The EVMT PRD Orientation Study Trip was a 3-day trip with the theme “Manufacturing Industry in PRD: Environmental Problems and Green Production.” The trip was a fruitful, informative and enjoyable experience. The schedule was packed with valuable visits to a wide variety of firms in different industries, ranging from national to local. Through these hands-on experiences, I have learnt a lot about sustainability, including how companies tackle the fast-changing business and regulatory environment, and how technology helps to reduce pollutants while improving productivity. Knowledge on both management and technical areas are very useful in our further studies. Finally, we also got a great chance to meet our classmates before starting the semester.
In this 3-day PRD trip we visited a total of 5 institutes, exploring how they deal with the environmental issues as well as their facilities.
On Day 1, we visited two firms in Guangzhou, the GAC Toyota Motor Co. Ltd (Fig. 1) and Guangzhou Liby Enterprise Group Co., Ltd.
On Day 2, we visited Golden Cup Printing Co., Ltd. (Fig. 2) in the morning and Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Technology Center (Fig. 3) in the evening.
On Day 3 we visited the Karrie Group, both the amusement park and factories. (Fig. 4,5,6)
All the visits were valuable and informative, and in the following I would mention a few visits that I found most interesting.
Firstly, GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd is an automobile manufacturing company joint-venture between a Chinese and Japanese company. Led by a representative of the firm, we visited one of the Assembly Workshops, observing procedures of manufacturing and testing an automobile. It was my first time entering a massive plant, and it was interesting, just like watching an updated version of Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin. I was impressed by how effective the production lines are, where one car can be produced every minute. The way they try to improve their working conditions by involving the recommendations from frontline workers was also impressive. Staff are required to submit proposals regularly for ways to improve working efficiency. Shortly after, there was a visit to the ECO-Pavilion, where the company strategies on protecting the environment were displayed. Although we could only see pictures of facilities instead of the real ones, through the guides and descriptions in the showroom, I gained a better understanding of how they try to help.
Secondly, Golden Cup Printing Co. Ltd. is a Hong Kong-found firm that provides printing services to customers locally and worldwide. We had a reflective and informative visit there. We first attended a briefing session that introduced the company background, followed by a site visit to the production sites. The representative of the firm told us about many state-of-the-art printing technologies as well as other measures that help with reducing pollutants during their production. The sharing has also given me insights into environmental issues from a business point of view. When we asked what motivates them to keep on improving the firm to become more environmental friendly and sustainable, she said that green and advanced technologies benefit their company in many ways. Besides satisfying the environmental regulations from the Centre government, they could also uphold their reputation in the public, leading them to higher revenue and influence. However, she also mentioned that even though they care about the environment, they still need to consider the business factors, as in most cases, green technology requires large investments. They will always watch for the pay-back time of investing in a recent technology or equipment before adopting a new technology.
For their key of success as a pioneer in Green Business, the representative commented that it was a coincidence for them in their early stage of development. The founding person of the firm is an engineer himself and was eager to try innovative technology that can improve productivity. These technology and equipment turned out to be their first approach to take up environmental responsibility, making them ahead of their competitors in green business. Similar concepts were also mentioned in our visit to the Karrie Group on our last day of trip. The founding person of the group mentioned that he has a far-sighted mindset and willingness to serve the community. That is why he initiated the construction of the first Sewage Treatment Center of the company around the local area. This facility has become one of the advanced assets in the company environment policy. These suggest that the mindset and perspicacity of the leader have a big correlation to the company’s success.
I have not been to Mainland China for the past 5 years, and I am surprised by how the place has changed, especially its traffic. Instead of the long bumpy bus ride I experienced before, the journey we had this time on highways were smooth and pleasant. In addition, there were far more cars on the road than before, causing traffic jams that is comparable to those in Hong Kong during rush hours. And I observed numerous cargo trucks on the road. Turns out that the Port of Shenzhen has already become one of the busiest and fastest growing container ports in the world in just half a decade, even surpassing the Port of Hong Kong. The rapid development they had in urbanization and economics is amazing. Perhaps despite the imperfection and room for improvement, China does deserve a round of applause for its determination and efficiency in improving its cities.
Overall this trip was rewarding and memorable. I now have a better idea about the development of the manufacturing industry in the PRD as well as its strategies in coping with the fast-changing environment.