In 2022, Taiwan Green Mark entered the thirtieth year of its implementation. As Taiwan strove toward net-zero emissions by 2050, a celebration themed Before 30/After 30 was organized by the EPA to demonstrate the fruitful results of the past three decades. Invited to a retrospective on the outstanding accomplishments were those with important roles in the promotion of the Green Mark, such as enterprises that had applied for the Green Mark consecutively for 20 years and members of the review committee. A commitment was made as Taiwan looked forward to the next 30 years and to build a future of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Launched in 1992, the Green Mark centered around the principles of recycling, low pollution, and resource conservation. Since then, enterprises have been designing and making products with the ideas of lowering environmental pollution and resource consumption in mind, consequently providing the option of environment-friendly products for consumers while shopping. According to the EPAs statistics, 80% of the public has purchased Green Mark-certified products, which shows that, for enterprises, the Green Mark not only creates business opportunities but also contributes to carbon reduction.
EPA Deputy Minister Chih-Hsiu Shen noted that net-zero emissions by 2050 is a common goal for the whole world, including Taiwan, and that individuals can create a future of green living just by making small lifestyle changes. This actually aligns with the Green Marks principles, allowing the government and citizens to search for environment-friendly lifestyles together.
As the nation faced the challenges of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, Deputy Minister Shen pointed out that the government has proposed transformation in four areas: industries, energy, lifestyle, and society. Transformation in the area of lifestyle is closely tied to peoples daily life involving food, clothing, housing, transportation, education, entertainment, and shopping. And it is necessary to combine the implementation of the Green Mark in order to practice a truly green lifestyle.
Annual reduction of 100,000 metric tons of carbon thanks to Green Mark
Statistics on the Green Marks environmental benefits in 2021 show that 28.48 million kWhs were saved annually, sufficient to provide electricity of 510,000 households for a month. Use of virgin pulp was lowered by 11.877 kilograms, equivalent to sparing 237,342 trees, which is eight times of the number of trees in Daan Forest Park.
There have been over 20,000 products certified with the Green Mark over the years, according to the EPAs statistics. At the anniversary celebration, invited guests include representatives from four enterprises that have applied for the Green Mark for more than 20 years. One of them was the household cleaning products brand, See Mild Biotech. The company said that, since it obtained the Green Mark, the government has taken the lead in product procurements and assisted in promoting. As a result, it has always enjoyed stable sales with capabilities to continually upgrades their products, which helped in achieving its mission.
Champion, a company that manufactures construction materials, began applying for the Green Mark in 1996. Efforts in researching and developing products made with recycled materials for 14 years have contributed to cutting down emission of 22,700 metric tons of greenhouse gases. Its largest client is the government, which actively supports the use of Green Mark-certified building materials, and well-performing construction companies that use lots of its products in various projects. In recent years, there have been quite a few environmentally conscious consumers.
Finally, CHC Resources, which reuses the steel industry’s byproducts such as slags and blast furnace cement as building materials, elaborated that, by replacing cement, its own products can lower costs as well as emissions because of reduced mining. This is also the reason its products are favored in projects of public constructions and famous buildings. With annual production that reuses 3 million metric tons of slags, the environmental benefit is equivalent to reducing 2.24 million tons of emissions generated from cement production, which is also equivalent to the total carbon absorbed by 5,760 Daan Forest Parks.
Promoting green living via van tours
For the Green Marks 30th anniversary, the EPA has specially outfitted a van with eye-catching designs and had it tour around Taiwan to promote green living with local environmental bureaus. On the van there are easy-to-operate, interactive games that show people how to make simple changes in life and become more environment-friendly, such as replacing single-use items with green products for personal consumption.
Moreover, in December a Roundtable Forum on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Green Mark will be held, with experts and scholars in various fields invited to have in-depth discussion on net zero by 2050 and green living. The public is also welcome to take part, and through all this the EPA hopes to encourage more people to continue doing the right things for the planet and together reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2022
- Ministry of Environment