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    • General Sustainability

HSBC Green Link | Linglong, Going Green to Be Evergreen

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Businesses must now take proactive measures in support of China’s decarbonisation strategy for sustainable development and high-quality growth. Stay tuned for “HSBC Green Link” series on real-life “green stories” of businesses across sectors.

The bright see the trend while the wise go with it. It has now become a strategic imperative for every traditional business in China to identify new drivers of growth, upgrade its portfolio and pursue green/low-carbon development. With the inauguration of its 14th Five-Year Period, China is taking steady steps towards its decarbonisation goals (carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060). Against this backdrop, every traditional business in the country is presumably considering how to take an all-directional, wide-ranging and multi-dimensional approach to corporate positioning, organizational restructuring and portfolio development as an active response to the latest national policy. Linglong is certainly no exception.

In 1975, a tire manufacturing and repair factory was officially established in Zhaoyuan County, Shandong Province. For over four decades, the tire-factory-turned Linglong Group has being growing from strength to strength to become a conglomerate with a diverse portfolio of businesses across nine sectors including tire manufacturing, transportation technology, healthcare, energy, real estate, logistics, trade, education and financial services. With more than 20 subsidiary companies under its belt, the group currently stands as one of China’s top 500 large-scale enterprises and top 500 manufacturing companies, and one of the world’s top 12 tire manufacturers.

In response to China’s decarbonisation goals, Linglong has set up a task force to lead efforts around carbon peak and carbon neutrality. The tire giant has also developed a target plan and programme of action for decarbonisation with a sharp focus on R&D of new materials, new equipment, new energy, new technologies and new processes, in order to turbocharge its switch to new growth drivers, portfolio upgrade and green/low-carbon development.

With the goal of providing green, eco-friendly and low-carbon products, Linglong dedicates itself to developing new materials including bio-based materials, environment-friendly materials, recyclable and biodegradable materials, and other high-quality materials with minimal energy consumption and pollution. In recent years, the company has managed to reduce emissions by building a green supply chain and applying environmentally sustainable and biodegradable materials, and continued to invest in innovative research on dandelion rubber, graphene tires and 3D printing materials to contribute towards China’s decarbonisation goals.

On 29 March 2022, China’s National Energy Administration issued the Guiding Opinions on Energy Work in 2022, which stipulates the imperative to steadily improve the country’s energy mix, accelerate green/low-carbon transition, increase the proportion of non-fossil energy in total energy consumption to about 17.3%, replace about 180 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity with new electric energy, and increase the proportion of wind power and photovoltaic power generation to about 12.2% of total societal electricity consumption. Specific measures include continued whole-of-county development and construction of rooftop distributed photovoltaics, and fully utilising land and rooftops in oil and gas mining areas, industrial mining areas, and industrial parks to develop distributed wind power and photovoltaics.

Roof-top solar plant of Linglong manufacturing base

Linglong soon responded with swift actions. According to the its plan, photovoltaic systems will be installed across production facilities of the company’s subsidiaries where geographical conditions allow, in order to fully leverage limited roof resources to maximise the performance of solar panels for more efficient light energy conversion. However, building new energy projects like these means a bigger appetite for financial investment, not just for Linglong, but also for traditional businesses more generally.

In order to better control costs and improve efficiency, Linglong approached HSBC China for assistance. The bank provided the client with a package of green credit solutions for its subsidiaries in Dezhou Shandong, Guangxi, Hubei and Jilin, in support of their rooftop PV installations to produce clean power.

Helping clients achieve sustainable growth is one of HSBC's key strategic priorities. We not only have a long-term commitment to green industries, but also fully support corporates in transitioning towards low-carbon business development and operations through green loans, sustainability-linked loans and other green financial products.

Joseph Ma | Executive Vice President and Country Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC China

In fact, HSBC has been a long-standing banking partner of Linglong. Since 2021, when Linglong launched its "7+5" internationalisation strategy, HSBC, as one of the largest banks worldwide, has been leveraging its global connectivity to support the client in expanding overseas, an ambition shared among many Chinese businesses. Likewise, HSBC has also been working closely with Linglong throughout the company’s journey of green transformation.

HSBC’s green credit package for Linglong’s PV project was supported by the bank’s branches in Qingdao, Nanning, Wuhan and Changchun in close collaboration and centrally coordinated by HSBC Qingdao Branch to create a single point of contact with the client and reduce communication cost so that problems can be better resolved and businesses done more efficiently.

Joseph also said “The HSBC-Linglong deal is not only a real example of green finance for green transformation, but also one of HSBC’s team spirit for win-win outcomes.”

Linglong always believes that eco-system and civilisation rise and fall together. We’ve been working tirelessly to build a green and low-carbon value chain across supply, production and sales, and doing our best to keep our environment green and contribute towards our country’s decarbonisation goals and green development.

Wang Feng | Vice Chairman of Linglong Group and Chairman of Linglong Tire

While steady progress is being made towards decarbonisation in China, it is believed that more businesses will prioritise sustainability in their development and operations, and all sectors will pull together for sustainable development of the Chinese economy.

If we do not fail Nature, Nature shall never fail us.

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