Fang Qiuchen: The right guidance matters

Chairman of the China International Contractors Association details the CHINCA guidelines that are helping to improve the environmental impact of infrastructure delivery.

China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) and its 1,500 member contractors and investors, are increasingly committed to environmental sustainability, including stronger collective action to support climate change mitigation and adaptation, recognizing this as essential in a world of finite natural resources.

Over the past decade, CHINCA has issued two pivotal guidelines—the CSR Guidelines, issued in 2010 and Guidelines for Sustainable Infrastructure Projects issued in 2012. The Guidelines offered an operative road map that combines key international standards and industry advocacies, to elevate Chinese contractors’ CSR awareness, management, and overall performances. The Guidelines enable companies to better manage project risks as well as improve environmental performance, consistent with good international practices.

Guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility for Chinese International Contractors(Version 2.0)

In the environmental section, companies are guided to focus on environmental responsibility throughout the project life cycle, with four sub-topics: Waste and pollution reduction, Resource management and comprehensive utilization, Ecological protection, Climate change mitigation and adaptation. The content highlights buzzing environmental issues such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, ecological safety, etc; emphasizes environmental management and performance transparency and the protection, restoration and compensation of the ecological environment in all aspects.

Guidelines of Sustainable Infrastructure for Chinese International Contractors (SIG)

The environmental sustainability guidelines section guides enterprises to focus on ecological protection in six areas, GHG Emission Reduction, Pollution Control, Species Protection, Ecosystem Management, Marine Environment Protection, and Sustainable Use and Protection of Resources to guide companies companies to establish sound environmental protection systems and continuously implement, monitor and improve them.

Appraisal systems for best practices in CSR and sustainable infrastructure projects has been developed. Some projects clearly exhibit a good balance between the infrastructure itself and environmental quality.

Yan Oya Reservoir Project, Sri Lanka

  • When selecting the area for the dam site, the project team has taken advices from Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation, separating the construction site away from the habitat of wild elephants in the Yan Oya, and the impact on wildlife was minimized by establishing construction impact buffer belts and isolation zones, and building ecological corridors, etc.

National Highway No. 1 Project, Congo

  • In Brazzaville, National Highway No. 1 Project passes through Mayombe virgin forest, which is known as a world nature reserve. In the face of stringent environmental protection requirements, the project team surveyed in an environment full of snakes and insects to to accurately locate the boundary red line, only three trees hacked away for every 1,000m2, set up a vetiver cultivation base to the environment to preserve soil water and stabilize the slopes. Project construction respected the nature, trying to make the road a harmonious natural element of the environment, with minimized footprint and negative impacts on the local ecological system.

Karot Hydropower Project, Pakistan

  • It combines the use of radial sedimentation tank with mechanical de-watering technique to achieve 90% wastewater recovery from the sand-rock mixture process, minimizing any negative impacts of the project on local environment.

CHINCA has been working extensively with UN organizations including UNEP, UNDP, UN Global Compact, UNIDO and UNICEF. Other close partners also include  financial institutions and international development agencies such as GIZ, to hold workshops and interchanges.

The World Environment Day is the voice of environment, calling us, the infrastructure industry, to act as catalyst, advocator, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.