Environmental Policy

The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations - Concrete and Detailed

Concrete and Detailed Actions to Implement The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations Decided at The Council of Ministries and Agencies Concerned on Promotion of The Basic Environment Plan

13 June 1995

Ministries and agencies agreed on concrete and detailed actions to better implement The Action Plan for Greening Government Operations (Cabinet Decision of 13 June 1995) at "The Council of Ministries and Agencies concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan (Minister-level Council in the Cabinet)".

Ministries and Agencies concerned should aggressively implement these actions to achieve the goals of the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations.

This decision shall be reviewed when necessary.

1.Environmental Considerations Regarding the Purchase and Use of Goods and Services

(1)Selecting goods and raw materials that have minimal environmental impact at the production stage

  1. Using recycled paper
    1. All purchased paper products, such as photocopier paper, letter pads, and forms, shall be certified under an eco-labeling program (i.e., bearing Eco Marks and Green Marks) or have equivalent recycled paper content.
    2. The total content of virgin pulp in the paper shall be monitored, controlled, and reduced at the division level by each Government Organization.
    3. Subcontractors and contracted research institutes shall use paper products bearing an eco-label or products of similar quality for printed materials and reports. Furthermore, the recycled paper content shall be clearly written on the printed materials. Efforts shall be made to increase the use of recycled paper.
    4. Recycled paper shall be used in government textbooks.
    5. When possible, paper with lower whiteness levels shall be used
  2. Using other recycled products
    1. Products containing recycled materials, such as office supplies, machinery, uniforms, shall be purchased and used.
    2. Unbleached paper and towel products shall be purchased and used.
    3. Products manufactured from raw materials previously unused, e.g., trees cut during periodic forest thinning and the virgin fibers from these trees, shall be purchased and used.
    4. If products containing virgin material are used, those products shall be reused or recycled using established mechanisms

(2)Selecting goods and raw materials that have minimal environmental impact during use

  1. Using fuel that has minimal environmental impact
    • If possible, relatively clean-burning fuels (e.g., kerosene, LPG, or LNG) shall be used according to the type of incineration devices used.
  2. Phasing in energy-efficient OA equipment
    • Outdated personal computers, word processors, and photocopier machines shall be systematically replaced or discarded. The outdated equipment shall be replaced with energy saving or low noise equipment. Similarly, only energy saving or low noise equipment shall be newly purchased. Efforts shall be made to ensure the proper disposal of outdated equipment. In particular, CFCs in refrigerators shall be collected and recycled.
  3. Phasing in water-saving and other environment-friendly equipment
    • Outdated washing machines and air conditioners shall be systematically replaced or discarded. The outdated equipment shall be replaced with water-saving or low noise equipment. Similarly, only water-saving or low noise equipment shall be newly purchased. Efforts shall be made to ensure the proper disposal of outdated equipment. In particular, CFCs in refrigerators shall be collected and recycled.
  4. Phasing in low-pollution vehicles
    • Current government automobiles shall be systematically replaced with low-pollution vehicles. Priority shall be given to using these low-pollution vehicles. Furthermore, before the end of fiscal 1996, a fuel supply station for low-pollution vehicles shall be located near Kasumigaseki (where the central government is located).
    • Older model vehicles shall be replaced by automobiles with lower environmental impact by selecting the smallest automobiles suitable to the purpose. Furthermore, priority shall be given using these low-environmental-impact models.
  5. Using other goods and raw materials that have minimal environmental when used
    • Paints with fewer inorganic solvents shall be used.
    • Biodegradable oil products shall be used when ship lubricating oil or hydraulic actuation oil is used in outdoor situations (limited to those cases where there is danger of external leakage) or when other oils with the potential of damaging the environment are used.

(3) Selecting other goods and materials that have minimal environmental impact

  1. Using goods and materials that have minimal environmental impact
    • When goods are procured, the specification of the goods shall be confirmed before use to promote the use of goods and materials that have minimal environmental impact.
    • By making joint purchases of goods that have minimal environmental impact, a market for those goods can be created, leading to lower prices. Therefore, the Council of Ministries and Agencies Concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan shall discuss and implement policies for joint purchases.
  2. Adopting a recommendation list for the purchase of goods
    • By the end of fiscal 1996, the Council of Ministries and Agencies concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan shall discuss and elaborate on specifications and quality of minimal environmental-impact products, such as paper products, office supplies, machinery, consumer electronic products, OA equipment, and automobiles, that will be purchased and used. After completion, the recommendation list shall be referred to when products are procured, and the list shall be reviewed each fiscal year in light of technical developments and other factors.

