The Industrial Green Game. 1997. Pp. 234–253.

Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Japan's Changing Environmental Policy, Government Initiatives, and Industry Responses

SUKEHIRO GOTOH

The year 1989 was a turning point in Japan's environmental policy. The concept of sustainable development from Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) had taken hold, public concern about global environmental problems was growing, and global environmental issues were on the agenda at the July G7 Economic Summit meeting in Paris.

In May 1989, the Japanese government established a Council of Ministers for Global Environmental Conservation. At its first meeting, the council set forth six directives for global environmental conservation (Japan Environment Agency, 1990):

  • Participate positively in formulating an international framework for protecting the global environment and promote measures from a global viewpoint.

  • Promote the observation (monitoring) and research of the global environment to expedite the formulation of global environmental protection, measured on the basis of scientific understanding of the effects of human activities on the global environment

  • Pursue the development and transfer of technology for global environmental protection by contributing to various international efforts

  • Make efforts to expand official development assistance for environmental protection through the development and transfer of appropriate technology for developing countries and the training of human resources in the environmental sector

  • Strengthen environmental consideration regarding the implementation of official development assistance



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management The Industrial Green Game. 1997. Pp. 234–253. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Japan's Changing Environmental Policy, Government Initiatives, and Industry Responses SUKEHIRO GOTOH The year 1989 was a turning point in Japan's environmental policy. The concept of sustainable development from Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) had taken hold, public concern about global environmental problems was growing, and global environmental issues were on the agenda at the July G7 Economic Summit meeting in Paris. In May 1989, the Japanese government established a Council of Ministers for Global Environmental Conservation. At its first meeting, the council set forth six directives for global environmental conservation (Japan Environment Agency, 1990): Participate positively in formulating an international framework for protecting the global environment and promote measures from a global viewpoint. Promote the observation (monitoring) and research of the global environment to expedite the formulation of global environmental protection, measured on the basis of scientific understanding of the effects of human activities on the global environment Pursue the development and transfer of technology for global environmental protection by contributing to various international efforts Make efforts to expand official development assistance for environmental protection through the development and transfer of appropriate technology for developing countries and the training of human resources in the environmental sector Strengthen environmental consideration regarding the implementation of official development assistance

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Ensure that economic activities are carried out in a manner less burdensome on the global environment by promoting resource and energy conservation, raising awareness, and improving education in all segments of the population This government-led environmental initiative triggered related activities within industry and various Japanese ministries and agencies. Several reports were released by the Council on Industrial Structure and Policy of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). In 1990, an interim report, Earth Revival Program, called for a new value concept intended to change people's lifestyles—a paradigm shift in innovative industrial technology and coordination of industrial activities and environmental policies. The new value concept placed less importance on material affluence and more on spiritual, cultural, and traditional aspects of life. The shift is not only from pollution control to prevention, but also to technologies of dematerialization—those which use less material and energy per unit product. In November 1990, the Experts' Study Committee on A Recycle-Oriented Society for Environmental Protection of the Japan Environment Agency (JEA), published a report that formed the basis for Japan's 1991 recycling law (Japanese Environment Agency, 1991). Industry also appears to have made big changes in its environmental policy since 1989. As early as April 1990, Keidanren (a federation of economic organizations representing more than 1,000 private industry and business organizations) released a document showing industry's approach to new environmental policy (Keidanren, 1990a). For the first time, Japanese companies were required to review all their activities and operations from the viewpoint of reducing their total environmental load and, in particular, integrating all environmental precautions and considerations into their operations. In November 1990, this was followed by another document that reviewed existing waste-management practices in major industries and proposed a new responsible upstream preventive approach (Keidanren, 1990b). This was extended in April 1991 with the consensus of the Keidanren member organization on guidelines for corporate environmental actions (Keidanren, 1991). The 24 guidelines cover 11 corporate environmental policy areas, including implementing internal environmental auditing and management, and improving environmental attributes of products (Appendix 1). Although the charter is not binding, almost all corporations, particularly leading firms, are making efforts to improve environmental performance in accordance with it. Concurrently, the government intensified its environmental public policy efforts. On the basis of JEA's 1991 recycle society report (JEA, 1991), six ministries, including MITI, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and JEA, worked collaboratively with industry on a bill to promote recycling. The Law Promoting the Utilization of Recycled Resources, or the recycling law of 1991, stipulates new responsibilities for promoting recycling in selected industries, of first- and

