Category Archives: News

It’s safer for children to travel rearward: Volvo Cars

Children should travel rearward facing until they are three-four years

Gothenburg, June 30(Greenpost)–Small children should travel in rearward facing child restraints for as long as possible, at least until they are three to four years old, recommended Volvo Cars expert.

“Older children should use a booster cushion until they are 140 centimetres tall and at least ten years old. This is Volvo Cars’ firm recommendation. The knowledge is based on real life accidents, together with advanced research at Volvo Cars’ state-of-the-art crash laboratorym,” said Lotta Jacobsson, Volvo Cars’ child safety specialist.

Over 50 years of child safety development

Since the early days Volvo Cars has introduced numerous world firsts, such as the three-point safety belt in 1959. This life-saving safety belt is now integrated in all car models in the world.

Volvo Cars started researching child safety in the early 1960’s. This was a time when space journeys were hot news. On the black and white TV screen you could see the astronauts lying on their backs to even out the forces during take-off and landing. Using the entire back to spread the forces was incorporated in the first child restraint prototype, which was tested in 1964. Since then, Volvo Cars has been setting the standard in child safety.

“Our first rearward facing child restraint was launched back in 1972, says Lotta Jakobsson, Child Safety Specialist at Volvo Cars Safety Centre. Volvo Cars has also been a driving force in international co-operations such as the making of the ISOFIX standard. ISOFIX is a standardised anchoring system that makes it easier to fit a child restraint correctly in any car equipped with the system.

Based on accident research

In 1970 the Volvo Traffic Accident Research Team was established to study car crashes in Sweden involving newer Volvo models. Since then the team has studied approximately 2,500 traffic accidents down to the smallest detail, and the knowledge they gain is used in developing new safety technologies. Information from more than 43,000 accidents is stored in a statistical database. For example, SIPS (Side-Impact Protection System) and WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) are direct results of this accident research.

” Our engineers identify interesting areas, develop solutions and incorporate them in the oncoming Volvo model”, says Lotta Jakobsson. When that model is out on the streets, the research of real life car crashes continues to help decide which areas to focus on in next generation. It is a continuous process.

The statistical database at Volvo Cars includes more than 4,500 children. The accidents have been studied carefully and reveal the following:

  • A child in a rearward facing child seat is approximately 90% less likely to be injured in an accident compared to an unrestrained child.
  • Using a booster cushion the child runs an approximately 75% lower risk of being injured compared to being unrestrained.

Advanced safety centre

Volvo Cars Safety Centre is the world’s most advanced crash laboratory, where real life collisions can be reconstructed and studied. For example crash tests can be run with two moving cars in different angles, creating different forms of impact. Volvo Cars uses this research together with accident data from real life to enhance road safety for various road users: the driver, the passengers and people outside the car – pedestrians as well as people in other vehicles.

– All children must always be restrained properly. They should travel facing the rear until at least the age of three-four and use restraints for older children up to 10-12 years of age, says Lotta Jakobsson.

Volvo Car Group in 2014

For the 2014 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 2,252 MSEK (1,919 MSEK in 2013). Revenue over the period amounted to 129,959 MSEK (122,245 MSEK). For the full year 2014, global sales reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9 per cent versus 2013. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 465,866 in 2014 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

As of December 2014, Volvo Cars had over 26,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars’ head office, product development, marketing, and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo Cars’ head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).





Volvo Cars: children are not small versions of adults

Children are not small versions of adults and need special restraints

Gothenburg, June 30(Greenpost)– Lotta Jacobsson, child  safety specialist in Volvo Cars stressed that children are not small version of adults and needs special restraints.

“The differences in anatomy between children and adults are considered in Volvo Cars’ child safety development – of inbuilt features as well as accessories. Children are not small versions of adults, which is why children need special restraints when travelling in cars,” said Jacobsson in a presentation in Gothenburg’s Volvo Design center.

She said a child’s neck is under development and not as strong as an adult’s neck. Also the head is proportionally bigger than that of an adult. Children therefore need special restraints, facing the rear for as long as possible until at least three-four years of age. When travelling facing the rear the crash forces are spread over the back and head, which reduces the load on the neck in frontal impacts.

” A child’s head weighs a lot more in proportion to the body, and the neck is weak. That is why we strongly believe that children should travel in rearward facing child restraints until they are three-four years old”, says Lotta Jakobsson, Child Safety Specialist at Volvo Cars.

