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As climate change push grows, Japanese firms accelerate shift to renewable energy

As climate change push grows, Japanese firms accelerate shift to renewable energy

With Japan announcing a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and President Joe Biden signing an executive order to bring the U.S. back into the Paris Agreement, a wave of momentum toward curtailing climate change is growing at home and abroad. And Japanese businesses are following in that wake as they push forward their plans to switch to renewables.

Mitsubishi Estate Co., Tokyu Land Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corp. are among the major companies shifting their energy sources to renewables, as the need to be environmentally friendly is increasingly becoming a key factor in expanding their respective businesses.

On Thursday, Mitsubishi Estate, a developer that owns offices and shopping complexes in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, unveiled a plan to have its facilities in the district run completely on renewables by April 2023.

Initially, Mitsubishi Estate, which manages about 30 properties there, was going to make the shift in phases — several properties a year — but the government’s new target announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October has prompted the firm to move faster, a company spokesman said.

For fiscal 2021, starting in April, the developer said 18 properties will begin to run 100% on renewables, including the Marunouchi Building and the Shin-Marunouchi Building in front of Tokyo Station.

This will bump up the firm’s renewable energy rate to 30% compared to the current 3%. That is expected to cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 160,000 tons, or roughly 80% of the total emissions from all Mitsubishi Estate-owned buildings.
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