Kyocera Corporation has been setting itself apart from the competition for many years now through its environmental and sustainability activities. One of these activities is the annual planting of “Green Curtains” at its company locations in Japan and at other sites worldwide. The initiative, which contributes to saving energy at the company’s sites, has traditionally been very popular among employees and visitors.

20 May 2014

Kyoto/Neuss – Every spring, Kyocera employees in select countries around the world join together to plant Green Curtains at the company’s sites. 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 — potentially decreasing inside room temperatures by up to 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 2013, Green Curtains grown by Kyocera stretched a length of roughly 1,000 meters and an area of 4,200 square meters — equivalent to the area of 16 tennis courts — contributing to energy savings pursued 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 34 sites last year in Japan and affiliates overseas including China, Thailand and Brazil. Since last year, Kyocera has also been greening its global headquarters in Kyoto.  

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.  

The environment is not the only thing to benefit from the Green Curtains. 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

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