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The Asian Productivity Organization (APO), in collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan Productivity Center (JPC), hosted a Multicountry Observational Study Mission on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) in Tokyo from 24 to 27 July 2012. Eighteen high-level delegates from 18 countries took part in this interactive mission.
Responding to the current global financial scenario, this mission highlighted the importance of the efficient, effective use of available resources, especially energy, to increase the competitiveness of businesses, in particular SMEs. Experts who provided inputs to this mission included representatives of METI, the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), and Tottori University of Environmental Studies who introduced approaches, applications, management techniques, and technology related to the 3Rs and resource efficiency in the workplace.
Chief Expert Professor Masaru Tanaka, Director of the Sustainability Research Institute, Tottori University of Environmental Studies, pointed out that, “Participants will learn how to reduce the consumption of material and energy resources in the manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and waste management stages. For individuals, this know-how can be applied to all aspects of life. For companies, 3R applications mean decreased expenditures on material, energy, and waste disposal, with concomitant improvements in public image, operational efficiency, and competitiveness. For countries, the 3Rs contribute to employment by raising productivity and the international competitiveness of products and services.”
C.R.C. Mohanty, Environment Programme Expert of UNCRD, remarked, “The APO-METI-JPC Study Mission on the 3Rs not only provides an important platform for developing countries to learn from Japanese expertise in the field of resource efficiency, but also complements the objectives of the Regional 3R Forum in Asia towards achieving a low-carbon and sound-material society.”
The study mission looked at various facets of the 3Rs including best practices in Japan, the 3Rs as an environmental management tool, and energy efficiency in Japan, focusing on building the capacity of SMEs to adopt in their own 3R initiatives.