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Highlight 2008: Initiatives for Promoting the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

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Photo: Initiatives for promoting the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The first-class technologies of large companies are proving useful in reducing the CO2 emissions of SMEs .
— Mizuho contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions among domestic companies overall by spreading awareness of this mechanism.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was launched in 2008 as one of the measures for achieving the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. Mizuho makes use of the know-how and networks built up by group companies to support the dissemination of information concerning this mechanism, which benefits both large companies and SMEs.

What is the CDM?

When the Kyoto Protocol formally came into force, Japan was obligated to reduce its emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 6% compared with 1990 levels by 2012. To achieve this, Japan's business community has come together to tackle the issue of reducing CO2 emissions.

Because SMEs face a large capital expenditure burden, however, energy conservation measures have not made adequate progress and many companies still have ample leeway to make further emissions reductions.

Faced with this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) introduced the CDM in line with the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan approved by the Cabinet in March 2008 with a view to promoting reductions in CO2 emissions among SMEs. Using this scheme, SMEs endeavor to reduce their CO2 emissions while receiving technical and funding support from large enterprises. At the same time, large enterprises can purchase the credits resulting from these endeavors and use them in achieving the targets established by their own action plans by counting them as their own reductions.

Scheme Chart of the CDM

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Extensive initiative for scheme promotion

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A Seminar on the CDM at the Environmental Business Matching Forum

In October 2008, Mizuho became the only megabanking group in Japan to be entrusted by METI with the business of promoting the CDM. This was tantamount to recognition of Mizuho's ample knowledge and strong record in the area of emissions trading, and its environmental business matching initiatives aimed at SMEs, the main target of the CDM.

As the main liaison for promoting the scheme, MHIR provides information through briefings and the like. MHBK supported SMEs who are interested in strengthening their environmental programs by providing them with opportunities to meet large companies with environmental solutions at the "Environmental Business Matching Forum" and similar events.

In December 2008, MHIR was subcontracted to provide software support for the scheme. The software support business involves assistance in drawing up the emissions reduction business plans that SMEs need to be eligible for the scheme, as well as providing free consultations on reducing emissions, and many domestic companies have been helped to date.

Mizuho will continue to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions among domestic companies by popularizing this mechanism.

Key CDM application candidacies supported by Mizuho as of the end of March 2009
Adopting company Sector Details of emission reduction projects (application methodology)
Ito Chuuzou Co., Ltd. Casting business Industrial furnace renovation
Shouichi Kinzoku K.K. Hardware manufacture New installation of lighting facilities
Tashiro-SS Co., Ltd. Manufacture of wooden fixtures Air-conditioning facilities upgrade
Fukushima Foods Co., Ltd. Food manufacture Boiler renewal
  • *If the above-mentioned initiatives are implemented as an emissions reduction business, we estimate CO2 emissions will be cut by a total of around 8,000 tons/year.

Managers' comments

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Kenichi Hasegawa Business Marketing Team, Business Solutions Division Mizuho Bank

Making the most of extensive networking with SME managers

Since before the launch of the CDM, we at MHBK have been promoting environmental business matching, providing the support needed to bring companies who have adopted a positive approach to environmental measures into contact with companies that possess ample environmental solutions. I believe that these steady efforts have borne fruit because many SMEs consult us or make inquiries about the CDM these days.

This scheme could become an extremely effective solution for managers who wish to reduce their environmental impact while at the same time improving their management efficiency amidst today's severe economic conditions. We believe that contributing to a reduction in Japan's domestic CO2 emissions is an important initiative from the perspective of fulfilling our social mission as a financial institution. "Ji-kaku" — or self-awareness — of our involvement in promoting a scheme that is so advantageous to society greatly motivates us as we propose its use to customers.

The CDM has really only just started. In addition to making related proposals to as many companies as possible, we intend to make ourselves useful to customers by promoting environmental business matching between large enterprises and SMEs, and helping customers resolve their environment-related management issues.

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