Asahi Glass seeks carbon emission credits

Asahi Glass Co. is among the growing number of Japanese companies trying to acquire UN-certified CO2 emissions credits through energy-saving efforts at their overseas plants.
To date, businesses have…

Asahi Glass Co. is among the growing number of Japanese companies trying to acquire UN-certified CO2 emissions credits through energy-saving efforts at their overseas plants. To date, businesses have mainly obtained emissions rights by assisting overseas firms in their environmental efforts. Electric utilities and trading houses have been major players on this front. But with the approach of the emissions reduction deadline set under the Kyoto Protocol, companies have begun to take advantage of the Clean Development Mechanism, under which businesses can receive greenhouse gas credits if their efforts are recognized by the United Nations. As well as obtaining emissions credits, firms can cut production costs by helping their plants consume less energy. Asahi Glass has spent a few billion yen at its two Indonesian factories to switch from heavy oil to natural gas. It aims to get UN approval in 2008. The effort is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 80,000 tons a year. Japanese manufacturers face huge costs in further reducing emissions at their domestic plants, which are already environmentally friendly. Under the new approach, all leading manufacturers with overseas facilities can cut emissions relatively easily by adopting technology and expertise developed at home. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Japan must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 6% from the fiscal 1990 level during fiscal 2008-2012.