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Baogang Group ramps up 'going green' efforts

By Zheng Yiran in Beijing and Yuan Hui in Hohot | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-13 09:30
An employee mixes ore at a steel plant of Baogang Group in Baotou, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua ]

Steel giant Baotou Iron and Steel Group (Baogang Group) is ramping up efforts to expand its thriving business operations in a greener way.

The green design standards for rare earth steel and two other green products, developed by Baogang Group, were officially adopted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently.

For its efforts in ecological construction, the conglomerate was included in the first batch of pilot ecological enterprises by the ministry.

"A green path is the road we must take toward the nation's ecological civilization construction," said an official responsible for environmental protection at the ministry's department of Energy Saving and Comprehensive Use.

"We focus on the whole life cycle of products when judging whether an enterprise is ecological. All related processes, including raw material procurement, the whole manufacturing process and pollutant emission, should be carefully considered.

"From 2015, we launched two batches of pilot ecological enterprises, with Baogang Group among them. Baogang Group, as a raw material enterprise, is serving as a great example in environmental protection," he said.

Aimed at saving energy and reducing carbon emissions, the group established its environment management mechanism and set up an environment monitoring center, to reinforce the internal supervision on the region's environmental protection undertakings.

In recent years, the company has invested more than 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) in a series of environmental governance programs, and has received positive results. Compared with 2014, the sulfur dioxide and ammonia emissions from producing a metric ton of steel dropped 83.93 percent and 91.54 percent respectively.

In addition, the environmental quality of the company's factory area has been improving in the past few years thanks to the launch of several afforestation construction projects. The greenery coverage rate of the group's plant area is now 46.45 percent, with the vegetation coverage over its tailings dam amounting to more than 600,000 square meters.

According to Jing Yinong, deputy director of the ecological design office of Baogang, the company has built an online Life Cycle Assessment platform, conducting realtime tracking of the whole manufacturing process of products, in order to cut down pollutant emissions.

"From 2014, our accumulative energy consumption per ton of steel decreased by 7 percent," Jing said.

Shi Hongwei, director of the China Steel Development and Research Institute, noted that as the concept of ecological environment was underscored by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, green ecology is crucial in evaluating a steel enterprise.

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