Fieldwork in Northern Tohoku

July 3-4, 2014

    To learn about energy and resources used in Tohoku area, we visited to Kosaka Smelter in Akita, Eco-system Akita, and Kuzumaki eco-town in Iwate.

Student’s Report: Mutsumi TANIURA (M2)

Evaluate the business transformation of DOWA
・Is its conversion from a mining company to an environmental protection company successful?
     I think the judgment was good because companies should change their strategy with the social trends. Sustainable companies and organizations with having made profits for a long time do so to spread their impacts widely and to support their employees’ lives. DOWA could match their knowledge and technology with the social trends or a future’s needs. That’s why I think the net income of the Environmental Management & Recycling Business is the highest of all 5 businesses and it’s successful.
・What should be the future direction of its environment business?
     In my opinion, they should continue to recycling business and also find other idea, not of recycling business ‘urban mining’ but of using renewable energy. There are three reasons. Firstly, the recycling is included the concept of 3R, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” To use our precious resources sustainably, 3R is needed to be considered. Next, especially “reducing the use of resources” is same as important as recycling. We can’t shift our lives to depending largely on renewable resources without thinking about reducing the amount of unsustainable resources. Real sustainable companies should think about both. The last is that the competition will be more intense at the market of urban mining near future because the amount of urban mine reservation is rising. More companies will be attracted to such a large market. Thus DOWA should prepare for the competition and it may be good idea to research the substitutive resources with the advance their recycling technology.
c.f. DOWA has already researched other technologies for environmental business.
・My Comment of this fieldwork
    I was especially impressed with the fieldwork in Kuzumaki town because I could hear the condition and the characteristics of the town and the purposes of their attention to renewable energy. I also heard the residents’ impressions with the technologies. This story is useful to compare with other towns.