China’s race to industrialize and urbanize in a single generation has taken a significant toll on the environment and quality of life. For instance, among the country’s 500 largest cities, less than 1% meet the World Health Organization’s air quality standard, more than 40% of China’s rivers are polluted, and nearly 20% of arable land is considered contaminated.
Under immense social and economic pressures, the Chinese government has committed to tackling these issues as part of its economic transition. Beijing has pledged to invest $360 billion
into renewable energy, which is expected to contribute to 27% of China’s total energy consumption by 2020. The government has also mandated that major cities should achieve “good” or “excellent” air quality at least 80% of the time in a given year.
The top-level commitment and broad policy support for greening the economy has led to significant interest among private investors, targeting sectors ranging from waste treatment and energy efficiency technologies to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
GEM is principally focused on the recycling of batteries, electronics, and cars. The company currently has 16 recycling industrial parks across China with over three million tons of waste treatment capacity. The company has sought global expansion in recent years; in 2016, overseas markets contributed to about 5% of its revenue.