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management second-use products, and of by-products (Yumoto et al., 1994). This responsibility includes voluntarily conducting product (life cycle) assessments for improving recyclability under the guidance of relevant government ministries. In October 1991, the government proposed the largest amendments in 20 years to the existing Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law. The amendments introduce waste reduction at source and separation, recycling, or both before waste generation (in Article 1, Purpose); require preliminary product assessment for proper disposability (in Article 3, Corporate Responsibility); and add corporate responsibility to recover certain waste designated by the Minister of Health and Welfare as "indisposable in nature" (in Article 6.3, Collaboration of Corporations). To promote this upstream approach in industry, in October 1992 MITI released a guideline, The Voluntary Plan, and in February 1993 JEA published a similar document, Action Program for Environmentally Conscious Cooperates. Both guidelines align with the Keidanren (1991) Global Environment Charter. The latest government environmental policy initiative is the Basic Environment Law (BEL) of November 1993. As early as in March 1993, after 15 months of formal consultation and discussion with industry, the Central Pollution Abatement Council, JEA's Nature Conservation Council, and several different government ministries and agencies, the government sent BEL to the 126th session of the Diet. The bill's passage into law was rocky: It was debated for 58 hours in the Lower and Upper Houses. It was due to be passed into law in June 1993, but the Lower House was dissolved suddenly in the midst of political turmoil, and the bill automatically became null. The same bill, however, was proposed to the 128th Session by the new administration and was passed on November 12, 1993. The new legislation, in principle, is an integrated national environmental policy act that incorporates the former Basic Pollution Control Law, the Nature Conservation Law, and the government's basic policy principles for global environmental conservation. In the context of industrial ecology, BEL includes consideration of environmental load in addition to kogai, or pollution; directions and goals of a future sustainable economic society, including extended corporate responsibilities; and government policies to promote and encourage corporate and other efforts to enhance environmental performance. Some articles of particular importance in this legislation are listed in Appendix 2. THE GOAL: A GLOBAL RECYCLE SOCIETY Many of these initiatives mirror the vision Glenn T. Seaborg, an American Nobel laureate in chemistry, had in 1974. He forecasted development of a steady state world in which resources are recycled and used with maximum efficiency. He said: "We will be creating a 'recycle society' … in which virtually all materials used are reused indefinitely and virgin resources become primarily the 'make-up' materials.…" (Seaborg, 1974). Having recognized all the constraints

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management FIGURE 1 A simple model of the "recycle society." arising from resource depletion and environmental degradation, what he envisioned was a "globally sustainable industrial society." In fact, Towards a Recycle Society in the 21st Century (JEA, 1991) conceptualized a simple model of the recycle society (Figure 1). In this society, well-designed technical and economic mechanisms encourage industry and the public to seize every opportunity to recover, recycle, and reuse materials and energy as much as is thermodynamically feasible. Simultaneous frugal use and environmentally preferable selection of materials and energy sources lower the overall environmental load resulting from human activities to ensure local, regional, and global sustainable development. In reality, however, the current economic growth of industrialized nations can hardly be characterized as environmentally sustainable. For example, the fiscal year (FY) 1990 material balance for Japan (Figure 2) shows that only 10 percent of the more than 2 billion metric tons of virgin natural resources used is recycled. The average Japanese consumes 46 times more natural resources than an Indonesian. Consumption of the world's commercial energy resources illustrates the point further. In 1990, industrialized nations, with about 22 percent of the world population, consumed about 82 percent of the world's commercial energy, which was 8.1 billion metric tons of oil equivalent (Tolba and El-Kholy, 1992). This means that, on average, a person living in a high-income country consumes 16.2 times more energy than a person living in a developing nation. From an industrial ecology perspective, the current industrialized society, popularly referred to as the "throw-away" or "mass production, mass consumption, mass discard" society in Japan, is indeed well characterized by linear flows

