From 29 July to 6 August, a Chinese delegation including 10 decision makers from all levels of government and industry visited the Cities of Graz and Hanover to get a vivid impression how Ecoprofit works in practice. The visit was organised in the framework of the "Pilot Project in Panzhihua for the Implementation of ECOPROFIT in China" funded by Asia Urbs Programme of the European Commission.
In Graz the visit was organised by the Clean Production Center Austria on behalf of the City. Besides introductory lectures about Ecoprofit® as well as sustainable economic and urban development the stay included a number of visits to companies reaching from the waste disposal and recycling company to the casualty hospital and large companies like Siemens transportation systems.
It was a perfect demonstration of the interaction between the Cities administration and the local industries for the successful implementation of Ecoprofit®. All Ecoprofit® enterprises were able to reduce their costs and environmental impacts to a minimum by changing their production processes and/or new investments – a win win situation for the enterprises and the environment. A final reception by the Mayor concluded the visit before the delegation travelled to Hanover to continue their tour with another few days densely filled with an interesting programme.
Since Hanover has used Ecoprofit® approach to motivate enterprises to actively participate in the Local Agenda 21, it was the Agenda 21 office which was in charge of the organisation. Following a reception by the Deputy Mayoress at the town hall and introductory lectures about Local Agenda 21 and the Ecoprofit® cooperation in Hanover, the visitors were taken on a two days' tour including a number of company visits including the City Zoo and TUI as tourism service provider.
In addition, the excursions included latest urban developments like the Expo Site and the Kronsberg residential area. One of the key topics addressed in Hanover was water management and saving profiting from the involvement of the newly founded Hanover Competence Centre for Water Management. Renewable energy use with a focus on solar and wind energy appliances was another issue that raised the specific interest of the guests from China.
After nine days full of interesting information the delegation returned to China. With the support from Graz and Hanover Chinese Cities expect to get a grip on their environmental problems by developing the necessary competence for the implementation of Ecoprofit®. An important next step will be the training of 15 Chinese specialists at the Ecoprofit® Academy in Graz starting in October.
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