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Yuzawa City Holds Meeting to Discuss Steps toward Becoming Carbon Neutral

Yuzawa City Holds Meeting to Discuss Steps toward Becoming Carbon Neutral
   Last Modified:    Published: 2023/12

Last month, I gave a talk at a meeting hosted by Yuzawa City to discuss steps to achieve carbon neutrality. The city in Akita Prefecture, where Orbray has a factory, pledged in June 2022 that it would offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. At the same time, the city said it would seek to build a sustainable society while developing its economy.

Going forward, the city will work in cooperation with its citizens, local companies, and Akita Prefecture to achieve carbon neutrality, by implementing various measures according to its plans. Yuzawa’s city officials said the city will try to become a role model to the world as it works toward its goal. It is crucial for communities to take actions to achieve the goal, the city officials said.

The Nov. 20 meeting consisted of two parts. In the first part, Yuzawa-based companies gave presentations about their initiatives. The students of Yuzawa Shouhoku High School’s business department also talked about their activities, and proposed ideas to achieve carbon neutrality. In the second part, we had a panel discussion on the topic of carbon neutrality.

Case Presentations:

Below are examples of participating companies’ initiatives.

Akita Meijyo Co., Ltd.: 
The brewery, famous for its “Ranman (Brilliant)” sake, explained its initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the process of brewing, and utilize materials generated during the brewing process.

Akita Epson:
The jet-printer maker gave a presentation on the manufacturing of non-thermal ink-jet printers, and paper-making machines that recycle used paper without water.  

Inaniwa Udon Ogawa:
The Japanese wheat noodle maker explained about utilizing broken udon noodles, such as donating them to volunteer-run cafeterias that serve free or inexpensive meals to children and others; or using broken udon noodles to brew craft beer.

Orbray Co. Ltd.:
We described our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality through technology. One example is light-emitting diode (LED) illumination, which is supported by Orbray’s technology that is essential for emitting light evenly and efficiently.

Now, we are focusing our efforts on developing the technology to mass-produce a large-diameter diamond. Diamond isn’t just a beautiful gemstone; it also has excellent material properties that could significantly enhance the performance of semiconductors used in various fields. For example, diamond could allow improved energy efficiency for electric cars.

Orbray is also working to further the use of its vibration power technology, which has such uses as remote monitoring of vehicle parking. To promote greater use of its eco-friendly technologies, Orbray registered its patented technologies in 2021 on an online database operated by WIPO GREEN, a public-private partnership established in 2013 by the World Intellectual Property Organization to promote the sharing of eco-friendly technologies.
*For more details, see

Students of Yuzawa Shouhoku High School gave a presentation about their projects to create logos for Yuzawa, as part of the city’s carbon neutrality campaign and public relations activities targeting elementary and junior high school students. The high school students also proposed a plan for the city to achieve its zero-emissions goal. A survey shows that the high school students have effectively helped elementary school students understand the concept of carbon neutrality.

Some meeting participants said younger generations have been familiar with the idea of carbon neutrality since they were small. They are active in and good at promoting environmental issues. They also catch on fast and act independently.  

In the second part of the meeting, the panel discussion, participants shared concerns about recent climate-related changes. They warned that taking no action against such changes would lead to widespread natural disasters. It is crucial for us to be aware of the implications of climate change, they said. We discussed what steps companies can take to prevent disasters. Meeting participants used key words such as “upcycle” and “ethical products.”

From now on, it won’t be enough for individual companies to take action on their own. The cooperation of the entire region is crucial, and we should continue to do whatever we can to help in our daily life, even if they are small steps. We should all work together to attain the goal of carbon neutrality and achieve a sustainable society.  

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