Invited by the Continuing Education Department of Tsinghua University, Michael C. Mitchell, CEO of MCM Group International, recognized for leading the charge in sustainable, green and low-carbon developments, was invited to help the planners building the third largest port and supporting infrastructure in China to incorporate sustainable design features into their project.
More than 50 government leaders from economic and technology development areas in Qingdao, a major seaport and industrial center in north-east China, listened as Mitchell outlined the origins of environmental protection and sustainable development. Mitchell brings more than 40 years’ experience in all aspects of green sustainable planning and construction. He introduced the achievements in the West, and then turned his attention to Qingdao and the challenges China faces regarding sustainability:
“With a rapidly growing economy, and as the world’s most populous nation, China faces great stresses on its resources and environment,” Mitchell said. “Old paradigms of growth will not work in an increasingly fragile worldwide environment for a country where 1.3 billion people are squeezed into an area smaller than that of the United States. China therefore presents a test case for environmental sustainability in the 21st Century.”
Audience members queried Mitchell about the implementation of environmental protection for the massive port project. Mitchell responded to the group by sharing information about LEED, an internationally recognized green building certification system. LEED provides third-party verification that a building or community is designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The group was encouraged by this information and also by the desire to enlist Mitchell’s expertise in shepherding sustainable growth on their project.