Green curtains an energy-saving initiative for Kyocera
Green curtains provide shading to the outer wall of a Kyocera facility. Photo courtesy of Business Wire
Kyocera Corp. is planting green curtains at its factories and offices in Japan for the 10thth consecutive year as part of its ongoing environmental protection and sustainability activities, according to a press release.
The natural foliage of climbing plants creates “curtains” that cover building walls and windows, providing shade for the rooms inside and lowering the building temperature by up to 3.6 degrees while helping reduce the use of energy-consuming air-conditioning systems, the release said.
One square meter of green curtain neutralizes as much as 3.4kg of CO2 annually. In 2016, Kyocera’s green curtains stretched out for roughly 710 meters and covered an area of 2,900 square meters in total, absorbing approximately 10,000kg1 per year. With 10 years of green curtains, Kyocera’s efforts total more than 85,000kg of absorbed CO2 — or the equivalent of about 6,300 cedar trees2.
Kyocera started growing green curtains in 2007 at one of its factories in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture in cooperation with local government and a non-governmental organization, with the goal of further reducing the factory’s environmental impact. To date, the activities have been expanded to 27 sites in total, including additional factories and offices throughout Japan.
Kyocera also encourages its employees, as well as local residents, to participate in the green curtain initiative in their own homes by providing seedlings produced by the green curtains. Gourd and morning glory are the most commonly used plants for the green curtains, but others such as passion fruit, navy bean, sponge cucumber and mini Japanese squash (cucurbita pepo) can be used as well.
Kyocera employees enjoy special dishes with vegetables harvested from the Green Curtains at select company cafeterias or at home.