Case Study: Environmental legacy at Beijing 2008

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General Electric (GE), a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games, provided multiple technologies for China's first rainwater recycling system which was located at the Beijing National Stadium (aka the Bird's Nest). The iconic venue staged the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The Beijing National Stadium's nanofiltration membrane rainwater recycling system uses underground pools that process up to 100 tons of rainwater per hour, 80 tons of which can be reused for landscaping, fire–fighting and cleaning–a direct way to lower the stadium's water consumption. GE's technology is chemical–free and meets stringent environmental standards for indoor air quality and noise control. "These advanced water treatment technologies [were] part of a larger effort to help Beijing implement an environmentally sustainable water management solution during the Games and beyond, " said Steve Bertamini, chairman and CEO of GE in Northeast Asia and China. "GE has been active in China for more than 100 years and we [were] extremely proud to continue supporting both the Games and China in its effort to adopt solutions that are more green. "GE also supplied its Zeeweed ultrafiltration technology for safe drinking water at the National Stadium. The technology was used during the Beijing Games to provide up to 16 tons of purified water per hour. Waste not, want notOutside of Beijing's city centre, GE provided filtering technology for Qinghe Waste water Plant in order to improve Beijing's wastewater treatment capabilities. The wastewater plant in Qinghe adopted technology that filtered more than 80, 000 cubic meters of wastewater daily to be recycled to maintain landscaping during the Olympic Games. This system was designed to reduce costs and cut energy consumption by up to 30% over five years. "As global water scarcity increases and water quality decreases, GE's broad portfolio of water and process solutions is helping China continue to grow in an environmentally–sustainable way, " said Jeff Garwood, president and CEO, GE Water and Process Technologies. "At GE, we share China's commitment to preserving and protecting our water sources at the Games and we look forward to continue working in–concert with China to conserve and protect one of the world's most precious natural resources. " GE was involved in more than 335 projects overall related to the Beijing Games in the transportation, security, energy, water, healthcare and lighting sectors. GE worked closely with organisers of the Games to provide industry–leading energy and water treatment technology that was developed as part of ecomagination, a company–wide initiative to develop and market technologies that help customers address pressing environmental challenges. Highlights of other key GE projects for the 2008 Beijing Games included:(1) Helping to power conference and hotel area–Two high–efficiency GE Jenbacher Tri–generation energy units, which operated on natural gases, were used at the Jing Hui Garden Hotel, a 14–story hotel and conference centre that hosted media during the Games. Harnessing methane to produce energy is an excellent way of handling emissions of a gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. (2) Delivering energy–efficient turbines at the Olympic Central Area–GE supplied energy–efficient turbines to deliver power, heating and cooling to the Olympic Central Area. These systems successfully converted fuels such as natural gases into a cleaner burning energy source. The process reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter by more than 60%, reduced mercury emissions by more than 50%, and reduced sulfur dioxides by more than 90%, while using less water than traditional pulverised coal plants. (3) Implementing solar–powered lighting at Fengtai Softball Field–GE's solar–powered LED street lighting fixtures and field lighting were used at the Fengtai Softball Field. GE actively applied resources, business expertise, and technology to create solutions to help make the 2008 Olympic Games' environmental legacy a positive one. In China, GE works with the National Development and Reform Commission to drive environmentally sound technologies throughout the country, including cleaner coal power generation, renewable energy, water reuse and desalination, high efficiency and low emission aircraft engines and locomotives, energy efficient lighting and power distribution. GE invested about $500m in its China Technology Centre – one of four such R&D centres globally – for eco–related research. Thanks to GE and its technologies, the future for the Olympic Games beyond Beijing 2008 is bright. And most certainly green.

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