The China Greentech Report 2009, an open-source, commercial research collaboration of Haworth and over 80 of the world’s leading technology companies, service firms, entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs and policy advisors, with researching being led by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The research included interviews with partners, strategic advisors and other industry experts and in-depth market analysis. The aim was to address questions of central importance to our clients and examine our own sustainability role in China. These included:
- How should one frame the green building opportunities that exist in China?
- What are the most important environmental issues impacting China and what are the forces driving them?
- Which existing and emerging green building solutions are most attractive for China in the short, medium and long term?
- What are the biggest challenges facing China’s green building markets?
- How might stakeholders overcome these challenges in order to accelerate China’s green building market development?
For Haworth, this report helped us to define the component parts of the overarching green building concept and gave us insights into how Haworth solutions can form part of this framework. Haworth understands green building as:
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
Our unwavering objective is to offer the market the highest levels of education around responsible design and materials. We achieve this already through the application of our own knowledge to create environmentally sound products and workspaces. The Greentech 2009 report findings verify that green building is as much a part of the solution as energy management.
China’s three decades of unprecedented economic growth make it a critical economic and environmental priority. Representing one fifth of the global population and experiencing an average 10% annual growth rate, China is now the third largest economy and second largest consumer of energy in the world. This growth, accompanied by the mass migration of people into urban centers has brought higher living standards and a mass of consumers driving markets. China has more than twice the building floor- space as the U.S., and installs more electricity generation capacity each year than the total capacity of the U.K. That is why green building materials will shape China’s future. And China’s future is everyone’s future.
So just what are the current and future environmental challenges in China?
- 20% of the world’s population, the country has less than 7% of the world’s fresh water resources
- Land degradation including desertification and land contamination from waste landfills and hazardous waste.
- China as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), responsible for over 20% of annual CO2
The report teaches us about China’s growing economy, population and cities. This growth will be accompanied by continued massive urbanization over the next 15-20 years. This has myriad implications, including a 100% increase in building space, the formation of 200 cities each with a population over one million people and continued large-scale infrastructure deployment. Continued growth will demand huge increases in energy, water and material resources. If China were to maintain its historic practices, the additional strain on the environment would be unsustainable. The time to affect change is now.