Photo: Secretary Jiang Hongkun of the Suzhou Municipal Committee (left) and Secretary Hong Yinxing of the Nanjing University Committee unveil the 2nd EHS Academy.
ISC has partnered with Nanjing University, the Chinese and U.S. governments, GE and Walmart Foundations, and companies such as Alcoa and ADIDAS to launch the second Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Academy in China’s Jiangsu Province.
Global supply chain demands and China’s push for growth have outpaced the ability of many Chinese factories to protect their workers’ health and safety, or the environment. The new EHS Academy—housed at Nanjing University—will tackle EHS issues and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Yangtze River Delta, a primary hub of the international supply chain.
To meet the rigorous 18% carbon intensity reduction targets mandated by China’s new 5-year plan, factories—particularly small- and medium-sized operations—will have to aggressively tackle EHS problems. ISC has found that the single largest barrier to EHS compliance was a lack of trained factory managers with the skills to address EHS priorities.
The EHS Academy fills this capacity gap by developing a professional field of qualified managers who can improve EHS performance in their individual factories.
Customized, intensive training programs teach Chinese factory managers how to apply international best practices in EHS management, decrease workplace injuries, effectively measure and lower energy consumption, and reduce greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions. Once part of the problem, factory managers are now becoming part of the solution.
The Jiangsu Academy builds on the success of ISC’s EHS Academy at Sun Yat-sen University’s Lingnan Collage, where 3,500 factory managers have already been trained. Once both Academies are fully operational, they will train more than 4,000 managers every year.
ISC and its partners have also worked with the Chinese government to develop a professional EHS certification protocol, which will be implemented nationally in 2011.
These efforts are literally transforming the way Chinese companies view and grapple with environmental health and safety issues, altering the way the Chinese government itself looks at EHS issues, and measurably reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their numerous adverse effects on both the planet and its inhabitants.