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management FIGURE 2 Japan's annual material balance (FY 1990). All values in million metric tons (1 metric ton = 1,000 kilograms). SOURCE: Official Japanese statistics. and dissipative uses of materials and energy (Figure 3) (Gotoh, 1974). To move to a sustainable society, overall environmental efficiency will have to be improved. To approach complete closure of materials cycles in society, present industrial ecosystems, which are readily identifiable in interrelated production processes, interacting industrial sectors, and interacting production, consumption, and waste-management systems need to be assessed to identify opportunities for enhancing and continually improving environmental efficiencies. THE POTENTIAL AND LIMITS OF USING LIFE CYCLE APPROACHES Industrial practices to minimize total environmental load and improve the environmental efficiency of industrial ecosystems occur in three areas: product design and makeup, process design and operation, and business management strategy. A variety of life cycle analyses and clean production (or environmental management) systems are used for product and process improvement strategies; environmental auditing and environmental performance evaluation are used to manage business strategies. In these endeavors, environmental life cycle methodologies play a key role. Nearly a dozen life cycle schemes and procedures have been proposed to date. Broadly, they may be classified into two approaches. The first, based on practical engineering experiences in industry, is known by such names as design for environment (Allenby, 1994), design for recyclability (Henstock, 1988), or simply ecodesign in different countries of Europe. This approach involves qualitative

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management FIGURE 3 Material flows in the human ecosystem or society. Wastes from the productive industry system are not shown. SOURCE: Gotoh, 1974.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management TABLE 1 List of Evaluation Items and Criteria Used in Product Assessment Factor Item to Be Evaluated Example of Criteria Used Product Weight Weight of materials and parts in use Relative weight reduction achieved Recyclability Substitutable materials or parts Materials or parts that can be substituted for others Crushability Ease of crushing or shredding Crushability or shredability of product Disintegratability Ease of fabricating or dismantling Designed for disassembling? Separability Coding of plastic materials and Coding of plastics given and easily seen? Transportability Ease of handling, and transportation Designed for easy handling and transportation? Safety and Health Toxicity of materials used and hazard Designed for safety after retirement? Packaging Weight and size of packaging Packaging materials minimized? Information Disposal and recycling information Information on disposability and recyclability given properly? evaluations of the environmental impacts of a product by using checklists, scoring sheets, and reviews of flow charts for relevant processes. In Japan, this is generally known as product assessment. For example, manufacturers of electric appliances for the home are required, during early stages of planning and design, to perform a preliminary product assessment on materials use, product structure design, and recyclability when the product is retired, in accordance with MITI's guidelines (MITI Order No. 55, October 25, 1991). This assessment is stipulated in the Japanese recycling law regarding the designated ''products of the first kind." Table 1 presents a simplified standard checklist for this purpose. Manufacturers will usually develop far more detailed evaluative checklists and scoring sheets. Several products that have been improved by these assessments are already on the market from leading companies such as Hitachi and Matsushita. The second approach, based on detailed material and energy balances or inventories taken at different stages of product life cycle, requires a quantitative analysis and evaluation of a product and its associated processes, or the product system. The terms life cycle inventory, life cycle analysis, and product life cycle assessment (PLCA) have been recently coined to denote this approach. The life cycle methodology is a powerful tool that can help manufacturers analyze and improve their products and directly associated processes. It is also intended to assist public policymakers in formulating environmental legislation and to enable consumers to make better-informed purchases. The type of information needed differs depending on whether it is used for internal (within company) or external (public) purposes. Internal decision-makers

