YKK Center Park “Furusato-No-Mori” Initiative uses technology to visualise CO2 absorption

YKK Corporation (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) has launched an experimental trial to visualise CO2 absorption using “e-kakashi,” an AI-powered “brain” for agriculture provided by SoftBank Corporation that includes a CO2 absorption estimation system.

The trial is taking place at YKK Center Park’s “Furusato-no-Mori” (Hometown Forest) on the grounds of the Kurobe Manufacturing Center (Kurobe City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan).

The YKK Group has established the “YKK Group Environmental Vision 2050” and the “YKK Sustainability Vision 2050,” and undertakes business activities to achieve the goals set out in those visions. Furusato-no-Mori was initially created to realise YKK founder Tadao Yoshida’s ideal of a factory in a forest, but the forest is also helping to reduce greenhouse gases, one of the goals of YKK’s two visions. YKK collected the seeds of trees that are native to Kurobe and systematically planted 20,000 seedlings representing 20 species. Today, the company continues to observe the forest and its changing state with tree height measurements, biological surveys, and other means. In the biological survey of 2019, ten years after the seedlings were planted, YKK observed biological diversity and recorded 318 different species, 26 of which are considered endangered in Japan or Toyama Prefecture. YKK partners with local organisations to hold events such as observation meetings of the forest and its insect life and makes the forest a venue for environmental education for children.

In this latest project, YKK launched an experimental trial supported by SoftBank to visualise the carbon reduction effectiveness of green areas of YKK Center Park, including Furusato-no-Mori. The trial is scheduled to run from November 2020 to the end of March 2021 and will use an installed “e-kakashi” system. Local meteorological data and environmental data such as ground temperatures that are collected by the “e-kakashi” sensors are combined to visualise CO2 absorption rates in real time. This information is then displayed on signs in the café and lounge area of YKK’s Maruyane Exhibition Hall.

The YKK Group conducts business activities in 72 countries and regions around the world and at each location it promotes greening projects such as tree plantings in cooperation with local communities. Not only will the data from this trial be used in environmental learning programs and to promote understanding of the mechanism of CO2 absorption in green spaces, it will also be used in YKK’s greening activities around the world.

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