 Rearward facing child restraints are designed to support the neck and help spread the forces over a larger area in frontal impacts. Frontal impacts are the most frequent and usually the most severe impact situation.
– In a frontal impact a rearward facing child’s whole body is supported, which minimises relative movements between the head and torso, says Lotta Jakobsson.

Since more than 35 years, Volvo Cars is doing extensive research based on real life accidents. These studies show beyond doubt that the safest way for small children to travel in cars is facing the rear.

 Physical evidence why children should travel facing the rear

The head of a newborn baby makes up half the total body weight, where an adult’s head weighs only about six percent of the total. This oversized head – in combination with not fully developed neck vertebrae, muscles and ligaments – makes the baby’s neck a weak point.

Forward facing in a frontal impact, the body is restrained by the safety belt while the head moves forward and puts load on the neck. Depending on crash severity and size of the child, this load can be injurious.

– In one severe frontal impact in central Europe two girls were sitting forward facing in the rear seat. The five-year-old sustained a broken leg and spent two weeks in hospital. Her little sister, just ten months old, died from neck injuries. This is a clear example that it is much too early for a ten month old child to travel forward facing, says Lotta Jakobsson.

When the child has outgrown its rearward facing seat

Rearward facing is the safest way for children to travel in cars until they have outgrown the seat and have reached an age of three-four years. Then the neck has become stronger and the child can be turned to face forward, using the standard safety belt in combination with a belt-positioning booster cushion. The booster cushion guides the lap belt across the pelvis, as low as possible towards the thighs and not over the soft belly. The torso belt runs diagonally across the chest. Pull the safety belt tight, as close to the body as possible. It does not affect the safety if the torso belt rests on the child’s neck, but if the safety belt is tucked under the arm or behind the back, the child is not as protected in an accident.

 Volvo Cars’ policy is that children should use a booster cushion until they are 140 centimetres tall and ten years old. Booster cushions come in different models and sizes, with or without a backrest. Some cars can be equipped with an integrated booster cushion.

– An integrated booster cushion is always available and can not be accidentally left behind, says Lotta Jakobsson. It makes it easier to position the safety belt correctly and blends in with the car interior, which can make older children more interested in using a booster. It is important to fit the child restraint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most importantly, children must never be placed in the passenger seat if the airbag is active.

 Myths and truths about travelling facing the rear

There are a number of myths that can stop parents from choosing the safer rearward facing child restraint for their children. Lotta Jakobsson at Volvo Cars Safety Centre responds to a few of them:

 Myth: Children do not want to travel rearwards.

Truth: Small children are usually as happy facing any direction in the car.

Advice: If the child restraint is fitted in the back seat, place a mirror so that the child can see you. This will help the child feel safe and you can check on it easily with a glance in the interior mirror.

 Myth: The child restraint will not fit.

Truth: All child restraints are not suitable for all cars.

Advice: Read up on child restraints to see which one would meet your needs. Also get a staff member to teach you how to fit it properly before purchase.

 Myth: There are no rearward facing child restraints available.

Truth: It can still be difficult to find rearward facing child restraints on some markets. In the Nordic countries they are readily available, and more countries join in the recommendation that small children should travel facing the rear.

Advice: Check with your national road safety organisation. They should be able to give you further information or refer you to someone who can.

How children of different ages should travel in cars

 A newborn baby should use an infant seat. Do not let it sit upright for too long, take frequent breaks and pick up the baby for a while or let it rest lying flat while the car is parked.

 An infant or toddler should be fastened in a rearward facing infant seat or a larger rearward facing child restraint until the child has outgrown the larger seat and is three-four years old. The neck is weak and needs all the support it can get in the event of an accident. It does not matter if the child has to bend its legs or touches the back rest with its feet. Take breaks often to let the child stretch and play.

 An older child who has outgrown the rearward facing seat but is shorter than 140 centimetres and has not reached the age of ten, should use a booster cushion. The booster gives the child an increased height and directs the safety belt over the stronger parts of the body during a crash. The lap belt should be placed tightly across the pelvis, as low as possible towards the thighs and not over the soft tissue of the abdomen. The torso belt should run across the chest and also be pulled tight. It does not matter if the belt touches the neck. Never place the torso belt under the arm or behind the back.

