Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-0519
Print ISSN : 1880-2761
ISSN-L : 1880-2761
Volume 13 , Issue 1
Showing 1-19 articles out of 19 articles from the selected issue
Contents
  • 2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages Toc_1-Toc_4
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
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Foreword in New Year
Special Issue 1: Contributions from the 11th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
  • Sho SASAKI, Kazuyo MATSUBAE, Kenichi NAKAJIMA, Shinsuke MURAKAMI, Tets ...
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 2-11
    Published: 2017
    Released: February 07, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Objective. Supply and demand trends for mineral resources are changing rapidly due to economic growth in emerging nations and technological innovation in industrialized nations. There is a wide range of direct and indirect impediments that pose potential risks to mineral resource supply chains. These factors include stoppage of mining operations due to strikes, interruption of transport routes due to natural disasters, and policies prohibiting ore exports due to resource nationalism. Strategic management of resources based on these direct and indirect risk factors inherent to supply chains has become an important issue. In this study, the following analyses were performed for the purpose of presenting measures to prevent adverse impacts on mineral resource supply: (1) framework design to comprehensively and broadly capture a variety of risk factors influencing the supply chain, using nickel as a case study; (2) factor analysis to analyze numerous examples of supply impediments with the number of incidents and environmental risk factors as one index; land area modified by ore extraction and geopolitical factors as one index; and a quantitative analysis of the degree of the concentration of ore production.
    Results and Discussion. The five categories (Economic, Environmental, Geopolitical, Societal, and Technological) were subdivided by factor into 31 subcategories. It became clear that there were some risk factors for which obtaining data was difficult. A collection of risk events of nickel resource supply impediments confirmed countries regions, and risk factors for which cases data was difficult to obtain. Analysis of land area transformation by nickel resource extraction showed that land modification is increasing with increasing ore extraction in resource producing countries. Estimates of the degree of concentration of nickel ore production for specific mines found that, in certain countries/regions, production was concentrated in specific mines.
    Conclusions. To prevent impediments to mineral resource supply, the following conclusions were determined from our analysis:
    ・ It is necessary to pay attention to risk factors that have been difficult to identify until now.
    ・ It is important to consider relationships between communities and specific mines or smelters, and to evaluate potential environmental issues related to land transformation.
    ・ Finally, it is important to plan for dispersion of risk by dispersing supply. When advancing supply from expensive countries with high mineral concentrations, it is necessary to preempt potential failures in the supply chain, including storage, by putting advanced countermeasures in place.
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Special Issue 2: Low Carbon Society and Industries
  • Nariaki NISHINO, Tomonori HONDA, Kenju AKAI, Keiko AOKI, Atsushi INABA
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 60-72
    Published: 2017
    Released: February 07, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Objective. Our study analyzes investment behavior under the condition that information such as CO2 emissions is disclosed. To deal with such an issue, we adopt the method of economic experiments that human subjects are recruited and their economic behavior is examined under controlled laboratories. We construct the stock market model which is expanded from the preceding asset market model and into which information disclosure is incorporated.
    Results and Discussion. The two cases of experiments are prepared: one is that monetary rewards are paid to human subjects based on the normal methodology in economics experiments; the other is that the amount of CO2 reductions is directly linked to the real world by purchasing carbon offset credits of which amount is proportional to the amount of CO2 reduction in experiments. In the first experiments, stock price that the corresponding company reduces CO2 emissions is increasing compared with normal stock price. On the other hand, there is no difference between two stock prices in the second experiments with carbon offset credits.
    Conclusions. Our experimental results imply that if investors are not monetarily incentivized for CO2 reductions, it is difficult to reflect company’s CSR activities in stock price. Therefore, it is concluded that in order to contribute to realizing sustainable society from financial industries, some appropriate social regime like carbon tax would be required.
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Report
Commentary and Discussion
  • Takejiro SUEYOSHI
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 16-23
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The objective of this paper is to deliberate the implications of the Paris Agreement on climate change in terms of business. The reason why I take this approach is that in order to appropriately deliver what the Paris Agreement requires us to do, that is obviously “Zero Emission”, we need to make a transformational change of business practice and eventually economic model. Before Paris, “Low-carbonization” used to be at the center of mitigation. After Paris, “De-carbonization” has become the goal in fight against climate change. It is this De-carbonization that will force us to take a totally different pathway from the low-carbonization days. It contains a lot of implications that will lead us to a new climate economy. By introducing good practices already in place, I will try to clear up a future course of business and finance.

