(tentative translation)
The 1st Follow-up of Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment

Outline of the 1st Follow-up under the
Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment

December 15, 1998
January 28, 1999 <Update>


  1. Introduction
  2. In 1991, Keidanren announced the "Keidanren Global Environmental Charter," in which it stated explicitly that "endeavoring to deal with environmental problems is an essential condition for corporate existence and activities," and declared its intentions to pursue voluntary and active efforts in behalf of environmental preservation. In 1996 it compiled the "Keidanren Appeal on the Environment," in which it specified concrete policies aimed at a number of goals: dealing with global warming, building a society based on a recycling economy, establishing environmental management and auditing systems, and incorporating environmental concerns in overseas business activities. Consistent with such actions, it announced the "Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment" in 1997, through which it created an ongoing framework designed for the steady implementation of environmental measures at all levels of Japanese industry. The thinking underlying the plan was that, in executing environmental measures, accountability had to be increased through declaring specific objectives and conducting follow-up surveys each year, allowing "incentives in the form of public promises" to work, and bringing to bear the maximum amount of voluntary effort. One distinguishing characteristic of the plan is that it is an industry-wide effort, involving 41 industries and 142 industrial organizations (in 1997, action plans had been submitted by 37 industries through 138 industrial organizations)#1. By thus making the effort as broad-based as possible, Keidanren hopes that it will catalyze action among all of the nation's citizens. Such voluntary efforts are also being seen in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia, and are becoming a major current among the advanced nations.

    In relation to global warming, Keidanren declared at the time it adopted the 1997 action plan that the goal would be "to endeavor to reduce CO2 emissions from the industrial and energy-conversion sectors to below the levels of 1990 by 2010." Moreover, to further increase the transparency of the action plan, a mechanism has been established by which each industry's action plan and findings of the follow-up surveys are to be reported to the Industrial Structure Council and other bodies for third-party reviews. In addition, the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan has been identified as a major component of policies spelled out in the "Basic Principles for the Promotion of Measures Dealing with Global Warming," a set of measures developed and adopted by the Japanese government in June 1998. For our part, we in the industrial community will continue to exert the greatest possible effort hereafter, while putting the autonomous inclinations of the private sector to best use.

    With regard to waste disposal measures, Keidanren has investigated and made public the status of efforts engaged in by the major industries since 1990. As a way of furthering such activities, Keidanren integrated waste disposal measures into its voluntary action plan in 1997. Many industries have now declared targets relating to recycling rates, final disposal volumes, etc., and have spelled out policies for achieving them.

  3. Regarding the 1st Follow-up
  4. This follow-up to the voluntary action plan not only reviewed the progress of measures taken over the one year or so that has elapsed since the voluntary action plan was announced on June, 1997, but also added to and updated the specific policies of industry - targets, measures, etc. - to reflect newly instituted actions, including accommodations made to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.#2

    The follow-up consists of four sections:

    (1) Outline of the 1st Follow-up under the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment(tentative);
    The outline of the 1st follow-up is this report itself, which provides an overall summary of the follow-up, focusing on global warming measures.
    (2) Results of the 1st Follow-up under the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment(Tentative Version on Portions Dealing Only with Major Measures on Global Warming);
    The Results of the 1st follow-up summarizes the reviews that were conducted of global warming measures being taken by specific industries.
    (3) Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment Follow-up Report(Provisional Version, 1998);
    The Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment is a summary principally of future goals and measures relating to four areas: global warming, waste disposal, environmental management systems, and the incorporation of environmental concerns in overseas business activities.
    (4) Original documents of Follow-up of participating industries (Japanese version only);
    Original Documents of Follow-up of Participating Industries are original documents submitted to Keidanren by the respective industries. We hope that you will find this documentation useful as data.
    All of sections (1) to (3) are scheduled to be released over the Internet(www.keidanren.or.jp) shortly.

  5. Global Warming Measures
    1. Participating industries
    2. For the follow-up, Keidanren began this spring to conduct questionnaire and other surveys of member companies, organizing the survey by industry, which is the basic unit of participation in the action plan. These investigations focused on assessing the status of efforts being made to deal with energy use, CO2 emissions, energy input per unit output, and so on. After compiling the results, Keidanren announced the total amount of CO2 emissions for all industries (actual figures and estimates)#3. Of the 41 industries participating in the action plan, those included in this comprehensive estimate were the 28#4 belonging to the industrial and energy-conversion sectors. In addition, the follow-up summarized findings on an industry-specific basis for 29 industries, including a few in the commercial and transportation sectors, which had established quantitative targets and had provided status reports on measures dealing with emissions etc. for fiscal 1997. {For information on the efforts of other companies in the commercial and transportation sectors, please refer to the "Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment(Provisional Version, 1998)".}

      Keidanren estimates that the CO2 emissions (fiscal 1990) generated by the industrial and energy-conversion sectors participating in the action plan represented approximately 42% of CO2 emissions generated by Japan as a whole(fiscal 1990).

