Between 22 June and 2 July 2005 a group of experts from ICLEI member cities Graz and Hannover paid another visit to the Chinese project partner City of Panzhihua in order to screen companies selected to take part in the first implementation phase for Ecoprofit. These experts were accompanied by consultants from CPC Austria, STENUM Consultants and ICLEI.
Intensive visits were made over a three-day period to nine companies under the lead of Dr. Thomas Dielacher from STENUM and Silvia Hesse, responsible for the Ecoprofit® project in Hanover, together with the Chinese partners preparing to become Ecoprofit® consultants.
The nine companies that have been selected as pilot enterprises are diverse in their size, their branches, as well as their technological and environmental standards – including amongst others a brewery, several companies for processing and recycling metallurgical material, a cold-rolling plant, as well as a smaller equipment repair plant for heavy machinery.
Despite the challenges provided by this variety the experts managed to identify options for action to achieve environmental improvements and economic savings in each of the companies. However, not all of them will be easy to implement.
Experiences in Graz and Hanover have shown that the success of Ecoprofit® very much depends on the information flow and the motivation of employees in the enterprises to get actively engaged. Therefore the European consultants were pleased to find information on the Ecoprofit® pilot project on public company noticeboards and internal company newspapers.
After their return to Europe the experts will provide a detailed report to the Chinese partners and the enterprise to enable them to choose the most feasible options for implementation within the next few months. Since the final workshop and company awarding event is scheduled for early December, another intense working phase for all partner and companies has commenced.
The Chinese partners and Ecoprofit® consultants will return to Europe for a second intensive training period. Also, the experts from STENUM will visit Panzhihua again in order to guide the consultants and the companies through the planning and implementation of the priority measures.
In addition to the intense work with the companies, project meetings were held in order to plan the final stages of the project and to discuss perspectives on the future of Ecoprofit® in China. Short meetings with other partners and contacts in Chengdu and Beijing completed the trip. As always the European visitors were deeply impressed by the hospitality and perfect organisation of the friends and hosts in Panzhihua, Chengdu and Beijing.