Initiatives to Reduce Waste and Minimize Pollution
- Policy on Waste Reduction, Preventing Pollution, and Reducing Use of Resources
- Waste Reduction and Recycling Initiatives
- Verifying an Optimized Waste Collection Route in the Marunouchi Area
- Recycling Lunch Box Containers as a Community with the Marunouchi Eco-Bento Project
- Sanchi-Chokuso Ainoribin—A New Way to Deliver Regional Specialties by Consolidating Freight and Passengers
- Introducing Biodegradable Straws at Royal Park Hotels
- Initiatives for Effective Use of Building Stock
- Preventing Soil Pollution Around Condominiums
Policy on Waste Reduction, Preventing Pollution,
and Reducing Use of Resources
The Mitsubishi Estate Group has set a policy creating a sound material-cycle society in the Mitsubishi Estate Group Basic Environmental Policy and strives to reduce, reuse, and recycle at each stage of business, including planning, development, design, construction, management, and dismantlement. The Group also works to reduce waste, pollution, and use of resources by increasing the lifespan of buildings, including the use of existing buildings through renovation.
Moreover, in the area of Environment, one of the Key Themes stated in the Mitsubishi Estate Group 2030 Goals for SDGs, the Group has set goals for increasing waste recycling rates and reducing emissions, mainly for food and plastic in the management and operation of its properties, and is working in collaboration with tenants and other stakeholders to achieve a material-cycle society.
Goals and Achievement Status
In waste reduction, preventing pollution, and reducing use of resources, the Group has set goals for 2030 in the area of Environment, one of the Key Themes set out in the Mitsubishi Estate Group 2030 Goals for SDGs. The Group is implementing initiatives utilizing Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycles with the aim of achieving these goals.
Verifying an Optimized Waste Collection Route in the Marunouchi Area
In order to derive a route for streamlined collection and transportation of waste in the Marunouchi area of Tokyo, Mitsubishi Estate worked with Groovenauts, Inc. to verify an optimized waste collection route. This was the first such endeavor in Japan utilizing Magellan Blocks*, the world's only cloud platform equipped with AI and quantum computing.
Based on data including the number of businesses, tenant type, and amount of garbage by type over the past three years for all 26 buildings owned and operated by Mitsubishi Estate in the Marunouchi area of Tokyo, the Magellan Blocks AI predicted the amount of garbage several months in the future. The test also used quantum computing to derive the optimal garbage collection route entailing the minimum number of vehicles by referencing the vehicle load capacity and collection time.
The optimal route runs for a total distance of approximately 1,000 km, which is less than half of the current route of nearly 2,300 km. This new route makes it possible to cut CO2 emissions by approximately 57% and reduce the number of vehicles by about 59%. Optimizing garbage collection tasks is also expected to help reduce long working hours and resolve the worker shortage. Consideration is currently under way for introducing a specific operating plan based on the verification data.
We look forward to working together with Groovenauts in the future and utilizing cutting-edge technologies in promoting various initiatives to improve city services to realize the "City as a Service."
- Developed and provided by Groovenauts.
Recycling Lunch Box Containers as a Community with the Marunouchi Eco-Bento Project
In May 2016, Mitsubishi Estate launched the Marunouchi Eco-Bento Project to promote bento ("lunch box") container recycling involving the entire community, which is the first initiative of its kind in Japan.
The project introduced a special P&P Re-repack recyclable containers coated with plastic film for bento sold in the Marunouchi area. After finishing the bento, only the lid and removed film are discarded, while the container is returned to a collection box located in each building for recycling. Mitsubishi Estate coordinates with multiple shops in the planning and operation of the project as a property developer.
During the verification test conducted with 16 participating shops in 3 buildings over a two-month period starting in October 2015, 20.8% of containers were collected, reducing nearly 665 kg of CO2 (equivalent to the amount absorbed by 48 cedar trees in one year). Participating shops mentioned that it was an easy way to contribute to society, resulting in more participating stores across a wider area as we launch the full-scale project. Currently, 15 shops in 11 buildings participate. There are plans to reach out to more shops in the future and install additional collection points in order to further reduce the impact on the environment.
Sanchi-Chokuso Ainoribin—A New Way to Deliver Regional Specialties by Consolidating Freight and Passengers
The dwindling population in recent years has caused a labor shortage in the vehicle transportation industry, resulting in increasing transportation costs. With this in mind, Mitsubishi Estate started the new Sanchi-Chokuso Ainoribin distribution service in August 2018 to enhance agricultural product distribution and deliver regional specialties to Tokyo on a regular basis.
This project is operated in cooperation with JA-Zenchu (Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives), the Norinchukin Bank, the Association for Creating Sustainability in Urban Development of the Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho Districts ("Ecozzeria Association"), and Up Quality Inc. In cooperation with bus companies from across the country, regional specialties are loaded into the trunk space of express passenger buses and delivered to Marunouchi. These products are sold to workers and visitors at Bus Ainori Marché, farmers market style outlets set up in the Marunouchi area, as well as to restaurants and department stores.
