Cool Biz – le Cool business made in Japan.
After some fairly technical articles, I will suggest changing your mind with a little Japanese info. We will talk about “Cool Biz”, particularly topical every summer when we have more and more “alerts “heatwaves.
Cool Biz, written in Japanese in Katakana, alphabet reserved for foreign words. Cool biz : this word is therefore the diminutive of Cool Business. But what is behind this term ?
The Cool Biz is a measure already adopted in 2005 by the government of the then Prime Minister of Japan, Jun’ichirō Koizumi. This is a reflection he developed with his Ministry of the Environment, to fight global warming. A very simple measure has been decreed : promote less formal work attire in offices, i.e. without jacket or tie.
This is quite in the style of the daily optimization methods that we find for example in and Gemba Kaizen.
Wacky idea or real contribution of Cool Biz ?
Concretely, it is about reducing the use of air conditioning in offices or in private homes. If air conditioning units work less, they contribute less to energy consumption, therefore to the greenhouse effect. Furthermore, office workers are suggested not to wear a tie or jacket.
In offices a difference of 26,2 at 28 ° C for maintenance temperature, would lead to a reduction in CO2 equivalent consumption of 160 at 2,900,000 tons. This gives a substantial greenhouse gas reduction effect. In October 2005, the minister estimated a reduction of 460 000 tons-CO2, the equivalent of CO2 emitted by a million households during a month. In 2006 the result was much better. The figure stood at a reduction of 1 140 000 tons-CO2, the equivalent of CO2 emitted by 2,5 million households during a month.
In the houses, households are reminded that simply gaining one degree on their air conditioning already has an effect on the release of greenhouse gases.
It should be remembered that the population of Japan is over 120 000 000 inhabitants, double France. The dress of the office worker is really the “suit and tie”, in a very formal way. We always say little streams make big rivers. There are no small savings.
It's in 2019 – 14 years after Japan – that Minister François de Rugy did the same on a TV set. He provided clothing advice relating to the heatwave of June 2019. Note that this minister made no mention of the existence of this type of measure in force since 2005 in Japan. It’s once again some kind of intellectual theft.
The South Korean government has undertaken a similar campaign in 2006. The “Trades Union Congress”, the federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, insisted that we follow the Japanese example. Shinzō Abe's government (in the center on the photo above) perpetuates the measure by also regularly promoting the Cool Biz.