Hokkaido seeks to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This project, called Zero-Carbon Hokkaido, will encourage decarbonization and sustainable community development, and the local government is planning a while new green economy that makes use of Hokkaido’s abundant sources of renewable energy – and its carbon-absorbing forests.
Niseko selected as an “SDG Future City” in Japan
The mountain resort town of Niseko has been selected as a Future City for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and it’s set to become the model for the rest of Japan. The model project aims to solve the housing shortage, which is an issue that affects the whole region, and will encourage economic revitalization with new environmentally-friendly housing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to significant of the current level.
The tiny village of Kamishihoro is one of the main dairy producers on Hokkaido, with more than 40,000 cows and just 5,000 residents. So much thriving livestock does generate quite a lot of waste, and manure disposal has become a major issue. So the waste is now reused in all sorts of smart ways. The manure is fermented, producing clean biogas to generate electricity for the local area, while the by-products of this process are reused both as liquid fertiliser, and as bedding for the cows! Surplus heat is even recycled into local greenhouses growing soft fruit.
Getting closer to the ocean
A local fisherman called Tsuyonori Hayashi is making waves in the town of Shibetsu – and changing the Hokkaido fishing industry from the ground up. He, alongside a group of his eco-conscious colleagues, is learning to treat the sea and its bounty with respect. This involves fishing more carefully and less wastefully, and making sure fish stocks are not exhausted.
Rethinking Hokkaido’s role in Japanese cuisine
The Michelin-starred chef Yoshinori Ishii is one of the most internationally successful Japanese chefs – and having met Hayashi-san, he’s now using his influence to bring real change to Hokkaido’s fishing industry, by transferring the sustainable mindset into top-end hospitality.
Author: Deb Davad