Meetings & Incentives

---Japan. Exceeding Green Expectations---

Newsletter

June 2008   

HOT TOPIC

G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Focusing on Global Warming

Japan's Long History of Respecting Nature and
Emphasis on "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle"

JAPAN MICE Approach to Green

Hotel Convention Sapporo and Network–Initiate
Green-Minded Convention

Hotel New Otani – Hybrid Hotel Project

Imperial Hotel Tokyo – Pursuit to be a Greener
Hotel located right by the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Tokyu Hotels – Green Coin Project Supports
the Children's Forest Program

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Japan Airlines (JAL)

 
G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Focusing on Global Warming
 

The G8 Summit in 2008 will be held in Toyako for three days from July 7. Toyako is located in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan' main islands. The town of Toyako is on the shores of Lake Toya. (The lake is also known as Toyako in Japanese since the "ko" in Toyako means "lake".)

On the beautiful shores of lakeshore of Lake Toya this summer, leaders from the world's eight leading economies will discuss how to build a framework to address global warming. Given the vast area of untouched nature around Toyako, it is not a surprise that the G8 Summit selected this site in Hokkaido for their 2008 meeting. To find out more about G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summito, visit at http://www.g8summit.go.jp/eng/

 
Japan's Long History of Respecting Nature and Emphasis on "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle"
 

As reported in the Business section of The New York Times on January 6, 2007, "Japanese homes use less than half the energy, on average of American homes, and Japan uses around half the energy of Americans per capita and per GDP." Ecology has been a fundamental aspect of the Japanese maindset and lifestyle for centuries. Japan is a country which is a little smaller than the state of California with approximately half the US population and where 70 % of the country is covered by mountains. With this limited space and the climate changes among four distinctive seasons, Japanese people have developed a green lifestyle that minimizes waste. Once you start learning about Japanese culture, you will understand that the Japanese lifestyle is truly a green one. In Japan, three World Natural Heritages (WNH) and 11 World Cultural Heritages (WCH) are embedded within rich natural environments. Culturally and historically, people have a strong ecological awareness and devote significant efforts to keeping our country green. The frequently used Japanese word, Mottainai demonstrates this mindset very well. The literal translation of Mottainai is "wasteful," but this does not convey the same nuances that the word implies. The concept of Mottainai implies that it is almost a sin not to extract the maximum utility out of everything we use. "Don't leave even one grain of rice when you eat" is a key phrase of our eating habits. In appreciation of farmers' efforts to grow rice, we try not to leave food as much as we can. However, the notion of Mottainai, compels us to find uses for other parts of the rice plant as well. For example, straws from the harvested rice used for making rice bags and sacred rice-straw ropes (shimenawa), while rice bran is used for making Japanese pickles at home. As a culture, we try to reduce the amount of resources we use, reuse as much material as possible, and recycle waste products where we can. This is why Japan can be said to have a truly green lifestyle.

Innovation and Conservation Coexist

Japan enjoys a reputation as a high-tech country. This works in favor of Japan in the business world, but Japan's reputation in technology and engineering hasn't always led to it being viewed as a leader in ecology and conservation. In fact, however, Japanese companies are leading the way for companies in the world in terms of the technology of environmental protection, such as being pioneers in development of hybrid cars and refining water purification membrane to provide water for agriculture and drinking water in countries that suffer from severe draught. Toray, a Japanese company specializing in industrial products is a leading manufacture of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). CFRP is used for example in the Boeing 787. According to Toray CSR Activity Highlights, weight reduction of more than 20% over a comparable aluminum design can be achieved by using CRFP for 50% of airframe structural materials by weight. This will result yielding 20% better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Toray has also made advances in water purification engineering.

The technology used for everyday life in Japan also contributes to lower CO2 emission. Dan Hilton, a writer for CBC News, wrote in his article, Going Green, Japanese Style, on April 22, 2008, "With a public transportation network that includes over 27,000 kilometers (approximately 17,000 miles) of railway lines and uses bullet trains, express trains, subways, streetcars, buses, and plenty of bicycle racks, many in Japan have no need for an automobile, no matter how efficient. Public transportation has become the minivan of the nation, moving millions of people every day with incredible energy efficiency and keeping millions of cars off the roads." Japan's postal services system will switch its entire fleet of about 21,000 short-distance delivery vehicles to zero-emission electric cars starting in 2008. Hilton also wrote "Relentless innovation and the nationwide embrace of conservation and sustainability – two characteristic Japanese values – have enabled Japan to reduce its energy consumption while at the same time expanding economic output, a rare accomplishment among industrialized nations."

 
JAPAN MICE Approache to Green
 

Hotel Convention Sapporo and Network –Initiate Green-Minded Convention

The Japanese MICE market has been active towards the ecology and sustainable development Convention Sapporo Network (CSN), established in 2001 with the mission of promoting the importance of sustainability, sets the guidelines for conducting MICE in Hokkaido.

