Greening China's supply chains: a blueprint for optimising EE in factories


Major international brands such as Levi Strauss, Adidas, H&M and GAP are incorporating sustainability into their supplier evaluations and are working to raise the capacity of their suppliers on energy efficiency.

In China, many suppliers to global brands have recently participated in programmes on energy efficiency and sustainability.  Yet most factories still lack the capacity to initiate concrete and measurable energy saving actions.  Furthermore, financing energy saving improvements is hindered by lack of baseline data for investment and by the high transaction costs for individual investments.


To work with international brands to implement a comprehensive supplier energy efficiency programme for 20 factories in China; one that can be further scaled up and replicated

Main Activities

  • Conduct a one-day supplier summit to launch the programme, with representatives from 20 factories, major brands and financial institutions
  • Develop tools for suppliers to monitor their energy use and performance indicators (e.g. best-practice checklists, facility scorecards)
  • Hold training workshops on energy management systems, data management and analysis, key energy saving measures, and energy saving action planning
  • Conduct interactive energy audits at typical  factories as a means of hands-on  training 
  • Identify EE projects that can be aggregated for financing based on factory action plans
  • Hold awards ceremony to recognise leading factories for their effort

Expected Impact

  • Increased ability of suppliers measure, track and manage energy data and to secure EE financing
  • Annual estimated 38,000 tonnes of CO2 savings and 50,000 MWh energy savings
  • Community of energy management practitioners established amongst key suppliers, expandable to other suppliers and brands
  • Increased lender interest in financing bundled energy saving projects, and creation of a pipeline of such projects in China’s small medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • Creation of a formal platform uniting brands, suppliers, and financial institutions for increased dialogue and collaborative work on energy efficiency

Related News

Programme sector: 

Energy Efficiency (EE) (Business&Finance)

Stage of project: 





2011 - 2012


€ 155,206 including co-funding from Levi Strauss, adidas Sourcing Limited

Implementing agency: 

Azure International

REEEP grant funded by:

United Kingdom