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Eco Operation Managing Our Environmental Impact

Project60:Our Commitment
to Reduce Power Consumption by 40%

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The Rakuten Group is involved in a wide variety of initiatives to aid in the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. One area where the Rakuten took dramatic action was responding to the unstable power supply conditions resulting from the meltdown of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Within days of the disaster Rakuten launched “Project60” and its slogan, “Reduce per-person power consumption this summer by 40% compared to last year.” Through the commitment and effort of dedicated employees we achieved an average energy reduction of 34.24% between the months of March and August.

Giving our Best Effort in the Office

Reduction in power consumption—A comparison between 2010 and 2011

After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Rakuten achieved a significant reduction in energy use at Rakuten Tower and Rakuten Tower 2 (both located within Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO] service areas), through measures such as telecommuting, turning off lights on office floors during the daytime, and restricting elevator and air conditioner use.


Even after returning to normal operations, Rakuten has continued to limit power consumption as much as possible. Rakuten has reduced the use of lighting by 50% and put into place restrictions on the use of multi-function printers and air-conditioning. These changes have influenced the working hours of employees, with many now arriving to work early. This has helped Rakuten reduce the overall use of lighting by 60%.

Rakuten is committed to realizing further energy reductions, conducting studies on power consumption and exerting our utmost effort to use power more efficiently. The efforts of each and every employee are an invaluable part of this initiative, and their ideas and feedback are an important part of moving forward. Project60 activities have now been expanded to every branch office in Japan.

Reducing Individual Power Consumption by 40% - Action taken during summer 2011
Rakuten’s goal was to reduce monthly individual power consumption by 40% compared to the summer of 2010. Thanks to the measures mentioned above, Rakuten succeeded in reducing consumption at all 15 offices in Japan, including Rakuten Tower and Rakuten Tower 2, by 28.8% in March, 42.6% in April, and 35.4% in May.
 
Rakuten cares about the health and welfare of its employees. For this reason, we recognize the importance of placing limits on the amount we restrict the use of air conditioning during the summer. We therefore implemented other power saving measures such as dimming computer displays to an extent that still allowed employees to view their screens comfortably.

SUPER COOLBIZ-Rakuten's Hawaiian Summer
In an effort to keep employees cool and in good health, Rakuten introduced the relaxed dress policy, “Rakuten's Hawaiian Summer.” The policy was a hit among employees and managers alike and has become a permanent part of our energy-saving policy during the summer months.

During Rakuten's Hawaiian Summer, employees are encouraged to come to work in shorts and sandals, observing, of course, an appropriate level of decorum. This has caused significant changes in the way employees dress. Some have embraced traditionally cool clothing from around the world, such as the Indian salwar kameez and the Japanese yukata. Employees share photos of unique outfits via the internal SNS.
50% reduction in lighting
In the days following the disaster, Rakuten kept all office floor lights off during the daytime as a general rule, with employees relying on natural light to carry out their duties. In addition, all electric signboards and large information display monitors in Rakuten Tower and Rakuten Tower 2 were turned off. As power supply stabilized, lights were used only when necessary. In order to keep power consumption to a minimum, fluorescent lighting was dimmed on all floors. The dimmed lighting did not seem to interfere with employees’ work and business proceeded as smoothly as usual.

Restricted use of multi-function printers
The use of some multi-function printers on each floor was restricted.

Reduced operating hours at the staff cafeteria
Hours of “Rakuten Cafeteria”, which was opened to keep Rakuten employees happy and healthy, were also shorted to conserve power. Before the earthquake cafeteria hours were 8:15 – 20:30, but during the summer of 2011 breakfast and dinner were suspended and hours were changed to 8:15 – 18:00.
Minimizing the use of air-conditioning
The use of air-conditioning on each floor was kept to a minimum. The use of air-conditioning was significantly lower the week following the earthquake thanks to the many employees who cooperated with power saving initiatives by working from home.

Initiatives to Reduce Power Consumption at Data Centers

In an effort to further reduce power consumption, Rakuten worked to limit certain server operations at its data centers, which serve as the backbone of its Internet services infrastructure. Data center peak energy-consumption hours are after 10 pm, which did not overlap with the power consumption peak time stipulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) (10 am to 9 pm). As a result, we had some flexibility in reducing the rate of our server operations during this peak time prescribed by METI.

Phased Power Saving Plan
sdfOur two data center operators, KVH Co., Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd., agreed with Rakuten Group’s Project 60 initiative, which aims to reduce power consumption by 40%, and took phased power conservation measures in advance of large scale power cutbacks during the summer of 2011. Since April 2011 we have re-examined our server operations, which follow restrictions placed on lighting and air conditioning usage in our offices. In addition, efforts were be made to control the warm air released from servers in order to further reduce power consumption.
Phased Power Saving Plan

Power Conservation Initiatives at KVH

Power Saving Initiatives of the Fujitsu Group

Further Improving Power Consumption Efficiency at Data Centers
Further Improving Power Consumption Efficiency at Data Centers

In the final stage of this summer’s large scale power saving initiative, we stepped up our efforts to control warm air released from our data servers. For example, blanking panels capable of preventing the backflow of warm air from behind servers were installed on each rack housing a server. Vinyl curtains were also installed to separate and control warm air emitted from server racks from the cool air in the walkway.

In addition to this enhanced control of air flow, we worked to reduce power consumption by 40% by limiting our use of lighting and air conditioning, as well as optimizing air conditioning temperatures. In addition to the initiatives implemented by our two data center operators, employed energy saving measures for our servers, and continue to reduce the amount of power used by equipment.

  • Further Improving Power Consumption Efficiency at Data Centers

    Vinyl curtains have been installed to help control room temperature by separating warm and cold air areas.

  • Further Improving Power Consumption Efficiency at Data Centers

    The transparent and white part attached to the back of the server rack is a blanking panel. This configuration helps to control the warm air emitted from servers.

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