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  • Jun ARIMA
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 24-30
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    COP21 in Paris last December ironed out a historic Paris Agreement as a universal framework for tackling climate change. It has a hybrid nature, namely, on one hand, a pragmatic bottom-up pledge & review scheme, on the other hand, extremely ambitious top-down target(1.5-2.0 degrees temperature stabilization and balancing emissions and removals in the 2nd half of this century). It is not likely that a huge gap of 15 Gt between the mitigation pathway, which is regarded necessary to achieve 2.0 degrees target and compilation of Nationally Determined Contribution pledged by Parties. To narrow this gap, it is crucial to develop, demonstrate and deploy innovative energy technologies. Such innovation will not occur in the UN negotiation, but in public/private laboratories. Therefore, it is the key how to ensure enabling environment for innovation and facilitate international technology collaboration in coming decades. Japan has put forward a target reducing GHG emissions by 26% to 2013 in the year 2030 based on carefully designed energy mix, 20-22% of nuclear and 22-24% of renewable out of total power generation and 17% reduction of electricity consumption below business as usual case. All of these elements are extremely challenging under the current Japanese energy situation. Restart of nuclear power plants and their replacement is crucial for mid to long term GHG emissions in Japan. Japan should also exercise its leadership in development of innovative energy/environment technologies.

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  • Junichiro ODA, Keigo AKIMOTO
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 31-38
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Objective. The objective of this paper is to introduce concept and level of carbon price, and ex-post evaluation of climate mitigation policy based on literature survey and to discuss carbon price and the related issues.

    Results and Discussion. The literature survey suggests that(i)social cost of carbon based on future loss and damage from climate change varies by scientific uncertainty and value judgement, (ii)divergence of carbon price among region could pose a risk of carbon leakage, (iii)in order to realize the Japan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution(INDC), Japan has to conduct significant climate mitigation efforts including high-cost mitigation measures which correspond to marginal abatement cost of around 380 US2000$/tCO2, and(iv)emission trading system(ETS)is the controversial issue in Japan, and the low carbon price in EU ETS has not provided sufficient incentives to motivate additional mitigation action.

    Conclusions. This paper concludes that Japan has to conduct very high-cost emission reductions for realization of the INDC while there are large differences in regional marginal abatement costs and uncertainty in social cost of carbon.

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  • Kae Ishibashi Takase
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 39-49
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    Objective. This paper is to summarize the effects of Paris agreement to Japanese industry. In Japan, only the cost of carbon abatement is focused when discussing the effect of Paris agreement. However, the public and private carbon pricing is expanding, and the investors are paying more attentions toward companies’ carbon performance.

    Results and Discussion. Given the movement toward expansion of carbon pricing both for jurisdictions and companies, potential cost for not abating the Greenhouse Gas(GHG)emissions exist. After China starts its emissions trading scheme(ETS)in 2017, almost 25% of the world’s GHG emissions would be priced. Companies are getting ready for the future extension of carbon pricing, and utilize internal carbon pricing, in which companies consider price of carbon in their investment judgement, or put carbon tax on their operations and invest revenue for emissions reductions. The risk of further carbon pricing by jurisdiction is increasing, and there are companies getting ready, which will have more competitiveness in the future under expanded carbon pricing. Institutional investors who manage large amount of money on behalf of pension funds all over the world have had consideration to environment, society, and governance(ESG), not only for their social responsibility but also for the stability of their profits. Movement to decarbonize investment’s portfolio has started, and the methods of quantitative management is under development to realize ESG investment, and has become mainstream, as 1500 investors managing 62 trillion USD, has signed PRI(Principles of Responsible Investment). The Science Based Targets(SBT) Initiative has started in 2015, and as of November 10th, 2016, 196 companies have committed to have their targets to be aligned with 2 degree scenarios of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)or International Energy Agency(IEA)within two years. SBT methodology follows GHG Protocol, calculation methodology for GHG emissions, and GHG Protocol has revised to allow market based emission factors, enabling the purchase of renewable electricity to have a benefit to reduce companies’ emissions reported. The costs of renewables are already competitive against the costs of conventional power, and the purchase of renewable power is increasing, which result in lower emissions for purchasing companies, although those in Japan is still high and not competitive yet. SBT requires scope 3 emissions management, and CDP(International NGO for carbon and other natural capital disclosure, formally Carbon Disclosure Project)will start the evaluation of suppliers’ engagement rating in January, 2017. More companies are starting to reduce their scope 3 emissions, and will start selecting the suppliers with their carbon performance.

