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KYOCERA Grows “Green Curtains” of Foliage to Help Meet Energy Reduction Targets in Japan
Kyocera also provides online D.I.Y. instructions for taking up eco-friendly activity at your own workplace or home
As part of its ongoing environmental protection activities, and to help meet foreseeable 15% energy reduction targets around Japan due to the effects of the March 11 earthquake, the Kyocera Group is planting “Green Curtains” which are grown on trellises to shade windows and outer walls of manufacturing and office buildings at 19 locations in Japan*. The foliage of the Green Curtains create a screen, preventing direct sunlight and heat radiation from raising the internal temperature of buildings — thus reducing the load on energy-intensive air-conditioners during the hot summer months. Moreover, the company offers a special Web site with do-it-yourself instructions to help encourage people to take up the eco-friendly project at their own homes and businesses.
Green Curtains shading the outer walls and windows of Kyocera Group facilities in Japan
Green Curtains mitigate temperature increases inside workplaces thus reducing the load on air conditioner units, and can also help reduce the overall operation time. At some of the company's locations with Green Curtains daily air conditioner usage time is reduced thanks to the cooling effect of the Green Curtains in the morning hours.
The Kyocera Group Green Curtain Activities Web site provides an overview of the eco-friendly activity with photos and illustrations showing how to grow your own Green Curtains, complete with a list of materials and step-by-step instructions for planting seeds and constructing trellises.
Kyocera's Green Curtain effort began at its Okaya Plant in Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 2007 as part of the company's energy conservation / climate change prevention activities. The program has since been adopted at other Kyocera Group locations in Japan, and was also undertaken at select Group companies overseas last year. This year, Kyocera will also hold a Green Curtain photo contest for employees to further encourage individuals to take up the activity at their homes as well.
Before and after of Green Curtain at the Kyocera Tanagura Plant in Fukushima, Japan (Summer 2010)
Last year, Green Curtains grown at Kyocera Group locations stretched a total length of 616m (2,021ft), covering a total area of 2,479m2 (26,684ft2). This year the company plans for the total area of Green Curtains to be further expanded.
Further Benefits of Green Curtains
The goya (bitter gourd; a traditional summer vegetable of Okinawa), cucumbers and peas that form the Green Curtains are harvested by Kyocera employees and commonly served as part of a special lunch menu in employee cafeterias. Goya, which is rich in nutrients, is widely used as an ingredient for the prevention of fatigue in the hot summer months in Japan. Moreover, the employees enjoy watching the plants grow and harvesting the vegetables.
Scenes from Kyocera Group facilities
View of the Green Curtain from
Harvested goya (bitter gourd)
|Vegetables from the Green Curtains are served in the employee cafeteria|
* Locations confirmed at time of release. Additional locations may also participate.
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