This service makes it possible to offer specialty vegetables and other rare items that producers are generally unable to ship out of local areas due to minimal production, resulting not only in increased income among producers and a revitalizing of the community, but also offering the chance for consumers in the city to conveniently purchase fresh, high-quality produce. Because this initiative helps tackle many problems at once, such as reducing local food loss in the production area, increasing income for transportation companies, and reducing CO2, we are considering ramping up such efforts in the future.
Introducing Biodegradable Straws at Royal Park Hotels
The Mitsubishi Estate Group's Royal Park Hotels and Resorts introduced biodegradable straws in 2019 with the aim of promoting initiatives for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the straws have now been introduced at its 11 hotels* around Japan.
Biodegradable straws are a product that has obtained the GreenPla® mark from the Japan BioPlastics Association (JPBA) and are made from plant-derived natural cycle resin using polylactic acid obtained from starch such as cornstarch. Royal Park Hotels and Resorts is working to reduce the impact on the natural environment from waste by replacing the approximately 280,000 plastic straws used annually with a plant-derived product.
- Sendai Royal Park Hotel, Royal Park Hotel (Tokyo), Yokohama Royal Park Hotel, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome, The Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Haneda, The Royal Park Canvas - Ginza 8, The Royal Park Canvas - Nagoya, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Osaka Midosuji, The Royal Park Canvas - Osaka Kitahama, The Royal Park Hotel Fukuoka
Initiatives for Effective Use of Building Stock
Effectively Using Building Stock with Building Renovation Business
Since May 2014, Mitsubishi Estate Residence has been involved in the Building Renovation Business (renovation and rental business for building stock), where small- and medium-sized buildings are renovated for earthquake resistance and to meet needs and leased as rental properties.
In January 2019, the company finished the renovation of The ParkRex HAKATA in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, which was its first project outside the Tokyo metropolitan area. The old rotary press room (printing works), which had been owned by a newspaper company at the property, was renovated into office space, reviving the building into a new center for the creation and dissemination of culture in the east Hakata area.
In addition, the company is promoting its Renovation Business, which buys individual units or whole buildings of existing condominiums to be renovated and resold, mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The company has sold properties such as The Parkremore Shirokanedai Sanchome (an entire building renovation).
Renovation is environmentally friendly as it enables revival of buildings with less environmental impact than demolition and new construction. Moving forward, the company will continue promoting these businesses in its efforts to realize a sustainable society through the revitalization of the housing market and the effective utilization of existing building stock.
The ParkRex HAKATA
Former rotary press room (before renovation)
Exterior (after renovation)
Renovated entrance 1
Renovated entrance 2
Major Renovation of Otemachi Building
In 2018, Mitsubishi Estate began a major renovation of the Otemachi Building, which had been completed in 1958 and is now more than 60 years old. In addition to an overall upgrade of the building itself, including improvements to the exterior walls and interior, and construction of a lounge and terrace, Mitsubishi Estate introduced features enabling venture companies and start-ups to interact with large companies. The project is another example of how Mitsubishi Estate responds to social demand for effective use of existing buildings, while creating a new value as a site for business creation.
The Otemachi Building has excellent transportation access as it is directly connected to Otemachi Station, where users can take five different subway lines. In addition, the building has large floor plates with a shape suitable for subdivision into small parcels to lease. Mitsubishi Estate opted for renovations so that it could quickly provide diverse interaction and open innovation in the Marunouchi area, bringing together the cutting-edge technologies of multiple companies.
This project represents how renovation can be leveraged for eco-friendly urban development, as it enables a reduction of waste and building materials compared to demolition and new construction. Mitsubishi Estate has also implemented environmentally-friendly measures that include energy conservation through introduction of LED lighting and adoption of window panes with superior insulation performance, solar fins, and the creation of Japan's largest rooftop garden on an office building.
Otemachi Building before renovation
Otemachi Building after renovation
Managing Hazardous Substances
The Mitsubishi Estate Group manages and disposes of hazardous substances appropriately in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. The Group carries out disposal and procedures appropriately in accordance with laws and regulations regarding the fluorocarbon refrigerants in air conditioners and PCBs used in electrical equipment and manage them rigorously to prevent leakage and release. The Group also conducts timely surveys to identify the presence of asbestos and soil contamination and implements the appropriate countermeasures and management according to the situation.
Preventing Water Pollution
The restaurants and similar establishments above a certain size located in facilities managed and operated by the Mitsubishi Estate Group are subject to regulation by laws and ordinances related to water pollution. At facilities that are subject to the regulations, the Group has installed wastewater treatment facilities, and wastewater is treated to meet standards before being released into sewers and public waterways such as rivers and the sea.
Preventing Soil Pollution Around Condominiums
Mitsubishi Estate Residence conducts soil pollution studies prior to acquiring property for development, and we enact soil pollution prevention measures and remedies as needed.
The employee in charge uses a property acquisition checklist to review the property, and a further review of that information is carried out by a dedicated surveying company. The acquisition of property comes with the obligation to attach and submit the dedicated surveying company's survey report, and after making an acquisition decision, we are obligated to have a dedicated surveying company conduct a detailed survey (history survey) regardless of whether there is any danger posed by pollution. For the land sales contract, we clarify the duties and responsibilities of the land's seller with regard to pollution, and we implement whatever measures are necessary.