|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:
Web Environment Exhibition and Forest of Summit (Summit no Mori) Project
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.
Air Conditioning Energy Management System
Electric Kitchen Systems
Compost Plant for 100% Recycling of Recyclable Food Resources
Hot Water Suppliers with Air-Source heat Pump, Recovering Exhaust Heat
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
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.
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.
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)
Siberian Forest Fire Reporting
Reducing Aircraft CO2 Emissions
Go to http://www.jal.com/ja/environment/ to find out more about JAL's activities toward ecology.
For more Japan travel information, visit http://www.japantravelinfo.com
© Japan National Tourist Organization
Japan Convention Bureau