      Furthermore, Keidanren estimates that the CO2 emissions (fiscal 1990) generated by the industrial and energy-conversion sectors participating in the action plan represented approximately 76% of the CO2 emissions generated by Japan's entire industrial and energy-conversion sector#5 (fiscal 1990).

    3. Principal findings in the follow-up
      1. CO2 emissions (carbon equivalents) for industry as a whole (28 industries in the industrial and energy-conversion sectors)
      2. Actual amount in fiscal 1990 (tons) Business as usual in fiscal 2010 (tons) Target for fiscal 2010 Actual amount in fiscal 1997 (tons) Rate of increase/decrease (cf. fiscal 1990)
        Industrial + energy-conversion 129 million 143 million (approx. 10% increase) To reduce below 1990 level 133 million 3.0% increase

        Keidanren's target is "to endeavor to reduce the amount of emissions of CO2 from the industrial and energy-conversion sectors to below the 1990 level by 2010."#6 However, CO2 emissions in fiscal 1997, the year covered by the present follow-up, were 133 million t-C, or 3.0% higher than in 1990. One reason is that, despite efforts at energy conservation and conversion on the part of individual companies, production volumes as such increased. For Japan, an advanced nation in terms of energy efficiency, considerable effort is required to increase efficiency even further. Hence, Japan must either build technologies that eliminate large quantities of CO2, or convert to processes that do not emit CO2, or emit it in only small quantities. However, both technological development and process changes entail large amounts of time and investment.

      3. Follow-up by industry
        1. Updates, additions, etc. to action plans
          Initial establishment of/additions to targets: 17 industries
          (limestone industry, construction, housing, dairy products, cement, machine tools, shipbuilding, marine transportation, real estate, bearing, soft drinks, gas, sugar, steel, automobiles, beer and automobile transportation)
          Additions of measures to deal with greenhouse gases other than CO2: 6 industries
          (pharmaceuticals, auto manufacturing, electric power, electronics, electric machine and chemical)

        2. Actual amounts and targets (forecasts) by industry
          As the table on the other page {Actual Amounts and Targets (Forecasts) by Industry} shows, efforts to reduce emissions in terms of targeted indices (expressed either as total amounts or as inputs per unit output) are yielding results in almost all industries, painting a picture of steady progress toward the achievement of targets for 2010.
          The policies of individual industries either seek to reduce total amounts of CO2 emissions or amounts of energy used, or use as targets indices of CO2 emissions per unit output (amount of CO2 emissions per unit of production) or indices of energy input per unit output. Input per unit output defines a range of activity over which individual industries can make improvements through their own endeavors to conserve energy etc. On the other hand, because total emissions are greatly affected by increases or decreases in production volume, it must be borne in mind that efforts by single industries alone are often insufficient to control outcomes.

      4. Conclusion
      5. In fiscal 1997, the total amount of CO2 emissions from the industrial and energy-conversion sectors rose in comparison to fiscal 1990 due to increased demand. However, as the policies of individual industries indicate, voluntary efforts by industry are making steady progress, with emissions showing declines both in comparison to "business as usual," and with respect to industry targets defined in terms of input per unit output, total emissions, etc. Based on the results of the follow-up, Keidanren believes that the targets established last year were appropriate. And, within the framework of this evaluation, each industry is endeavoring to achieve targets and measures that it has declared on its own, with a view toward achieving the goals for industry as a whole by the target year of 2010.

    4. Toward further promotion of measures on global warming
      1. Follow-ups are a continuing endeavor
      2. The follow-ups to this action plan have just begun. Although the follow-ups may require further improvement in some areas, we believe that industries participating in the plan are exerting every effort to pursue global warming measures on a long-term basis. Given the results of the present follow-up, Keidanren intends to carry out follow-ups on a continuous basis in order to support further progress by industry in its efforts to implement voluntary measures.

      3. Cooperation with the government and all segments of the population is essential
      4. To achieve the targets of the action plan, the support of the government and the people is necessary. Reflecting the growing complexity of global warming measures, efforts by single industries are no longer sufficient, and industry programs now partially entail the cooperation of consumers and others.
        Moreover, measures not only in the industrial sector but also in the domestic/tertiary and transportation sectors, which account for roughly half of all CO2 emissions, and in the small and medium enterprise sector, which is not a part of the action plan, are vitally important. The promotion of global warming measures is an issue that cannot be solved without the participation of all the nation's citizens. Hence, there is a need for rapid implementation of effective measures in this area, including those dealing with the reform of popular attitudes.

