So, are there things that individuals can do for this global issue? Although the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by industries is way higher as a whole, there are also many things that individuals can do. The amount of CO2 emitted by the electricity and gas used in homes is surprisingly large, and a lot of CO2 is emitted when producing automobiles, electrical products and foodstuffs, so we can contribute to a reduction in emissions if we are aware of all these one by one. Individuals can contribute in a variety of ways depending on their efforts, for example, they can change their household appliances to run on a plan that has a higher proportion of renewable energy, or they can take the train instead of driving the family car.
More than anything else, the biggest effort that individuals can make is to having the will to accept changes. A catastrophic collapse will come if we were to maintain our current lifestyle. More severe disasters may be waiting in store. In other words, I believe the most important thing is to realize that some things must change, and to have the will to accept these changes.
There may be differences in such a way of thinking depending on the country, but I feel the differences among generations are even larger. The emergence of Greta Thunberg from Sweden was sensational, but the 2050s will undoubtedly will be an era for the younger generation like Greta to play an active role. Therefore, it is important to value the opinions of the younger generation, and also for corporations to come face to face with young people.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry enacted a green growth strategy in association for a carbon neutral 2050, and presented an action plan for each field. In the construction industry, I feel the possibility in converting construction materials that emit a lot of CO2 in the manufacturing process. Interest in wooden buildings is also growing throughout the world, and construction techniques that are earthquake-proof are evolving. Therefore, the significance of pursuing wooden construction in Japan where there is a culture of using wood is probably also great.
I look forward to the further promotion of zero emissions by the electrification of construction machinery in the carbon neutral initiatives of Hitachi Construction Machinery. What is required in future is being carbon neutral throughout the entire value chain from manufacturing to operation and disposal, so there is probably a need to look closely at changing the materials used in construction machinery, using batteries efficiently, and reusing batteries that have dropped in performance. Nonetheless, since it takes time to do everything by manpower, including searching for raw materials and recovering batteries, incorporating digital technologies to realize DX (digital transformation) will also be essential. While the goal we aim for may be high, I hope we will consider all means to realize it.