Dear partners and friends,
Surging prices of critical parts and components combined with dramatic exchange rate fluctuations provided challenges for the business environment in 2017. The hard work of our employees enabled Getac to experience another year of exceptional performance in 2017. The company saw positive growth in terms of business revenue for the sixth consecutive year and operating profits have been increasing for the past three years. As a result, we have received both support and recognition from our shareholders.
In our pursuit of business growth, Getac also actively promotes sustainability policies, in order to live up to everyone's expectations. Extreme climate changes during recent years have raised worldwide awareness on environmental protection. Chinese government has changed their mindset and started to prioritize environmental protection over economic development. They have not only facilitated industrial transformation and implemented restrictions on polluting factories, but also launched a unified Chinese carbon emission trading market. A series of green actions have prompted firms in China to adopt measures for pollution prevention, energy conservation, and carbon reduction. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals have also impacted the direction of international and industrial development. Getac established the Corporate Sustainability Development Committee established in 2017. The committee is responsible for implementing sustainable economic, environmental, and social practices, in order to elevate the company's competitiveness in sustainability.
Following the worldwide commitment to greenhouse gas reduction, Getac has been promoting green products for many years as a way of fulfilling our duty as a corporate citizen. In addition to banning the use of harmful substances, we continue to improve the energy-saving technologies of Getac' rugged computers and reduce the energy consumption of products. The rugged computers sold in 2017 are expected to be able to reduce 186 MWH of electricity consumption per year, which is equivalent to a reduction of 985 metric tons of carbon emissions. In addition to introducing green designs, we also targeted the production processes with the highest energy consumption by increasing the penetration of automation, which in turn optimizes production efficiency and reduces power-consumption time. Furthermore, improved process technology also improves energy efficiency. In 2017, two of our production bases in Kunshan completed the incorporation of Green Molding technology and equipment, which increased the efficiency of energy use. As a result, Getac reduced its energy intensity from 0.96GJ per US$1,000 in 2016 to 0.91GJ in 2017. The water recycling rate of factories reached 89%, while water intensity also decreased from 0.87m3 per US$1,000 in the previous year to 0.85m3.
With respect to pollution prevention, we continue to improve our waste management and waste treatment practices while striving toward the goal of achieving zero violations. In 2017, the Kunshan Plant upgraded its energy-saving system and water-saving and recycling system, as well as introduced new waste gas filtration equipment in order to control emissions and reduce pollution. The plant's discharged wastewater and waste gases therefore comply with laws and regulations, and was not affected by the wastewater restriction policy issued without prior warning by the Kunshan government in December 2017.
As for corporate governance, Getac continues to conduct business with integrity, strengthen corporate governance, and adhere to the laws and regulations required of public listed companies. As a law-abiding corporate citizen, we scheduled quarterly meetings with auditors and independent directors/supervisors in 2017, so as to help board members gain a better understanding of the company's business conditions and fulfill their duty to supervise and manage the company's business. In the beginning of 2018, we approved the board performance evaluation regulations, and we plan to set up an Audit Committee in 2019 to further improve the integrity of our management system. We simultaneously also reinforced the transparency of the information we disclose, regularly hosted investor conferences, and participated in overseas investor activities, in order to keep our investors well-informed of company operations and protect their rights and interests.
Innovation, commitment, and value form the core of Getac. With our people-oriented approach, we value our employees as crucial corporate assets and one of the keys to sustainability, and hope to build a better future together. Building a happy enterprise and secure workplace is a goal we strive to achieve. Such a workplace provides employees a place to work happily and in harmony with each other. We care deeply about ouremployees and provide them with generous compensation and benefits, as well as offer them opportunities for international development, thus establishing Getac as one of the best of choices for job seekers.
The company has experienced a business growth during the past 3 years. We share the profits we make with our employees, as reflected in their salary and benefits. In our pursuit of steadier and longer-term development, we have implemented a five-year business development plan. Through regular Reviews of our goal, we continue to improve our business direction and raise business performance in order to increase the resources available for sustainable development.
Going forward, Getac will continue to adhere to our goal of giving back to society. With broader perspectives and greater commitments, we aim to foster the company's competitive edge in sustainable management, so as to live up to our stakeholders' expectations.