      5. Promoting nuclear power
      6. Of particular importance as a measure for dealing with global warming is the promotion of nuclear power. For Japan, which has already taken steps in energy conservation well beyond those of other countries, and whose policy options are thus limited, the challenge of meeting the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol would be even more formidable without recourse to measures based on nuclear power. While dealing effectively with citizens' anxiety about radioactivity, a concern which constantly surrounds the issue of nuclear power, and with doubts about measures dealing with nuclear waste, there is a need for joint public and private sector involvement in nuclear power development.

      7. Utilization of international flexibility measures
      8. Because climate change is an issue of global proportions, the implementation of policy not just in Japan but also worldwide is significant. Regarding the international flexibility measures approved at the Kyoto Conference, including joint implementation and clean development mechanisms, it would be appropriate for industry to be able to utilize such measures freely within the context of its pursuit of voluntary policies.

  6. Waste Disposal Measures
    1. Outline
    2. Industries are endeavoring to achieve the targets specified in the 1997 action plan. With the passage of more than a year since the action plan was developed and adopted, Keidanren investigated the status of efforts by industry, and, where necessary, either incorporated additions to existing targets, or incorporated new ones. Major differences exist among industries in the way that goals are established, and in the way measures are carried out. Accordingly, there is no unified target, as in the case of global warming measures. Twenty-eight industries have specified quantitative targets relating to waste disposal measures. Many industries have also included the results the fiscal 1997 status survey. For an outline, please refer to either the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment (Provisional Version, 1998), or Original Documents of Follow-up of Participating Industries.

    3. Quantitative targets (multiple responses)
      1. Amount of waste disposal generation
        (gas, flat glass, electric cable, department store)
      2. Reduction of waste disposal volumes
        • Reduction of waste disposal volumes
          (petroleum, steel, electronics, automobiles, mining, rubber, pharmaceuticals, sugar refining, dairy products, bearing, department store)
        • Final disposal amounts as a percentage of total industrial waste products
          (paper industry)
        • Rates of final disposal (construction)
        • Rates of consigned final disposal (electrical machinery)
      3. Recycle
        • Recycling rates
          (electric power, gas, steel, chemicals, housing, electronics, construction, mining, electric machinery, aluminum, beer, brass, coal, sugar refining, industrial machinery, shipbuilding, machine tools, dairy products, bearing, soft drinks)
        • Recycling Amounts (Pharmaceuticals)
        • Rate of use of recycled paper (paper manufacturing)
        • Potential product-recycling rates (automobiles, beer)
        • Expansion of use of waste material from other industries (cement industry)

    4. Improvements of/additions to action plans
    5. Improvements/additions to targets: 8 industries
      (housing, machine tools, dairy products, bearing, electric power, steel, automobiles, soft drinks)
      Improvements of/additions to measures: 9 industries
      (machine tools, dairy products, bearing, soft drinks, steel, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, beer, industrial machinery)

  7. Other
  8. In addition to global warming and waste disposal measures, the action plans of many industries also describe current efforts and future policies regarding environmental assessment and environmental protection in overseas business projects. Please refer to the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment (Provisional Version, 1998).

Four industries (Japan Machine Tool Builder's Association; Japan Dairy Products Association, The Japan Bearing Industrial Association, The Japan Soft Drinks Association) recently joined those participating in the action plan, bringing the total to 41.

This follow up was announced on 15 December, 1998 and revised as the plans change.

The amounts of CO2 generated through consumption of energy and raw materials by corporations in the industrial and energy-conversion sectors are based on survey findings.

The 28 industries in the industrial and energy-conversion sectors are the following: Federation of Electric Power Companies; Japan Gas Association; Petroleum Association of Japan; Japan Iron and Steel Federation; Japan Chemical Industry Association; Cement Association of Japan; Japan Paper Federation; Japan Auto Parts Industries Association; Electronic Industries Association of Japan; Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association; Japan Federation of Construction Contractors; Japan Mining Industry Association; Japan Federation of Housing Organizations; Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association; Flat Glass Association of Japan; The Japan Rubber Manufacturers Association; Japan Electric Wire and Cable Makers' Association; Japan Aluminium Federation; Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of Japan; Brewers Association of Japan; Japan Brass Makers Association; Japan Coal Energy Center; Japan Sugar Refiners' Association; Japan Society of Industrial Machinery ManufacturersLimestone Association of Japan; Japan Camera Industry Association; The Shipbuilders' Association of Japan; Japan Association of Rolling Stock Industries.

Based on total emissions from the energy conversion sector, industrial sector, and industrial processes , which were released as a part of the figure for total CO2 emissions in Japan announced by the Environment Agency.

The effect of the decrease in CO2 emissions per unit output in the electric power industry can be estimated as a reduction of approximately 12 million t-C for all of industry, assuming a forecast for electricity demand in the industrial sector of approximately 600 billion kWh in fiscal 2010 (the forecast of Electric Utility Industry Council).

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