JR East will operate 20% of its train business by renewable energy in 2030

In the sustainability page of East Japan Railway Company (Japanese), the company shows its intention to utilize renewable energy. The Tohoku region is the northeast part of Japan and has rich natural environment. Thus, there are many opportunities to take advantage of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. In fact, the Japanese company announced that it would operate 20% of its train business by renewable energy in 2030.

JR East emitted carbon dioxides that was equal to about 2 million ton in 2019. However, the company wants to make it half in 2030 as much as in 2019. The Japanese government declared that the third largest economy in the world would achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Therefore, not only automotive companies but also companies operating public transportation should take actions more boldly.

Who is East Japan Railway Company?

The East Japan Railway Company is a major passenger railway company in Japan and was founded in 1987. Its head office is in Tokyo, Japan. The company had more than 50K employees as of March 14, 2020. The company operates one of Tokyo’s busiest and most important lines, Yamanote Line. The line connects important areas in Tokyo including Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa.

The number of East Japan Railway Company

Based on East Japan Railway Company’s homepage, we can see its incredible numbers

  • Lines: 69
  • Passenger line network: 7,401.7km
  • The number of stations: 1,676
  • Average number of trains per day: 12,296
  • The number of rolling stock: 12,846
  • Average number of passengers per day: about 17 million

Will the fare price rise?

As we see the other article about low-cost bullet train, trains seem eco-friendly transportation. However, it does also emit lots of greenhouse gases and its effect is not negligible. Therefore, it is natural that the companies operating trains will be criticized if they do not take appropriate actions. In this sense, the announcement of JR East did make sense. The company is also a public company so that it should think of various stakeholders.

Nowadays, sustainability becomes one of the most important issues for us as well as society. To reduce greenhouse gases, we had better use public transportation rather than airplanes. However, when we use public transportation, it needs electricity as well.

When we use electricity, it means that there is greenhouse gases emission at the same time. Does this mean that we should stay at home? The answer is “No”, and we should find another solution to realize both social and economic value.

Renewable energy becomes more crucial in terms of sustainability, but it is not main source of energy in Japan. Thus, will the next idea be feasible and available?

The more train companies invest in and use renewable energy, the higher the fare price is.