Tackling Climate Change
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions at offices and network facilities
The SoftBank Group
A range of energy saving measures such as controlled lighting levels and optimized air conditioning timing in accordance with the Act on the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Saving Act) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Environmental Preservation Ordinance are being implemented at the building where SoftBank Group Corp. headquarters and many Softbank Group companies are located. In the summer of 2011, the Group made an all-out effort to save energy to address power supply shortage resulting from the shutdown of some of power plants after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and reduced power consumption at the Shiodome Building by 39% year-on-year during the period between July 1, 2011 and September 9, 2011. With continued energy-saving efforts energy consumption in the summer of 2015 fell by 38% compared to 2010.
Support for COOL CHOICE
The SoftBank Group supports COOL CHOICE, a national campaign conducted by the Ministry of the Environment to mitigate global warming. COOL CHOICE encourages people to make environmentally conscious choices, such as choosing energy-efficient, low-carbon products, services and activities to achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gases in fiscal 2030 by 26% compared to fiscal 2013 – the target set by Japan’s Global Warming Prevention Headquarters.
To promote and expand the use of renewable energy and mitigate global warming, SoftBank is pursuing initiatives such as the Shizen Denki plan of Softbank Denki, a service that utilizes renewable energy generated by SB Energy Corp.
SoftBank Corp. is pursuing efficient energy saving measures through setting the temperature of air-conditioning systems to the optimal range for normal equipment operation at base stations and network centers, actively adopting state-of-the-art power saving equipment, and implementing scheduled upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of aging and obsolete equipment.
The company acquired certification for the ISO14001 international standards and is proactively making efforts to reduce power consumption at its communications facilities including network centers and data centers.
SoftBank obtains Eco ICT mark
SoftBank supports the aims of the ICT Ecology Guideline Council and have acquired the ICT echo mark, which is awarded to corporations that meet certain criteria set by the ICT Ecology Guideline Council. The mark was acquired following a self-assessment by the companies of initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions at their businesses, such as the formulation of procurement criteria for equipment and services that focus on reducing CO2 emissions.
Reducing energy and paper consumption through White Work Style
SoftBank is engaged in reducing environmental impact through the application of information and communications technology (ICT). Through the implementation and proposal of a new way of working called White Work Style, work efficiency is improved while the volume of paper and energy consumed in day-to-day business is also reduced.
White Work Style is a service that allows employees to access internal work systems and software simply by connecting to SoftBank's network. Home PCs or personal iPhones and iPads can also be connected to an environment equivalent to the office PC, allowing flexibility in working time and location, such as teleworking from home, when on the move or from outside of the office.
Furthermore, with computer processing carried out on network servers rather than individual computers, computer power consumption can be reduced. By centralizing these servers at a large-scale data center, operational efficiency can be improved and overall power consumption will be reduced.
According to estimates by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, energy consumption from the use of office automation equipment and lighting can be reduced by 43% with the introduction of telework. Even when energy consumption at the home office is factored in, it is possible to reduce energy consumption by 14%. Through the promotion of teleworking, it is possible to reduce the amount of energy consumption throughout society. It is also an important initiative from an energy conservation standpoint.
Moreover, through the use of iPhones and iPads, documents stored on servers can be accessed as necessary. This has made it possible to reduce paper handouts and to present information in a more effective manner using video.
Improving energy efficiency at data centers
IDC Frontier Inc.
Asian Frontier, a next-generation data center complex in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, is an environmentally sustainable data center. It is the first large commercial data center in Japan to adopt air conditioning using outside air. Its unique GreenMall® construction method allows optimization of high-density server operations and air conditioning efficiency, leading to energy saving. IDC Frontier was awarded with the Minister's Award at the 36th Environment Prize, the FY2008 Minister's Award for Global Warming Prevention, and the Prize for Encouragement at the 6th Kitakyushu Environmental Awards.
It was also awarded with the Special Award at the Green Grid Data Center Awards 2010 co-hosted by The Green Grid, a group working to improve energy efficiency in data centers and business computing as a whole, and DatacenterDynamics Ltd. IDC Frontier won the award as its efforts for the greater energy efficiency at data centers and continuous improvement in performance indicators was commended by the Award Selection Committee, comprising the Green IT Promotion Council and the Japan Data Center Council.
In addition, at the Shirakawa Data Center in Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture, IDC Frontier has applied the high-level expertise acquired from its experience in operating the Kitakyushu Data Center to develop a built-in cooling system that utilizes cooler external air to assist with internal temperature control. This system fulfills over 90% of the data center's annual air conditioning needs. As a result, the data center has significantly increased energy efficiency for air conditioning, which comprises a major portion of its overall power consumption, and is aiming to achieve a PUE*1of 1.2 or lower. In addition, the data center also introduced energy management equipment to analyze energy consumption and test energy efficiency benefits in order to promote the continued pursuit of energy savings.
- *1Power Usage Effectiveness
An indicator of data center energy efficiency, the PUE is calculated by dividing the overall power consumption of the data center by the power consumption of its IT equipment. In general, data centers in Japan commonly have a PUE value of 2.0 or less.
Committed to the use of renewable energy
SoftBank Corp., Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS Corp.
The network center of SoftBank in Toda City, Saitama Prefecture is equipped with solar panels capable of generating about 10,000kWh a year. Also, a radio base station in Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture (nicknamed the “eco base station”) equipped with 50 solar panels is able to generate enough solar energy to fully operate the base station when the weather is favorable.
Renewable energy is also used at the Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS spring camp in Miyazaki Prefecture. At the spring camp in 2014, green electricity generated by biomass*1 covered a part of the electricity demand of the HAWKS Village (restaurant and shop space).
- *1Biomass power generation is energy generation using biomass such as kitchen garbage, cow manure, etc.