Cool business

2007

Relax, baby, keep cool. This is more than an outdated slogan; it's also an appropriate motto for Japanese dress in the workplace. The Japanese rarely fail to impress; they certainly master the adage of killing two birds with one stone!

ABC News reports that the Japanese government is trying to get businessmen to hang up their jackets and ties for something a little cooler - in about every sense of the word.

If you've been to Japan in the summer time, then you'll know how hot it can get. 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures are nothing new in many parts of the country. Now let's do the math: the hotter it is outside, the more likely we are to use air condition, which is somewhat of a polluter.

To reduce the use of air conditions, the Japanese government came up with the Cool Biz program (part of the environment ministry) to help stay on track of the Kyoto Protocol. One aspect of this is to get businessmen to adopt a more casual workplace dress, which would require less use of air conditioning.

Has it worked? Let's just say that in 2005, Japan reduced its CO2 emissions by 460,000 tons – the equivalent on 1 million houses. Unbelievable. The Cool Biz plan in nothing short of brilliance and should definitely be studied for use in Europe and North America. While not every company is on board with such ideas, it's clear that such small steps can make a big difference!

Besides, whether they'll admit to it or not publically, businesspeople much prefer something a little more casual!

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