Ka Lok Cheung is proud of “his” plant in Zhuhai in southern China’s Guangdong province, where ECKART manufactures printing inks and aluminum pigments, among other things, and drives innovation. How this is done serves not only the company, but the entire milieu.
For the 45-year-old, climate neutrality is no reason to slacken his efforts for more sustainability. ”His“ plant has been operating without any greenhouse gas emissions since March 2022 and has been accident-free for ten years. Now his focus is on optimizing energy consumption.
The capacities and equipment at the site are exemplary by both German and Chinese standards – and so is the sustainability. The ECKART plant at the mouth of the Pearl River has been completely carbon-free since March 2022, making it one of the first emission-neutral production facilities in China. All of the installations are operated using green electricity.
As a result, the ECKART site is at the forefront of climate neutrality, which is also becoming increasingly relevant in China. The country wants to be carbon neutral by 2060. At ECKART in Zhuhai, this is already the case today. “As a rather small company with a high degree of automation,” explains Cheung, “it was obvious from the beginning that green electricity would be used, especially since the supply situation in this region is very stable. This is a boon for the environment.”
Accident-free for over ten years
In addition to environmental protection, occupational safety plays a decisive role in China. In this regard, too, everyone benefits from the sustainable operation of ECKART’s plant in Zhuhai: Neither diesel nor other fuels have to be stored at or delivered to the site. Occupational safety in general is a top priority at the plant. And great strides have been made: The site has been completely accident-free for more than ten years.
High expectations placed on companies
The positive emissions and occupational safety situation make ECKART a good corporate citizen. In China, it is deemed extremely important that companies, like individuals, demonstrate responsible, social behavior, also regarding the corporate environment. Hence there are high expectations. For Ka Lok Cheung, this is a matter of course:
“As good neighbors, we ensure a good climate,” he says, summing up the company’s aspirations and the reality.
Owing to a general change in thinking, criteria such as safety and sustainability are now important indicators alongside gross domestic product. Despite strict controls, it is primarily the behavior of the companies that determines whether the official requirements can be met.
Setting standards from the outset
Ka Lok Cheung has actively followed the development from the very beginning. The 45-year-old family man, who has been with the company since 2004, knows the significance of its status as a good corporate citizen: “Sustainability has always been at the top of ECKART’s agenda. In this area, we set benchmarks from the very beginning and established standards that are now increasingly demanded by other players as well. For me, this is the right path in every respect – I also attach great importance to sustainable behavior in my private life. Where each individual can make a difference in many small ways, companies have an even greater obligation,” comments Cheung.
Since March 2022, ECKART’s plant in Zhuhai has been completely carbon-free. This makes it one of China’s first emission-neutral production facilities. | In terms of occupational safety, too, everyone involved benefits from the sustainable operation of the ECKART plant. The site has been completely accident-free for more than ten years now.
No reason to let up
And Zhuhai already has its sights firmly set on the next steps: Energy consumption is to be further optimized, to which data monitoring and analysis will play a significant role. So even though climate neutrality has been achieved, Ka Lok Cheung and his team are not slackening their efforts for greater sustainability. “The best energy is that which is not consumed in the first place. We prefer to put all our personal energy into new innovations that contribute to a good climate – in every respect,” says Cheung.