With the growing requirement of low carbon development

Industrial sectors are the major carbon emission sources, particularly in China (Liu et?al., 2012 and Zhao et?al., 2010). Energy consumption in industrial sectors accounted for more than 70% of the total national HPOB consumption (Nie and Zhang, 2009). In 2007, the ratio of carbon emissions from industrial sectors to the total emissions in China was 82.6% (Xie et al., 2010). Therefore, reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption in industrial sectors is necessary to reduce greenhouse effects. At present, the principal approaches to decrease industrial carbon emissions include adjusting energy and industrial structures, improving technology and energy efficiency, and implementing a strict management system. The development of low-carbon energy in China under a rapid growth context was projected to reduce carbon emissions by 13–18% in 2020, thereby meeting the national target of carbon intensity reduction (Li et al., 2012). Liu et al. (2010) indicated that industrial technology reformation could contribute only 12–14% of the national goal for emission reduction (Liu et al., 2010). Thus, low-carbon energy development and technology innovation by individual enterprises can hardly reach the carbon intensity reduction goal set by the Chinese government. Numerous scholars realized the potential capacity to reduce CO2 emissions through cooperation among enterprises (Zhang et al., 2013a).