Tag Archives: Peggy Lui

China’s pollution problem, everyone’s problem: Peggy Liu at TED2014

Our world is constantly changing, and it is bold ideas that push this forward. The speakers in session 3 of the TED2014 conference were all big thinkers who are working to reshape the ways we see, think about, and interact with the world.

One of the lead sustainability activists in China, Peggy Liu is a key player in the race for green growth worldwide, and shared her vision of climate change and China’s ongoing battle against pollution.  Peggy emphasizes the point that “pollution crosses boarders”; therefore, “China’s problem is everyone’s problem.” In her talk, Peggy refers to the China’s pollution crisis as an “airpocalypse.”

Today, China is urbanizing at an astonishing rate, and it is expected that an estimated 350 million people who live in China’s rural areas will move into cities over the next 20 years. Peggy points out, “in many ways, this is a great thing, offering opportunities for Chinese children to go to school nearby and for parents to find employment,” but these changes will put unprecedented pressure on our Earth’s limited natural resources.


The decisions China makes in the next few years will determine if China will be ecologically sustainable or a disaster, but Liu focuses on six advantages that she believes will enable China to make small changes that add up quickly due to the size of China’s population:

  1. China has centralized control.
  2. China has just a few key decision makers.
  3. China is willing to learn from others.
  4. China is willing to experiment.
  5. China is willing to change.
  6. China is highly motivated.

“It only takes a few passionate individuals to make transformative change,” Liu says, and through Shaw’s commitment to sustainability and our efforts to creating a better future for our customers, our associates and our communities, we are certainly contributing to this positive change in China.

As part of the ongoing process to make Shaw Contract Group a brand across the globe, we opened our first manufacturing facility in China last September. In keeping with our dedication to sustainable buildings, the Nantong facility is LEED certified and the first manufacturing facility to create Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products.

TED2014 happened in Vancouver and Whistler, BC, Canada, March 17-21, 2014. Designer David Rockwell relied on Shaw Hospitality Group for the carpet for the design. On the floor is “Crease” from the Layered Luxe collection, which was designed in collaboration with Rockwell himself.

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