(4) Improving efficiency of resource use to reduce environmental load

  1. Reducing the volume of paper used
    1. The annual consumption of paper products (e.g., photocopy paper, letterhead, and forms) shall be monitored, controlled, and reduced at the division-level by each Government Organization.
    2. The number of documents for meetings shall be reduced, and administrative procedures shall be simplified.
    3. A uniform standard for the length of reports shall be developed. In addition, the length of reports and the number of copies shall be reviewed and limited to a minimum.
    4. Efforts shall be made to ensure double sided printing and double-sided copying.
    5. The blank side of used paper shall be used.
    6. Used envelopes shall be reused.
    7. Efforts shall be made to reduce the size and volume of documents by using A4-sized envelopes.
    8. In addition to complying with The Action Program on Common Issues for Administrative Informatization, an information system using electronic media shall be created in Kasumigaseki area to ensure an early establishment of a paper-less system to help protect the environment.
  2. Reviewing the number of government vehicles in use
    • An investigation on the actual use of government vehicles shall be conducted, and the number of existing government vehicles shall be reduced based on the investigation. Efforts shall be made to ensure the proper disposal of vehicles not in use.
  3. Using products over a longer term
    1. When containers and wrapping materials are used, the reuse and recycling of such materials shall be ensured.
    2. Refillable liquid cleaning products and office supplies shall be used.
    3. When purchasing drinks, products that are sold in returnable containers shall be purchased.
    4. An appropriate method shall be established to collect used disposable drink containers.
    5. Shops and kiosks located within ministries and agencies shall be requested to refrain from selling products packaged in disposable containers.
    6. Efforts shall be made to repair and reuse desks and other office equipment that fall into disrepair and inoperable electric products not scheduled for replacement

(5)Selecting goods from sales and distribution channels that have minimal environmental impact

  1. Reviewing the installation of energy-inefficient automatic vending machines
    • The number of automatic vending machines installed within ministries and agencies shall be investigated, and efforts shall be made to replace them with low energy consumption models and to reduce the total number of machines.
  2. Reviewing excessive packaging and wrapping of purchased goods
    • Goods with light packaging and wrapping shall be selected and purchased. Furthermore, goods that us packaging materials with an established recycling system shall be given priority.

2.Environmental Considerations Regarding Construction and Maintenance of Buildings

(1)Constructing and maintaining buildings and other facilities to reduce environmental load

  1. Installing appropriate pollution treatment facilities
    1. By installing treatment facilities using the most advanced technologies available, the volume of pollutants emitted from stationary sources shall be reduced.
    2. When incineration facilities are improved, the facilities shall be able to use relatively clean-burning fuels such as kerosene, LPG, and LNG.
    3. Facilities that use fuel oil should be replaced with facilities that use of fuels with less environmental impact than fuel oil.
    4. Experimental research institutes under ministries and agencies should fully consider reducing environmental impact when using toxic materials by using specified disposal methods for exhaust gas and wastewater.
    5. Asbestos currently used in existing buildings and structures shall be systematically removed and disposed of in an appropriate manner.
  2. Improving efficiency of energy and material use
    1. Consideration shall be given to the use of natural energy such as solar energy. The use of natural energy shall be introduced according to the scale and purpose of the facilities.
    2. Consideration shall be given to using untapped energy sources such as exhaust heat.
    3. Efforts shall be made to participate in projects planned for area-wide heat supply facilities in on-going construction sites.
    4. Insulated windows and other insulated building materials shall be used to increase heat insulation.
    5. Consideration shall be given to the installation and use of advanced energy control systems for elevators, low-energy-consumption lighting fixtures, and air conditioning control devices.
    6. Energy efficient devices, such as co-generation systems, shall be installed in buildings with consideration given to the size and purpose of the building.
    7. Recycled or recyclable materials shall be used in buildings and other structures. In addition, slag, waste glass, and concrete slabs from abandoned buildings and facilities shall be used as raw materials for roadbeds and tiles.
    8. Late-night electricity-utilization devices shall be installed to take advantage of off-peak electricity use.
  3. Conserving water
    1. If a building or facility can use rainwater, then that building or facility shall be equipped with facilities to use rainwater such as rainwater storage tanks.
    2. As necessary, water-permeable pavement and permeable ducts shall be installed to allow rainwater to penetrate underground.
    3. When possible, wastewater from buildings will be treated and reused appropriately. Equipment that uses wastewater will be installed in facilities according to need.
    4. Water conserving devices (e.g., cleaning valves and automatic water taps with sensors) shall be attached to water supply equipment.
  4. Preserving nature on-sites at buildings and other facilities
    1. Nature shall be preserved at buildings and other facilities, and green spaces shall also be protected in these areas.
    2. In addition to incorporating greenery around buildings and other facilities, trees shall be planted on rooftops when possible.
  5. Contracting construction work that has minimal environmental impact
    1. Construction methods with minimal environmental impact shall be promoted. Such methods include using plywood molds and other materials that can be used more effectively and efficiently and using construction methods that streamline the construction process, such as reducing the number of girders needed for molds.
    2. Contractors shall be encouraged to limit exhaust gas, noise, and vibration caused by vehicles in use at construction sites.
    3. Efforts shall be made to recycle construction by-products within the construction industry.
    4. It shall be confirmed that subcontracting construction firms appropriately dispose of construction waste products.
  6. Miscellaneous
    1. Halon-free fire extinguishing devices shall be used unless halon-containing fire extinguishers are absolutely necessary to protect human life and safety. Furthermore, a halon database management system shall be used to ensure appropriate recovery of halon and its reuse when halon-containing extinguishers are replaced or removed.
    2. CFC-free air conditioning systems using environment-friendly coolants shall replace older air conditioning system.
    3. When older air conditioning systems using CFCs are removed, the CFCs shall be appropriately recovered and recycled.
    4. Efforts shall be made to develop ways to use construction by-products.