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management (such as product designers and engineers) require specific and technical information to choose environmentally improved materials, improved energy use, and select alternative process designs and operations. Some information may also be used by a company's top management in research and development decisions about new products or services and in gauging future business opportunities. Less-specific information may be used for public policy purposes, but for internal purposes the information has to be scientifically proven and comprehensive yet clear-cut and easily understandable. A general procedural scheme for conducting a rigorous PLCA is shown in Figure 4 (Gotoh, 1993). It is similar to the technical framework proposed by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (1991, 1993). The scheme includes clear goal definition and scoping at the outset but emphasizes the dynamic and reiterative nature of life cycle assessment practices for continuous improvement of environmental attributes of products. Conducting a rigorous PLCA using this comprehensive scheme is a very detailed, time-consuming, and costly exercise. In principle, obtaining useful information for decision making is relatively uncomplicated if the boundary of the study is clearly defined, the methodology is strictly applied, and reliable, high-quality data are available. However, these are fairly large provisions that are usually not realized in many practices. In 1992, the Federation of Japan Consumers Cooperatives conducted an extensive PLCA of the packaging materials they use. The study involved doing a life cycle inventory (step 2) and impact analysis (step 3) for four beverage containers currently in use by the cooperatives. The study identified and calculated environmental loads associated with different life stages of the containers, including FIGURE 4 Basic procedural scheme for conducting a product life cycle assessment. SOURCE: Gotoh, 1993.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management manufacturing. The information, however, has not been very useful for determining which container is environmentally superior. This is because the impact analysis (step 3) and integrated evaluation (step 4) involve value judgments that are necessarily subjective. One can hardly compare heavy energy use with less water effluent and reach one conclusion. It is like trying to compare apples and oranges. To overcome this kind of difficulty, SETAC currently recommends including a peer-review process to enhance the credibility as well as the scientific and technical quality of assessments (SETAC, 1993). The International Standardization Organization has serious efforts under way to develop an internationally acceptable and standardized methodology of rigorous PLCAs. However, this venture clearly bucks current trends that allow manufacturers maximum creativity and ingenuity and favor industry's diversified, voluntary life cycle practices as a way to improve the environmental attributes of products. Since 1985, well over 100 PLCAs have been carried out in Europe, North America, and Japan, most of them concerned with packaging materials, especially food and drink containers. This means that the application of the present rigorous methodology of PLCA has been limited to rather simple products of simple design. For durable products of sophisticated design such as a television set or an automobile, the methodology does not appear to be applicable because of the large amount of data required for every component involved, the extensive analysis required, and the many assumptions that have to be made. In addition, different results are possible from using the same methodology to compare two similar products. For example, two comparable PLCA studies applied to the same packaging material but that assumed different end-of-life disposal methods yielded results differing by several hundred percent (Pedersen, 1993). Recently, however, a new approach for evaluating environmental loading of complicated products has been emerging. Data from output tables are used for inventory analysis,(e.g., for an average automobile), and total life cycle environmental loading—materials and energy used in different but interrelated industrial sectors and consumption—is estimated and evaluated. Kondo et al.(1993) calculated total life cycle carbon dioxide emissions for an average-sized Japanese passenger car by analyzing 408 interacting industrial sectors of the Japanese 1985 input-output table. The approach still needs to be refined, but it is a promising tool for assessing the environmental loading of durable goods. RECYCLABILITY: A MEASURE FOR SUCCESS OF CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP? The human ecosystem, defined in Figure 3, constantly intersects with local, regional, and global natural ecosystems through interchange of materials and energy as natural resources and wastes. It is a complex and dynamic system with a large number of subsystems identifiable within numerous industrial ecosystems.