Decarbonization Solution Green&Circular

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Last Update:2023.11.09

[Report on the Decarbonization Management EXPO] Green & Circular's Proposals for Utilizing Decarbonization Solutions

Green & Circular, a website that provides an integrated introduction to the decarbonization solutions of Mitsui and its affiliates, exhibited at the Decarbon Management Expo Spring. In this article, the editor-in-chief reports on the current state of decarbonization as well as Mitsui's initiatives and "Green & Circular's" future prospects as a result of its participation in the exhibition.

The Decarbon Management Expo Spring, held March 15-17, 2023, attracted approximately 60,000 visitors, more than double the number of visitors to the Fall Exhibition held last September, and the venue was filled with enthusiasm. Green & Circular will continue to provide "real solutions" for decarbonization by offering easy-to-understand guides for beginners, from "visualization" of emissions to the implementation of various solutions.

Decarbonization Management Expo" to realize the expansion of decarbonization initiatives.

--First of all, please tell us why you participated in the "Decarbon Management Expo".
Ueno: It has been about nine months since we launched Green & Circular, and thanks to this, some of our decarbonization solutions have appeared in the top search results, and we have seen an increase in the number of cases where solutions have been introduced as a result of inquiries made through our website. On the other hand, many visitors to the site are the silent majority, and there are few opportunities to hear the voices of those who are working on decarbonization online alone. We therefore turned our attention to the "Decarbon Management Expo Spring" as a good opportunity to gain recognition of "Green & Circular" through the exhibition, and at the same time, to capture issues and needs through dialogue with visitors. The exhibition was also linked with the Mitsui & Co. group's three visualization solutions " e-dash​ ", " LCA Plus ", and " Earth hacks", which were exhibited at the same time, to provide an integrated introduction of the first step in decarbonization, "visualization", and subsequent decarbonization solutions.
Masaaki Ueno, Deputy General Manager of Digital Technology Strategy Office, Digital Strategy Office, and DX Department 2, joined Mitsui & Co. in 1993 and has been engaged in new business development related to IT and renewable energy in the Information Industry Division and Project Division. He has been working on DX of decarbonization-related businesses in the Digital Strategy Department since October 2020. He is the editor-in-chief of Green & Circular.
Masaaki Ueno, Deputy General Manager of Digital Technology Strategy Office, Digital Strategy Office, and DX Department 2, joined Mitsui & Co. in 1993 and has been engaged in new business development related to IT and renewable energy in the Information Industry Division and Project Division. He has been working on DX of decarbonization-related businesses in the Digital Strategy Department since October 2020. He is the editor-in-chief of Green & Circular.
--What was your impression of the exhibition?
Ueno: My sense is that about 70% of the visitors were people who had been newly assigned to a decarbonization-related department but did not know where to start. The decarbonization of the industry has been an initiative of only a few large companies in the past, but the number of visitors, including those from small and medium-sized companies and research institutions such as independent administrative agencies, showed the broadening of the base of the decarbonization movement. The voices of these visitors and the latest trends in the industry will help us to provide appropriate information through our website and offer optimal decarbonization solutions.

Background of the launch of Green & Circular

--Once again, please tell us the background behind the creation of Green & Circular.
Ueno: Mitsui has 16 business divisions, each of which is a group of individuals who identify needs in the field and think and run businesses. With regard to decarbonization, we have been working on wind power generation, solar power generation, and emissions trading since around 2000, and from around 2020, various decarbonization solutions began to emerge from the field based on the common understanding that "decarbonization is a business opportunity".
This led to the creation of an "internal information sharing website" on decarbonization, based on an awareness of the need to share information within the company. In June 2022, Mitsui launched "Green & Circular," a website for external audiences, to promote awareness of the decarbonization initiatives of Mitsui and its affiliated companies outside the company, while expanding on these initiatives and incorporating digital marketing.
--The idea is to bring together "decarbonization-related solutions" that Mitsui and its affiliated companies are working on, and to make them available to a wide range of people along with the latest information related to them.
Ueno: Yes. In addition to Mitsui & Co. on its own, there are a number of decarbonization-related initiatives at its affiliated companies. In "Green & Circular," more than 30 solutions are introduced, and each person in charge explains the background and case studies that led to these solutions. In addition to this, we also provide the latest information on decarbonization from around the world. We hope that a wide range of people will make good use of the information on this site, as we believe that there are many cases where it will be useful.

Solutions are presented according to four steps

--What are the more concrete ways to use the system, and who are the expected users?
Ueno: Our main target audience is people who want to start a new decarbonization initiative. We hope to provide such people with an easy-to-understand introduction to the concept of decarbonization and how to proceed with it. The site is unique in that it organizes each solution into four steps and seven categories. Specifically, 1. understanding emissions (visualization) 2. reducing resource use (optimization / resource recycling) 3. replacing fossil fuels (renewable energy / batteries and hydrogen / low-carbon fuels) 4. absorbing CO2 (forests and absorption)
--you have devised a solution that is easy for beginners to understand. What kind of solutions do you receive the most inquiries from "Green & Circular"?
Ueno: As expected, we receive many inquiries about our "visualization solutions," which are the first step toward decarbonization, especially "LCA Plus," which enables calculation of CO2 emissions on a product-by-product basis. In addition, we also receive a variety of inquiries about "batteries and hydrogen," "next-generation fuels," "forests and absorption," and "resource recycling," etc. We feel that we have built new contacts with customers," which has been well received internally, and that recognition is gradually increasing outside the company.