CSN educates its members (118 companies) and people in Hokkaido to better understand the environmental impact resulting from conferences held in Hokkaido, benefits from sustainable practices as well as social responsibility efforts. In 2005, CSN started a "Green Convention Project" which was undertaken as one of Sapporo city's key activities. In 2006, CSN created a "Green Convention Guideline". This project was outsourced by the Ministry of Environment, the Government of Japan via the Japan Environment Association. CSN is considering establishing a separate organization which would provide its members with measurement tools for green conventions. They would assess and audit the environmental impacts from convention activities in the future.

Examples of measurements are:
1) Issue Green Certificates when using natural energy resources
2) Promote 3R (Re-use, Reduce, Recycle) to achieve Zero Mission (Zero waste)
3) Promote locally grown products to be used in meetings

Web Environment Exhibition and Forest of Summit (Summit no Mori) Project
CSN is undertaking the Web Environment Exhibition (WEE) in connection with the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit to introduce Japan's environmental conservation engineering and actions and plans by local Hokkaido companies towards environmental conservation. WEE is a virtual web exhibition which directly links to the Summit's official home page. A part of the registration fee from participating exhibitors will be used for carbon offset efforts in the form of forestation projects in 8 areas in Hokkaido. CSN's goal is that the carbon offset scheme will be recognized by the market so that it will be included as a priority among business entities and academic institutes and will eventually become part of the people's mindset.
(Summary of an interview to Yasushi Fujita of Convention Sapporo Network on Event & Convention Magazine May 2008 issue)

Hotel New Otani – Hybrid Hotel Project

Major renovation of "The Main" building at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo was completed in October 2007. The remodeling was steadily underway along with the "Hybrid Hotel Project", a unique challenge to fulfill customer comfort and safety in addition to contributing to the betterment of the environment. Here is some of Hybrid Hotel Project.

Full-height Windows
Wide windows offer a superb view while cutting heat and UV rays by 50% and saving air-conditioning energy consumption.

Air Conditioning Energy Management System
The newly developed air-conditioning system AEMS enables guests to freely select the room temperature, humidity and air flow of their choice. The systems are also highly effective in saving energy consumption by 22.7% and reducing CO2 emissions by 28%.

Electric Kitchen Systems
The synergy effect with the AEMS air-conditioning system reduces the total energy consumption by 14.1 % and CO2 emissions by 29.8%.

Rooftop Greenery
An Additional 2,800m of greenery has been created on the canopy of the main entrance and rooftops of the "Main".

Compost Plant for 100% Recycling of Recyclable Food Resources
Approximately 5000kg (11,000 lb) of raw refuse is produced every day from kitchens in the hotel. A compost plant to recycle this huge amount of raw refuse was built in 1999 realizing 100% composting of raw refuse. The organic compost produced 3 to 6 months later is sold to farmers, and the hotel purchases the vegetables produced by these farmers.

Hot Water Suppliers with Air-Source heat Pump, Recovering Exhaust Heat
Installed as the first in the industry, this facility achieves a remarkable CO2 reduction at a very low cost. Exhaust heat from mechanical rooms are also recycled for reuse, alleviating heat island phenomenon and fluorocarbon replaced by CO2 refrigerants for protection of the ozone layer.

To learn more about the corporate policy on environment, visit at http://www.newotani.co.jp/en/group/environment_philosophy/index.html

Imperial Hotel Tokyo – Pursuit to be a Greener Hotel located right
by the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

In 2002, a solar powered, illuminated rooftop garden was inaugurated atop the central wing of the Main Building of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. As a part of an energy-conserving effort to test methods for reducing further global warming, the hotel management commissioned Japan's Kajima Construction Co., Ltd. to install greenery on the roof of the 17 story Main Building, together with a solar-powered illumination system for nighttime lighting that would also be visible from the elevator halls and a number of guestrooms in the adjacent, 31 story Imperial Tower next door.

The expanse of rooftop greenery was conceived to help reduce global warming, heat island phenomena and air pollution. Solar energy will serve to illuminate some 530 square meters of planted roof space landscaped to evoke well-tended western-style gardens and visually connect with the green of Hibiya Park across the street. The circular solar generator panels have been installed to resemble ponds. Plantings have been selected from a variety of non-deciduous, low-maintenance sedums that are hardy in all seasons. The recycling of natural resources, the resource-conscious energy sources and the greenery combine to provide a thoroughly environmentally friendly system that is also appealing to the eye.

Part of the water used in the Imperial Hotel Tower is treated to reduce impurities and re-used in the toilets for the hotel staff. This water treatment system is capable of treating an average of 320 tons of water, resulting in an annual reduction of 26 days of normal water consumption.