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Natural biological ecosystems are complex. One of their important features is that abiotics, such as nutrients, circulate dynamically and are constantly recycled through producer, consumer, and decomposer organisms. The metabolic activities of ecosystems run on sun energy. In a sound natural ecosystem, therefore, everything has a use and there are no waste materials. Closing the material circle as a whole is necessary if the model of natural ecology is to be used to construct a mature sustainable industrial ecology and to transform the present throw-away society into a sustainable recycle society. Hence, from an industrial ecology perspective, recycling is important for improving the overall environmental performance of society. Strategically, to minimize loss, recycling should be promoted first in interrelated industrial processes (in-plant recycling) and among different industrial sectors (interindustry recycling) and then among interacting production, consumption, and waste management systems (postconsumer recycling). For nearly 2 decades, waste-exchange programs have been used in Japan to foster interindustry recycling in almost all prefectural governments, where the governor is responsible for formulating a local industrial waste-management plan. Recycling, by definition, is an economically viable activity that recovers, reprocesses, and reuses materials that are otherwise deemed waste. It principle, three types of recycling, encompassing both closed- and open-loop recycling, are possible (Figure 5) (Gotoh,1976). In open-loop recycling, a waste product is reclaimed, reprocessed, or reused in a different product. Recycling priorities FIGURE 5 Types of resource recovery and recycling. SOURCE: Gotoh, 1976.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management FIGURE 6 Flows and balance of glass containers in Japan. All numbers in 1,000s of tons per year. SOURCE: Gotoh, 1992. should be set strategically for cascading use, from product recovery and renovation and raw materials recovery, to harnessing embedded energy from refuse, to disposal and land reclamation. For example, if recovered waste paper is of low quality and other technical and economic factors prevent reprocessing and reuse, the paper should first be recycled into the next lower grade paper product, then into a nonpaper product such as wallboard or compost, then into refuse-derived fuel to be eventually burned to recover energy in the form of steam or electricity. Several commodity-specific recycling rates and schedules for meeting the goals are provided by the Japanese government to gauge environmental progress in industry and to set goals for other industrial efforts to improve the environmental efficiency. Figure 6 shows the flow and balance of glass containers and cullet in 1992. The target cullet reuse rate of 55 percent by the end of FY 1995 was met and exceeded in 1992, when the reuse rate was found to be about 56 percent. Numerous other variables to track recycling progress could be defined such as cullet use rate excluding in-plant and bottlers' cullet, return rate of returnable bottles, returnable bottle use rate, and total glass recycling rate. These may be useful for gauging industry's environmental progress. SUMMARY The Japanese experience suggests the following: To improve the environmental efficiency of industrial ecosystems, close and well-coordinated collaboration between industry and government is indispensable.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Several methods are available to industry for improving the environmental attributes of products. They fall into two categories: the first, represented by such approaches as design for environment, is based on checklists and scoring sheets; the second, represented by life cycle analysis, requires detailed inventory analyses. From a practical viewpoint, life cycle analysis has been limited to products of simple design because of the difficulty of performing detailed analysis on and collecting large amounts of data about more complex products. A more efficient industrial ecology in the context of Seaborg's recycle society is necessary for a global sustainable society, and recycling rates can be a measure of environmental progress. REFERENCES Allenby, B. R. 1994. Integrating environment and technology: Design for environment. Pp. 137–148 in The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems, B. R. Allenby and D. J. Richards, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Gotoh, S. 1974. Proper waste disposal and recycling systems [in Japanese]. Sangyo Kogai 10:1705–1717. Gotoh, S. 1976. Improving waste management systems [in Japanese]. Toshi Kankyo Kogaku 8(2):3–17. Gotoh, S. 1992. Japan's approach to a resource recycle economic society. Pp. 443–449 in Waste Management International, Volume 1, K.J. Thome-Kozemiensky, ed. Berlin: EF-VERLAG. Gotoh, S. 1993. A comprehensive methodological scheme for product life-cycle assessment (PLCA). Presented at the Symposium K (Ecomaterials) of IUMRS-ICAM-93, The International Union of Materials Research Societies - The International Conference on Advanced Materials, Tokyo, August 1993. Henstock, M.E. 1988. Design for Recyclability. London: Institute of Metals. Japan Environment Agency. 1990. Annual White Paper on the Environment. Tokyo: Japan Environment Agency. Japan Environment Agency. 1991. Towards a Recycle Society in the 21st Century [in Japanese]. Tokyo: Chuo Hoki Shuppan. Japan Environment Agency. 1993. Action Program for Environmentally Conscious Cooperates. Tokyo: Japan Environment Agency. Keidanren. 1990a. View on Global Environmental Issues. Tokyo: Keidanren. Keidanren. 1990b. Agenda for Improvement of Waste Management. Tokyo: Keidanren. Keidanren. 1991. Global Environmental Charter. Tokyo: Keidanren. Kondo, Y., Y. Moriguchi, and H. Shimizu. 1993. Analysis of carbon dioxide emission by material production and its application to automotive production. Presented at the Symposium K (Ecomaterials) of IUMRS-ICAM-93, Tokyo, August 1993. Ministry of International Trade and Industry. 1992. The Voluntary Plan. Tokyo. Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Pedersen, B., ed. 1993. Environmental Assessment of Products: A Text-Book on Life Cycle Assessment, 2nd edition. Helsinki: University-Enterprise Training Partnership in Environmental Engineering Education. Seaborg, G. T. 1974. The recycle society of tomorrow. The Futurist (June): 108–115. