Green Curtain Initiative: Kyocera greens company buildings and saves energy

On time for the beginning of spring, the employees of Kyocera Corporation in Japan are planting “Green Curtains” at its company sites in order to conserve energy. Meanwhile, this tradition is enjoying increasing popularity not only in Asia: The do-it-yourself instruction explains step by step how you can successfully grow Green Curtains in your own home — in the garden or on the balcony.

29 April 2013

Neuss – As part of its traditional environmental protection and sustainability activities, Kyocera plants Green Curtains every spring at its sites in Japan and selected Kyocera Group companies in other parts of the world. Through the hot summer, curtains of foliage are grown on trellises in front of office windows and walls at company sites. This not only provides shade but also shields the buildings from heat radiation — decreasing inside room temperatures by approximately 2 degrees Celsius*, which contributes to a reduction of energy consumption from the use of air conditioners.

Furthermore, Green Curtains not only reduce the creation of, but also absorb CO2 emissions: one square meter of foliage absorbs 3.5 kilograms of CO2 per year. In 2012, Green Curtains grown by Kyocera stretched a length of 830 meters and an area of 3,417 square meters — equivalent to the area of 13 tennis courts — helping to meet regional energy saving targets in Japan stemming from the stoppage of nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Since Kyocera first started growing Green Curtains at its Okaya Plant in the Japanese prefecture of Nagano in 2007, the company has expanded this activity to 28 sites in Japan and affiliates overseas including China, Thailand and Brazil. This year, Kyocera will also green its headquarters in Kyoto by growing morning glory outside the building and on the third-floor balcony.

On its Website about the Green Curtain activities, Kyocera offers a comprehensive outline and explanation about this environmental initiative and encourages individuals and businesses to take up the practice by publishing photos and illustrations which provide information on the necessary materials, and easily comprehensible step-by-step instructions for making Green Curtains flourish at the workplace or at home. Furthermore, with the use of climbing aids, the foliage creates an attractive lush green and flowery decor on building facades, enabling not only good ecology, but also good aesthetics.

Along with morning glory and goya, a traditional summer vegetable of the southern Okinawa Prefecture in Japan commonly known as bitter gourd, Kyocera cultivates cucumbers and peas as Green Curtains at its sites. After harvesting, these vegetables become delicious ingredients in special dishes served in employee canteens. Not least the nutrient-rich bitter gourd is being consumed to prevent fatigue in the hot summer season — which is an optimal addition to the isolating effect of the Green Curtains.

* Source: Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

For further information about the Green Curtain-Activities:

For photos of the Kyocera Green Curtains activities, please click here.

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