Background of the Establishment of Graduate School of Environmental Studies

Human activities in recent years resulted in the invention of various new technologies and new materials to make our lives better and more convenient. On the other hand, such achievement has brought about excessive consumption of resources and energy, which exceeds the natural capacities of production, reproduction and processing. It has also created disproportionate waste, which has led ultimately to such global threats as the destruction of natural environment, global warming, ecological degradation, and deterioration of urban and social environments. As we have entered the 21st century, those human and global perils have become more and more challenging. Therefore, Japan's Next Phase Science and Technology Basic Plan designates "environmental" challenges as one of the most important fields that the government will address.

Environmental Studies Unique to Tohoku University

It is essential to view science and technology as disciplines that can peacefully coexist with the environment. Such a view necessitates a paradigm shift toward a new perspective that differs from those of past centuries. The Graduate School of Environmental Studies was established in April 2003 to play a responsible role in constructing future-evolutional social systems through spreading new environmental coexistence-based state-of-the-art academic research to the world as a university that possesses advanced scientific and technological knowledge. The Graduate School of Environmental Studies is intended to create a social system that can become bases of a cultural and recycle-based society which supports sustainable development by integrating the "knowledge" of Tohoku University as a comprehensive university. In order to train people to acquire high-level knowledge and skills and to become individuals who can tackle myriad challenges on a global scale in the 21st century,
we strive:

  • To construct an environmental science of a comprehensive university that eliminates traditional boundaries
    between humanities and sciences;
  • To train people to acquire high and comprehensive competence and become able to serve active roles in
    international society;
  • To implement education and research to pursue sustainability of human life space;
  • To implement education and research to analyze environmental issues from diverse perspectives, taking
    regional and ethnic factors into consideration;
  • To implement education and research for the construction of an energy system that is in harmony with the
  • To implement education and research for the creation of an efficient recovery and utilization system of
    materials and biotechnology that can coexist with nature;
  • To implement education and research for the creation of new recyclable resources and reproductive
    technologies that support a recycle-based society; and
  • To implement education and research for the planning of an environmental creation scheme in order to build
    symbiotic social structures.