Do’s & Don’ts for children in cars – six simple rules that can save lives


  • Always make sure the child is properly restrained – during short trips as well.
  • Choose a child restraint that is suitable for your child and car model.
  • Remove bulky clothes so that the safety belt is tight and the child does not get too hot.


  • Never drive with an unrestrained child in the car.
  • Never place a child in the passenger seat with the airbag active.
  • Never fasten a child shorter than 140 centimetres with just the standard safety belt. It must be used in combination with a booster cushion and only by children who have outgrown their child seats.

Children in car crashes

– A heavy head and weak neck structure make small children extremely vulnerable in frontal impacts when facing forward.

– Head, abdomen, extremities, chest and spine injuries are the most common to children.

– Prevention is better than treatment. Use a child restraint that is recommended for your child’s age and use it properly.

– A rearward facing child seat provides firm support behind the child’s head and back.

– Older children should use a booster cushion to allow proper positioning of the safety belt.


  • Never fit a child restraint in the passenger seat with an active airbag.
  • Remove bulky clothes so that the safety belt can be pulled tight as close to the body as possible.
  • Remove or unzip warm clothing if necessary to prevent overheating and subsequent dehydration.

China Focus: New consumption mode, new growth engine

China Focus: New consumption mode, new growth engine

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — Against the headwinds towards China’s economy, new ways of consumption empowered by development of Internet Plus is likely to become the country’s new growth engine.

China’s economic growth slowed to a six-year low at 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015 while it has been seeking ways to shift its growth away from a dependence on investment and export to domestic consumption.

The latest data showed that China’s retail sales growth accelerated in May, indicating that its pro-consumption policies launched recently have begun to take effect.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales in May grew 10.1 percent year on year to 2.42 trillion yuan, a tad up from the 10 percent growth recorded in April.

More importantly, online shopping took a larger share in total consumption. In the first five months, online sales rose 39.3 percent year on year to reach 1.34 trillion yuan.

Internet Plus is an idea that combines mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, modern manufacturing industries, e-commerce, industrial Internet and Internet finance.

Besides buying consumer goods and ordering food, Internet Plus has also penetrated in all aspects of life, such as transportation, traveling, medical care, entertainment and education, and the new consuming experience has stimulated the potential of consumer spending.

In a bid to further spur demand from middle and low-income earners, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said on June 10 that private capital, foreign and domestic banks and Internet companies will be allowed to set up “consumer credit” firms, which can offer small loans to the public.

Compared to traditional loans offered by banks, loans designed specifically to fund retail purchases are generally small and without the need of guarantees. Such loans are especially handy for people who are either denied of credit cards by banks or whose cards have low credit lines

The move is widely expected to effectively expand domestic consumption and help China’s economy shift to a consumption-driven economy as “borrow to consume” are now more acceptable to Chinese consumers and China’s credit information system is further completed.

China’s e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, and Suning have already launched similar services, which give consumers access to loans to buy goods on their online shopping sites and the money could be repaid in installments.

Moreover, China has slashed import duties on consumer goods by an average of 50 percent, starting from June 1, which is another move to encourage domestic spending. The duty on cosmetics was reduced to 2 percent from 5 percent.

China’s State Council has also released a guideline on June 20 saying the customs administrator will streamline customs procedures for e-commerce exports and imports to make the processes simpler and quicker, while the quality supervision authorities will allow collective declaration, examination and release of goods.

The government will keep export taxes low while formulating import tax policies. It will also encourage domestic banks and institutions to launch cross-border electronic payment businesses and advance pilot overseas payments in foreign currencies.

However, experts note that some of the policies and regulations in China have fallen behind the development of the new consumption mode and they suggest the government should continue to improve consuming environment, upgrade consuming infrastructure, strengthen regulation and further open domestic market. Enditem



China Southern Airlines launches Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route

China Southern Airlines launches Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route

PARIS, June 23 (Xinhua) — China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd., one of China’s leading airlines based in south China city of Guangzhou, has launched Guangzhou-Paris-Vienna cargo route in a bid to further expand its cargo transport network in Asia-Europe region.

At present, two flights are arranged for the new route each week and the number of the flights will be raised to three each week starting from July 1, said Zhu Jinliang, general manager of the Pairs office of China Southern Airlines. Enditem


Moody’s: Global RMB penetration improves

Moody’s: Global RMB penetration improve

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) — Offshore RMB-denominated bonds are likely to see the offering scale grow moderately in 2015, though offshore issues declined year on year in the first quarter due to the drop of onshore interest rates, a Moody’s report said on Tuesday.

