By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao, Shandong (China Daily)
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and China's largest home appliance supplier, Haier Group, announced on Tuesday that they will work together to offer quality drinking water in China's rural areas.
Both parties established a strategic partnership and signed a memorandum of understanding in Qingdao, in East China's Shandong province, where Haier Group is headquartered.
In response to the calls of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and Healthy China 2030, the program aims to provide county-level administrative areas in China access to healthy drinking water while at the same time creating some 200,000 job opportunities.
It will also help improve awareness of environmental protection and water resources among people living in rural areas of China.
Patrick Haverman, the UNDP's deputy country director for China, said the UNDP is willing to work with various partners, not only governments, to tackle development issues in China, including poverty alleviation and improvement of water quality standards.
As a large company with worldwide businesses, Haier has been stepping up its corporate social responsibility efforts. Its expertise and technology will play a big role in realizing sustainable development goals.
Zhou Yunjie, rotating president of Haier Group, said the group has turned from a manufacturer into a global platform for entrepreneurship,
"In the era of the internet, our group is dedicated to building a win-win ecosystem focused on clients. Our open platform and resources will give our cooperation with the UNDP a boost," Zhou added.
Cooperation of the two parties is based on the current practice of Haier group, which offers drinking water solutions following strict water quality in different rural areas.
The RRS health platform, one of the service brands under Haier Group, has installed its self-developed water machines in more than 5,000 villages of 35 county-level administrative areas across China since July this year. The machine has the function of purifying water and getting rid of noxious heavy metals and pesticide residue.
To date, 4 million rural residents have been given access to healthy drinking water with their approach.
Xie Juzhi, vice-president of Haier Group, said that by leveraging big data and the internet of things, people who can compare the healthiness of water quality before and after purification.
Also, advanced technologies can help supervise water quality around the clock and give operators a reminder to update filters in time to keep water healthy and clean, Xie added.
"We hope more companies and organizations will join us to focus on healthy drinking water in Chinese rural areas and on water resource protection," Xie added.