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 1991. A Technical Framework for Life-Cycle Assessment. 1990 Workshop Report. Pensacola, Fla.: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 1993. Guidelines for Life-Cycle Assessment: A 'Code of Practice' 1993 Workshop Report. Pensacola, Fla.: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Tolba, M. K., and O. A. El-Kholy, eds. 1992. The World Environment 1972–1992: Two Decades of Challenge. London: Chapman & Hall. World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yumoto, N. 1994. Japan's Recycling Law and the "Ecofactory". Pp. 37–39, Industrial Ecology: U.S.-Japan Perspectives, D. J. Richards, and A. B. Fullerton, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. APPENDIX 1 KEIDANREN GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT CHARTER Introduction Japan has been actively striving to protect the environment, promote health and safety, and use energy and resources more efficiently ever since pollution became a problem in the high-growth 1960s and especially since the two oil crises of the 1970s, and now has some of the most advanced technologies and systems in the world to reduce industrial pollution, enhance safety and hygiene, and conserve energy and other resources. Yet today's environmental problems are too critical to be dealt with solely through measures to prevent industrial pollution. If we are to minimize the load on the environment from, for example, waste disposal and water pollution generated in cities, society itself must be fundamentally changed. We must radically revise various social and economic systems, such as the layout of cities and the arrangement of transport networks, and we must also upgrade social infrastructure and, indeed, raise the consciousness of citizenry. On the international agenda are such world-scale problems as global warming, the depletion of tropical rain forests, desertification, acid rain, and pollution of the oceans. The international community's response to the problem of global warming in particular will be having profound effects on our ways of life and business. Naturally, there must be overall measures taken, but technological breakthrough will also be necessary. The problems are such that no country alone can come up with all the answers. The task before us is not merely one of rethinking the problems cause by the pursuit of affluence in a culture that encourages mass consumption; we must also come to grips with the global problems of poverty and population increase, aiming to hand over to future generations a healthy environment that allows sustainable development on a global scale. The governments, companies, and people of each nation must become more aware of their roles in this endeavor. People throughout the world must join hands to create new social and economic systems that allow the advancement of the welfare of all human beings and the conservation of the whole world's environment.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Japan must not rest content with its good record in pollution control thus far. The business world, academic circles, and government must pool their resources to create innovative technologies for preserving the environment, conserving energy, and cutting back on resource consumption. While drawing on the Japanese experience in reconciling economic development with environmental protection, we must actively participate in international environmental undertakings. Concerning such problems as global warming, we should support the efforts on more scientific research into their causes and effects and also begin work immediately on the feasible countermeasures. By showing that it takes environmental problems seriously, the business world can gain the trust and sympathy of the public. This will foster a mutually beneficial relationship between producers and consumers, thereby encouraging the healthy development of the economy. With the above situation in mind, Keidanren offers the guidelines outlined below to its members. It is to be hoped that each member, always consulting with and seeking the understanding and cooperation of consumers, government officials, and others, will conduct its business in conformity with these guidelines. Basic Philosophy A company's existence is closely bound up with the global environment as well as with the community it is based in. In carrying on its activities, each company must maintain respect for human dignity, and strive toward a future society where the global environment is protected. We must aim to construct a society whose members cooperate together on environmental problems, a society where sustainable development on a global scale is possible, where companies enjoy a relationship of mutual trust with local citizens and consumers, and where they vigorously and freely develop their operations while preserving the environment. Each company must aim at being a good global corporate citizen, recognizing that grappling with environmental problems is essential to its own existence and its activities. Guidelines for Corporate Action Companies must carry on their business activities to contribute to the establishment of a new economic social system for realizing an environmentally protective society leading to the sustainable development. General Management Policies Companies should always consult the guidelines below in carrying on their activities. They must work to (1) protect the global environment and improve the local living environment, (2) take care to protect ecosystems and conserve resources,

