The major environmental challenges we are faced with demand global solutions. Our international operations are currently concentrated in China and India — two countries with rapidly growing economies that are also two of the world's biggest polluters, with huge impact on the climate. Europe is our home market, however many of our research projects address global environmental issues in an international cooperation perspective.
The rapid development of China and India's economies has led to a better standard of living for many of the people who live there. At the same time this growth has had serious environmental consequences. The air in major cities has reached levels of pollution far above WHO limits, with a massive impact on people's health as a result. There is an urgent need for smart solutions, strategic research and collaborative efforts done jointly with industry.
IVL has had operations in China since 1986, and an office in Beijing since 2009. Over the years we have been involved in a wide range of different projects — everything from restoring polluted lakes, to introducing environmental technologies and mapping carbon emissions.
In recent years, the air pollution issues in China have moved higher up on the political agenda. This has led to IVL intensifying the collaboration with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, CRAES, one of the main advisers to the Chinese government. Together with CRAES we are currently engaged in constructing an air quality monitoring laboratory.
During our years in China, we have also supported the Swedish environmental technology export industry. Together with the TAES research institute we jointly own the Sino-Swedish Environmental Technology Development Centre, SEC, which has been charged with introducing Swedish environmental technology in China. In the multi-million city of Tianjin, IVL has set itself the task of introducing the whole concept of environmental technology and system solutions that involve an assortment of different actors and stakeholders. This applies particularly to sanitation solutions able to power an entire bus fleet with biogas.
The increased environmental awareness that is emerging in China has led to a new type of project. One example of this can be found in the Chinese province of Guizhou, where IVL is striving to improve people's environmental rights.
Our activities in India have primarily targeted the introduction of more ecofriendly production processes and ramping up cooperation between India and Europe in the fields of environmental technology, energy, transportation and biotechnology.
In 2014, IVL was appointed environmental advisor to the Indian Ministry of the Environment. IVL has been tasked with promoting the collaborative efforts between EU and India to encourage environmental technologies and the introduction of smart, resource-efficient solutions. Solutions that can help India reduce emissions and conserve limited resources. The focus is primarily on waste management and water issues.
During the late 1960s, and for some years thereafter, IVL dispatched researchers to various environmental disaster sites around the world; often as a response to outbreaks of mercury poisoning or to oil spills. As environmental expertise has been built up in most of the developed world IVL's role has changed. Over the years we have been involved in a number of major development projects, especially those concerning water resources. IVL has also worked internationally with waste projects; everything from mining waste in Chile to implementing waste management systems in Russia and the Baltic.
Nowadays, in the arena of international research and development, IVL often assumes the role of focal and convening partner. Today's projects are principally concerned with knowledge acquisition and building — for example, ecofriendly and energy-efficient construction in China and Mongolia, or effective sanitary engineering in Iraq.