regional initiatives on promoting cleaner production in china: a case of liaoning

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    Regional initiative

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    lopings, is noengesdustrient, enfuturew suome th

    early effort, Zhang introduced Chinas rst national cleanerproduction initiatives and analyzed the related policy mechanismby considering regulation, economic incentive, social pressure and

    Changzhou city and Nantong city. Their ndings show us thatineffective vertical control, weak inter-agency coordination, and lackof alignment between CP requirements and the core missions andoperating procedures of implementing agencies have impeded CPimplementation. Practically, many provinces and cities have estab-lished their own cleaner production centers and stipulated theirown regulations in order to promote the implementation of cleanerproduction in their regions. New cleaner technologies are beingtransferred or being incubated by considering the local reality.

    * Corresponding author. Tel.: 86 24 83970371; fax: 86 24 83970372.E-mail addresses: gengyong@iae.ac.cn (Y. Geng), wangxinbei@iae.ac.cn

    (W. Xinbei), zhuqh@dlut.edu.cn (Z. Qinghua), zhaohengxin@iae.ac.cn (Z. Hengxin).1 Tel.: 86 24 83970371; fax: 86 24 83970372.2

    Contents lists availab

    Journal of Clean

    journal homepage: www.els

    Journal of Cleaner Production 18 (2010) 1502e1508Tel.: 86 411 84706018; fax: 86 411 84707331.achieve improvements in resource productivity and eco-efciency(Yuan et al., 2006). Methods, including eco-design, cleanerproduction, eco-industrial development, and green procurement,have been employed across the country (He and Ortolano, 2006).Among them, cleaner production (CP) is one of the most effectivemethods and has been widely promoted. Especially, with theenactment of Cleaner Production Promotion Law in January 2003,the implementation of cleaner production has received moreattention from both governments and industries. For instance, in an

    through a case study in Zhejiang province, Hicks andDietmar (2007)introduced how an environmental management tool, namely envi-ronment-oriented cost management, can effectively promote theimplementation of CP in local industries. Heidi et al. (2005) assessedenergy related cleaner production projects in Taiyuan city from thepoint of view of climate change and integrated assessment. Inaddition, Oliver and Ortolano (2006) studied how city-level cleanerproduction programmes can function for the implementation ofcleaner production by employing a case study approach in both1. Introduction

    China, as the most populous devemost rapidly industrializing countriesupply and waste assimilation challprospect of further rapid urban and incurrent model of economic developmare expected to worsen in the nearstances, China urgently needs a nmodel which has the ability to overc0959-6526/$ e see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd.doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2010.06.028country and one of thew facing many resource(SEPA, 2005). With theal growth under Chinasvironmental conditionse. Under these circum-stainable developmente current dilemma and

    supportive functions (Zhang, 2000). Fang and Cote reviewed theobjectives, strategies and barriers for cleaner production in Chinaand suggested that cleaner production implementation can beassisted by further popularization, policy system improvement,perception and awareness raising and technology innovation (Fangand Cote, 2005). By adopting an analytic hierarchy process (AHP),Shi et al. (2008) examined and prioritized underlying barriers toadoption of cleaner production (CP) by small- and medium-sizedenterprises (SMEs) in China from the perspectives of government,industry and expert stakeholder group. At the regional level,ChinaRegional initiatives on promoting cleane

    Yong Geng a,*, Wang Xinbei a,1, Zhu Qinghua b,2, Zha Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science, Shenyang, Liaoning Provinceb Institute for Eco-Planning and Development, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian,

    a r t i c l e i n f o

    Article history:Received 25 January 2008Received in revised form16 June 2010Accepted 24 June 2010Available online 7 July 2010

    Keywords:Cleaner productionEco-efciency

    a b s t r a c t

    With the increasing enviroregions of China. During tcleaner production. Mainsupport, stipulating appropinitiative is quite unique aa case study of Liaoning pproduction in Liaoning andimprovements. Finally weAll rights reserved.production in China: a case of Liaoning

    Hengxin a,1

    016, PR Chinaning Province 116024, PR China

    ental issues, now cleaner production has been implemented across all theprocess, regional governments have played a leading role for promotingsures include coordinating the various stakeholders, providing nancialte policies and conducting capacity building programs. Such an innovativeshould be further studied. This paper reects such a perspective throughince. We rst introduce the main initiatives for the promotion of cleaneren identify the key barriers. Our focus is to provide suggestions for futureke our conclusions.

