Date: April 18, 2011
Source: China Youth Daily
The 2010 annual environment report recently published by Zhejiang Furun Corporation has drawn some attention. It shows the company’s environmental protection costs in 2010 were as high as 9.1829 million Yuan, which includes operating costs for environmental protection facilities, sewage, environmental training, and monitoring costs, and waste treatment fees.
There are over 1000 listed companies, but Furun Corporation is one of only a few which publish environmental reports. “As an incorporated company with traditional textile industry as its main business, we publish the report to express our belief about protecting the environment, strengthening communication with investors, and showing the company’s responsibility to the public,” said the chief executive Zhao Linzhong.
“Environmental responsibility is ‘compulsory’ for enterprises. As a responsible company, we have an obligation to build a resource-saving and environment-friendly company, and clarify that we have the attitude of upgrading from traditional industry.” Zhao Linzhong, who served as the deputy to the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh National People’s Congress, thinks personal responsibility, corporate responsibility and social responsibility must be bound together.
In recent years, domestic and foreign companies have frequently experienced pollution accidents. Statistics show that in 2009 there were over 30 accidents of especially serious heavy metal pollution in China. In April this year, pollution from the first nuclear power plant in Fukushima triggered by the Japanese earthquake reminded the public of the mass destruction caused by improper handling of the environment.
“Companies can’t leave harm to the future. Development at a cost to the environment will bring economic interest in the short term, but the losses will outweigh the gains in the long term.” Zhao said that Furun has established the correct perspective of benefit — environmental benefit. Protecting the environment is protecting productivity, and improving the environment is developing productivity. And we should realize the harmony between man and nature, and the sustainable development of enterprises.
With such beliefs, Furun has established precise corporate environmental principles over the years. The company leadership places great value on protecting the environment, practising cleaner production, and developing a recycling economy. It has devoted over 10 million Yuan to cleaner production, and the stable operation rate of environmental protection facilities is more than 90 percent.
“Environmental protection is currently a decisive part for companies that want sustainable development.” Zhao Linzhong says that the textile industry is
China’s industrial livelihood, and it has a strong advantage over those of other countries. However, it depends on resources. According to the eleventh Textile Five-Year Plan and Textile Trim and Promote Plan, the textile industry has to start independent innovation and technology reform. It should abandon productive capacity that falls behind, and open up a new industrial path that has advanced technology, good economic returns, low resources consumption, little environmental pollution and better realization of human resources.
Zhao says that the low-carbon perspective is shared by the whole of society, and companies should shoulder more social responsibility for protecting the environment, saving energy and reducing pollution. “We need clear thinking; environmental protection not only represents a benefit for the company, but also for the investor and for society.”
In August 2010, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology identified 2087 companies in 18 industries that eliminated outdated production capacity., Zhejiang Furun printing company also needs to abandon 30 sets of machines, adding up to 16.8 million meters capacity. Zhao admits, “Eliminating outdated production capacity will bring temporary pain, but it also brings opportunities to advance cleaner production and upgrade by technology reform.”
Corporate environmental responsibility is one of the necessary social responsibilities; it is like an individual carrying out his obligations to society.” Zhao recommended that countries should establish more stringent emissions reduction targets, and at the same time offer more funding for companies to develop environmental protection measures, save energy and reduce pollution.
“We hope that through the 2010 annual environment report the company can systematically, transparently, and truly express its environmental information to the public, and that we can play the role of an environmentally-friendly company,” Zhao says. “Listed companies are required to publish their environmental information completely, systematically, and transparently. They should accept supervision from the public and the media about environment protection with a more active attitude, consciously undertaking economic, environmental, and social responsibilities.”
Translator: Xijing Luo
Proofreader: Pierre Thompson;Karen Marshall