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50 member companies now! RE100 goes from strength to strength in Japan but government action still needed 

1 February 2021, 4:00 GMT 9 min read

  • Major Japanese brands including global camera company Nikon & instant foods producer Nissin join the RE100 initiative today. 
  • RE100 reaches milestone of 50 Japanese businesses committed to 100% renewable power, now accounting for ~1/6 of global membership. 
  • Policymakers expected to revise Japan’s renewable electricity target to help deliver on net zero goal – but will it be enough to meet growing demand?  

Corporate demand for clean energy in Japan is reaching new heights today (Monday, 1st February 2021), building pressure on the government to play its part by increasing renewable electricity deployment. 

Ichigo Inc., Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd, Nikon Corporation, and Nissin Foods Holdings are the latest Japanese companies to join the global RE100 initiative. RE100 is led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, and brings together almost 300 major businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity for their operations. 

As of today, Japan is home to 50 of these leading companies; the second highest number of RE100 members after the United States. It also plays host to 60 global RE100 members with international operations in Japan.  

Despite increasing corporate demand for clean energy, Japan was recently cited as one of the most challenging markets in the world by RE100 members. High cost and limited availability mean Japanese companies have tended to set much later goals for reaching 100% renewable power compared to the global average (2028). 

However, over the coming weeks, policymakers are expected to revise Japan’s renewable energy mix in light of its new 2050 net zero emissions goal. Recently, over 160 Japanese companies backed a more ambitious national target of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 (up from 22%), to unlock a faster clean energy transition. 

“It’s fantastic to reach this milestone reflecting the rising corporate demand for clean energy, but RE100 research shows that high costs and a lack of availability in Japan are stopping major companies from switching to renewables at speed. As policymakers review Japan’s energy mix over the coming weeks, they must seize the opportunity to align with the net zero goal and target 50% renewable electricity by 2030. This will send the right signals to the market and help improve supply – a win-win for business and government.”

Helen Clarkson, CEO, the Climate Group

A statement by Kenichi Ishida, Managing Officer, Sekisui House, Ltd., Toshihiro Kawakami, Leader, Environmental Management Department, LIXIL Corporation, and Kahori Miyake, Executive Officer, CSR & Communication, AEON CO., Ltd, Co-Chairs of JCLP – Regional Delivery Partner for RE100, says,  

“We are pleased that the number of RE100 Japanese member companies has reached 50. 29 are JCLP members. We are getting into the very important transition stage for Japanese companies to be competitive, and this turning point depends on the success of bringing renewable energy to the next phase. There is enough potential to generate renewable energy to cover the total consumption in Japan. We hope that the number of RE100 member companies will increase further, aiming for carbon neutrality in 2050. JCLP, as a regional partner of RE100, is supporting Japanese companies who are interested in joining RE100.” 

Nissin

New RE100 joiners  

Ichigo Inc. 

Ichigo Inc. is committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity for its own operations by 2040. 

Takuma Hasegawa, President, Ichigo, said, “We strongly support the RE100 initiative, and are delighted to join RE100 as it reaches its milestone of 50 Japanese Members. As a Japanese sustainable infrastructure company, Ichigo is producing renewable energy at its solar and wind power plants in communities across Japan while adding new value to real estate. We are working to minimise our environmental impact and contribute to achieving Japan’s net zero target.” 
  
Kumagai Gumo Co., Ltd

Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd is a Japanese construction company involved in planning, designing, and implementing construction work, as well as providing engineering, management and consulting services. The company has been involved in numerous large-scale construction projects around the world. Kumagai Gumi has set a target to source 100% renewable electricity by 2050. 

Yasunori Sakurano, President of Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd, said, “We are delighted to join RE100. We feel responsible for our big task to tackle this climate crisis and determined to start our new journey for 100% renewable energy. Our business activities require a large amount of energy. We firmly believe that our early shift to renewable energy could widely show the value of this action to society, accelerate the use of renewable energy, and contribute to tackling global issues.” 
 
Nikon Corporation 

As well as producing cameras and binoculars, Nikon’s products are used in healthcare, manufacturing and a range of technologies. Electricity accounts for 90% of the energy used by Nikon Group, and Nikon Corporation accounts for one third of its electricity. This, coupled with a desire to help deliver on Japan’s net zero goal and contribute to the spread of renewable energy in society, has driven Nikon to set a target to source 100% renewable electricity by 2050. Nikon will switch its factories to renewable electricity, and if there are challenges related to availability, the company will purchase renewable electricity attribute certificates. 

Toshikazu Umatate, Representative Director and President, Nikon Corporation, said, “We are delighted to join other leading companies in the global RE100 initiative committed to 100% renewable electricity, and we hope to inspire many more in the electronics sector to follow. To enable companies of all sizes in Japan to use renewable energy, business and government action must go hand-in-hand. This is why we support a more ambitious renewable electricity target.” 
 
Nissin Foods Holdings 

Nissin Foods Holdings is a Japanese food company that produces instant noodles and convenience food. With numerous food brands, their products are sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.  

Recognising the impact of climate change on its supply chain, Nissin Foods Holdings has committed to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2050, with an interim goal of 60% by 2030. The company is exploring options with electric power companies, and for installing solar panels, to transition the electricity use at its manufacturing plants. 

