“Cool Biz“ - Toyota's take on the Kyoto Protocol

“In observance of the Kyoto Protocol - where countries committed to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases - Toyota Japan is testing what is known as Cool Biz.”
When I read this article, I thought it was an excellent idea and think it’s a great idea for other people to consider.

John Cadogan of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote:

Air-conditioning is reduced in summer, so the temperatures are left a few degrees higher than previously, while in winter heating is reduced so temperatures run a few degrees lower than was the norm.

Toyota Australia decided to try Cool Biz in Melbourne and Sydney. The trial ran from January 16 to February 3 and Toyota spokesman Peter Griffin says the data will be processed within the next few weeks.

The temperature was raised from 24 degrees to 26 degree and employees were allowed to dress casually during the trial.

"I'll be honest; the reaction was mixed," Griffin says. "But that was all part of the trial, that is the benefit. In some parts of the office people thought it was fantastic but others, who may have been sitting near a glass window with extra glare, found the warmer temperature was not as comfortable."

The Australian Greenhouse Office estimates nearly 41 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings are due to cooling and heating.

We have designed Sweeet Fleeet's business space to be as solar passive as possible.  While bearing restrictions with the overall structure (being built 4 years before we began occupation), we have glazed the windows with film to reduce the entry of heat in summer and release of heat in winter, placed potted trees in strategic locations to provide shade in sunny areas for summer, installed covered external living areas on concrete slabs connected with the house slab to reduce heat bank and heat transfer effects in summer and increased insulation to the ceiling cavities.  We have reduced the areas that receive air conditioning in summer and researched the best methods of heating in winter and have a initiative in place to reduce the buildings consumption of electricity in winter by over 60%.

While these are fairly elaborate measures, I wonder if Toyota’s Cool Biz strategy can be applied to our homes and transport without much pain.

    • Raise your home and car air conditioner thermostat temperature by a few degrees in summer
    • Wear breathable fabrics, in light colours in summer
    • Lower the thermostat temperature by a few degrees in winter
    • Rug up and wear warm clothes in the house.
    • If traveling under 80kms/hour turn the car air conditioning off completely and open the windows.  At this speed the drag caused by the open window uses less fuel than the air conditioning.