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management sources, (3) ensure the environmental soundness of products and(4) protect the health and safety of employees and citizens. Corporate Organization Companies shall establish an internal system to handle environmental issues by appointing an executive and creating an organization in charge or environmental problems. Environmental regulations shall be established for company activities, and these shall be observed. Such internal regulations shall include goals for reducing the load on the environment. An internal inspection to determined how well the environmental regulations are being adhered to shall be carried out at least once a year. Concern for the Environment All company activities, beginning with the siting of production facilities, shall be scientifically evaluated for their impact on the environment, and any necessary countermeasures shall be implemented. Care shall be taken in the research, design, and development stages of making a product to lessen the possible burden on the environment at each level of its production, distribution, appropriate use, and disposal. Companies shall strictly observe all national and local laws and regulations for environmental protection, and where necessary they shall set additional standards of their own. When procuring materials, including materials for production, companies shall endeavor to purchase those that are superior from such viewpoints as conserving resources, preserving the environment, and enhancing recycling. Companies shall employ technologies that allow efficient use of energy and preservation of the environment in their production and other activities. Companies shall endeavor to use resources efficiently and reduce waste products through recycling, and shall appropriately deal with pollutants and waste products. Technology Development In order to help solve global environmental problems, companies shall endeavor to develop and supply innovative technologies, products and services that allow conservation of energy and other resources together with preservation of the environment.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Technologies Transfers Companies shall seek appropriate means for the domestic and overseas transfer of their technologies, know-how and expertise for dealing with environmental problems and conserving energy and other resources. In participating in official development assistance projects, companies shall carefully consider environmental and antipollution measures. Emergency Measures If environmental problems ever occur as a result of an accident in the course of company activities or deficiency in a product, companies shall adequately explain the situation to all concerned parties and take appropriate measures, using their technologies and human and other resources, to minimize the impact on the environment. Even when a major disaster or environmental accident occurs outside of a company's responsibility, it shall still actively provide technological and other appropriate assistance. Public Relations and Education Companies shall actively publicize information and carry out educational activities concerning their measures for protecting the environment, maintaining ecosystems, and ensuring health and safety in their activities. The employees shall be educated to understand the importance of daily close management to ensure the prevention of pollution and the conservation of energy and other resources. Companies shall provide users with information on the appropriate use and disposal, including recycling, of their products. Community Relations As community members, companies shall actively participate in activities to preserve the community environment and support employees who engage in such activities on their own initiative. Companies shall promote dialogue with people in all segments of society over operational issues and problems seeking to achieve mutual understanding and strengthen cooperative relations.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Overseas Operations Companies developing operations overseas shall observe the Ten-Point Environmental Guidelines for the Japanese Enterprises Operating Abroad in Keidanren's Basic Views of the Global Environmental Problems (April 1990)1. Contribution to Public Policies Companies shall work to provide information gained from their experiences to administrative authorities, international organization, and other bodies formulating environmental policy, as well as participate in dialogue with such bodies, in order that more rational and effective policies can be formulated. Companies shall draw on their experience to propose rational systems to administrative authorities and international organizations concerning formulation of environmental policies and to offer sensible advice to consumers of lifestyles. Response to Global Problems Companies shall cooperate in scientific research on the causes and effects of such problems as global warming and they shall also cooperate in the economic analysis of possible countermeasures. Companies shall actively work to implement effective and rational measures to conserve energy and other resources even when such environmental problems have not been fully elucidated by science. Companies shall play an active role when the private sector's help is sought to implement international environmental measures, including work to solve the problems of poverty and overpopulation in developing countries. NOTE 1.   Ten-Point Environmental Guidelines for the Japanese Enterprises Operating Abroad Establish a constructive attitude toward environmental protection and try to raise complete awareness of the issues among those concerned. Make environmental protection a priority at overseas sites and, as a minimum requirement, abide by the environmental standards of the host country. Apply Japanese standards concerning the management of harmful substances. Conduct a full environmental assessment before starting overseas business operations. After the start of activities, try to collect data, and , if necessary, conduct an assessment. Confer fully with the parties concerned at the operational site and cooperate with them in the transfer and local application of environment-related Japanese technologies and know-how. Establish an environmental management system, including the appointment of staff responsible for environmental control. Also, try to improve qualifications for the necessary personnel. Provide the local community with information on environmental measures on a regular basis.

