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An Outside Opinion of Our Environmental Initiatives

outside opinion

Professor Hiroshi Asano and azbil Group employees responsible for the environment

The following is an outside opinion on the azbil Group’s environmental initiatives from Mr. Hiroshi Asano, Associate Vice President of the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry and a Visiting Professor of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

Today, the top priorities of enterprises’ management strategies are to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to realize the super-smart society called “Society 5.0.” As part of its problem-solving activity, the azbil Group has actively attempted to reduce the environmental impact of its own business activities and to find solutions to the environment-related problems faced by its customers and society, with the aim of being an environmentally committed company. In this connection, the important matters are the specific environmental actions taken and a data-based assessment of what they achieved. While assessing the effects of energy conservation and environmental load reduction throughout the company’s entire value chain is the first step for the azbil Group, the effects outside the company are overwhelmingly larger than those inside the company. For this reason, as a manufacturer providing products and services such as ENEOPT, which contributes to energy conservation, in the industrial, architectural, and consumer sectors, it is important to accurately estimate the amount of energy saved in each demand sector by industry type and by business scale based on energy management data, and then to thoroughly analyze which measures and techniques helped achieve CO2 emissions reduction at customers’ sites. As a leading company in measurement and control technologies, Azbil is best for this mission, which would probably be too difficult for other companies to accomplish.

First, I recommend starting to present the details of the CO2 emissions reduction of 2.98 million tons as described in the “azbil Report.” Draw energy conservation supply curves and CO2 conservation supply curves* for each demand sector from the analyzed data on energy consumption collected from various systems such as BEMS, and then propose solutions to users based on which measures are the most cost effective for which market segments. This will effectively promote the company’s growth and environmental conservation throughout society as a whole. In other words, Azbil can literally carry out its basic environmental policy of using its business to find solutions to the environment-related problems faced by its customers and society.

One additional important thing is to disclose these proposals and the results of analyses to people who are not energy experts in an easy-to-understand manner. Notably, the international community is calling for the disclosure of climate-related information based on the guidance of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which is a new initiative that promotes businesses’ environmental activities through financial activities. No environmental investments will be financed unless financial businesses can understand the disclosed information.

Regarding the super-smart “Society 5.0,” one target in the energy field is the optimization of the energy value chain by system integration technologies that employ the IoT and big data. Creating an integrated energy system is necessary in order to combine various technologies, including those for energy conversion, storage, transport, and usage, in accordance with the industrial, consumer, and transportation demand sectors. The VPP demonstration project, which Azbil participates in, and the charge/discharge control technique for EVs as resources are typical examples of developing energy management systems that employ the IoT and big data. Because remote monitoring and control systems for buildings such as BOSS can be the platform for doing so, Azbil has an advantage over other companies in terms of quick commercialization.

I hope that Azbil, as a leading IoT company, will further develop its energy conservation showcase, contribute to achieving the SDGs and to realizing Society 5.0, and demonstrate international leadership in its environmental activities while publicizing its specific results.


*CO2 conservation supply curves are arranged in order from low to high to show the marginal costs of the CO2 reduction techniques (LED lighting and BEMS) in the target demand sectors, such as office buildings for long-term reduction in CO2 emissions.

Marginal reduction cost (yen/t-CO2)
=(Annual expense ratio×Increase in initial costs+ Change in energy costs)/Emissions reduction


References:
Masahito Takahashi and Hiroshi Asano: An Analysis of Long-term CO2 Emission Reduction Potential and Final Energy Demand Structure in the Japanese Commercial Building Sector by a Bottom-up End-use Energy Demand Model, CRIEPI Research Report Y07039, May 2008


Visualization system

Visualization system

V to B Demonstration Project

V to B Demonstration Project


Mr. Hiroshi Asano, Associate Vice President of the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry and a Visiting Professor of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo

Mr. Hiroshi Asano, Associate Vice President of the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry and a Visiting Professor of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo

Profile

  • Associate Vice President of the Energy Innovation Center, CRIEPI
  • Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS), University of Tokyo
  • Specially Appointed Professor, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Professor, Regional Revitalization Energy System Research Center, Gifu University
  • Sub-Program Director, Energy Systems of an Internet of Energy (IoE) Society, Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP)
  • President, Japan Society of Energy and Resources

Career Summary

March 1982 Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo.
March 1984 Received an MS from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo.
April 1984 Joined the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI).
September 1988 Visiting Scholar, Stanford University
April 1993 Associate Professor, Department of Engineering, University of Tokyo
April 2005 Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo
April 2010 Director, Socio-Economic Research Center, CRIEPI
August 2011 Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences (GSFS), University of Tokyo
April 2014 to March 2017 Guest Professor, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University
April 2016 Specially Appointed Professor, International Research Center of Advanced Energy Systems for Sustainability, Tokyo Institute of Technology
July 2017 Associate Vice President, CRIEPI
January 2019 Professor, Regional Revitalization Energy System Research Center, Gifu University
May 2019 President, Japan Society of Energy and Resources