By Nudge Sustainability Reporter Elena Ursu
If you ask yourselves how bad pollution is in China, I will give you the short answer: it is awfully bad. That bad that the term “airpocalypse” has been especially coined in 2013 to describe the quality of air in Beijing. That year, the World Health Organisation has measured 40 times more hazardous particles than it would be safe for human beings. China is the largest source of carbon emissions with the third greatest greenhouse gas output and it is homeland to 16 of the most 20 polluted cities in the world (less than 1% of Chinese cities are deemed safe according to the WHO air quality standards). It is also the world’s number one producer of coal responsible for 90% of the sulfur dioxide emissions and half of the particulate emissions.
Yet, this catastrophic panorama served as inspiration for some to improve the quality of living in mainland China and to reduce pollution. Coolpeds is a social enterprise which produces eco-friendly ways of travelling in the city. Their aim is to reduce emissions and traffic jams in the cities while offering an efficient alternative for urban transportation. Tony Chan, the founder of Coolpeds, is a young social entrepreneur that felt the urgency of contributing to saving the environment after living in congested and highly-polluted cities as Seattle and Shanghai.
The company currently features two products, a super light scooter and a briefcase electric scooter but soon a third member will join the family: a solar powered scooter. In the long run, Tony Chan would also like to apply the same system to wheelchairs to improve the mobility of those bearing disabilities. Sustainability has to become the basis for business and for entrepreneurship, claims Tony. His products are not only market but also socially oriented: