US-China Greener Consumption Forum, a Successful Event
The US-China Greener Consumption Forum held on March 22 at the World Bank was a tremendous success. Around 150 green leaders, women entrepreneurs and green consumption specialists from both the US and China shared experiences, exchanged new ideas, and discussed possible partnerships. It was the first time concerned green consumption advocates from the world’s two largest consumption countries gathered together to address common issues and discussed collaboration.
Lisa Jackson, who recently left her post as EPA’s Administrator, delivered the luncheon keynote address. She applauded the women from the US and China who have joined hands to discuss this fundamental issue. She acknowledged the need to reduce consumption and produce products in a more sustainable way as an integral strategy for reducing pollution and reversing climate change. She also mentioned some of the highlights of her tenure: expanding the Community Right to Know Act, establishing standards to double vehicle fuel efficiency by 2025, and distributing air quality monitoring equipment in Shanghai.
There were seven plenary speeches and panels and six workshops in the Forum. Leaders from Green Seal, ENERGY STAR, Shaanxi Women’s Federation , Heilongjiang Women Entrepreneurs Association, Millennium Institute, UN Women, Earth Day Network, Heinrich Boell Foundation , and Worldwatch shared their activities, experiences and best practices. Advocacy groups such as Meatless Monday, Center for a New American Dream, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Top Ten USA, Heilongjian Province Agriculture, Science and Technology , Ankang City Women’s Union talked about their successful campaigns to promote greener consumption. Companies like Xingan Tower Organic Food Company, Advanced Energy Growing, Au Naturale Organic Cosmetics, Skincando, Karmalades, and Yichun Shenhui Real Estate Company described their experiences introducing innovative green products to the marketplace.
The enthusiasm for this event far surpassed our expectations; the final session, in which members of the audience expressed their ideas for moving forward, was particularly exciting. People commented that It was a resourceful and great conference that produced a channel for women CEOs in the US and China to communicate and share their successful experiences and concerns about the greener economy. Participants from the US were impressed by Chinese women’s engagement in biomass energy development. Some commented that this really has got them thinking differently about what is possible and has put a human face on China. Companies and groups to advance green consumption are still quite small in both countries; all participants agreed that we need a platform like the Forum to support and inspire each other, enlarge voices, eventually empower the public and make real changes.
The event was co-organized by IFCE, Big Green Purse, and the Green China Consumption Union with support from UN Women, Heinrich Boell Foundation and Chinese Staff Association in the World Bank and IMF. Other supporting groups included Earth Day Network, Worldwatch Institute, EcoMom Alliance, LOHAS Institute, Chinese Women Activity Center, Shaanxi Women’s Federation, Heilongjiang Women Entrepreneurs Association, Yichun City, China, Top Ten USA, Green Seal , Live Green, EcoWomen, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Ashoka, Greennovate.
The organizers also want to thank for all volunteers who made significant contribution to ensure the event with extremely tight schedule was operated smoothly.
A group photo for some attendees