China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) further strengthened the role of RMB it played in cross-border transactions and investment, said Ivan Chung, a Moody’s senior vice president.

“Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund’s impending decision on whether to include RMB in the special drawing rights (SDR) basket will be a milestone to the internationalization of RMB and will help increase investors’ allocations of RMB-denominated assets,” added Chung.

In terms of China’s onshore bond market, Moody’s pointed out in its report that the first public bond default in March 2014 and the three default cases in May and June of 2015 showed the Chinese regulators had increased their tolerance on default and would make market play a decisive role in debt restructuring in the future. Enditem



hina’s electric car production grows three-fold in May

China’s electric car production grows three-fold in May

    BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — Chinese manufacturers produced three times more new energy vehicles this May than they did last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.

Production of pure electric passenger cars rose 300 percent to 9,922, with hybrids rising nearly 400 percent to 4,923. Production of pure electric and hybrid commercial vehicles rose by 700 percent and 36 percent, respectively. A total of 19,100 such vehicles rolled of the production line May.

In the first five months, Chinese automakers produced 53,600 new energy vehicles; again nearly a threefold increase over 2014.

The government has been working hard to put more new energy vehicles on road, saving energy and reducing pollution. In March, the Ministry of Transport set a target of 300,000 new energy commercial vehicles on China’s roads by 2020: 200,000 new energy buses and 100,000 new energy taxis and delivery vehicles.

The Ministry of Commerce also announced earlier this year that China will continue to build charging facilities in cities and allow tax exemptions and subsidies on vehicle purchases. Enditem



Cabinet stresses “Internet Plus” strategy

Cabinet stresses “Internet Plus” strategy

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China will put more momentum behind its “Internet Plus” drive, which aims to integrate the Internet and industry while encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, the cabinet vowed on Wednesday.

The campaign is very important in creating a new engine for economic growth, said a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, who proposed Internet Plus in March.

An Internet Plus guideline was approved at the meeting. It maps development targets and supportive measures for sectors which the government hopes can establish new industrial modes, including agriculture, energy, finance, public services, logistics, e-commerce, traffic, biology and artificial intelligence.

Unreasonable regulations and policies which hinder Internet Plus will be cleared and market accesses will be lowered for integrated products and services, according to the guideline.

China will launch hardware projects to support Internet Plus, build more next-generation infrastructure, develop more core chips and high-end servers, and better apply cloud computing and big data, it said.

Based on Internet Plus, open and shared platforms will be built to improve public services and share public data, it added. Enditem


China mulls cyber security law

China mulls cyber security law

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislature is considering a cyber security law, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The draft law was submitted to lawmakers for its first reading at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee which runs from Wednesday to July 1.

The law aims at “safeguarding cyberspace sovereignty and national security,” according to the draft.

Cyber security has become an important issue concerning national security and development as well as public interests, said Lang Sheng, deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, at the session.

The 68-article draft law suggests mechanisms to guarantee the safety of Internet products and services, operation, network data, as well as information.

The draft also highlights “development,” prescribing national strategies for cyber security and supportive measures to promote cyber security, Lang said.

Key information-related infrastructure will be put under protection, according to the draft.

The draft also stresses protecting citizens’ personal information from being stolen, leaked or used illegally.

State Council departments related with cyber security will establish systems for cyber security monitoring, warning and reporting. An emergency response mechanism will also be set up, according to the draft. Enditem


China’s top legislature reviews BRICS bank agreement

China’s top legislature reviews BRICS bank agreement

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislature started reviewing an agreement on the founding of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), intended to fund infrastructure in the BRICS bloc and other developing economies, on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by five of the bloc’s members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — on July 15 last year during the sixth BRICS summit.

It will enter force only when all BRICS countries have deposited instruments of acceptance, ratification or approval.

The agreement over the Shanghai-based bank had been ratified in India and Russia by April 27, said Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin while elaborating on the deal at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The NDB will have initial authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and its initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars will be equally shared among founding members, under the agreement.

It will stipulate a three-tier governance structure — a board of governors, a board of directors and management led by the president.

