China’s Race To Carbon Neutrality: Forum Highlights

To help participants understand China’s Path to 2060 Carbon Neutrality, on April 21st, 2021 we invited Jia Li, Associate Professor at the China-UK Low Carbon College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tong Fun and Peter Chen from CBRE, and Sunny Wang from Interface to speak to The Collective about their vision for the path forward.

Neutrality will take a Collective Effort:

With over 15 years in the research field on Carbon Capture and Storage (the “CCS”), and as the lead author for China’s National Action Plan for Climate Change 2021 on CCS, we were honored to have Professor Jia Li. kick off our event.

While more than 130 countries have announced their carbon neutrality goals, Professor Li reminded the audience that regardless of China’s own neutrality goal, reducing the risks of run away climate change was a collective effort.

Specific to China, as a scientist focused on carbon capture and sequestration, she spoke to the recent activity to explore four different ways for capturing carbon: Biomass carbon capture and storage, Direct air capture, Afforestation, and Ocean Storage.

Each of which have seen a lot of investment, are seeing some progress in R&D, but none of which are “the solution” to manage carbon emissions as each has their own limitations or technical difficulties.  However, she believes that as economic growth plateaus, the opportunities for business will grow quickly as investments in R&D are commercialized, and scaled, across China.

UK China Carbon

“Building Sustainability”
Representing CBRE, a global real estate consulting firm, Fun Tong and Peter Chen spoke to the linkage between sustainability and real estate, be it the design, construction, or ongoing operation of commercial, residential, or industrial buildings.

For them, the goal of decarbonization is to build, and operate, buildings that are energy efficient, and with many of the incentives in those areas not aligned with energy efficiency, or the wider umbrella of sustainability, they believe the movement will start with individual consumers and tenant pushing the industry to do better.


Climbing “Mount Sustainability”
Sunny started the presentation by sharing Interface’s history of sustainable leadership, which dates back to 1994, when the founder, Ray Anderson, recognized the environmental impact of their flooring products could mainly be traced back to the raw materials.

Starting with the “Mission Zero” strategy, their goal to eliminate any negative impact Interface may have on the environment by 2020. Interface has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 96% and product carbon footprint by 100% at all of its facilities.

To help crystalize some of the key lessons and milestones, Sunny also introduced some of their key projects, including Net-Works, a program where Interface purchases discarded fishing nets from fishing communities and turns them into material for making carpet.

Wrapping up:

After the presentations, a lively discussed between speakers and the audience took place, with participants also sharing their own sustainable business practices.

For those who were not able to join us, we invite you to watch the video below, to learn more from the speakers.

Once again, thank you to our speakers, sponsors, and participants for a fantastic event.

Upcoming Events:

Following this event, on May 19 we will be hosting a panel discussion on “Powering Sustainability” where representatives from leading solar panel, battery, and electric vehicle manufacturers will share their experience and insights into the opportunities they are seeing.

Click here to learn more, or go to our calendar to see all of our upcoming events.

Should you wish to learn more, please send us an email to [email protected].

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