The US BCSD has extended its efforts beyond U.S. borders as one of six groups nationwide participating in the US Department of State’s U.S.-China EcoPartnerships Program. This EcoPartnership, which strengthens an existing bi-national partnership between the US BCSD and China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD), will tackle energy and environmental challenges facing both countries.
Hebei By-Product Synergy Project
The US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and the China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) initiated a Hebei By-Product Synergy (BPS) Project under the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue’s EcoPartnership program in May 2012. This project will produce cross-industry material reuse opportunities that ultimately bring a circular economy network to the Hebei region in China through the matching of wastes and under-valued resources at one facility with potential users at other facilities.
The project team has identified Tangshan and Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province as optimal locations based on government support, potential for strong industry participation, and community need. Hebei DRC has asked the project team specifically to include the Caofeidian district in Tangshan, which is designated as a circular economy pilot district with plentiful existing favorable policies. A number of CBCSD and US BCSD member companies have operations in the region and are encouraged to participate.
The US BCSD and CBCSD have modified the traditional BPS process to address China’s cultural and regional energy efficiency and climate change challenges. The modified process addresses the the unique governmental structure in China and and cultural barriers between the US and China. By working together to share cross-industry knowledge and capabilities, network members realize a number of benefits through by-product synergy, including increased revenue from by-products, reduction in waste disposal costs, substitution of lower-cost and locally sourced recycled feedstocks, reduction in energy use and life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulation of entrepreneurship and economic development.
The synergy team has received strong interest in the BPS project from the Hebei Development and Reform Commission (DRC), the provincial governmental body responsible for sustainable development policy, projects, and finance. Hebei DRC is positioned to encourage the target of 30-40 businesses to participate in our project. The project team has also expanded to include the China Energy Team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Yale University Center for Industrial Ecology.
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The EcoPartnerships program brings together Chinese and U.S. entities from the public, private, and civic sectors to create mutual economic and environmental benefits. EcoPartnerships are established to advance energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability, and address climate change, by encouraging voluntary, cooperative partnerships at the sub-national level.
For a more complete description of the policies and procedures of the EcoPartnerships program, please visit the State Department’s website at ecopartnerships.gov.