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Background of the Cleaner Production Database

  1. Background

The collection and dissemination of information is an important factor in the transfer of “green technologies” (“Environmentally Sound Technologies(ESTs)”) to developing countries. For this reason, there is a demand for the compilation and storage of information on the green technologies of advanced nations such as Japan.

Since 1995, the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) worked for three years on a joint project with UNEP-IETC which involved the gathering of information to promote the transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs), the creation of databases and publication of their contents over the Internet, and the operation of international seminars. The technical information which GEC has gathered to date has been classified into several electronic databases, called NETT21 (New Environmental Technology Transfer in the 21st Century), which include Air Pollution Control Technology, Waste Management Technology, Water Pollution Control Technology, On-site Green Techniques (OGT) and others (see http://nett21.gec.jp/gec/database/) . These databases have been made available over the internet and are increasingly being accessed by users not only in Japan but all over the world. The information from these databases was also extracted to develop tools for registration on maESTro(*); UNEP-IETC's system for collecting and providing information on environmental technology. GEC also evaluated and transferred the data and provided support to spread awareness of these and maESTro's databases at international seminars.

(*) Note: maESTro is now discontinued by UNEP-IETC due to change of its programme.

This technical information is focused mainly on "end-of-pipe" air-pollution, water pollution and waste treatment technologies, and while this was previously the fundamental means for dealing with pollution, it could also be described as a one-sided way of coping with the problem. In contrast, the Agenda 21, a plan of action adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (World Summit) held in 1992 promoted the concept of "Cleaner Production" (CP) integrating not only conventional individual "hard technologies" but also systematic management techniques or "soft technologies" based on a philosophy of reducing mankind's environmental footprint in all processes from the acquisition of raw materials to product waste and recycling. The plan also highlighted the need to consolidate and disseminate information on those technologies as an issue of international importance.

Energy conservation and zero waste are concepts which are well established in Japan as aspects of CP, and a great deal of technology pertaining to these fields has been accumulated. From the aspect of transferring technologies to developing countries OGTs, which have brought together improvement methodologies to meet the individual technological capabilities of the user, also fit nicely into the CP concept as a way of delivering reduced costs and more environmentally sound technologies rather than being occupied solely with the most advanced technologies. However, the reality is that CP is not yet a well-entrenched way of thinking and there has been no means for the systematic collection and sharing of data on these technologies in Japan to date. In addition, there is a pronounced lack of overseas databases which also introduce Japan's CP technologies.

The aim of this project is to gather together the abundance of CP technologies which exist in Japan and coordinate with other information sources to build a systematic database on CP technologies which is capable of providing useful technological data to interested parties in developing nations as well as in Japan and other countries.

  1. Database Version 1.0 (1998 Project)

(1) Establishment of the Cleaner Production Technology Promotion Committee and Working Group

In carrying out this project, GEC established the Cleaner Production Technology Promotion Committee and the Working Group from a panel of experts with whom GEC is consulting on an ongoing basis.  

The Promotion Committee is chiefly responsible for formulating evaluation criteria on Cleaner Production Technologies targeting developing nations, while the Working Group is primarily involved in assessing and examining technologies which are collected in accordance with said criteria.

(2) Questionnaire and interview-based surveys

In November and December of 1998, GEC carried out the "Cleaner Production Questionnaire Survey" targeting 1000 manufacturers with an emphasis on ISO-accredited and material-intensive companies and collected 49 case studies from 32 of the respondents. As some of these case studies were supplemented with reports, GEC also carried out interview-based surveys in February and March of 1999.

(3) Hosting of Case Study Presentation

Gathering together companies and organizations with an interest in CP, GEC held two presentations on 25 December 1998 and 18 February 1999 respectively, both of which featured case reports from 6 participants. Based on these reports, GEC standardized the technical information to match the format of the questionnaire.

  1. Database Version 2.0 (2007-2008 Project)

(1) Preliminary study for database upgrade

After making the database Version 1.0 available to the public, GEC performed a preliminary study in 2005 for the purpose of upgrading information contained in the "Cleaner Production (CP)" database. The study revealed the following findings:

(2) Establishment of an Expert Committee for the Update of NETT21 (Cleaner Production database)

In carrying out this project, GEC established the Expert Committee for Upgrading the NETT21 (Cleaner Production database) chaired by Prof. Toru Morioka, Osaka University, with whom GEC consulted on an ongoing basis.

(3) Policy for upgrading technological information

Based on the results of the aforementioned preliminary study, the 1st Expert Committee for Upgrading the NETT21 Database in 2007 compiled a database upgrade policy in order to add information on the present state of CP technologies. The Committee decided to focus on technologies used in non-manufacturing industries including the service and restaurant sectors, in addition to up-dating information on CP in manufacturing industries.

(4) Methods for collecting technological information

GEC carried out questionnaires and interview-based surveys in July of 2007. GEC conducted research of industry organizations including non-manufacturing industries likely to possess CP technology information by using the internet and other sources to solicit introduction of businesses carrying out eco-initiatives and those undertaking initiatives in their industry. From September to November in 2007, GEC sent a questionnaire targeting around 100 firms involved in eco-initiatives in order to request submissions of information relating to CP technology, as a result of which GEC received several replies. GEC then performed interview-based surveys aimed at individual businesses to make the same request and received 52 submissions of technology information from 21 companies in particular from the service sectors.  

