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US firm eyes huge market in China's energy saving drive
Updated: 2008-05-19 16:13

China could see the rise of a market that worth tens of billions dollars by just changing the way of managing its office buildings, according to executives from a leading US environmental technology company.

Chairman and CEO Stephen Roell of Johnson Controls Inc told Xinhua in a recent interview that the American company has seen a huge potential of business growth in China, which is now the world's second largest market of building management and air conditioning.

It will become the top one in the next few years, he said.

As early as in late April, Johnson Controls tried to introduce the idea of enhancing cost competitiveness through higher energy efficiency to Chinese companies. It found that many Chinese companies are now facing similar challenges as their US counterparts were.

Surging oil and commodity prices, revised laws on labor and environment and growing public opinion on corporate responsibility have forced Chinese companies to rethink their way of growth.

Roell said Chinese companies had fortunately started with an advantage of low cost. However, as companies in many other countries are regarding higher energy efficiency as an effective way to maintain profit levels and lower cost, Chinese companies will inevitably make the same choice in the long run.

As China's investors now focus on projects of higher growth, international capital market are channeling fund to projects of lower cost. Therefore, China is at the threshold of shifting to a more efficient and environmental friendly pattern of growth.

In the past few years, Johnson Controls has taken part in pioneering projects on building energy efficiency in China. It is a supplier of green building solutions for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Its environment-friendly refrigerant solutions have been used in the Beijing Olympic Tower and 11 other venues and facilities across China.

"A lot of money can be saved by just changing the way how your office building is operated," said David Myers, vice president and president of building efficiency operations of Johnson Controls.

Considering the relatively higher energy cost, the size of the China market and the future growth of the China economy, the savings can be made through improving energy efficiency will be huge, said Myers.

"I think the potential of the China market is limitless," Roell said. Noting that China will not stop investment in economic growth for the pressure of the environment, he added his company will focus on helping these investment become more efficient.

Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based company specialized in energy efficiency for buildings, automobiles, trains and sea vessels, co-sponsored the China Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Forum in Beijing in April.

The two-day forum, under the auspice of the Clean Development Mechanism Fund under the Chinese Ministry of Finance, attracted hundreds of government officials, entrepreneurs and experts and scholars.

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