News One: Unilever Becomes 1st Foreign Firm to Plant Trees in Three Gorges Area
Monday, August 14, 2000, updated at 17:11(GMT+8)
Unilever Becomes 1st Foreign Firm to Plant Trees in Three Gorges Area
Hundreds of local villagers in southwest China's Chongqing City braved heavy rains last Saturday to attend a ceremony for the start of a tree-planting progrom funded by Unilever, the world's largest manufacturer of daily necessities from Europe.
Unilever is the first international company to plant trees in the Three Gorges area in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, where the mammoth Three Gorges Hydraulic Project is located.
At the ceremony, Unilever (China) Co., Ltd. donated 100,000 yuan to the local government for planting 20,000 trees covering 40 ha. in Kaixian County, Chongqing.
Chen Zhi, a Chongqing government official in charge of environmental protection along the Yangtze River, spoke highly of Unilever's program and welcomed more foreign companies to follow suit.
According to Unilever sources, the tree-planting project in the Three Gorges is merely a small part of its five-year environmental program launched this June, known as the "Unilever Living Environment Initiative: Clean Water and Green Mountains for China".
In 2000, the first year for the five-year program, Unilever will donate seven million yuan to plant 500,000 trees across the country.
Kaixian, 83 km away from the Yangtze River, will have a big part of its land submerged under water once the Three Gorges Project is completed by 2009. More than 100,000 of local residents will be relocated, accounting for one-tenth of the total to be resettled by the dam project.
Since the launching of the Three Gorges Project in 1993, China's central and local governments have attached great importance to the environmental protection in the Three Gorges area. A series of polices and substantial measures have been adopted to deal with the issue.
Meanwhile, efforts have been made to create greater publicity among local people about the importance of environmental protection.
In Kaixian, many primary school students are familiar with this slogan: Never Forget Environmental Protect While Promoting Cultural and Ethic Progress.
News Two: Pollution by foreign companies comes to attention of China government
Pollution by foreign companies comes to attention of China government
www.chinaview.cn 2007-09-17 15:45:04 Print
BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Unilever China and the China branch of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., the only two foreign-funded companies selected for a random environmental inspection by China earlier this year were found to have discharged wastewater higher than legal limits.
"We are surprised to find both companies had environmental pollution problems since they were the only two foreign companies selected at random for the inspection," said Ren Longjiang, an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).
"Environmental pollution caused by some foreign-funded companies has come to the attention of SEPA and we will strengthen our supervision," Ren said.
On May 24, a SEPA inspection team found Unilever China in Hefei, Anhui Province, part of the multinational group that produces of soap, shampoo and other cleaners, had discharged wastewater with a chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of organic pollutants, of 379 mg per litre, higher than the legal limit of 330 mg/L.
The company was fined 100,000 yuan and ordered to reduce its production so as to discharge less wastewater. Unilever has also paid fees of 47,136 yuan for excessive discharges.
It also improved its wastewater treatment and installed the CODdetectors, which are awaiting for final examination by the SEPA's special inspection team.
During the same inspection, the China branch of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., also located in Hefei, was found to have discharged wastewater with PH values -- the measure of acidity of alkalinity content -- exceeding the legal limit.
"Every company is equal before China's environmental protection regulations, and anyone who violates regulations must shoulder their responsibilities," said the SEPA official Ren Longjiang.
Editor: Song Shutao