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management Be sure that when environment-related issues arise, efforts are made to prevent them from developing into social and cultural frictions. Deal with them through scientific and rational discussions. Cooperate in the promotion of the host country's scientific and rational environmental measures. Actively publicize, both at home and abroad, the activities of overseas businesses that reflect our activities on the environmental consideration. Ensure that the home offices of the corporations operating overseas understand the importance of the measures for dealing with environmental issues, as they effect their overseas affiliates. The head office must try to establish a support system that can, for instance, send specialists abroad whenever the need arises. APPENDIX 2 EXCERPTS FROM JAPAN'S BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (1993) ARTICLE 2 (Terminology) For the purpose of this law, ''environmental load" means any adverse effects on the environment generated by human activities which may cause interference with environmental conservation. Omitted ARTICLE 4 (Creation of a Society Ensuring Sustainable Development with Reduced Environmental Load) Environmental conservation shall be promoted so that a society can be formulated where the healthy and productive environment is conserved and sustainable development is ensured by fostering sound economic development with reduced environmental load, through practices on environmental conservation such as reducing as much as possible the environmental load generated by socio-economic and other activities, which are voluntarily and positively pursued by all the people sharing fair burden; and so that interference with environmental conservation can be anticipatorily prevented through enhancing scientific knowledge. ARTICLE 8 (Responsibility of Corporations) Omitted. In manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other

OCR for page 234
The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures for ensuring proper disposal of the wastes generated from products and other goods related to their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles. Besides the responsibilities prescribed in the preceding two paragraphs, in manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for making efforts to reduce the environmental loads resulting from the use or disposal of the products and other goods related to their activities; and for making efforts to use recyclable resources and other materials and utilities which contribute to reducing the environmental loads in their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles. Omitted. ARTICLE 22 (Economic Measures to Prevent Interference with Environmental Conservation) Omitted ARTICLE 24 (Promotion of Use of Products Assisting to Reduction of Environmental Load) The State shall take necessary measures such as providing corporations with technical assistance so that, in manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, they can appropriately consider the reduction of the environmental load associated with products and other goods, by voluntarily assessing in advance the environmental load generated by the user or disposal of the products and other goods. The State shall take necessary measures to encourage use of recyclable resources and other materials, products and services which contribute to the reduction of environmental load.