Mayors from China’s Tianjin municipality kicked off a two-week visit to Denmark this week, seeking inspiration on how to balance growing populations and financial ambitions while protecting the environment.
By the end of the trip, a total of 100 Chinese mayors will have undertaken Grundfos’ Sustainable Development & Energy Saving Training Program since the first delegation arrived in late 2015.
“Tianjin is on its way to build up an eco-civilization environment. We encounter an environmental challenge in energy, water, air, etc. I am expecting a great training course in Denmark which I could take home a lot of knowledges as well as best practices,” says We Wang, Vice Mayor of Tianjin Municipality’s Nankai District, which has a population of over 1 million.
The mayors from Tianjin, one of four municipalities directly under China’s central government, will visit Danish public authorities and companies, including Grundfos in Bjerringbro, coupled with classroom training at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) north of Copenhagen.
“By 2050, more than 50% of the world's population will live in cities, and especially in China, this development is rapid. This brings many challenges in terms of access to energy, clean water and clean air – areas in which Danish research and Danish companies like Grundfos are strong. The purpose of this program is to inspire each other to create more environmentally friendly, habitable and prosperous cities, and after three years of training, we can see a clear gain in closer contact with Chinese authorities,” says Philip John Binning, Senior Vice President, Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs at DTU.
Committed to green growth
For Grundfos, passing the 100-mark is an occasion to reflect on a successful engagement with China’s large urban areas.
“We have a significant presence in China and remain committed to promoting green growth as part of this vast country’s urbanization process. Reaching 100 mayors in three years proves the program’s relevance and testifies the Chinese willingness to seek out the best possible solutions for a prosperous, sustainable future. We look forward to building on this success,” says Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Group Vice President, Grundfos.
The training program for Chinese mayors has been developed in a partnership between China Association of Mayors and Grundfos with support from a range of stakeholders including Technical University Denmark (DTU), Tsinghua University and State of Green.
Photo by Lars Møller