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Omron and Sapporo lead climate fight with 20% CO2 cuts: poll

More than 40% of Japanese companies reduced carbon footprints in fiscal 2019

A solar power facility in Nakai, Kanagawa Prefecture: Japan aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese businesses are accelerating efforts to fight climate change, with medical device maker Omron and beer brewer Sapporo Holdings reducing CO2 emissions by 20% in a boost to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's goal of a carbon-neutral nation by 2050.

Of the 731 companies that responded to a Nikkei survey, 42% said they reduced direct greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2019. About 20 companies reported a decrease of 20% or more.

Omron cut carbon dioxide emissions 22% by setting up solar power equipment at four Japanese facilities. Sapporo Holdings also hit the 20% mark by installing pumps that run on heat created in making beer.

One in three companies said they aim to further curb emissions in fiscal 2020. A total of 45% said they are intent on reducing the environmental impact throughout their entire supply chains, 4 points more than in the previous poll.

For the second year in a row, the survey ranked Ricoh as the best Japanese company in efforts to meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The company wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions across its supply chain by 20% by 2030.

In addition to the environment, employment is another core component of the SDGs. Despite the economic blow from the new coronavirus, 69% of companies said they will prioritize protecting jobs, including temporary and part-time positions.

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