(2)Maintaining buildings and other facilities to reduce environmental load and preserve nature in surrounding areas

  1. Maintaining buildings and other facilities to reduce environmental load
    1. Pollutant treatment facilities, wastewater recycling facilities, rainwater usage facilities, and green space shall be maintained regularly.
    2. When installing or repairing air conditioning systems that use CFCs, the CFCs shall be appropriately recovered and recycled.
  2. Improving the environment through planting trees and other measures and preserving nature in surrounding areas
    1. a. Programs shall be implemented to promote green space within facilities, near windows, on roofs, and on budding sites, and to provide appropriate management of planting efforts.
    2. Appropriate management shall be undertaken of green spaces, walkways, and curbsides to maintain an attractive, natural landscape and reduce noise pollution.
    3. The amount of agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers shall be reduced to preserve the surrounding ecosystems.
    4. Pruned branches and leaves from trees and shrubs growing on government lands shall be composted at locations on those lands to reduce the amount of waste produced.
    5. Illegal disposal of garbage shall be prevented, and trees shall be planted on unused lands.
  3. Contributing to regional planning and development to foster a healthy environment
    • When equipment is installed in facilities on government land, efforts shall be made to ensure clean air, to preserve the natural harmony of the region, and to maintain a clean water ecosystem, natural landscape, and historical environment that reflect the characteristics of the local area.

3. Environmental Considerations Regarding Other Administrative Operations

(1) Conserving energy and materials to reduce environmental load

  1. Reducing energy use in office buildings
    1. Energy-efficient OA equipment shall replace outdated models.
    2. Air conditioning systems shall be operated to maintain an appropriate air temperature in offices (approximately 28ーC for cooling and 20ーC for heating).
    3. Energy supply facilities shall be appropriately managed.
    4. Office personnel shall be encouraged to use staircases when moving between adjacent floors, and elevators shall be operated in intervals according to the frequency of elevator use.
    5. Efforts shall be made to switch to low energy consumption fluorescent lighting and to encourage conservative use of lights.
    6. Government officials shall be encouraged to leave work on time on Wednesdays to reduce lighting use by decreasing late-night work, to reduce employees using taxis, and to improve the working conditions of employees. Accordingly, no meetings shall be held after 17: 00 on Wednesdays.
    7. Employees shall be encouraged to use paid vacation time to improve working conditions. Furthermore, an administrative survey shall be conducted to reduce late night work.
  2. Reducing water use in office buildings
    1. Water use shall be reduced by adopting efficient toilet flushing systems, such as those used in private homes.
    2. If necessary, devices to imitate the sound of a flushing toilet shall be installed in restrooms.
    3. If necessary, water-saving tap seals shall be attached to faucets. Furthermore, the water pressure of faucets shall be lowered to appropriate levels.
  3. Using government vehicles efficiently
    1. A detailed investigation shall be conducted to determine fuel consumption levels. The investigation will examine use of fuel devices, driving distances, and fuel consumption of each government vehicle.
    2. Drivers shall be encouraged to adopt more environment-friendly driving habits, such as turning off their engines while stopped and avoiding unnecessary engine idling.
    3. Tire air pressure shall be inspected periodically.
    4. Government employees shall be encouraged to carpool in government vehicles or use public transportation to increase the efficiency of government vehicles use.
    5. Appropriate controls shall be established to ensure appropriate use of taxi coupons and to limit unapproved taxi use.
    6. The possibility of acquiring bicycles for the common use of government employees shall be discussed by the end of fiscal 1997.
    7. Visitors to ministries and agencies shall be encouraged to use alternative transportation (other than automobiles) when coming to government facilities.
    8. Air conditioning systems shall be operated to maintain an appropriate air temperature in offices (approximately 28ーC for cooling and 20ーC for heating)
    9. Energy supply facilities shall be appropriately managed.

