BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's green sector is attracting growing investment from enterprises as the country strives to balance economic development and environmental protection.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed investment in the environmental sector surged 42 percent year on year in the first 11 months of 2018, up 5.3 percentage points from the January-October period.
China National Machinery Industry Corporation Ltd. (Sinomach), a state-owned machinery conglomerate, is targeting green areas such as the production of equipment related with environmental protection and core components of new energy vehicles (NEVs), according to Sinomach general manager Zhang Xiaolun.
"I believe green manufacturing will accelerate the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry, improve its core competency and facilitate its sustainable development," he told a recent forum.
Energy enterprises are also on the move. As China begins exploiting its abundant geothermal resources and clean and sustainable energy, Sinopec Green Energy Geothermal Development Co., Ltd. is expanding its services in the country's urban and rural areas.
The company now provides geothermal heating for an area of around 50 square km, and it aims to increase the area by 100 square km by 2023, according to Chen Menghui, deputy general manager of the company.
"Local governments are very willing to cooperate with us, given the mounting pressure of environmental protection," Chen said, noting that Hebei Province, which neighbors the country's capital Beijing and faces a heavy task in reducing air pollution, is currently the company's biggest market.
The recycling industry is booming, too, with more enterprises investing in transforming waste, including steel, nonferrous metals and plastics, into renewable resources by using new technologies.
Cities like Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou have all seen the emergence of Internet-based recycling. Many big companies have joined the recycling business, with NEV battery giant Tianneng Group making inroads in the regenerated lead industry.
China aggregately recycled 282 million tonnes of waste including steel, nonferrous metals and plastics in 2017, up 11 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The country has launched a full-scale campaign to safeguard clean air, water and soil in recent years, with laws put in place, inspectors mobilized and officials punished for pollution. The push has created plenty of business opportunities.
"China's environmental industry maintained a growth of about 17 percent in 2017, and the growth of the environmental engineering and equipment sector specifically could reach 15 to 30 percent in 2018," said Wu Shunze, director of the environmental and economic policy research center at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
By 2020, sales of major products and equipment related to energy conservation and environmental protection are expected to double their level in 2015, according to a government plan.