With 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world located in China, the rapidly industrializing nation has realized that, in order to sustain the physical health of its people, it will need to make significant changes in its environmental policies. China is the world’s largest source of the carbon emissions, which contribute to the formation of the harmful greenhouse gasses driving climate change. In addition, the associated economic costs of its headlong industrialization have become more and more clear. In one recent year alone, China lost about one-tenth of its gross national income due to deterioration of its natural environment.
Asia Symbol, doing business in Shandong and Guangdong, operates one of the world’s largest production facilities for pulp and paper. The company is one of the brands under the $15 billion RGE Group headed by Sukanto Tanoto, an Indonesian entrepreneur who honors his family’s Chinese heritage by giving back to the communities in China in which he does business. As part of Mr. Tanoto’s corporate philosophy of doing good for the company, the country, and the community, his Asia Symbol brand has sponsored a variety of philanthropic initiatives.
This community spirit recently united with China’s increasing focus on environmental awareness through the RGE National Children’s Environmental Protection Art Competition. In November 2014, RGE sponsored an awards ceremony to recognize the students whose creative art projects best highlighted the year’s theme of fostering environmentally friendly behavior.
RGE organized the awards presentation in collaboration with China’s Center for Environmental Education and Communications and China Youth International.
As the culmination of roughly a quarter year of competition, the November event showcased the best work from among some 10,000 entries submitted from 24 provinces. Students from primary school to high school received prizes at several levels, with special awards going to those whose work was selected in an online public poll. Filled with colorful presentations on environmental topics, the ceremony offered the additional benefit of strengthening the young participants’ commitment to ensuring a more beautiful and healthier China.