Metroflor Corp.’s Chief Sustainability Officer Rochelle Routman recently moderated a session at the Sustainatopia conference in San Francisco. Titled, “The Voice of New China,” the discussion featured panelists Simon Xia, Metroflor's Shanghai general manager and factory sustainability coordinator; and Jin Song, general manager of Elegant Plastics, a primary factory that produces Metroflor’s LVT floors. The panel covered a wide array of subjects regarding manufacturing in China today, including sustainability and transparency, energy and water efficiencies, and the factory workers’ experience.
The session has been turned into a five-part video series posted on Metroflor’s social media channels, introducing the company’s Chinese colleagues/panelists and discussing the current relationship Metroflor has with its factory partners. Specific topics include environmental improvements at the factory, which enhance Metroflor’s sustainability efforts; product ingredient transparency and safety, spotlighting the company’s participation in the International Living Future Institute's (ILFI) Declare label; and the treatment of factory workers and the transparency provided to customers who visit and tour Metroflor’s factories.
“It was history in the making: the first time a Chinese factory manager, a Chinese product manager, and a U.S.-based sustainability officer were speaking in the same place to demonstrate how transparency and sustainability can and should unfold in the global powerhouse of manufacturing that is China,” Routman said. She noted that in contrast to other “manufacturers doing business in China who hide that fact, Metroflor is leading the way by being completely transparent about our relationship with our Chinese partners: revealing where and how our products are made, what is in them, and how the workers are treated. We were proud to come together with them to have this important discussion.”