On December 15, 2022, a press conference was held in Tokyo to announce the establishment of the Natural Capital Credit Consortium ("NCCC"), an alliance that brings companies, municipalities, and academic researchers together to revitalize Japan’s carbon credit market through the utilization of its forests and other resources to create carbon credits.
SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) will participate in the NCCC, and it will help support the creation of carbon credits by utilizing its “e-kakashi” agricultural IoT solution.
What are Carbon Credits?
Carbon credits allow companies to issue credits for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The credits are created through companies’ forest conservation activities and the introduction of energy-efficient equipment, and they can be traded with other companies.
By purchasing carbon credits, a company can reduce CO2 emissions in ways it may not have been able to do on its own.
Leveraging technology to revitalize regional development
The NCCC was established by Natural Capital, an association chaired by Shunsuke Managi, a Professor at the Urban Institute of Kyushu University. At the December 2022 press conference, 33 companies and 9 municipalities announced their participation in the NCCC.
The press conference was attended by NCCC Representative Shunsuke Managi, Sompo Japan Insurance Executive Officer Mikito Yazaki, SoftBank’s CSR Division Head Masato Ikeda, as well as local governments and participating companies.
NCCC’s Managi pointed out that while the market demand for carbon credits is expanding, the number of credits is insufficient, with demand expected to exceed the current supply by about 15 times in 2030 given current levels. With momentum gathering for governments and businesses to take action to mitigate climate change, the carbon credit market needs to be revitalized, he stressed.
Managi noted that the NCCC was established in partnership with the private sector to support governance, standardization, transparency, measurement accuracy and monitoring needs.
SoftBank's Ikeda said his two hopes for the NCCC are to promote SoftBank’s energy initiatives and to contribute to net zero goals. As a telecommunications carrier that has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and have virtually net zero emissions by 2050, SoftBank is developing new services based on 5G, 6G, self-driving and Digital Twin, among other technologies, and the efficient use of energy use will be key to their success, he said.
Ikeda also noted he was pleased that "e-kakashi" will contribute to carbon neutrality, and he expressed his enthusiasm to help realize the consortium’s goals by utilizing advanced technologies.
e-kakashi’s CO2 absorption estimation system supports carbon credit accuracy
SoftBank will provide e-kakashi’s CO2 absorption estimation system to the NCCC to support the creation of carbon credits. Tapping into e-kakashi’s AI-powered “brain,” the system can visualize how much CO2 is absorbed by forests and agricultural land. It combines weather data and environmental data, such as soil temperature acquired from e-kakashi sensors, and uses a proprietary algorithm to visualize CO2 absorption in real time. The system’s accuracy will help support the issuance of reliable carbon credits.
Takashi Togami, a Deputy Director at SoftBank’s CPS Technology Planning Department in the Technology Planning & Development Division, explained how e-kakashi’s CO2 absorption estimation system is being used in trials in the forests of Toyama Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture. “As plants grow, so does the amount of their CO2 absorption. Our system visualizes how important it is to conserve and nurture our forests,” he said.
(Posted on January 20, 2023)
by SoftBank News Editors