Circular Economy Retrofitting of Chinese Industrial Parks

Circular Economy

In 2017, industry accounted for more than 40% of China’s GDP. Chinese industrial parks – vast expanses of land set aside to house the factories and systems that keep manufacturing at pace – are large enough that cities are growing around them. While a cornerstone for China’s leading economy, this explosion of industry has incurred negative environmental effects including major contributions to world greenhouse gas emissions, resource depletion and environmental pollution. This partnership between the Chinese Association of Circular Economy, Carbon Trust, Anhui Lu’an Yeji Economic Development Zone Administrative Committee and the Overseas Development Institute, aims to solve this problem by introducing new models and best practices in China’s expansive industrial parks to better align with the country’s ambition to become a more “ecological civilization”. The partnership will use circular economy principles – reduce, reuse and recycle – to re-focus industrial processes and lessen the environmental impact of industrial parks. Through alliance-building between national and local governments, businesses and park administration committees, the partnership will gain support for both increased investment in sustainable manufacturing as well as better technical supporting tools for implementation. Initially focusing on a demonstration project at the Yeji Industrial Park, located in Anhui Province neighboring Shanghai, the partnership will work to develop a model for more sustainable industrial park practices to be scaled across China and eventually on the global stage.