Corporate Environmental Education in Japan: Current Situation and Problems

International Review for Environmental Strategies (IRES) Volume 4 Number 1 (2003)所収

The corporate sector in Japan is playing an increasingly active role in environmental education and the capacity building of their employees and communities. This paper examines the current situation and the trends of corporate activities, their intentions, social implications, the problems they face and possible solutions, along with some suggestions from the point of view of corporate environmental disclosure. Their activities in environmental education and raising environmental awareness in communities are useful as a source of professional information and tips for helping consumers to make “greener” choices in their lives. But they lack neutrality as information providers, and have been criticized for this by some school teachers. They also face recent changes in school curricula. To manage these issues, they have to make clear their stance on environmental issues, while the recipients of their activities should recognize them as sources of material and information provided from a certain point of view. The business sector’s environmental education activities and programs for their employees are being used as an environmental management tool, and have social value in themselves for reducing environmental impacts. But in each company, environmental awareness is not well developed at all employee levels, especially in the marketing and sales divisions. A resource constraint is perceived in this field, as well. Possible solutions for these problems include clarification of top management’s commitment, collaborative work between the environment and sales divisions, and producing new tools for education. To facilitate corporate environmental education activities,

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