As agreed by the five countries, the first chair of the Board of Governors will be nominated by Russia, the first chair of the Board of Directors by Brazil, and the first president of the bank by India, Shi said.

They also agreed to set up an African regional center of the NDB in South Africa.

The establishment of the bank will be a milestone in financial cooperation among BRICS members, according to Shi.

Aside from its main funding function, it will help enhance the bloc’s role in the international arena and promote reform of global economic governance, he said.

The agreement will initially not be applied in the Hong

Kong Special Administrative Region after the foreign ministry consulted with the regional government.

Once the agreement is approve by the NPC Standing Committee, the Chinese government will subscribe 10 billion U.S. dollars on time as prescribed, Shi said.

He also noted that the NDB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund would operate independently although all three were financed by the government. Enditem

China creates leading group for enhancing manufacturing prowess

China creates leading group for enhancing manufacturing prowess

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) — The State Council, China’s cabinet, will set up a leading group for its ambitious plan to enhance manufacturing prowess and change the reputation of “Made in China” goods.

The group, led by vice premier Ma Kai, will coordinate, deliberate and implement plans for becoming a world manufacturing power, according to a statement published on the government website.

The group will be headquartered in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the statement said.

The decision came a month after the release of the “Made in China 2025” plan, which aims to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power.

The plan lays out strategies for upgrading from low-end manufacturing to more value-added and tech-intensive production, and encourages domestic manufacturers to achieve technological breakthroughs across a number of emerging industries from numerical control tools and robotics to aerospace equipment and new energy vehicles.

Nine tasks have been identified as priorities: improving manufacturing innovation, integrating technology and industry, strengthening the industrial base, fostering Chinese brands, enforcing green manufacturing, promoting breakthroughs in 10 key sectors, advancing restructuring of the manufacturing sector, promoting service-oriented manufacturing and manufacturing-related service industries, and internationalizing manufacturing. Enditem



Artifical neuron mimicks function of human cells

Artifical neuron mimicks function of human cells

Stockholm, June 25(Greenpost)–Scientists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have managed to build a fully functional neuron by using organic bioelectronics. This artificial neuron contain no ‘living’ parts, but is capable of mimicking the function of a human nerve cell and communicate in the same way as our own neurons do.

Neurons are isolated from each other and communicate with the help of chemical signals, commonly called neurotransmitters or signal substances. Inside a neuron, these chemical signals are converted to an electrical action potential, which travels along the axon of  the neuron until it reaches the end. Here at the synapse, the electrical signal is converted to the release of chemical signals, which via diffusion can relay the signal to the next nerve cell.

To date, the primary technique for neuronal stimulation in human cells is based on electrical stimulation. However, scientists at theSwedish Medical Nanoscience Centre (SMNC) at Karolinska Institutet in collaboration with collegues at Linköping University, have now created an organic bioelectronic device that is capable of receiving chemical signals, which it can then relay to human cells.

“Our artificial neuron is made of conductive polymers and it functions like a human neuron”, says lead investigator Agneta Richter-Dahlfors, professor of cellular microbiology.  “The sensing component of the artificial neuron senses a change in chemical signals in one dish, and translates this into an electrical signal. This electrical signal is next translated into the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in a second dish, whose effect on living human cells can be monitored.“

The research team hope that their innovation, presented in the journal Biosensors & Bioelectronics, will improve treatments for neurologial disorders which currently rely on traditional electrical stimulation. The new technique makes it possible to stimulate neurons based on specific chemical signals received from different parts of the body. In the future, this may help physicians to bypass damaged nerve cells and restore neural function.

“Next, we would like to miniaturize this device to enable implantation into the human body”, says Agneta Richer-Dahlfors. “We foresee that in the future, by adding the concept of wireless communication, the biosensor could be placed in one part of the body, and trigger release of neurotransmitters at distant locations. Using such auto-regulated sensing and delivery, or possibly a remote control, new and exciting opportunities for future research and treatment of neurological disorders can be envisaged.”

This study was made possible by funding from Carl Bennet AB, VINNOVA, Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Research Council, Swedish Brain Power, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Önnesjö Foundation.

Jiangxi’s Vice Governor Zhu Hong attends tourism promotion fair in Stockholm

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, June 25(Greenpost)–Vice Governor Zhu Hong of Jiangxi Provice, East China has attended the tourism promotion fair in Brommavik Hotel in Stockholm.



