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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Casual Day The New Way To Cut Costs

SHANGHAI -- One of Shanghai's main business districts is urging office workers to ditch their suits and ties for shorts and T-shirts Friday as temperatures approach 40 degrees Celsius.

"Shanghai municipal government is starting an 'energy saving' campaign in order to promote the people's awareness of environmental protection," said a notice in the lobby of the Azia Center, in the city's financial hub of Pudong.

It said the building association in Shanghai's financial hub, Lujiazui, and 31 other office buildings decided that Friday would be "Cool Dress Day."

"The main idea of this proposal is white-collar office staff should go to work dressing comfortably on July 27th to promote environmental awareness," it said.

It said people were being encouraged to wear shorts and T-shirts instead of their usual black or gray suits.

China's sustained, breakneck economic expansion has caused energy demand to balloon, but power capacity is chronically lagging demand and there are frequent power outages in some parts of the country.

Early this month, the Italian health ministry made a similar push, urging employers to let their staff dress casually at work in the summer so the air conditioning can be turned down.

"Taking your tie off immediately lowers the body temperature by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius, allowing a more sensible use of air conditioning that yields electricity savings and protects the environment," the ministry said in a statement.