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Social Innovation

Renewable Energy Initiatives:
Hitachi’s Journey to Reducing Carbon Emissions

The need to act

Reducing carbon emissions is a vital step towards tackling the global climate crisis. According to the latest IPCC report, global temperatures are expected to rise 1.5°C averaged over the next 20 years.1 As we experience the real impacts of rising temperatures, the need for us to act has never been greater. Globally, Hitachi has set targets to become carbon neutral across offices and factories by 2030 and across the entire value chain by 2050.

Video: Hitachi’s Journey to Reducing Carbon Emissions

Hitachi has taken a socially responsible approach to business since its foundation in 1910, over 110 years ago. With an aim to power good in the world, Hitachi provides solutions that help governments, cities and companies cut carbon. Hitachi applies this mindset to its products and services as well as the mission to achieve its own decarbonisation in Australia and New Zealand.

“Our values are founded in creating not only economic value, but in creating social and environmental value; and through the use of green technology and digital solutions, we are contributing to reductions in carbon emissions to create a net-zero society.”

– Michael Miller, Managing Director at Hitachi Australia

Reducing emissions in Australia and New Zealand

In line with Hitachi’s overall global targets, Hitachi Australia (HAUL) has started taking action. Ayano Akitomi, Hitachi’s Brand Communications and Sustainability Officer, shares how they have been able to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 7.82 tonnes per month, since changing to a renewable energy provider. She believes a renewable energy transition will become the norm for Hitachi group companies.

“We want to make a positive sustainability impact. Changing to renewable electricity is a small step but a step in the right direction on our mission to progress climate action.”

– Ayano Akitomi, Brand Communications and Sustainability Officer at Hitachi Australia

Hitachi Australia delivers leading edge technology and solutions across mobility, industry, energy and IT. As the regional headquarters in Oceania, they aim to leverage the power of collaboration and collective learning through partnerships with:

  • The Australian Packaging Covenant
  • UN Global Compact

In addition to Hitachi Australia’s emission reduction, this article looks at sustainability actions and initiatives from within the Hitachi group: Sullair, in Australia and CablePrice, in New Zealand.

Sullair: Pioneering Spirit, a motivation to reduce emissions

Sullair, a Hitachi group company with eight branches across Australia, is a global leader in oil-free and oil- injected air compressors and accessories that deliver energy efficient compressed air solutions. One of Hitachi group’s values is Pioneering Spirit. It serves as a motivation for Sullair to find solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and reach their target of becoming 100% carbon neutral within their offices and factories by 2030.

Solar panel installation

Within the organisation, Sullair has an environmental committee, which drives initiatives to reduce environmental impacts across the company. The senior leadership team is also involved in driving these sustainable initiatives. One of the first initiatives was to reduce packaging waste, which included the transition from wooden and metal containers to recyclable cardboard containers.

All of Sullair’s eight Australian branches purchase renewable energy (100% offset electricity). As their vehicles come to the end of their life or lease, Sullair aim to replace them with Hybrid or electric vehicles. Any new Sullair branches will have at least 5 out of 6 stars from the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), and will include:

  • Solar panels
  • LED lights
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Battery storage

“Our customers are increasingly looking to their suppliers to contribute to the decarbonisation of their operations. Sullair is committed to continued new product development and delivering enhanced service offerings to assist our customers in this journey.”

– Fred Funnell, Managing Director at Sullair Australia

CablePrice: Being genuine when it comes to sustainability

CablePrice is New Zealand’s sole distributor for Hitachi construction machinery and equipment. They have 14 branches across New Zealand, which provide services across sales, service, parts, and training to supply the best solutions for the heavy diesel industry.

windmills produce renewable energy

The organisation has established a series of initiatives to minimise their environmental impact. One of which was reviewing their electricity use and sourcing suppliers that fit with their sustainability goals. They now purchase 100% renewable energy from a clean energy provider in New Zealand. Other initiatives include:

  • Transitioning to LED lighting across all branches
  • A partnership with the New Zealand based scheme, Recovering Oil Saves the Environment (R.O.S.E) to reuse oil and oil containers
  • Reusing their oil to heat up their branches on New Zealand’s South Island

Michael Wilson, CablePrice’s National Health, Safety and Environment Manager, noted the importance of behaviour change initiatives to make it easy for the team to support the company’s sustainability goals. Simple things, like hanging up signs, and placing recycling bins in convenient locations was critical to these initiatives.

“It’s important to stay genuine and to be clear about what the objective is when creating cultural change around sustainability within an organisation.”

– Michael Wilson, National Health, Safety and Environment Manager at CablePrice New Zealand

Hitachi’s commitment to a net-zero society

We are committed to taking climate action and playing our role in a net-zero society. Our ambition is to contribute to a more sustainable future through green technology and digital solutions. As a Principal Partner of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we support companies and people at the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action. As a company, we aim to become carbon neutral across offices and factories by fiscal 2030 and across our entire value chain by fiscal 2050.