HuffPost What's Working Honor Roll: The App That's Helping China Cut Down On Pollution

As journalists, we dutifully report on what's going wrong, from scandals and corruption to natural disasters and social problems. But far too often the media fails to show the whole picture, neglecting to tell the stories of what is working. From scientific breakthroughs to successful crime-reduction initiatives, the What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges.

china factories pollution

China is one of the biggest contributors of heavy air pollution in the world. But a new mobile phone app is putting the pressure on factories in China, and effectively encouraging them to minimize this pollution. The app, created by environmentalist Ma Jun's Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, allows users to check by the hour if a factory near their home is "violating pollution standards," Reuters' Laurie Goering wrote. In other words, average people can hold accountable China's most powerful factory owners.

To date, 3 million people in China have downloaded the app. Ma's team also contacted big factory good buyers, like Apple and Gap, which then threatened to pull their contracts with the factories if pollution levels were not reduced. Due to the success of the app, more than 1,800 factories and 120 international firms have now made efforts to cut down on pollution.


If you know a story you think should be on our Honor Roll, please send an email to our editor Catherine Taibi via with the subject line "WHAT'S WORKING."