    Conclusions. Emissions reductions will increase the cost, but under the global commitment to reduce GHG emissions, the value is given to the reduction of GHG emissions, so that the cost and value should both be considered, and the value part would expand after the Paris agreement became effective. The value the companies not reducing GHG emissions cannot gain is the investment from the pension funds as a part of ESG investment, selected as suppliers, and cost saving for the carbon pricing by jurisdictions.

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General Articles
Research Article
  • Tomonori HONDA, Atsushi INABA
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 50-59
    Published: 2017
    Released: December 15, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS

    The objective of this study is to explicate a greenhouse gas emissions database of listed companies in Japan, developed by Japan LCA Society Environmental Information Study Group. The database has its boundary of domestically consolidated listed companies, which reflects corporate stock ownership of the listed companies disclosed on the basis of Global Warming Act. Emissions of subsidiaries and related companies are allocated to their parent companies in the boundary. The amount of the greenhouse gas emissions is calculated in accordance with the shareholder ratio, though the method of allocating emissions of subsidiaries and related companies to a parent company is also employed. We consider that this exhaustive database that contains individual companies’ greenhouse gas emissions provides a useful base for the study of environmental behavior analysis of companies and environmental efficiency as well as policy planning.

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General Articles
Research Article
  • Hirotaka KOMATA, Yoshio ISHIKAWA, Hiroki HONDO
    2017 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 73-83
    Published: 2017
    Released: February 07, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Objective. A feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme came into effect in Japan in 2012. Because fossil fuels are consumed in the harvest, transportation, and manufacture of fuel chips, it is necessary to perform a life cycle assessment (LCA) of woody biomass-based energy production systems (woody biomass systems). In recent years, there has been increasing demand not only for environmental impact assessment related to global warming, such as the generation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but also for comprehensive assessment of other environmental impact categories. However, the environmental impacts of woody biomass systems have, as yet, not been assessed. Therefore, the present study aims to determine all the characteristics of such systems with respect to their environmental performances.
    Results and Discussion. Two systems were examined using LCA under the assumption that 100,000 m3 (log equivalent) / year of woody biomass is available: system B1, which is a power plant that consumes the woody biomass to produce electricity; and system B2, in which the woody biomass is consumed by a cogeneration (combined heat and power: CHP) plant, which produces both heat and electricity. We compared these systems to the corresponding alternative fossil fuel systems, systems F1 and F2, respectively. The external costs associated with woody biomass systems are at least 36.8% (system B1) and at most 72.4% (system B2) lower than those associated with fossil fuel systems F1 and F2, respectively. In woody biomass systems, 57.8% of the total external costs are associated with the disposal of combustion ash. If electricity only was produced from woody biomass by using a steam turbine system with a sufficiently low power generation efficiency and all of the combustion ash and residue were landfilled, the expected external costs would be higher than those of the alternative fossil fuel system. For this reason, when the woody power generation efficiency is less than the threshold of 15.3%, the external costs are higher than those of a commercial power system.
    Conclusions. The external costs of woody biomass systems are smaller compared to those of the alternative fossil fuel systems. In addition, this reduction in the external costs is greater for CHP systems, which produce both heat and electricity, than systems that produce electricity only.
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Introduction of Research Group
Introduction of Supporting Corporate Members
The 8th ILCAJ Awards Recipients
Supporting Members
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