In 2005, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment introduced the Cool Biz campaign to offices everywhere to reduce Japanese energy consumption. Before the implementation of Cool Biz, companies turned down their AC units to accommodate Japan’s hot, humid climate during the summer months. Under the Cool Biz initiative, offices now keep their thermostat set to no less than 82 degrees Fahrenheit and employees adhere to a different dress code from May to June.
Although the campaign was met with resistance in the early years, it has become one of Japan’s most impactful environmental initiatives. Let’s discuss the benefits of the Cool Biz campaign and a few other ways that you can implement eco-friendly business practices today.
In hot, humid climates, most office buildings rely on setting their thermostats to cooler temperatures in the summer, but Japan chooses to reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging companies to keep their A/C at higher temperatures. Employees adhere to a more casual dress code in the summer to compensate for these changes. While most employees are not permitted to wear t-shirts or exercise shorts, they can wear business casual clothing, such as polo shirts or a short-sleeved blouse.
In the first year since implementing the Cool Biz campaign, Japan reduced carbon emissions by 460,000 tons. Companies such as the Narita International Airport Corporation saved $47,300 in 2005 simply by increasing their office temperatures. As participation and support for the Cool Biz campaign increases, Japan hopes to achieve the government’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
Reducing your energy expenditures in the summer months is only one tactic your company can implement to become a better eco-steward. If you’re interested in going green, consider incorporating the following strategies into your company’s current procedures:
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