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Nagoya University won the “Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award for Excellence in Energy-saving Practice” in 2007, gathering nationwide attention as a leader in practical energy saving in Japan. What ecological action did the University devise and implement when it was troubled by the increase in its energy usage, and what are its goals for the future?
“People of knowledge and courage” - That's the concept of education at Nagoya University, which is a center of Japanese craftsmanship. The campus, with its rich foliage and atmosphere of freedom, has produced countless “People of knowledge and courage”, who are active in the forefront of many fields. The award of the Nobel Prizes for physics and chemistry to Japanese scientists was thrilling news in 2008, and the winners were researchers from Nagoya University.
“Ecology we can put into practice right now” - That's another activity of Nagoya University. In the last few years, it has won awards for its university-wide efforts to save energy. In short, it is an ecologically active university, the foremost in Japan for putting ecology into practice.
“... But what's the connection between universities and ecology?”
Maybe some people see it that way. In fact, university is a place where so many people come together to live that it could be called a kind of town. For example, around 20,000 people commute to Nagoya University's Higashiyama Campus.
Energy saving action in the University is an urgent challenge that faces most universities, as well as companies and factories.
Nagoya University began taking serious action for the environment around 2004. It was prompted to do so by various legal regulations that extended limitations on environmental burden to universities. Under the Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy, Nagoya University was expected to reduce its energy usage by at least 1% per year. Nagoya municipal conservation ordinances also made it mandatory for the University to submit a “Global Warming Action Plan”.
At around that time, Nagoya University, which had recently incorporated, had a growing will to “run our own university ourselves”. This feeling was expressed in the establishment of the Energy Management Research and Study Group (commonly called “the EM Group”) in November 2004, as an organization to tackle energy saving. The group was a fusion of arts and science disciplines, bringing together clerical and technical university staff, humanities and science teaching staff, and researchers.
This lateral organization, integrating arts and sciences, led the start of energy management activities at Nagoya University.
For this interview, about energy-saving activities at Nagoya University, centered on the EM Group, we talked with Professor Yuko Arayama of the School of Economics, who is overall director of the Group, and Yoshitaka Kato and Masaya Ohashi of the Facilities Management Division.
In the center is a slim notice board with LED illumination, built by the EM Group.