Hitachi is Driving Decarbonization and Unlocking Economic Opportunity

Climate change poses an existential threat, but it also presents a tremendous opportunity to realize a new, net-zero economy that works for all Americans. At Hitachi, we are collaborating with leaders in the public and private sectors to foster a green innovation ecosystem and deliver cleaner, more resilient and sustainable technology solutions across business domains.

With a U.S. presence since 1959, our technology today undergirds the social infrastructure that enables the American economy to hum. We feel a sense of responsibility, then, not only to contribute to the whole-of-society effort to mitigate climate change’s most adverse effects, but also to help fashion a decarbonized future that puts communities first.

The Biden Administration’s aim to reduce domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels over the next nine years, is baldly ambitious but critically needed.1 As a Social Innovation leader with deep expertise in Operational Technology (OT), Information Technology (IT) and the Internet of Things (IoT), Hitachi is well positioned to pursue the kind of public private partnerships (PPPs) and cross-industry co-creation required to achieve the new national climate commitment and other sector-specific targets detailed in The American Jobs Plan.

As climate change innovators, we are helping cities, governments and companies cut carbon and create next-generation, data-driven solutions that generate social, environmental, and economic value.

PROMISING TECHNOLOGIES

At Hitachi, we are developing novel climate change solutions by digitalizing infrastructure, harnessing the power of data and creating synergies across sectors.

To confront carbon emissions, we are leveraging blockchain technology and smart meters to promote the use of renewable energy, visualizing precisely how much renewable energy is being used on a per-building, per-facility or production line basis. To tackle water pollution and waste, we have introduced advanced technologies for seawater desalination, water leakage prevention and the management of water supply pipes connecting households with water purification plants. In the manufacturing space, which is responsible for 20% of global emissions and 54% of the world’s energy consumption, we are utilizing advanced manufacturing technologies to make industry smarter, more efficient and less wasteful.2

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data also hold great potential for climate-focused mitigation technologies and solutions, and Hitachi is leveraging them to detect extreme weather events and guard against natural resource depletion.

Using AI for Large-Scale Disaster Detection

For extreme weather, we are deploying image analysis technology that uses AI to rapidly ascertain large-scale disaster situations such as earthquakes and floods. Aerial images of the ground captured by drones and helicopters are analyzed by AI to accurately identify disaster situations.

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Protecting Rainforests with Bio-Acoustics and Big Data

Working with Rainforest Connection, a non-profit, to predict illegal logging in the world's rainforests, we have developed a unique data-analytics-driven solution that uses bio-acoustics and Big Data.

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I have no doubt that the private sector will step up to partner good projects for green infrastructure, which will enable companies like Hitachi to deliver the future sustainable world that we all desire. Chief Environmental Officer

IMPACT AREAS: RAIL, EVs, POWER GRID

Bold political action at all levels of government is needed to transition to a low-carbon economy and chart a sustainable course to net-zero. Government commitments alone, however, will not solve the infrastructure gaps that exist in key carbon-intensive sectors and prevent compelling climate-mitigation pilot projects from being deployed at scale.

The Biden Administration has signaled with The American Jobs Plan that it intends to green the mobility and energy domains through massive infrastructure investments. We are well positioned to leverage these investments, having recognized the environmental and commercial value of bridging infrastructure gaps with innovative solutions for rail, electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid.

Why have we designated these as high impact areas? According the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation and electricity production are the leading sources of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. From 1990 to 2018, transportation sector GHG emissions “increased more in absolute terms than any other sector.”3 Compounding the problem, worldwide demand for urban passenger-miles across all modes of mobility is expected to double between 2015 and 2050 according to a 2017 report released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).4 The dual issue, then, of moving more people and doing so in an efficient, sustainable manner is incredibly challenging. The forecasted strain on the power grid is similarly disquieting. Global electricity demand is expected to double by 2050, and as the nation transitions from fossil-based to renewable-power generation, enormous demands will be placed on the U.S power grid.5

As a full-service provider for mobility solutions and a global grid technology leader, Hitachi is accelerating U.S. decarbonization and engendering economic opportunity in the rail, EV and power grid domains.

