After years of sustained economic and industrial growth, China has declared a "war on pollution" and introduced several green initiatives, setting an excellent example for other countries to follow.  Earlier this year, the Chinese government approved three sustainable development zones which will implement the goals of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development requirements.

Firstly Shenzhen will act as China’s innovation engine, integrating the latest technologies in waste utilization, ecological restoration, and artificial intelligence to solve issues from resource management to pollution.  The application of Blockchain in to agriculture brings transparency to the supply chain which can save time as well as reducing waste by removing poor operating practices.

Secondly, the zone around Guilin will focus on innovations that tackle desertification, creating solutions that can be replicated by other regions facing the threat of encroaching deserts.

And finally, Taiyuan targets air and water pollution, this zone will foster innovative solutions that can be replicated by regions relying on resource extraction bringing fresh, clean air by using fewer fossil fuels.

China’s technology giants are set to play a vital role in sustainable development. Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba are among the world’s top 10 internet companies and their extensive online social media reach presence is accelerating the pace of change.  And these big hitters influence other companies such as Ant Financial, a banking subsidiary of Alibaba.

Ant Financial is a founding partner of the Green Digital Finance Alliance which aims to use digital technology to advance green finance.  And it works.  More than 200 million of Ant’s users signed up to Ant Forest, an app that brings gamification to carbon footprint tracking.

The app urges users to cut greenhouse gas emissions in real life – by the end of January 2017, Ant alone had saved a colossal 150,000 tonnes of CO2 demonstrating the fantastic potential Fintech companies can have in creating a greener world.  With fantastic companies like Ant Financial unlocking new and exciting opportunities of Blockchain, the future is extremely bright for China as they continue to innovate and explore ways to improve the environment.

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