Green Initiatives in the Japanese Insurance Industry: On the Starting Line

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27 May 2010
KyongSun Kong
Interest in green initiatives is on the rise worldwide, and Japan is no exception. Even though the Japanese insurance industry is just at the starting line of green initiatives, Celent research has found that the industry is seriously considering this area. One of the reasons why they show a sincere attitude to green initiatives might be that the insurance companies accept that they “waste” a lot of paper throughout the policy process. The target of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions touted by the administration of Yukio Hatoyama and the general swell of interest in environmental issues make it a safe bet that more and more insurance companies will actively take part in green initiatives. In addition to the conventional activities such as tree-planting projects, which have been common among companies looking to contribute to society, green IT is gathering momentum and attention. The insurance industry, which uses massive quantities of paper, is expected to increasingly shift to electronic files. In conjunction with this, companies will no doubt have to tackle the topics of introducing applications for document and content management to shore up their systems. Although the initial costs to establish such systems raise the specter of a jump in IT costs over the short term, the decreased use of paper will ultimately translate into reduced costs over the long term.


  • Thank you for the interesting post.
    I was wondering if along "green" activities facing company itself (activities such as the ones you mentioned - reduction of paper usage, etc.), Japanese insurance firms are developing green insurance products (such as insurance for hybrid cars, gray water, solar panels) for the retail segment, and green facility insurance for the corporate customers which operate largescale green infrastructure facilities?
    Are there any green CSR activities by insurance firms in Japan?
    What about green positioning and marketing campaigns?
    I would be glad if you could address these issues in future posts.

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