To learn more about Imperial Hotel Tokyo, visit at http://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/cgi-bin/imperial_hp/index_e.cgi?ac1=ET&ac2=&Page=hpd_view

Tokyu Hotels – Green Coin Project Supports the Children's Forest Program

Tokyu Hotels started an ecological program in the 1990s. These programs allowed the hotel to successfully incorporate ecological activities into their quality customer services, demonstrating the significant impact that the hotel industry can have on ecology.

Forty-eight Tokyu hotels have adopted a Green Coin donation program, which supports the Children's Forest Program. All hotel guests are encouraged to contribute Green Coin donations. Donations can be made by simply not using any supplies in a bathroom, such as a toothbrush, razor, and shower cap. A green coin is placed besides those supplies. To make a contribution to the program, the guests must present it to the front desk at the end of their stay. The Children's Forest Program is organized by OISCA International, a non-government organization which is an incorporated foundation. The mission of the program is to promote the planting of trees at school in developing countries. As of 2007, 3,084 schools from 25 countries and territories participate in the program. One coin is the equivalent of donating one piece of seeding. In 2006 the hotel donated 139,740 pieces of seeding. Since the program's inception in 2001, the total number of seeding pieces donated has reached 827,326.

Visit at http://www.tokyuhotelsjapan.com/en/index.html to learn about Tokyu Hotels.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

As the launch customer for the 787, ANA will be the first to provide an aircraft made up of an advanced composite primary structure that offers significant weight reduction and improved fatigue and corrosion resistance. The 787s relative fuel use per seat per kilometer will be a 70% improvement over early jet airplanes and will emit lower emissions than an SUV or sedan per 100 passenger kilometers.

Reforesting
The Aozora ("blue sky" in Japanese) Forestation Project, begun in 2004, is a 10-year plan that aims to promote forestation and forest management activities in areas surrounding the 50 domestic airports serviced by the ANA Group. During FY2006, ANA held forestation activities in Itohara Kaigan Forest, Yaotsu Forest, Kirishima Forest, Yusuhara Forest and Sakurajima OISCA Forest.

According to the Forestry Agency, realizing the government's pledge to reduce Japan's greenhouse emissions by 6% will require that over half the reductions—3.8%—come from well maintained woodlands and forests. The ANA Group will continue working with local governments and forestry cooperatives to gradually expand the forests of Japan.

Coral Planting
Like elsewhere around the globe, coral reefs in Okinawa are suffering from rising water temperatures, crown-of-thorns starfish, and the outflow of red clay. To combat these threats and revive the beautiful seas of Okinawa, ANA joined forces with 13 other corporations and formed "Team Tyura Sango" in 2004. Four times a year, in the spring and fall, volunteer divers hand-planted coral grown in Onnason, Okinawa, according to guidelines set by the Japanese Coral Reef Society. In FY2006, more than 200 volunteers took part, planting a well-balanced mix of corals including Edakomon and Shoga. At first, the freshly planted coral was fair game for the fish, but by attaching protective nets, the survival rate jumped to about 90%.

To find out more about ANA's activities for ecology, go to http://www.ana.co.jp/eng/aboutana/corporate/csr/index.html

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Tropospheric Observation
JAL has collaborated with the Meteorological Research Institute of the Japan Meteorological Agency and the JAL Foundation on tropospheric-observation projects since 1993. These projects involve installing monitoring equipment on Boeing 747 aircraft flying regular routes between Australia and Japan, bringing back samples collected from the atmosphere at an altitude of around 10,000 m and measuring the concentration of greenhouse gases, with a focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane.
Under the new tropospheric-observation project, which began in 2005, JAL, working with the National Institute for Environmental Studies, has installed continuous CO2-measuring equipment (CME) on five aircraft and is now engaged in a program of more frequent measuring of CO2 concentrations over a broader area. Once data has been accumulated over a number of years, it is expected that these activities will represent a major contribution to research on CO2 cycles and global warming

Siberian Forest Fire Reporting
Forests absorb CO2 emitted from fossil-fuel combustion, and many believe this absorption helps to mitigate global warming. The Siberian taiga is the world's largest forest but has recently been releasing large amounts of CO2 owing to the outbreak of numerous fires. This problem is exacerbated by the thawing of the region's permafrost, which has led to the release of large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.
A collaborative project to help prevent the spread of Siberian forest fires through early detection and containment is spearheaded by Hokkaido University and includes the University of Alaska and the Russian Academy of Sciences. To contribute to this project, in 2003 JAL commenced the detection and reporting of forest fires from the air above Siberia.

Reducing Aircraft CO2 Emissions
JAL is planning to retire its existing 747 fleet and introduce 737-800 and 787 aircraft as it aims to achieve its target of reducing fuel consumption by 20% by fiscal 2010. Available to-km(ATK)-ratio targets for the new aircraft are being attained broadly in line with plans, as illustrated by the 65.6% figure for fiscal 2005, up from 58.0% in fiscal 2003.

Go to http://www.jal.com/ja/environment/ to find out more about JAL's activities toward ecology.

 
 

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