On July 21, 2021, The Ritsumeikan Trust (“Ritsumeikan”) formalized a decision to work towards achieving a carbon neutral campus by 2030.
Interest in environmental impact reduction and other environmental issues has strengthened considerably among the public in recent years. Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his policy speech to the extraordinary Diet in October 2020, stated that Japan will work toward achieving a carbon-neutral society by 2050. Many multinational firms have announced initiatives to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Diverse entities, including businesses and local governments in Japan and abroad, have established carbon neutrality goals and are reviewing ways to achieve those goals.
Expectations are high that universities will also do their part towards achieving carbon neutrality by, for example, advancing and spreading scientific knowledge to pave the way for technological innovations, collaborating with local communities, and taking part in global initiatives.
In the spring of 2021 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of the Environment launched the University Coalition for Carbon Neutrality. The coalition has created five working groups focused on specific targets: zero-carbon campus, zero-carbon community, innovations, human resource development, and international collaboration. Ritsumeikan University is serving as coordinator for the Zero-Carbon Campus Working Group.
In addition to aligning itself to such social movements, Ritsumeikan is striving to achieve a carbon neutral campus by reducing more environmental impacts than ever and advancing SDG initiatives, thereby helping to create a better society and enhancing the benefits of an inclusive society.