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KYOCERA Grows “Green Curtains” of Foliage to Help Meet New Energy Reduction Targets in Japan
Aiming to exceed targets through various energy-conservation measures
As part of its long-standing environmental protection activities, the Kyocera Group is planting “Green Curtains” across Japan to help meet regional energy reduction targets following the shutdown of all nuclear reactors after the March 2011 earthquake. The curtains of foliage are grown on trellises over windows and outer walls of manufacturing and office buildings to provide shade from direct sunlight and heat radiation. The Green Curtains reduce the temperature inside buildings and decrease the need to run energy-intensive air-conditioning systems during the hot summer months. This year Green Curtains are being planted at 28 Kyocera Group company locations throughout Japan*1, more than a 30 percent increase over the previous year, which is helping the country meet its regional energy reduction goals ranging from 5 to 15 percent*2.
Green Curtains shading the outer walls and windows of a Kyocera Group facility in Japan
The Kyocera Group Green Curtain Activities Web site provides an overview of the eco-friendly initiative with photos and illustrations showing how to grow your own Green Curtains at home or at the office. The web site provides a complete list of materials and step-by-step instructions for constructing trellises and planting seeds.
By mitigating temperature increases in workplaces, Green Curtains are helping companies reduce the energy load required by air conditioning systems.
In addition to greening up with Green Curtains, the Kyocera Group has a total of approximately 2-megawatts of solar power generating systems installed at 18 company facilities in Japan — generating the equivalent power used by roughly 480 average households*3.
Background of Green Curtain Activity
Kyocera’s Green Curtain project began at its Okaya Plant in Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 2007 as part of the company’s energy conservation / climate change prevention efforts. The program has since been adopted at other Kyocera Group locations in Japan, and was also undertaken at select Kyocera companies in other parts of the world. Building upon the program’s success, Kyocera will again 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
Last year, Green Curtains grown at Kyocera Group locations stretched a total length of 725m (2,379ft), covering a total area of 3,043m2 (32,755ft2). This year the company plans for the total area of Green Curtains to be further expanded.
Harvesting Green Curtains
View of the Green Curtain from
Harvested goya (bitter gourd)
|Vegetables from the Green Curtains are served in the employee cafeteria|
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, employees enjoy both watching the plants grow and building community when harvesting the vegetables together.
*1 Locations planned at time of release.
*2 Energy reduction targets, periods and times vary by regional utility power service areas. Typical periods range from early-July through mid-September; weekdays from 9am to 8pm.
*3 Based on an average use of 3,600kWh per household. Source: Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.
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