Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 30

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 30 STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Business and industry have relations not only with traditional types of industrial pollution but also with a wide range of environmental problems, including those of global warming and waste. They play major roles in economic activities, and are expected to play a big role in regards to the construction of a sustainable socio-economic system with reduced environmental load.

As regards traditional types of pollution problems, Japan has adopted measures, including regulatory measures for air and water pollution. It has also been actively dealing with a wide range of environmental problems, including those of global warming and waste. For example, in order to prevent traditional types of industrial pollution concerning air and water, places of business such as factories have the obligation to satisfy certain standards, and such businesses assume the appropriate share of responsibilities.

In addition to these measures, as regards environmental problems that require new methods, businesses and other bodies are expected to deal with these problems, with a view to constructing a socio-economic system that can maintain long-term harmony with the environment by giving thorough environmental consideration to their overall activities. Concretely speaking, Japan has thus far adopted positive policies regarding measures for energy conservation and the promotion of recycling, as well as for environmental pollution by establishing such laws as the Law concerning the Rational Use of Energy, the Law for Promotion of Utilization of Recyclable Resources, the Law on Temporary Measures to Promote Business Activities for the Rational Use of Energy and Utilization of Recycled Resources, and the Special Measures Law for the Total Emission Reduction of Nitrogen Oxides from Automobiles in Specified Areas (the Automobile NOx Reduction Law). Among business and industry, as can be seen in the Global Environment Charter formulated by one of the main economic organizations, companies themselves are voluntarily dealing with environmental problems with certain policies. Furthermore, through such announcements as those of the "Voluntary Plan on the Environment" and the "Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Corporate Operations", these companies are accelerating the voluntary establishment of environment-related plans of action for business.

Also, as we approach the advanced information society of the 21st century, Japan is promoting the enhancement of the basis of information and communication, including the improvement of the integrated service digital networks (ISDN), pursuing changes in lifestyles to reduce environmental burden, including the lifestyles of the general public and the activities of business, utilizing advanced information through the practical application of communications.

In addition to the measures adopted thus far, Japan will adopt the measures given below, in order to enhance the role to be played by business and industry in dealing with environmental conservation.

(1)
Japan will continue to provide economic and institutional assistance for the activities of the private sector in regards to the practical development of technology, and the adoption of facilities and equipment, which contribute to the rationalized use of energy in the overall manufacturing processes of businesses, in particular medium- and small-size businesses.
(2)
Japan will promote various measures in accordance with the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming, and the Law concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
(3)
Japan will promote various measures based on the Automobile NOx Reduction Law.
(4)
Japan will develop a system for the materialization of the Project for the Innovational Development of Environment and Energy Technologies, which is based on The New Earth 21 program.
(5)
Japan will promote the transfer of environmental conservation technology , through such means as the Green Aid Plan, to developing countries where serious industrial pollution is predicted to accompany future economic growth.
(6)
In addition to improving the dissemination of knowledge among the public showing the significance of the use of recyclable resources, Japan will study the creation of a new framework by which recycling can permeate into the existing socio-economic system.
(7)
As regards environmental audits, etc., which are thought to be a means for business and industry to positively reduce environmental load and to integrate environmental consideration in business activities, Japan will actively participate in the creation of internationally harmonized standards of environmental audit, etc. by such bodies as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
(8)
Japan will promote the development of methods for the objective assessment of environmental burden imposed by product development by business and industry, as well as the adoption of environmentally friendly production processes and products using the above-mentioned methods.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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