Japanese startups help customers reduce carbon emissions

Japanese startups are offering services to help companies see how much carbon they are emitting at a time when the government commits to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The country’s corporate governance code requires companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime top-tier section to disclose how they are addressing climate change. Smaller suppliers are also being asked by clients to help with the effort to reduce carbon emissions.

In these circumstances, companies first want to know how much carbon they are releasing from their operations.

Asuene Inc. is one of those startups which launched a service – called Asuzero – last summer that automatically calculates the amount of emissions produced by a company and offers advice on how to reduce them through the scanning of electricity and gas bills. About 200 companies have introduced the service, according to Asuene, which was founded in 2019. The company has been promoting the service in regional areas.

“We aim to have the service introduced to 10,000 companies in five years,” said Asuene CEO Kohei Nishiwada.

Another startup, Cuveyes Inc., has launched a service that shows users how much their emissions footprint has been reduced by changing their daily transportation habits. The service automatically detects transportation means and routes taken by users through a health promotion app installed on their smartphones. The service shows the amount of emission reduction achieved by users when they walked or use bicycles instead of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Cuveyes expects the service to also be used by companies who want to check and track how much carbon is emitted from commuting and through business trips, as well as by local governments.

The company’s CEO, Takayuki Natsume, said that many people are less physical activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “The app can contribute both to improving health and addressing economic issues.”

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