Koki Ando, President and Representative Director, Nissin Foods Holdings, said, “To make our business sustainable, we must confront environmental and social issues such as climate change. As a responsible company, we take actions initiatively rather than waiting for government decisions such as energy policy. By participating in RE100, we will further accelerate our efforts on climate change.”  

Supportive comment 
 
Ricoh 

Jake Yamashita, President and CEO, Ricoh Company, said, “I would like to express my sincere respect and gratitude to all the Japanese companies that have taken on the challenge and chosen to participate in RE100. When I decided to have Ricoh be the first Japanese company to join RE100, I expected other companies to join in, but I never imagined that 50 companies would join over the next four years. It would please me greatly if Ricoh’s participation had been the impetus for other companies to do the same. Today, the impact of climate crisis continues to threaten lives, our wellbeing, and our business environment. We cannot delay taking action. More and more, companies are expected to achieve the realisation of carbon neutrality by 2050 in Japan and around the world. Ricoh will continue to take on the challenge of achieving the goals of RE100, and as a member of JCLP, will maintain a leadership role toward the realisation of a zero carbon society by encouraging more Japanese companies to participate in RE100.” 
 
Ministry of Environment 

A statement from Japan’s Ministry of Environment reads: “We are very pleased to see the number of RE100 Japanese companies becoming 50, and we have highest respect for the leadership of them. Japan has declared it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In order to achieve this, maximum transition to renewable energy is essential, and we believe that will lead to increasing corporate value, enhancing regional economic circulation and resilience in the event of a disaster. As a RE100 ambassador, the Ministry of the Environment aims to go for 100% renewables by 2030 for the electricity consumed by ourselves, and we strongly support spreading renewable energy to companies/business, also expanding zero carbon cities. We continue to cooperate with all parties, including RE100 members, to promote renewable energy and proactively support activities towards decarbonisation.” 
 
Ministry of Defense 

A statement from Japan’s Ministry of Defense, reads, “Climate change issues can affect not only the peace and stability of the international society, but also can negatively affect people's lives. It is very encouraging that the number of Japanese companies that joined RE100 has reached 50, which has a great significance from the perspective of promoting climate change countermeasures. Since the Ministry of Defense has become an ambassador for RE100 last year, we have been shifting to renewable electricity for the facilities of the Ministry of Defense, including the Self-Defense Forces and bases, and we continue to promote this transition. As a RE100 Ambassador, the Ministry of Defense will provide maximum support and contribute to climate change countermeasures.” 
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

A statement from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also an ambassador of RE100, reads: “Congratulations on reaching 50 Japanese companies participating in RE100. Climate change is an important issue for the international community. In order to realise a decarbonised society, the efforts of private companies are essential. As a diplomatic authority, we welcome the growing momentum for climate action by companies in Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work on climate action and the introduction of renewable energy in cooperation with Japanese companies.” 
 
ENDS 

Read the press release in Japanese.
 
Contacts 
(Japan) Mayuko Ono, JCLP Secretariat, m-ono@iges.or.jp   
(UK) Marie Reynolds, the Climate Group MReynolds@theclimategroup.org  
 
Notes to editor 
1.    The RE100 Progress and Insights Annual Report 2020 revealed Japan as one of the most challenging markets in the world for RE100 companies to source 100% renewable power. More needs to be done for Japan to realise the scale and speed of demand-driven renewables investment that regions such as Europe and North America are already enjoying. Fully removing the barriers will allow Japan to progress quickly towards its net zero goal with little to no cost to public finances. 
 
2.    In October, JCLP (the Regional Delivery Partner for RE100 in Japan) issued “the Proposals for the Review of the Long-Term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook (Energy Mix)", calling on the government to set a target of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 to help achieve the 2050 net zero emissions goal.  
 
About RE100 
RE100 is a global initiative bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, the group have a total revenue of over US$6.6 trillion and operate in a diverse range of sectors. Together, they send a powerful signal to policymakers and investors to accelerate the transition to a clean economy. #RE100  
 
About the Climate Group 
The Climate Group drives climate action. Fast. Our goal is a world of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with greater prosperity for all. We focus on systems with the highest emissions and where our networks have the greatest opportunity to drive change. We do this by building large and influential networks and holding organisations accountable, turning their commitments into action. We share what we achieve together to show more organisations what they could do. We are an international non-profit organisation, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York. We are proud to be part of the We Mean Business coalition. Follow us on Twitter @ClimateGroup.   
 
About JCLP 
Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP) is a coalition of businesses (169 companies as of February 2021) that aims to create a zero carbon society, built on the idea that decarbonisation is essential to economic development. The group’s total sales are 126 trillion JPY (US$1.2 trillion) and electricity demand together amounts to 53 TWh representing 7.7% of the electricity demand of the industries in Japan. It was set up in 2009 to encourage the business sector to develop a sound sense of urgency on climate action. The members share a common goal and proactively communicate with policy makers, business peers and the civil society. JCLP remains unique in Japan in that a key focus is policy engagement around actions for decarbonisation, aimed at both local and central governments in the country. Since April 2017, JCLP has been the Climate Group’s Regional Delivery Partner on RE100, EP100 and EV100 initiatives in Japan. Here is a list of RE100 members in Japan