(Front left, Mr Liu Shaohui, manager of Brommavik Hotel and President of Stockholm Chinese Association, right, Magnus Gustafsson from Karmmar, behind standing: Zhu Hong, Vice governor of Jiangxi Province)

He spoke at the meeting about Jiangxi’s beautiful scenery.

“Jiangxi’s scenery is very special because it has many special mountains and rivers. The landscape is really spectacular.” said Zhu Hong.

The famous revolutionary site Jinggangshan mountain is one of them. The Lushan Mountain is also a famous conference resort. Chairman Mao used to have meeting there.

The Tengwang Pavillion is another famous tourist site even famous since Tang Dynasty when famous poet Wang Bo wrote his famous prose  the Preface of Tengwang Pavillion.


(Right, Wang Jianrong exhibits Dala Horse to Zhu Hong, middle.)

Wang Jianrong, President of Swedish Chinese Federation of Industry and Commerce expressed welcome to Zhu Hong.



(Left: Guo Yanhang talks with Zhu Hong.    Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson)

Guo Yanhang, couselor at the Chinese Embassy in Sweden also spoke at the fair.

“I think talking about Jiangxi, man cannot help thinking of Jingdezhen town where famous China came from. Jiangxi is China’s name card due to its fine china. I used to visit Jiangxi and it was really beautiful and impressed me so much.” Guo said.



IMG_7709During the meeting, the two sides signed a couple of agreements for future cooperation.

About 40 people from various Chinese associations or companies including China-Europe Cultural Association and Green Post attended the meeting.

WSSCC supports hygiene, health and well-being in China

Stockholm, June 25(Greenpost)– WSSCC, a UN organization for water and sanitation has stretched its hand to help Chinese women to pay attention to hygiene and health during their menstrual period.From left to right: Archana Patkar, WSSCC Programme Manager for Networking and Knowledge Management; Ulf Söderström, President SCA Asia Pacific; Kersti Strandqvist, Senior Vice President Sustainability, SCA; and Cynthia Yu, Marketing Associate Director, Vinda International. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

Some 76% of Chinese women are uncomfortable in a social setting — a dinner with friends or family, for example – while having their period, participants learned today at a special seminar hosted by the global hygiene company SCA and its affiliate Vinda International together with WSSCC.

The seminar, “Hygiene Matters 2014” focused on the findings of a recent survey of the same name and assembled 30 people, including representatives of elderly welfare associations in seven Chinese cities, to the SCA Pavilion in Sanya. The pavilion is hosting a range of events during the two-week stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in this southern coastal city.

Archana Patkar, WSSCC Programme Manager for Networking and Knowledge Management, discussed the links between hygiene, aging and disability at the Hygiene Matters Workshop in the SCA Pavilion. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

WSSCC’s Archana Patkar, Programme Manager for Networking and Knowledge Management, was one of three keynote speakers at the event. She joined Ulf Söderström, President SCA Asia Pacific; Kersti Strandqvist, Senior Vice President Sustainability, SCA; and Cynthia Yu, Marketing Associate Director, Vinda International.

Ms. Patkar discussed the links between hygiene, aging and disability. She noted that for men, and particularly for women, there are distinct hygiene-related needs that coincide with the human lifecycle, from birth to old age and including periods of disability, both physical or mental, that most people eventually encounter.

“We must unlock dignity for all people in all the stages of their lives,” said Ms. Patkar. “For women and for men, this means not being afraid to talk about issues linked to childbirth, puberty, menstruation, menopause and old age, including incontinence.” Do public facilities, for example, consider lifecycle differences, she asked, such as lower wash basins which can be reached by wheelchair-bound people?

Kersti Strandqvist, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at SCA, presented results emanating from the 13-country Hygiene Matters Consumer Survey conducted in 2014. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

Ms. Strandkvist and Mr. Söderström gave global and Chinese results emanating from the 13-country Hygiene Matters Consumer Survey 2014. The survey is designed to glean insights which can be used to raise awareness among decision makers, experts and the general public on hygiene and health, as well as improve the quality of the company’s products, 80% of whom are women.

Ulf Söderström, President of SCA Asia Pacific, revealed that personal hygiene, according to one of many survey responses, was the greatest worry of growing old in China. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

In China, personal hygiene, according to one of many survey responses, was the greatest worry of growing old – with issues such as elderly incontinence ranking higher than sickness, Mr. Söderström said.