Aiming for a balanced approach to achieving a de-carbonized society

--What is the ideal image of the "decarbonized society" that Mitsui & Co. is aiming for?
Ueno: We have been operating in the resources and energy sector for a long time and are responsible for the stable supply of these resources. While it is important to decarbonize, we cannot just cut off the supply of fossil fuels at once. In such a transition period, we need to find a "real solution" that simultaneously promotes decarbonization and stable energy supply, and we need to respond responsibly. At the same time, we are actively investing in R&D and demonstration tests for technological innovation in decarbonization, and through these activities, we are trying to fulfill our "social responsibility" to provide decarbonization solutions. In this context, we will ideally leverage Mitsui's integrated corporate strength and promote "cross-industry" initiatives in collaboration with partners around the world to realize a decarbonized society as a realistic solution.
--Finally, what do you hope to achieve through "Green & Circular"?
Ueno: The goal of decarbonization is to achieve global carbon neutrality, but the process to achieve this goal varies from country to country and company to company. Green & Circular plans to introduce not only individual solutions but also case studies of combinations of multiple solutions. Green & Circular plans to introduce not only individual solutions, but also case studies of combinations of multiple solutions. We hope to provide useful information on what measures and solutions are effective in each company's situation, in the simplest way possible.

Exhibitions are a place to communicate with customers (Hokutaku)

At Smart Energy Week, which was held concurrently with the Decarbon Management Expo, Hokutaku, a wind power maintenance company, also exhibited. The large booth, conveniently located near the entrance, featured an exhibition by Horizon Ocean Management (a joint venture between Hokitaku and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.), which is engaged in the inspection and maintenance of offshore wind power generation facilities; Nihon Koki Kogyo, a manufacturer of obstruction lights, a partner company in the maintenance business; Mita-Teknik, which provides wind power control systems; and Nablus, which provides spare parts for wind turbines. (a joint venture between Hokutaku and Mitsui), a manufacturer of obstruction lights, Mita-Teknik, a provider of wind power control systems, and Nabla Wind Hub of Spain, all of which are partners in the maintenance business.
We participate in every exhibition, but we mainly introduce our partner companies that we work with. We do not see this event as a business opportunity, but rather as a chance to introduce our daily activities and meet face-to-face with our customers, whom we are always grateful for their support.
As a third-party wind turbine maintenance company that does not depend on the manufacturer, Mr. Ito says, "The training of engineers leads directly to the growth of the company. For this reason, in addition to its head office in Hokkaido, Hokutaku has maintenance engineer training centers in Kitakyushu and Fukushima. The panel also introduced the training methods used at each location.
We are accumulating technology and information while keeping one or two steps ahead of the times. We will continue to think from a global perspective and take on new challenges," says Yoshitaka Ito.
See also O&M (Operations & Maintenance) for offshore wind power.
https://www.mitsui.com/solution/en/contents/solutions/re/239

Liquefied hydrogen fuel tank system that can be transported in any shape (Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems)

Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems also exhibited at the Smart Energy Week. On display were two hydrogen-related products: a water electrolysis stack by Italian company HYTER, which is used to produce hydrogen. The main feature of this product is that it is an AEM (anion exchange membrane) type, which requires only a small amount of precious metal for the catalyst. This allows for a significant reduction in product cost.
The other is a liquefied hydrogen fuel tank system by LATTICE TECHNOLOGY of Korea. This liquefied hydrogen fuel tank can compress hydrogen to 1/800th of its original volume, making it possible to fill larger capacities than hydrogen gas and to travel longer distances. As a result, the system is expected to be used for long-distance trucks, ships, and construction equipment at construction sites where hydrogen stations are not available nearby.
The greatest feature is that the shape of the tank can be freely designed to suit the application and installation conditions. Many manufacturers exhibited hydrogen gas storage cylinders this time, but liquefied hydrogen tanks were scarce, and many visitors showed a lot of interest in them. We hope to continue to develop our products to meet the needs of our customers while considering future trends in hydrogen.
For more information on the hydrogen-related equipment exhibited by Mitsui & Co.
https://plantsystems.mitsui.co.jp/ja/news/detail/20230410/

We will continue to introduce initiatives and solutions related to decarbonization in a centralized manner.

Not only "Green & Circular" but also exhibition booths of Hokutaku and Mitsui Bussan Plant Systems were introduced. In this way, Mitsui Bussan "Green & Circular" introduces initiatives and solutions related to decarbonization in an integrated manner in cooperation with our affiliates and business partners. Through "Green & Circular", we will continue to provide useful information for our customers to decarbonize their businesses.
We have prepared some useful information related to decarbonization. We hope you will find it useful.

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