Sustainable campus initiative at Keio University after the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster

  • Yingjiu Bai
  • Yasushi Ikeda
  • Shizuko Ota
  • Hikaru Kobayashi
Open Access


After the shock of the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, the issue of local sustainability is presently center stage in the Japanese political process, and educational and research values are imperative for long-term cost savings, risk management, and clean, efficient energy generation. This study illustrates the Sustainable Campus Initiative approach at Keio University that students have been undertaking to make the campus more sustainable and resilient during post-disaster restoration. To unveil innovative recovery concepts, processes, and social challenges, several outcomes that maximize energy efficiency and conservation opportunities are discussed. The results indicate that the Sustainable Campus Initiative contributed to energy relief in the summer of 2011. It made campus life more creative during a period when the 15 percent mandatory power-saving order by the government to big clients of Tokyo and Tohoku Electric was established. Pilot experiments provide a useful example of how the communications media have an extraordinary ability to increase public understanding of social issues. Since the March 11 disaster, power shortages have redirected renewed attention to fossil fuels. As large energy consumers, universities have an increased responsibility to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable design and encourage innovative development concepts in their regions in the future.


Great East Japan Earthquake disaster recovery Keio University peak energy demand reduction Sustainable Campus Initiative 


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© The Author(s) 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingjiu Bai
    • 1
  • Yasushi Ikeda
    • 1
  • Shizuko Ota
    • 2
  • Hikaru Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Media and GovernanceKeio UniversityKanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Office of Environmental Information, Minister’s SecretariatMinistry of the Environment, Government of JapanTokyoJapan

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