BUSINESS Johnson Controls eyes bigger role in nation's green transformation


Johnson Controls eyes bigger role in nation's green transformation

China Daily

11:52, October 19, 2022

People visit Johnson Controls' booth at the 2021 China Intelligent Building Exhibition in Beijing. [Photo:Johnson Control website]

Johnson Controls, a US-based smart building solutions provider, is looking to grasp opportunities arising from China's fast-growing new energy vehicle and hydrogen industries, and help drive the digital transformation of traditional industries, said a senior company executive.

"China is one of the most important markets for Johnson Controls. The steady growth of the country's digital economy driven by 5G, artificial intelligence and the internet of things, along with the green development of various industries, have provided us with more opportunities in the Chinese market," said Anu Rathninde, president of Johnson Controls Asia-Pacific.

"Manufacturing is one of the important engines driving China's economic growth. The release of the intelligent manufacturing development plan for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) has demonstrated China's determination to vigorously promote the upgrading of the manufacturing industry and foster high-quality economic development," Rathninde said.

He said the company will attach great importance to the development and utilization of new energy in the Chinese market, launch customized solutions for different industries and accelerate the green, low-carbon and intelligent transformation of a wide range of segments covering new energy and intelligent manufacturing.

"With the rapid growth of the new energy vehicle industry in China, there is surging demand for lithium batteries, which has put forward higher requirements for enterprises' innovation capacities and product quality control," Rathninde added. The company plans to help domestic power battery makers reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, as well as improve energy efficiency by leveraging innovative technologies.

Aiming to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, China is forging ahead in clean and renewable energy development amid its transition to a low-carbon economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration jointly released the country's first medium to long-term plan (2021-35) in March to promote high-quality development of the hydrogen industry.

"Hydrogen, one of the areas that China is paying more attention to in recent years, is set to transform the future landscape of energy supply and consumption," said Rathninde, while highlighting that he has full confidence in the development of China's hydrogen industry, and the company's solutions are expected to play an important role in the production and transportation of hydrogen.

"China's emphasis on the dual-carbon goals allows us to actively work with our local partners, accelerate R&D input and develop tailor-made solutions for the local market," he said, adding Johnson Controls will bring the latest technologies to China and help the sustainable transformation of Chinese cities.

Currently, Johnson Controls has 11 manufacturing plants, two research and development centers and more than 40 branches across China. The company aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the goal set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In 2021, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, to establish a long-term collaboration in fields like the smart operation of data centers, sustainable development of intelligent buildings and parks, and exploration of new technologies in related fields.

The company said it will continue to strengthen its cooperation with local partners. And China's continuous efforts to attract foreign investment, improve the business climate and push forward the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law will further facilitate the investment of foreign enterprises and safeguard fair competition.

Zhang Jianping, director-general of the Beijing-based China Center for Regional Economic Cooperation, said China's huge consumption market is attracting an enormous volume of foreign investment.

The implementation of a new round of opening-up measures, such as the shortened negative list for market entry and pilot free trade zones, has created favorable conditions for foreign businesses to invest in China, Zhang added.

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