Globally concerted efforts – Developing enterprise

Dr Naoya Takahashi, President & CEO, Hitachi Systems, Ltd.


In this IEC Global Visions interview, Dr Naoya Takahashi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Systems, Ltd., shares why Hitachi believes that a concerted effort and collaboration of many companies results in the faster development of the global technical rules his industry needs. Why it is necessary for globally active companies to not only use international standards, but actively participate in the standardization process and how this can lead to new opportunities and helps build enterprise. Dr Takahashi further explains Hitachi's engagement in Social Innovation Business and how his company plans to contribute to the reduction of 100 million tons of CO2 annually, by 2025.



Dr Naoya Takahashi, President & CEO, Hitachi Systems, Ltd.

Dr Takahashi  why is it important to participate in the standardization process itself, isn’t it enough to just use International Standards?

Dr Takahashi: Using standards is not only a question of following established practices because they have been adopted and are already in use. Hitachi wants to actively participate in global standard setting for any standard that is related to Hitachi products and activities. We want to make certain that our technologies are taken into consideration. Our contribution to the IEC has a direct impact on our business and our active participation allows us to develop enterprise and new business opportunities. Cooperating in the standard setting process also allows us to achieve faster the standards our industry needs to operate globally.

What would you say to a company that is not yet actively involved in the standard setting process?

Dr Takahashi: Don’t wait for the standard to be decided and then become a user. Accelerate your business by participating in the standardization process. That’s why we participate in the IEC and we hope that more companies will share the same idea.

Hitachi has made the promise to reduce CO2 emissions by 100 million tons yearly by 2025. What are you doing to achieve this?

Dr Takahashi: Hitachi as a whole is engaged in continuously improving the efficiency of facilities and manufacturing equipment. We have put in place appropriate measures and systems and every one of our businesses and employees is engaged in helping us achieve this mission. Even simple things, such as slightly raising room temperatures and making certain that lights turn off when nobody is in a room can be important. 

Hitachi has a strong commitment to provide ecofriendly products, services and solutions. Every product has a life cycle plan that includes the design, material procurement, manufacturing, shipping, maintenance and end-of life recycling.

But Hitachi not only develops new technologies it also takes into account the system in which the technologies will function. For example, if you look at power generation: solar and wind energy require different approaches from conventional hydro and coal power generation. With solar or wind you cannot really control the amount of power generated. Therefore you need ways to use the electricity were and when it is generated. This implies that you look at where and how this energy is consumed, and also include different forms of energy storage. I believe that only by looking at the whole system is it possible to create a more sustainable society. 

Hitachi is also opening new avenues in recycling, why is this important and is this a real business proposition?

Dr Takahashi: Hitachi has understood the importance of recycling a long time ago. There are lot of useable materials, including rare and precious metals to be found in waste and garbage hills. Not only is it irresponsible to waste precious resources but their uncontrolled storage is also potentially dangerous.

However, the recycling of those materials is currently still expensive and regulations limiting cross-border transportation of waste hinders efficient recycling. Those regulations were put in place at a time when real waste was simply shipped to other parts of the globe, where it was dumped in an uncontrolled manner. However, today, in many cases what was waste is no longer truly waste. We need a global reuse standard and we need to overcome some of the existing limitations for cross border transportation for what is becoming a very precious resource.