Admittedly, the recently upgraded Database Version 2.0 has been expanded to include CP technology information on products and services so there are some areas where the conventional data organization methods used in Version 1.0 cannot be applicable appropriately. That is why GEC have been continuing to refine the data management procedures as well as actively seek out and collect CP information not only from other sectors but also from other companies in the same sectors than those included in the current version in order to make the database more appealing and easier to use to both data providers and users in developing countries and data providers alike. The upgrade of Database Version 2.0 is therefore being regarded as a trial to this end. GEC will extend the information on CP included in the current version and improve the functions of the Database. In this context, GEC would like to invite companies and other entities related to provide CP information to GEC:

Contacts: Global Environmental Centre Foundation (GEC)
 

Table 1: List of Data Added to CP Database in 2007 (2007 Project)

No

Submitting Party

Remarks

No01

Sanki Feed Industry Co., Ltd.

Fish Waste Total Recycling Method

No02

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

Energy-saving Propeller Attachment Device

No03

The Merry Corporation

Food Scrap Community Recycling System (Merry's System)

No04

The Merry Corporation

"FOURSTARS" Food Waste Fermentation/Decomposition Device

No05

The Merry Corporation

A New Concept in Compost : "Nagomi" Soil Conditioning Agent

No06

Nishinomiya Merchandising Centre, SKYLARK CO., LTD.

Improvement in COP (Coefficient of Performance) using reed screen

No07

Nishinomiya Merchandising Centre, SKYLARK CO., LTD.

Inventory reductions through improvement of logistics system

No08

Nishinomiya Merchandising Centre, SKYLARK CO., LTD.

Review of cooling equipment through improved thermal insulation & lower ceilings

No09

Nishinomiya Merchandising Centre, SKYLARK CO., LTD.

Installation of the Thermo Shutter reduces the load on ventilation from product freezer entrances

No10

Osaka City General Hospital

Optimisation of external air used for air conditioning

No11

Osaka City General Hospital

Reduction in power required to pump hot & cold water/cooling water for air conditioning

No12

Osaka City General Hospital

Utilisation of high-efficiency lighting (upgrade to HF lamps and ballasts)

No13

ORIX AUTO Corporation

Carsharing

No14

Awa Commercial Development Co., Ltd.

Renewal of Airconditioning Equipment for Energy Conservation

No15

Izumiya Co., Ltd.

Returnable Delivery Containers

No16

Izumiya Co., Ltd.

Hanger Delivery:Delivery system of Clothing on Hangers

No17

Izumiya Co., Ltd.

Total Volume Delivery System

No18

Bando Chemical Industries, Ltd.

Energy-saving V Belt

No19

Bando Chemical Industries, Ltd.

Energy-saving Conveyor Belt

No20

The Consumer Co-operative Kobe

Eco Farm

No21

The Consumer Co-operative Kagoshima

Rooftop Thermal Insulation Coating

No22

The Consumer Co-operative Kagoshima

Ceiling Undersurface Temperature Mitigation

No23

LAWSON, INC

Combined Refrigeration and Air Conditioning System

No24

LAWSON, INC

Automatically Adjustable Lighting System with Solar Light Sensors

No25

LAWSON, INC

Reflective Store Signage Device

No26

LAWSON, INC

Introduction of Total Heat Exchangers

No27

LAWSON, INC

Reusable Bag Initiative

No28

LAWSON, INC

"Bring Your Own" Chopsticks Initiative

No29

LAWSON, INC

Waste oil recycling

No30

LAWSON, INC

Leftover Food Recycling

No31

LAWSON, INC

Introduction of organic waste processors

No32

LAWSON, INC

Promoting Joint Deliveries

No33

LAWSON, INC

Implementation of "Dual-temperature Partitioning Transport" Method

No34

LAWSON, INC

Introduction of Eco-friendly materials

No35

Kokuyo S&T Co., Ltd.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-accredited notebook

No36

Kokuyo S&T Co., Ltd.

"All Paper" Flat File

No37

KOKUYO Product Shiga Co., Ltd.

The "ReEDEN" series of paper products made from reeds

No38

Oji Interpack Co., Ltd.

HIPLE-ACE (corrugated fiberboard)

No39

Oji Interpack Co., Ltd.

Tough Pak (returnable box)

No41

The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc

CO2 separation & recovery system ( in Developing Phase )

No42

Suntory Ltd.

Beer and Beverage Plant Residue Recycling

No43

Suntory Ltd.

Sludge Recycling

No44

Suntory Ltd.

Reuse of Whiskey Barrels

No45

Suntory Ltd.

Modal Shift Promotion

No46

Suntory Ltd.

Promotion of Container Recycling

No47

The Shiga Bank, Ltd.

Shiga Bank "Principals for Lake Biwa" support fund (PLB Fund)

No48

SG HOLDINGS CO., LTD.

Introduction of Eco car bodies

No49

SG HOLDINGS CO., LTD.

Introduction of natural gas vehicles

No50

Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.

Insulated exterior wall with air circulation function

No51

Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.

Recyclable and reconstructible "environmentally-responsive stores"

No52

Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.

Creation of a resource recycling system within the Daiwa Group

No53

Research Institute for Quality Living Co., Ltd.

Case of resource conservation via implementation of an automated aerobic count measuring device (TEMPO) in Bacteriological testing

N.B. No. 40 is omitted from the table due to the need for post-collection investigations.


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