Suzhou Energy Efficiency Star Program

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The Suzhou Energy Efficiency Star program rates participating companies on energy efficiency, and provides training and support to increase efficiency.

SCI Information

Activity types Capacity building and implementation support, Labelling
Organisation leading the initiative Suzhou Energy Conservation Centre
Region from which the initiative is led China

Suzhou, Jiangsu province [*1]

Supplier's location China

Suzhou City, Jiangsu province

Supply chain sectors targeted Chemicals and chemical products, Iron and steel, Non-metallic minerals, non-specified, Textile and leather

Electronics, consumer goods manufacturers, textile, iron and steel industry, chemicals, building materials. In 2008, there were around 20 participants - now it has grown to over 140 participants.

Program or partnership linkages Suzhou Energy Conservation Center, China Chain Store & Franchise Association

The Suzhou Energy Conservation Centre administers the scheme. The China Chain Store & Franchise Association, in partnership with the Institute for Industrial Productivity, is now in discussions with SECC as to how to engage large domestic and international buyers of the participant's products to formally recognise the scheme and supplier efforts in meeting the scheme's requirements.

Policy linkages Suzhou Energy Conservation Center (SECC)

The scheme was initially launched by the Suzhou Energy Conservation Center (SECC) in the Jiangsu Province, in order to help the Province to meet its climate and energy saving goals.

Objective Buyer objectives:

International and local buyers are participating in the scheme for a wide range of reasons which can include reducing supply chain emissions in order to meet end consumer expectations of environmental performances.

Supplier's drivers:
Suppliers are partially motivated because buyer companies may require them to comply with the scheme, but also by the opportunity to minimise exposure to local power cuts and to help achieve Top-10000 energy savings goals and GHG targets. Due to high energy demand, authorities will sometimes impose power cuts on businesses. The Energy Star administrators are looking to secure an agreement with authorities that will allow companies who gain a 4 or 5 star ranking to be exempted from the mandated power cuts. The enterprises with superior energy performance will be awarded a 5-star plaque, which will give enterprises the publicity and the access to government incentive and customized technical assistance.

The program was approved by the Suzhou government in late 2009 and was adopted citywide in 2010.

Initiative Summary

Description of the scheme

The Suzhou Energy Efficiency Star Program was created by the Suzhou Energy Conservation Centre, and builds on a government initiative to audit major energy users in the Suzhou municipality, in order to meet goals on climate change and energy savings goals. It is China's first energy efficiency labelling scheme for companies. 


Initially the scheme focused on engaging local manufacturers in participating in the star rating, but the focus has now been elevated to seek the interest of international buyers, for companies such as H&M, Gap, Intel, Walmart and IKEA who have suppliers in the Jiangsu area. This is in response to limited visibility to, and interest from, buyers to date. Beginning in 2011 and 2012 SECC, in partnership with IIP and the China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), have held a series of workshops to engage international and local buyers to have them recognize the Suzhou EE star label in their purchasing decisions and policies. [*2]


The first round of the scheme took place in 2010 and had 22 participants. A second and third participation round took place in 2011 and had another 126 supplier participants.The scheme is currently in its fourth round and around 80 enterprisies have applied. [*3] The Energy Star labeling process takes approximately a year to complete, after which suppliers are awarded a star rating based on their energy performance. Company performance is mesaured in energy savings; the SECC then translates this to GHG emissions reductions. 


In order to gain a rating of 1 to 5 stars [*4], participants have to implement at least one energy efficiency project in their facility. An energy audit is not compulsory, but participants will lose points if they do not do it. The majority of participants have currently received a 3 or 4 star rating (with 5 stars being the maximum). Three stars signifies that suppliers have reached the energy efficiency levels of the top performers in the Province, and have undertaken a programme of GHG emissions reductions, but still show room for improvement. Five stars signifies that suppliers have implemented top of the line technology to an international level and have reached global best practice energy efficiency levels. Scoring is based on compliance with the legal requirements, energy performance (including energy consumption per unit product, energy savings etc.), the implementation of energy management systems (including reporting) and technological advancements (including process and equipment). Whole companies (rather than facilities) are rated. A rating is valid for 3 years, although participants also face a mid-term assessment by SECC to ensure they are on track. 

Throughout the year, SECC supports suppliers by conducting workshops and training on topics such as how to conduct energy audits, why energy efficiency is important, and technology training relevant to different industrial sectors (e.g. dying processes in the textile industry).

Requirements on or activities undertaken by the target group

Participating suppliers must report on their GHG emissions, and the implementation of energy efficiency projects within their installations to the Suzhou Energy Conservation Center.


Reports from the participants are verified by a scoring panel of academic experts within the Suzhou Energy Conservation Centre. This is a desktop verification rather than onsite verification.

Tools and resources (includes use of external platforms for capturing suppliers' data)

An online tool is being developed to help suppliers participating in the scheme to conduct a self-assessment.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits


As an example, one participating company (a textile manufacturer) installed three air compressors at a cost of 86.32 million RMB and improved air conditioning units at a cost of 20.59 million RMB. The two measures saved almost 70,000 tonnes of coal equivalent.

GHG Impact

The first round of the scheme saved an estimated 1,755,000 tonnes of CO2, and the second round saved an estimated 2,570,000 tonnes of CO2 [*5].


The scheme has increased awareness in companies throughout the region of energy efficiency, and the potential cost savings and competitiveness benefits that it can bring. Also a means to facilitate achievement targets for companies under Top 10,000 scheme and have the city / province achieve its 12th FYP target.

Footnotes & References

  • [*1]

    Buyers are located both within and from outside China (eg Europe and North America being common HQ locations), but that the scheme is being driven from within China, whereby the administrator of the scheme is encouraging buyers to require their suppliers to participate in the scheme.


    If the buyers find the scheme to be relevant, they in turn require their suppliers to implement the scheme.


    Information from deputy director of Suzhou energy conservation center and website [in Chinese]


    “Pers. Comm. with Azure International (2012).”