It is a fact that the average life of a home in Japan, at approximately 26 years, is substantially lower than the averages of 45 — 75 years in the West.
For this reason, Sekisui Chemical Group continues development of products suited to the needs of the times, with a focus on the environment, comfort, and safety and security. This reflects the housing businesses' mission of providing environmentally sound homes in which people can continue to live in safety and comfort for 60 years or longer.
The building and dismantling of homes involves new resource consumption and waste generation. In addition, the flip side of the pursuit of comfortable living is increased use of energy by equipment, machinery, and other devices.
Increased carbon-dioxide emissions also constitute a problem that cannot be overlooked. In light of such issues, there is a need to strive to reduce environmental load throughout the life cycle of a home: building, use (living), and waste disposal. This is the concept of resource recycling in home building. A home's total environmental load can be reduced through efforts to realize effective use of resources and zero waste emissions by producing homes in factories to the extent possible, keeping down energy use while living in the home through building energy-conserving homes, and advancing recycling and reuse of resources when rebuilding and dismantling the home.
As the aging of water and sewer pipes advances in major cities around the world, rehabilitation of such pipes has become a matter of pressing concern.
At the same time, in rapidly growing emerging countries there are numerous regions in which the water infrastructure itself remains underdeveloped.
Sekisui Chemical Group is working proactively toward resolution of the social issue of water infrastructure problems, which is one of the most important issues in the urban infrastructure.
Sewers constitute one of the most fundamental aspects of the urban infrastructure, and in recent years problems such as road subsidence resulting from sewer-pipe damage due to such aging have become issues. Even in Japan, approximately 10,000 kilometers of existing sewer pipe are said to have surpassed their durable lives.
Overseas too, the situation is similar in other developed nations. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered 20 cities across the U.S. to improve their sewer facilities. While in this way there is a pressing need for rehabilitation of sewer pipes in cities around the world, it is a fact that rehabilitation has not advanced sufficiently due to resulting problems such as traffic congestion and generation of massive amounts of waste materials, since most sewer pipes are installed underground beneath main thoroughfares.
Innovation and revolutionary new products and services have been an essential part of society's progress through today. This is likely to remain the case in the future as well. Sekisui Chemical Group already has provided numerous products beneficial to society. In the field of information technology as well, we have created numerous intermediate materials that support the functions and performance of familiar products.
According to the 2004 White Paper Information and Communications in Japan, a "ubiquitous network society" is one in which information technology can be used throughout society, "fully accessible to anybody on anything at any time and in any place." Through incorporating information technology into existing ways of living, a ubiquitous network society makes it possible to provide more diverse and more advanced services. One example is the smart grid, which is expected to serve as the energy management system of the future. Transformation to a ubiquitous network society can be considered to play an important role in building the sustainable society we aim to achieve in the future.
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