Beijing Releases List of Major Corporate Polluters, Energy Consumers

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Aug. 21 –The Beijing Development and Reform Commission has released a list of major water-polluting and energy consuming companies that includes foreign and local brewers, beverage producers and dairy companies in efforts to achieve its aim to fulfill emission and energy-reduction targets mapped out in its 11th five-year plan.

The list was attached to the Notice of Clean Production And Energy Saving Evaluation dated July 27 and set to reform committees, environmental watchdogs at the county level and relevant enterprises, reports Forbes.

It cited 12 companies for water-pollution including famous names such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., Beijing Huiyuan Beverage and Food Group and Tsingtao Brewery. Beijing wants to set an example on how local authorities can convince businesses to cooperate with China’s environment targets to reduce per-unit GDP energy consumption, sulfur dioxide emissions and chemical oxygen demand in water by the end of this year.

Under the list of major energy consumers, authorities named 15 companies that included Foxconn Precision Component (Beijing), Beijing Benz DaimlerChrysler Automobile.

A spokesperson of Beijing Development and Reform Commission, Ma Jing, told China Daily: “If these companies do a little more in cleaner production, they will contribute a lot to the capital’s energy and water saving.” She added, “This is why they are on the list.”

Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola released a statement disputing their inclusion in the list saying that their plants corresponded to strict company and national emission and waste water standards. Xinhua reported that Beijing authorities would later back down and verify that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. did reach standards for waste water emission, although there was room for improvement.

A spokesman with the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau told Xinhua that any enterprises that discharge pollutants to water, whether they reached standards or not, are considered as polluting factories.

According the agency, the 27 companies named in their water pollution and energy consumption list will be under increased supervision to monitor their environmental compliance. The agency did not specify how long the increased monitoring would last before the companies are taken out from the polluter list.

The news of the list comes at a time when China is seeing the repercussions of its years of  lax environmental policies for the sake of industrialization and investment. This month, two smelting plants in Shaanxi Province were shutdown when at least 851 children living near the plants tested positive for lead poisoning.