Weekly Round Up: The Modern Consumer, The 5-Year Plan, & Smart Cities

With so much going on in the realm of sustainability, leadership, and innovation, and only a limited amount of bandwidth for professionals in this space, we have created this weekly post to highlight articles that we feel are (1) important, (2) relevant, and (3) interesting in the areas of business sustainability. If you have an article that you feel needs to be mentioned, please do so in the comments section.

Here comes the modern Chinese consumer

Despite concerns about economic growth, China’s consumers keep spending, but according to survey data from Mckinsey & Co. the future Chinese individuals’ purchasing decisions are changing. Consumers are becoming more selective about where they spend their money, shifting from products to services and from mass to premium segments. They are seeking a more balanced life where health, family, and experiences take priority.

China Contributes 10% of Human Influence on Climate Change

China has overtaken the EU and the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but it is also responsible for a disproportionate amount of the aerosols emitted, some of which have a strong cooling effect. However, with increasing domestic pressure to improve air quality, it is expected aerosol levels will fall and consequently temperatures will warm even faster.

China’s new 5-year plan is out, and it doesn’t sacrifice the environment for the economy

On Wednesday, China released the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which is the first to set a national cap on energy consumption — 5 billion tons of standard coal equivalent for 2020 — as well as offering new visions for energy efficiency and air pollution. If fully implemented, the Plan will set China on a path to a 48 percent reduction in carbon intensity levels by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. 

Smart cities: A solution to urban problems?

As the Chinese government and enterprises are giving ‘Internet Plus’ a full shot, Chinese people are enjoying the convenience brought by technology and innovation. In this piece, Wu, Li and Ma discuss 5 trends that technology will revolutionize the service industry as well as the urban lifestyle in China.

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