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Sustainable development a responsibility for all

Updated: 2013-10-24 21:45
By Jin Haixing and Liu Yiran (

Consumers have their responsibilities and roles in sustainable development by choosing products and retailers with higher sustainability rankings, authorities said on Thursday.

By introducing sustainability standards and measurements to rank producers and suppliers, consumers can make their own choices, said Jia Feng, head of the Center for Environmental Education and Communications, under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

He made the remarks at the Supply China Sustainability Forum in Beijing on Thursday.

"More and more companies want to make sure that the companies they are working with in their supply chains are not only efficient but also responsible," said Kara Hurst, CEO of The Sustainable Consortium, the organizer of the forum.

"TSC is interested in helping them looking at all the environmental issues," Hurst said.

Targeting China's sustainable development hotspots, TSC as a business association seeks partnerships to help companies capture the benefits of becoming more sustainable through lower costs and improved risk-management.

"The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) of China has specific requirements on carbon emissions, energy efficiency and other environmental items. Our research provides solutions to help Chinese enterprises meet the requirements," said Zhou Weidong, TSC's managing director for Greater China. "China is definitely one of the most important international markets for us."

According to the Five-Year Plan, the total retail sales of consumer products will double from 15 trillion yuan in 2010 to 30 trillion yuan in 2015.

The TSC office in China will collaborate with existing members, Chinese academics, and Chinese industry experts to advance sustainable development of the consumer products industry.

Zhou said TSC will localize its products by cooperating with Nanjing University to make sure that their work is relevant to the Chinese market and can be used to help companies find real business benefits in sustainability.

The association also plans to implement a comprehensive sustainability training program for Chinese factory managers.

TSC will also build relationships with Chinese manufacturers and retailers to expand research in other product categories, exchange best practices and knowledge with Chinese stakeholders and gather more regionally specific knowledge about social and environmental issues.