We are engaging in a range of environmental preservation activities for the protection of our planet and the sake of future generations, such as leveraging environmental management practices and ICT to contribute to fight against global warming.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
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 Corp. headquarters and many SoftBank Group companies are located.
In addition, at its headquarters and network and data centers, SoftBank has received ISO14001, an international certification for environmental management systems, and is actively working to reduce its electricity consumption. We optimize temperature settings of air conditioners at base stations and network centers to enable normal operation of equipment, proactively use equipment that is best-in-class for energy conservation, and promote optimal energy use through the periodic replacement of old or outdated equipment. At data centers in particular, a reduction in energy consumption is being seen through the implementation of heat analysis visualization and localized air conditioning, among other efforts.
Support for COOL CHOICE
SoftBank 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.
Participating in the “Fun to Share” climate change campaign
SoftBank is a supporter of “Fun to Share”, a climate change campaign sponsored by Japan's Ministry of the Environment, following its “Team Minus 6%” and “Challenge 25 Campaign”. Fun to Share is a means to share wisdom and technology in order to build a rich and low-carbon society in an enjoyable manner for everyone. Through participation in the campaign, SoftBank is promoting increased awareness and voluntary action among employees to implement continued energy efficiency at work sites and in work processes, encouraging and “cool biz” and “warm biz” (wearing cooler clothing during summer and warmer clothing during winter) on the Intranet to help realize a low-carbon society.
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.
Improving energy efficiency at data centers
IDC Frontier Inc. works to raise energy efficiency at data centers. Its Kitakyushu Data Center (Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka) is the first large commercial data center in Japan to adopt air conditioning using outside air. The data center has realized energy conservation through the optimization of high-density server operations and air conditioning efficiency, and as a result, has won a number of awards.
In addition, at the Shirakawa Data Center in Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, IDC Frontier – using the area’s cooler climate and the high-level expertise acquired from its experience in operating the Kitakyushu Data Center – has developed an in-building external air conditioner system that combines architecture capable of drawing external air directly into the building with air conditioner functions in order to process exhaust heat from servers. This system enables the data center to use cool external air for over 90% of its air conditioning needs.
Completed in 2018, Shirakawa Data Center’s building no. 5 employs a hybrid air conditioning system that combines external air and water cooling with air cooling functions. It is expected to achieve a high cooling efficiency of approximately PUE*1 of 1.2.
In addition, the data center analyzes and verifies energy conservation effects to continuously promote further energy conservation.
- *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.
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.
SoftBank Corp. provides “ECO Training” through an e-learning program to help employees acquire basic knowledge and raise awareness of environmental issues. Employees can learn about environmental sustainability and improvement from four perspectives: global environmental issues, social trends in Japan and abroad, regulations and corporate initiatives, and explanations of key environmental legislation and regulations.
E-learning courses on appropriate processing of industrial waste and the Electronic Manifest System are available to employees working in this area.
Employees can also access these e-learning courses on demand from their iPads or iPhones.