Steel giant plans to carry out its expansion using environmentally friendly standards
Steel giant Baotou Iron and Steel Group (Baogang Group) is ramping up efforts to expand its thriving business operations in a greener way.
The green design standards for rare earth steel and two other green products, developed by Baogang Group, were officially adopted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently.
For its efforts in ecological construction, the conglomerate was included in the first group of pilot ecological enterprises by the ministry.
An employee mixes ore at a Baogang Group steel plant in Baotou in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Zhang Ling / Xinhua
"A green path is the road we must take toward the nation's ecological civilization construction," says an official responsible for environmental protection at the ministry's Department of Energy Saving and Comprehensive Use.
"We focus on the whole life cycle of products when judging whether an enterprise is ecological. All related processes, including raw material procurement, the whole manufacturing process and pollutant emission, should be carefully considered.
"Since 2015, we have launched two groups of pilot ecological enterprises, with Baogang Group among them. Baogang Group, as a raw material enterprise, is serving as a great example in environmental protection," he says.
Aiming to save energy and reduce carbon emissions, the group established an environmental management mechanism and set up an monitoring center to reinforce the internal supervision of the region's environmental protection undertakings.
In recent years, the company has invested more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion; 1.3 billion euros; ￡1.14 billion) in a series of environmental governance programs and received positive results. Compared with 2014, the sulfur dioxide and ammonia emissions from producing a metric ton of steel dropped by 83.93 percent and 91.54 percent, respectively.
In addition, the environmental quality of the company's factory area has been improving in the past few years, thanks to the launch of several afforestation construction projects. The greenery coverage rate of the group's plant area is now 46.45 percent, with the vegetation coverage over its tailings dam amounting to more than 600,000 square meters.
According to Jing Yinong, deputy director of the ecological design office of Baogang, the company has built an online life cycle assessment platform, conducting real-time tracking of the whole manufacturing process of products, in order to reduce pollutant emissions.
"Since 2014, our accumulative energy consumption per ton of steel decreased by 7 percent," Jing says.
Shi Hongwei, director of the China Steel Development and Research Institute, said that since the concept of ecological environment was underscored by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, green ecology is crucial in evaluating a steel enterprise