’s ongoing Guangdong Environmental Partnership, also partly funded by USAID, the US-China Clean Energy and Climate Partnership will expand the use of GHG measurement standards and tools, build capacity to utilize them, and integrate them as standard practices in the emerging EHS management profession.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities is a nonprofit organization with nearly 20 years of experience in sustainable community development, institutional capacity building, and environmental management. ISC has managed 73 projects in 21 countries totaling $120 million. Its Climate and Environment program includes a strong focus on strategic interventions in the United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Flagship programs include the Climate Leadership Academy in the United States and the Guangdong Environmental Partnership in China. More information is available at www.iscvt.org.

SOURCE The Institute for Sustainable Communities

Source: newswire

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