Chiba University of Commerce, Japan


CUC, the first 100% renewable energy university in Japan

Chiba University of Commerce, CUC, is the first and so far, as of March 2022, the only 100% Renewable Energy University in Japan. This was achieved as a whole University effort, involving management, faculty, staff, and students, based on the three initiatives of hardware, software, and “heartware”.

For hardware, we produced energy by turning a former baseball ground into a mega solar farm and by installing solar panels on every available rooftop. We also saved energy by switching to LED lighting throughout the campus. For software, we introduced an EMS (Energy Management System), and made the energy consumption on campus visual for everyone to see. For “heartware” which means raising awareness leading to concrete action, the Student Organization for Natural Energy (SONE) was formed to raise awareness by conducting various activities and using social media to spread this information to the public. Everyone at CUC played a part in making 100% Renewable Energy possible. 

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:
CO2t savings over the life cycle of the project: 2,544 tonnes (Actual over 5 years, from April 2016 to March 2021)
Actual CO2t emissions
FY2016: 2,863 tonnes (Actual)
FY2017: 2,541 tonnes (Actual)
FY2018: 2,289 tonnes (Actual)
FY2019: 906 tonnes (Actual)
FY2020: 319 tonnes (Actual)
In Japan, the fiscal year (FY) is from April to March the following year.

What the Judges Thought

The mix of energy generation and energy conservation measures combined with the inclusion of students and the wider engagement around the project, makes it all very compelling.  The judges welcomed the use of own land and the additionality gained through the project.

What it Means to Win

“Winning this Award is both an honour and an encouragement for us. As the first challenger, we wanted to show by our example that universities can be sustainable institutions using renewable energy. We are thrilled that our university-wide effort has been recognized and hope that many others will follow us.”

Dr. Sachihiko Harashina, President

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Achieving 100% renewable energy is an all-university effort: management, faculty, staff, and students.
  2. Achieving 100% renewable energy is a great active learning experience.
  3. If we could achieve100% renewable energy, you can do it, too.
4 - Quality Education 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
Chiba University of Commerce, Japan	 image #1 Chiba University of Commerce, Japan	 image #1