    2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    le at ScienceDirect

    er Production

    evier .com/locate/ jc lepro

  • er PrCapacity building activities, such as cleaner production audittraining and relevant education programs, are being undertaken(Geng et al., 2007). However, there is no detailed study on how CPcan be effectively and efciently promoted at the provincial level.With Chinas continuous deregulation approach on environmentalprotection, now the provincial government is playing a leading roleon enforcing the related CP regulations, supervising the imple-mentation of CP, coordinating among different stakeholders, andproviding technical support and capacity building. Thus, it isnecessary to study how a provincial government adopts appropriatepolicies and other innovative measures to encourage the imple-mentation of cleaner production so that the suitable solutions couldbe identied.

    This paper reects such an effort by employing a case studyapproach. The case study region is Liaoning province, one of thelargest heavy industry provinces in Chinawithmany polluting issues.We assume that our analysis outcomes could be useful for otherChinese regions to further continue their cleaner production efforts.

    2. Methodology

    This study has a qualitative nature, rather than quantitative. Thedata and information used to create this paper were derived fromunpublished municipal government reports and published papers,as well as semi-structured interviews with key informants in theprovince. Before the interviews, a brief session and several formalworkshops were hosted by the authors so that the interviewerscould probe respondents for greater clarity in answers andconsistency in relation to the objectives of the questions. Thewholeinvestigation process was administered with the endorsement andsupport of the Liaoning Provincial CP center, which assigneda specic department to be in charge of this project. Responseswere obtained from 35 ofcials out of 48 investigated, providing anoverall response rate of 72.9%. To appreciate the value of ourinvestigation, one needs to understand the general difculties ofadministering survey questionnaires among government ofcialsin China, given the regimes apprehension that investigation resultsmay be used as a basis for criticizing the Chinese government. Also,it is impossible to conduct these surveys without the endorsement,support, and collaboration of the government units concerned.Consequently, such interviews represent a rare opportunity forexamining the attitudes and enforcement styles of CP related of-cials in China, as well as identifying the key barriers for theimplementation of CP. In addition, interviewees were promisedanonymity, and thus interviewee responses have been pooled andin some cases slightly reworded to obscure interviewee identities.We observed no evidence that the leadership in the investigatedunits made any effort to affect the outcomes of the survey, and weexplained clearly both in our brieng that all data were collectedsolely for academic purposes and would remain strictly conden-tial. Thus we can reasonably believe that the responses representthe true opinions of the respondents. Then, on the basis of data andinformation collected, we rst summarize the basic information onCP implementation in Liaoning province and then present theirdetailed measures on promoting cleaner production at theprovincial level. Our focus is to identify their challenges andbarriers on implementing cleaner production and to seek theappropriate solutions. Finally we make our conclusions.

    3. Current implementation of cleaner production in Liaoning

    Liaoning province locates in the south part of northeast China,with a total population of 42.1 million. It has an area of 147,500square kilometers. This province is a natural resource based region,

    Y. Geng et al. / Journal of Cleanwith rich deposits of iron, coal, crude oil, magnesium, gold, copper,and other metals (Liaoning Provincial Government, 2006). It hasbecome one of the largest heavy industry provinces since 1950sand played a key role to support the countrys industrializationprocess. However, with the depleting resources and laggard tech-nologies andmanagement, those heavy industries have become themost severe polluters in the region. Many rivers and the ground-water are contaminated. The surrounding Bohai bay is now one ofthe most polluted seas in the world, with frequent red tides andover-discharged heavy metals. Acid rain, sandstorm, urban noise,and the loss of biodiversity, are also main problems within theprovince. A large amount of complains from the local residentshave showed the public concerns on the ecosystems health(Liaoning Provincial Government, 2006). Thus, the provincialgovernment decided to adopt an integrated approach to solve theproblems. At the micro level, or say the company level, ec