City, venue & date: Tokyo, at Impact HUB Tokyo, on October 30 (Sun), 2016
Link to event’s page and photo albums:
Organizer: Japan for Sustainability (JFS)
Event partners: Impact HUB Tokyo
Number of attendants: 27
Number of ecopreneurs participating in the Awards: 4
1. Climate Innovation Lab
Stakeholder distribution of the lab’s participants:
- Ecopreneurs (3)
- SMEs (7)
- Large companies (3)
- NGOs (6)
- Universities/research institutions (6)
In Tokyo, heavy weather harms public transportation systems. Due to the massive transportation of commuters in the morning and evening, once any railroad line is damaged, it impacts the mobility and work of thousands of people. Japan experienced heavy typhoons this summer too, so it caused damage to agricultural products, particularly vegetables, thus raising their price.
Other challenges include: shorter lifecycle/durability of buildings, troubles in public transportation infrastructure, torrential rainfall, tornados, water shortages, heat strokes, biodiversity loss, increasing pests like cockroaches, etc.
Green business opportunities outlined:
- Energy conservation: increase car-sharing and rental bicycles, import building materials with better insulation performances.
- Financial schemes: Financial products to increase fund flow to ecopreneurs and non-profit groups.
- Public awareness: publicity efforts to change people’s behavior toward more environmentally-friendly products – adding cool and happier images to those products as the highly motivated consumers have to tolerate high prices.
- Feedback system to visualize energy conservation performance: encourage people go outside and spend time at public spaces, it will decrease the energy consumption at household level, which will lead to the decrease of energy consumption at the entire society level, and then we need a feedback system to let people know how much their behavior spending outside would decrease energy consumption.
- Other ideas: promote powder which can convert seawater to freshwater, ecotourism.
In order to motivate other people, not only those who joined ECO4CLIM’s events, we need to develop incentives to attract more people to choose environmentally friendly products/services and behavior. We need to organize events to gather more people and drive climate actions.Events like this should be held more often.
2. Climate Champion Awards
Project or company
Instead of an expert jury, it was the audience that voted and selected the winners.
- From JFS: detailed coverage in Japanese and English in JFS event page, and host another event.
- From Impact HUB Tokyo: Offer of its event space in a discounted price and some other preferential benefits.
Winner of the “Ecopreneurs/SME” Integrated Category: Pear Carbon – EGAO product
- Company: Pear Carbon Offset Initiative Ltd.
- Presenter: Naoki Matsuo (Ph.D.)
- Product: Mini-solar home system “EGAO” (meaning “smiling face” in Japanese)
EGAO is a mini-solar home system to provide more opportunities to people without electricity in developing countries. EGAO is 5-10 times brighter than typical solar lantern, so it is able to skip the phase of limited spot light and jump to the phase providing room lights using LED stand, portable torch, bulb light, etc.
The ECO4CLIM16 event in Tokyo was well received by the audience and other guests because activities of this kind – addressed at entrepreneurs and focused on climate change – hasn’t happened in Tokyo before. So petitions were made for another edition of Ecopreneurs for the Climate, after this success. This time, Japan for Sustainability mostly contacted the community of environmental activists from its own existing networks, although the most effective outreach platform was meetup.com. The international scope of the event was a major success factor. On the other side, we realized that the awareness and interest on these topics from the general public in Tokyo and Japan was very low. At the same time, other climate-focused groups were hosting events on the same weekend, so next time we will work together. Afterwards, we also found out about the social entrepreneurship community, so connecting with these groups and organizations that empower eco & social entrepreneurs should be the next step.
From JFS, we’d like to express our gratitude to ECO4CLIM’s global team and Impact HUB Tokyo for this opportunity. The little time available to organize made it difficult to gain more support and participation from a larger public base and more stakeholders, but things went quite well thanks to the committed ecopreneurs that presented at the Awards, and the motivated participants that took part in the lab. We feel honored to be working with climate organizers around the world.