October 21, 2022

The Sustainable Japan Award is viewed as a ‘new commons’ for ESG initiatives

Takashi Mitachi

The ceremony closed with a congratulatory speech from specially appointed professor Takashi Mitachi of Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Management. He expressed his view that the Sustainable Japan Award’s purpose is twofold. Of course, it is an event held to shine a light on activities related to sustainability and show them to the English-speaking world. However, and perhaps more importantly, the event creates a space to bring together ESG practitioners, giving them an opportunity to pick up on each other’s initiatives and join hands in creating something even better. “In overseas cultures, this is sometimes referred to as ‘the commons,’ which could be compared in Japan to what we call satoyama,” he explained. He gave the example of the Industrial Revolution, through which the people who first learned to leverage the power of the Earth were able to increase the global population, which now is 7.8 billion. “However, we have overdone it a bit and have created unsustainable urban societies. What we need now,” he asserted, “is a new commons where positive connections leading to action can take place, and that is what I expect the Sustainable Japan Award to continue to be going forward as well.”

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