Japan CEOs Shunning Air Conditioning in Executive Suites

Japan turns up the heat
Japan turns up the heat

Touting air conditioning as an amenity in a business center is akin to touting a ceiling and a floor. It’s just a given.

But executives in Japan may not be as interested in air conditioning at business centers in the face of a broad movement to conserve energy.

According to an article in the BusinessMirror, Japan’s executives sweat in offices to just save power. The article chronicles the experience of Honda Motor company and quotes Takanobu Ito, the company’s president.

“We are already used to being in this warm office,” Ito told the BusinessMirror as he gestured with his short-sleeved arms as a spokesman stirs the air with a paper fan. “We hope visitors understand the heat is part of our effort to save energy.”

But the BusinessMirror article then goes on to say that Honda is no exception. In the wake of last year’s nuclear power plant disaster, the cost of energy in Japan has skyrocketed and companies there are working to save power.

Business centers in Japan should take notice of the trend. For some business centers, turning the air conditioning down to 28 degrees Celsius during the summer may not be the best option. But there are energy conservation measures that can be deployed for the greater good of Japan.

Business centers looking for join the campaign to save energy can check out Cool Biz for suggestions. The U.S. Department of Energy has also complied an Office Energy Checklist that would be appropriate for any business center looking to cut costs and reduce impacts on the environment anywhere in the world.

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Here are some tips from that list:

• Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for desk lamps and overhead lighting. Using CFLs instead of comparable incandescent bulbs can save about 50 percent on your lighting costs. CFLs use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer.

• Switch off all unnecessary lights. Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when not in use to reduce energy use and costs.

• Turn off lights when you leave at night.

• Use natural lighting or daylighting. When feasible, turn off lights near windows.

• Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it, to directly illuminate work areas.

• Close or adjust window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months. Overhangs or exterior window covers are most effective to block sunlight on south-facing windows.

How does your business center work to conserve energy?

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