Leap from the industrial world to Chinese school sector


GreenStream Network has been successfully in China's environmental business markets for over 10 years, but in 2016 the company still wanted to create something totally new: A service and financing model for the Chinese schools to get clean and fresh indoor air, purified by the Finnish indoor air quality (IAQ) technologies and without the school needing to buy any equipment nor pay the renovation. Simply speaking, clean indoor air without school's own initial investment.

For many this may sound too good to be true. So how is this profitable or even possible? GreenStream decided to benefit from its previous experience in China's energy efficiency markets, where it has acted as an ESCO (Energy service company) for several years for heavy industrial clients; hence it designed a business concept where the monetary value of the project's benefits are shared with the customer, just like in the industrial sector's ESCO projects.

In practice, GreenStream seeks the most attractive projects from China, does the baseline measurements to understand the current IAQ situation at the school, combines different Finnish technology companies to provide comprehensive IAQ solution to solve the client's IAQ problem, finances the solution package and installs it to client's premises. After this, the results are monitored continuously to prove that the IAQ problem is solved and the school environment is safe for the student and teachers.

Since the air quality market is already very competitive in China, one must create something completely new and innovative to win the customers' attention. GreenStream's business concept to offer clean indoor air as service is one of its kind. Therefore it is not surprising that the new business concept's project "Gateway to environmentally friendly learning environment" has caught so much attention and raised interest among both Finnish and Chinese organisations.

Being a pioneer is not always easy though. Creating an innovative concept and finding reliable customers from new markets has not been the fastest way to tackle Chinese schools' IAQ challenges, but it is definitely a sustainable and risk-free way to do it. Since GreenStream's concept relies on on robust and world class technology providers, their successful performance and low life-cycle costs, making IAQ renovation with GreenStream guarantees the Chinese schools the best available IAQ technologies and successful results.

Currently, approximately one year after the first idea of the concept, the company is getting close signing deals with this business model in China and the first actual installation is expected to happen in the summer 2017. 

To guarantee deep understanding on IAQ issues, GreenStream uses VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd as a subcontractor in its project, to bring in-depth views and design the best technical solution for the Chinese client. Funding is provided by Tekes and also Finpro has a remarkable role in project.

GreenStream's project "Gateway to environmentally friendly learning environment" is not only a brilliant example of designing new business model around the topic of indoor air quality, but also a great example on how Finnish companies are stronger in China's giant markets when working together.

Jenna Hytti - Project lead
Manager, Technology Partners
GreenStream Network Ltd