About NRDC China Program

For two decades, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been a thought leader and trusted adviser to our partners in China. With a highly effective team of more than 30 people based in our Beijing office, we have worked hard at both the national and local levels to recommend, develop, and help implement innovative laws, policies, technologies, and market tools that conserve natural resources, curb pollution and accelerate China’s transition to a clean, low-carbon economy. NRDC's Beijing Representative Office is registered under the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and supervised by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China. 

Our Victories

  • 2014 – 2015

    Piloted Clean by Design (CBD) in over 30 fabric mills that supply multinational brands, including Target, Gap, Levi’s, H&M, and domestic brands and delivered significant annual reductions of 3 million tons of water, 61,000 tons of coal, and $14.7 million of annual costs, with an average payback period of only 14 months.

  • 2014

    Supported development of China’s Climate Change Response Law by conducting research, completing a study on the U.S. and Mexico’s legal and institutional framework for addressing climate change, and offering expert counsel during the law drafting.

  • 2014

    Helped Shanghai launch China’s first demand response pilot, paving the way for using demand side resources to give the power grid greater flexibility to absorb more renewable energy, reduce peak load, integrate with electric vehicle charging, and reach energy conservation goals for the power and transportation sectors.

  • 2014

    Provided technical support for environmental law amendments including international legislation and best practices of environmental public interest litigation, daily penalties, and pollutant discharge permit systems.

  • 2013-Present

    Launched the Coal Cap Project to engage key Chinese players to develop a national coal consumption cap policy and advocate for its adoption as soon as possible and has published reports in subsequent years.

  • 2013

    Conducted studies on local environmental information disclosure with local partners to identify best practices and challenges of the implementation of The Environmental Information Disclosure Measures policy and provide policy recommendations to advance environmental transparency.

  • 2013

    Was selected as one of six U.S. -China Eco-Partnerships for our collaboration with the Beijing Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Center (BEEC) to support Beijing’s DSM city pilot program.

  • 2009-2015

    Developed the Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) with the Institute of Public & Environment Affairs (IPE) and produced six annual PITI reports. These reports have evaluated public availability of environmental information from 120 Chinese cities and ranked their level of environmental information disclosure on a 100-point scale. The PITI was named one of the top 10 environmental events in China in 2009 by the China Economic Times.

  • 2008

    Worked with Olympic officials and others to make the Beijing Olympic Village a world leader in energy efficiency. The Olympic Village was awarded LEED Gold certification for Neighborhood Development.

  • 2007

    Collaborated with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to hold the first International Demand Side Management (DSM) Forum in China. NDRC recognized Jiangsu Province as a model of EPP work nationwide.

  • 2006

    In cooperation with the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), NRDC provided training on sustainable urban development and Smart Growth to the faculty of the China Central Communist Party School.

  • 2005

    Initiated a multi-year collaboration with Chinese partners to establish the first comprehensive inventory of mercury supply and use in China.

  • 2001

    "Energy and environmental design award" (LEED) is introduced to China, and provide professional advice for China building energy efficiency standards 

  • 1999

    Introduced the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) concept to China and advised on building energy efficiency standards.

  • 1996

    Began working in China on a demonstration project in Chongqing to encourage energy efficiency and cleaner production in the chemical fertilizer industry.

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