“Compared to other surveyed countries, Chinese people are quite worried of becoming ill due to poor hygiene – more than half of the respondents worry often or always. In China, SCA and Vinda aim to strengthen the possibility of improved hygiene for people everywhere by providing innovative solutions to the market that improve the quality of life for millions of people; from developing professional nursing services to championing elderly education and providing assisted living expertise,” said Mr. Söderström during the presentation of the local survey results.

There are also economic impacts, Ms. Strandkvist revealed. As people live and work longer, untreated incontinence reduces quality of life and causes enormous costs to society by reducing working people’s productivity an average of 12.6 days per year. In addition to this, caregiving relatives lose in average 3.7 hours work per week while attending to their relative. In just Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong, this value loss is estimated at USD 1.7 billion in 2014.

Whether the issue is incontinence or menstrual hygiene, Ms. Yu said the aim for SCA and Vinda International is to “raise awareness about the connection between hygiene, health and well-being, and to strengthen the possibility of improved hygiene for people everywhere.”

Cynthia Yu, Marketing Associate Director at Vinda International, underlined the organisation's aim to raise awareness about the connection between hygiene, health and well-being, and to strengthen the possibility of improved hygiene for people everywhere. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

Since November 2014, SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, and WSSCC have teamed up in an innovative public-private partnership to break the silence around menstruation for women and girls around the world. In connection with the all-female Team SCA’s participation in the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, WSSCC and SCA (a member of the UN Global Compact) are campaigning for greater attention to the issue, as well as hosting educational and training events designed to leave practical skills in the stopover sites.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, WSSCC, SCA, Vinda International and the Office of Women and Children Affairs of Hainan Provincial Government will conduct a menstrual hygiene teacher training, as well as an educational workshop with school girls in the capital city of Haikou. Photo credit: Ana Caroline de Lima

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the two partners together with Vinda International and the Office of Women and Children Affairs of Hainan Provincial Government will conduct menstrual hygiene teacher training, as well as an educational workshop with school girls in the capital city of Haikou. Similar activities took place last November with The Volunteer Centre, a local NGO, in Cape Town, South Africa, for young girls from local townships.

At any given moment, 800 million women around the world are menstruating, and in many countries, millions of them are left to manage their periods with unhygienic solutions such as cloth, paper or clay, and without access to private toilets, water or soap. Sanitary products like pads are unaffordable or unavailable, and urinary or reproductive tract infections are common. As a result, girls miss valuable days in school, and women are unable to work, stifling productivity and advancement.

Source  WSSCC website

Editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson

WSSCC and SCA help Chinese girls to break the silence on menstruation

The Great Aunt: WSSCC and SCA help Chinese girls to break the silence on menstruation

Stockholm, June 25(Greenpost)–While the girls from countryside didn’t know how to describe their period, girls in the city for example in Beijing got an euphimism for menstruation, that is Dayima or the Great Aunt.

It was true that women used clothes to deal with their period because there was no paper before 1970s in the countryside in China.  Many women who were born in the 1950s and 1960s said they were not aware of it when their period came for the first time.

But now the situation changed for the better. Thanks to SCA and WSSCC program, girls from Haikou got more knowledge about this private matter.

In a safe and supportive environment, thirty girls from Haikou, China, sat down on February 5 to talk with each other and learn from experts about an important but little discussed topic that will impact their lives for the next 40 years: menstruation.

The girls, aged 10 to 12, participated in a menstrual hygiene management (MHM)training session organized by SCA and WSSCC through their public-private partnership on the issue. The training session was supported by the General Office of Women and Children Affairs of Hainan Provincial Government, as well as Vinda International, one of China’s largest tissue companies. The training took place at the Hainan Provincial Population and Family Public Service Center.

SCA and WSSCC have entered into their collaboration aiming at breaking the stigma and silence that surrounds menstruation.

At any given moment, 800 million women around the world are menstruating, and in many countries, millions of them are left to manage their periods with unhygienic solutions such as cloth, paper or clay, and without access to private toilets, water or soap. Sanitary products like pads are unaffordable or unavailable, and urinary or reproductive tract infections are common. As a result, girls miss valuable days in school, and women are unable to work, stifling productivity and advancement. In China alone, estimates are that there are some 350 to 400 million women of menstruating age.

