One of China's leading paper makers has released a
groundbreaking environmental report that clearly shows how a major
polluter such as the paper industry can protect the environment and
still make a profit.
Sina Mars Group-APP China, the country's largest paper-making
enterprise, published an environmental and resources report, a
first for the industry, the People's Daily reported on January
The report summarizes the experiences and achievements of the
enterprise over the past 10 years, its usage of resources, the
efforts it has made to protect the environment, and the current
state of environmental protection in the paper industry.
The industry is one of the biggest polluters in China, the
In 2004, the country's total volume of wastewater discharged was
22.11 billion tons, 14.4 percent of which came from the
paper-making industry, second only to the chemical industry.
Calculated on the basis of the COD (chemical oxygen demand) Index,
the total discharge was 5.097 million tons and the paper industry
ranked first with a share of 33 percent.
Although there are more than 3,000 paper-making enterprises in
China, the pollution mainly comes from medium- and small-sized
enterprises, the report said, pointing out that although large
companies account for 40 percent of total output, they contribute
less than 10 percent of the COD discharge volume.
For example, the annual output of the Shandong Chenming Group
was 2.6 million tons in 2004, yet its COD discharge volume was only
15,000 tons, or 17 percent of the industry average. Output of Sina
Mars Group-APP China exceeded 5 million tons, but its COD discharge
volume of 5,200 tons was only 3 percent of the industry
According to the State Environmental Protection Administration's
(SEPA) 2004 annual
report, for China's 41 industries, the average COD discharge volume
is 11.6 kilograms per 10,000 yuan of output. Yet, the figure for
Jiangsu Gold East Paper, part of the APP group, was only
0.93kg/10,000 yuan, far below the levels of the textile,
agricultural products, food, medicine and beverage producing
Gold East Paper started operations in 1999 and is the largest
single art printing paper producer in the world. Since its
establishment, the enterprise has invested 900 million yuan in
environmental protection facilities. In 2004, its wastewater
discharge volume stood at only 7.86 cubic meters per ton of paper
making, only 13 percent of the country's permitted standard (60
cubic meters), while the COD discharge volume only reached 7.5
percent of permissible levels. Processed wastewater is used for
industrial fire fighting, dust control, forestation and irrigation,
with an internal recycling usage rate of 95 percent. The enterprise
has made a direct profit of more than 100 million yuan from such
energy saving and recycling measures.
The report concluded that the paper industry can still realize a
win-win situation in balancing profit with environmental protection
if it manages resource utilization.
(China.org.cn by Li Jingrong, January 29, 2006)