Monday, 7 September 2009

Kyocera 'Green Curtain'

Kyocera is growing a curtain of greenery to shade portions of the walls and windows of manufacturing and office buildings in Japan. The plants, which are grown over trellises, prevent direct sunlight from raising the inside temperature, reducing the need for air-conditioners.

Kyocera has concluded that the foliage can decrease the temperature on the wall or window behind by as much as 15 degrees C (27 degrees F). As a result, Kyocera's Okaya and Gamo plants no longer need to use air-conditioning in the offices in the morning.

As well as saving emissions from less energy use, the plants also help eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere. In all, 12 locations are now using the technique and the curtain stretches for 294m (965ft) in total, absorbing as much CO2 as 194 cedar trees.

And that's not all.

The plants used are goya (bitter gourd; a traditional summer vegetable of Okinawa) and peas and are harvested by the employees and, at most locations, used as part of a special lunch menu in the employee cafeteria. The press release goes on to say "Goya, which is rich in nutrients, is widely used as an ingredient for the prevention of fatigue in the hot summer months in Japan. Moreover, the employees have enjoyed watching the plants grow, and being able to harvest the vegetables".

That's what I call a holistic approach to going green; lower emissions, actively reducing atmospheric CO2, creating quality food as a by-product and increasing employee well being (and apparently many employees have adopted the same approach in their own homes). It's certainly an approach that could be adopted very widely.

© The Green IT Review

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