(2)Promoting waste reduction and recycling to reduce environmental load

  1. Reducing waste and promoting material recycling by using separate collection systems
    1. Containers and wrapping shall be reused or recycled.
    2. The use and purchase of disposable products shall be limited.
    3. The volume of paper used shall be reduced.
    4. Each Government Organization shall establish a recycling plan that will contain measures to establish recycling systems shall appoint an official to be in charge of the plan.
    5. For the procurement of goods, priority shall be given to products that can be reused or recycled easily.
    6. Waste and recyclable materials shall be systematically separated and collected within each office.
    7. A sufficient number of collection containers shall be placed in each office.
    8. The number of individual waste bins shall be decreased steadily.
    9. Only classified documents shall be shredded.
    10. The toner cartridges in photocopier machines and printers shall be collected and recycled.
    11. Individuals working in kitchen areas shall be urged to avoid mixing raw garbage with wastewater.
    12. Efforts shall be made to promote composting of leftover food and other organic matter at a location on building grounds. The organic compost shall be returned to the earth.
    13. Efforts shall be made to participate actively in systems to exchange and utilize waste among facilities in those areas where such a system already exists.
    14. The Council of Ministries and Agencies Concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan shall consider implementing a local recycling council in the Kasumigaseki area.
    15. Consideration shall be given to building paper recycling facilities (pulping facilities, etc.) near Kasumigaseki to recycle used paper from ministries and agencies located in Kasumigaseki.

(3) Regulating administrative operations to prevent pollution

  1. Preventing environmental pollution
    1. Efforts shall be made to reduce air borne pollutants by installing and operating flue gas treatment facilities at emission sources, by managing those facilities effectively, and improving fuel efficiency.
    2. Effluent from legally designated facilities shall be managed and treated through installing and operating appropriate treatment facilities.
    3. Compliance to emission and effluent standards shall be strictly enforced, and the facilities exempt from these regulations shall voluntarily prevent environmental pollution.
    4. Efforts win be made to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide through the steps outlined above.

4.Implementation of Training Programs for Government Officials on Environmental Conservation

(1) Increasing environmental awareness among government officials

  1. Actively implementing environmental training programs and providing information
    1. Environmental training programs shall be planned.
    2. Government officials shall be provided information on environmental conservation activities through internal newsletters, bulletins, and pamphlets.
    3. Efforts shall be made to ensure that government officials are able to participate in environment-related symposia and training programs.
    4. Questions on environmental issues shall be incorporated into government entrance examinations for new employee.
    5. Environmental training shall be provided to developing countries.
  2. Encouraging government officials to actively participate in environmental conservation activities
    1. Efforts shall be made to encourage government officials to participate in joint cleaning projects in the Kasumigaseki area. Efforts shall also be made to encourage government officials to actively participate in environment-related activities and events sponsored by the Government.
    2. Government officials shall be given time off to facilitate their participation in environmental conservation activities.

5. Effective Implementation of the Action Plan and Progress Review

(1) Effectively implementing the Action Plan based on the progress review

  1. Adopting a scheme to implement and review the Action Plan
    1. Ministries and agencies establishing Operative Plans should specify any specific conditions that require consideration, outline the scope of the Operative Plan, and clearly state the goals and methods for the environmental conservation activities to be pursued in the plan. After the Operative Plan is established, the responsible Government Organization shall publicly announce the plan and immediately notify the members of the Council of Ministries and Agencies Concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan.
    2. By the end of fiscal 1995, ministries and agencies with an Operative Plan shall establish implementation and follow-up mechanisms supervised by an appointed official of considerable authority.
    3. Bureaus at or related institutions shall monitor and review the progress of the implementation of the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations. In addition, the Council of Ministries and Agencies concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan shall compile data received from ministries and agencies each year and make the information public through appropriate media such as the Quality of the Environment in Japan report.
    4. Government Operations shall enthusiastically cooperate with the Management and Coordination Agency if the Agency decides to conduct a progress review of the implementation of the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations.
    5. By the end of fiscal 1996, the Council of Ministries and Agencies Concerned on Promotion of the Basic Environment Plan shall consider modalities for monitoring the Action Plan for Greening Government Operations to ensure objectivity and independence in oversight activities by implementing such measures as consulting experts and other experienced individuals.
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