In the MHM session, local women trained by WSSCC taught the girls about their bodies, the importance of good hygiene during menstruation and to feel pride in what happens naturally every month. The local women were given a full day of pre-training on Feb. 4 , which will enable them to continue to spread the knowledge and achieve sustainable change.

“The health and well-being of a nation is very much connected to the health and well-being of its women and girls,” said Chen Jinling, Deputy Director of the General Office of Women and Children Affairs of Hainan Provincial Government. “We are happy to support this workshop, which has done much to raise awareness of menstrual hygiene management and has provided nearly 30 girls, and their friends, with very important information for their own futures.”

With the group of women trainers – who included doctors, teachers and community volunteer organizers – and later with the students, the session provided an opportunity to discuss in clear terms what usually is done euphemistically. It was said how the monthly period is often explained away as “the Great Aunt”, or “the thing”, or “my routine holiday”, or “the typhoon”.  Some cultural practices and beliefs in China linked to menstruation include in many places, including Hainan, girls having their period cannot go with their families to worship their ancestors. Or, there are beliefs that they should not go swimming, or eat chocolate (because Chinese traditional medicine suggests that some foods help or hinder the circulatory system, and that sweet foods will make you bleed more).

“Breaking the silence [around menstruation] requires knowledge and leads to real change,” said Archana Patkar, Programme Manager, WSSCC. “Today’s training went very well and it shows that the WSSCC/SCA partnership will leave a positive and lasting imprint for girls and young women in Haikou while also raising awareness of menstrual hygiene issues globally. We’re grateful to the Hainan Provincial Government for welcoming and supporting us in this work.”

Kersti Strandqvist, SCA’s SVP Sustainability described the partnership as a valuable tool to make a difference. “We want to move from well-meaning words to real action. To meet the young girls today is also a means for us to adjust our products and trainings to their needs and strengthen them in their role as women. For us at SCA it is inspiring and motivating when we see how we make a difference in these girls’ lives!”

WSSCC has a multi-faceted approach to menstrual hygiene management, and other equity issues.

Source   WSSCC

Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

H & M Six-month report shows increases

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB Six-month report

STOCKHOLM, June 25(Greenpost) Due to well-received collections for all brands in the H&M group, the H&M group’s sales excluding VAT increased by 23 percent to SEK 86,143 m (69,970) during the first six months of the financial year. In local currencies the increase was 12 percent.
Profit after financial items amounted to SEK 13,158 m (11,129), an increase of 18 percent. The group’s profit after tax increased to SEK 10,066 m (8,458), corresponding to SEK 6.08 (5.11) per share, an increase of 19 percent.

Sales in the period 1 June – 23 June 2015 increased by 14 percent in local currencies compared to the same period last year.

H&M’s first store in Macau was very well received on its opening in June.The H&M group plans a net addition of around 400 new stores for the financial year 2014/2015. In total, H&M will expand its retail stores into five new markets in 2015, Taiwan, Peru, Macau, South Africa and India.

Starting from July 2015, H&M Beauty will gradually be launched in 900 H&M stores in 40 markets as well as online.

“The strong sales development has continued for all our brands with a sales increase in SEK of 23 percent excluding VAT during the first half-year. Including VAT, this means that sales in the first half amounted to more than SEK 100 billion, ” said CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

Profits have also developed well in the first half-year, with an increase of 19 percent – this despite the fact that the increasingly strong US dollar has resulted in increased purchasing costs and that we have continued to increase our long-term investments compared to last year.

In March and April we also opened eight new H&M online markets – Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary and Belgium – which were all very well received. With the opening of H&M shop online in Switzerland in the autumn, H&M will have 22 online markets.

In parallel with our online expansion, we are continuing to open stores at a fast pace.

“We are aiming to open approximately 400 new stores net this year. We have had many successful openings so far this year. For example, the opening in Lima, Peru, is one of our strongest ever when it comes to sales. Other places where we have also had great store openings include New York’s Herald Square – we opened the group’s largest store in terms of floor space here in May – and Macau, where we opened in June. Later in the second half of the year we are looking forward to opening in two interesting and large markets – India and South Africa, where we will open in New Delhi and Cape Town.” he said.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories as well as H&M Home. The H&M group has more than 3,600 stores in 59 markets including franchise markets. In 2014, sales including VAT amounted to more than SEK 176.6 billion and the number of employees was more than 132,000.