We have committed to aligning our business with the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious aim— to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To formalize our commitment as a responsible and accountable corporate citizen, we recently joined the United Nations’ (UN) Race to Zero Business Ambition for 1.5°C coalition.

Responsible for more than a quarter of U.S. GHG emissions, the transportation sector is in urgent need of carbon-cutting freight and passenger rail solutions.6 Moving freight over land by rail is the most sustainable means of transportation, and on average, transporting freight by train instead of truck produces 75% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.7 The e-commerce shipment system currently dependent on energy-intensive, cross-country trucks and planes, stands to undergo a profound shift as the nation’s transport network is further electrified.

Modernizing the nation’s passenger rail system and expanding intercity rail networks—as the Biden Administration has proposed doing through $165 billion in infrastructure spending—will also be integral to effectively transitioning the U.S. to a low-carbon economy.8 City authorities and urban transport providers charged with greening public transport networks are increasingly relying on Hitachi Rail to introduce sustainable technologies and help decarbonize existing services. We are uniquely positioned to power the American mobility sector’s transformation and extend the benefits of rail service to communities across the nation.

Increasing access to low-impact passenger rail services is critical to decreasing emissions and reducing ambient air pollution produced by traffic congestion in urban areas. It is also key to connecting historically marginalized communities to new commercial opportunities. This past March, Hitachi was awarded a contract worth up to $2.2 billon with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) to design and build the 8000-series railcar vehicles. More than half of the National Capital Region’s jobs are within a half-mile radius of all Metro stations, so the economic impact of a more efficient, low-carbon service will be significant.

We are also digitizing the transport system, complementing human-led processes with Artificial Intelligence (AI), to reduce the time, cost and quantity of parts required to maintain rail systems. Last October, Hitachi was awarded a $798 million contract with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District to design, build and install the latest generation of technology for digitally controlling trains—called Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC)—that will result in increased capacity and improved service. By making rail service more efficient, we are cutting carbon and reducing waste.

Around the globe, we are also advancing rail technologies such as high-speed rail and zero-emission battery-powered trains that will serve as models for the U.S. market. Our aim is to drive the decarbonization of American mobility through the delivery of superior rail technologies.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are expected to dominate global vehicle sales across bus, car fleet and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments within 15 years, and their potential impact on climate change mitigation cannot be overstated.9 In 2018, cars and light trucks emitted 1.1 billion metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to 17% of total U.S. GHG emissions that year, so it is critical that the country speeds the development and deployment of EVs and EV infrastructure to decarbonize the mobility sector.10

Fortunately, the Biden Administration has identified EVs as critical to achieving a net-zero American economy by 2050 and has proposed $174 billion in investments.11 The American Jobs Plan includes incentives to build 500,000 new EV charging stations by 2030 and rebates to purchase EVs. It also calls for the electrification of school buses nationwide and the replacement of 50,000 diesel transit vehicles.12 Significantly, the President has also pledged through Executive Order to replace the entire Federal vehicle fleet, estimated to be nearly 645,000 vehicles, with American-produced EVs.13 At Hitachi, we commend the Administration’s commitments, as it will buttress our wide-ranging work in EV auto parts and the utilization of emerging EV technologies (fleet operation management, EV charging systems, etc.).

Hitachi Astemo, Japan's third-largest auto parts maker with more than 5,500 U.S. employees, is developing driving mechanisms for electric vehicles and aims to be the leading global manufacturer of EV motors and inverters by 2026. Hitachi ABB Power Grids is redesigning vehicle power depots for an all-electric future and modernizing the nation’s power grid so it can support a mobility ecosystem that is sustainable, connected and equitable.

And in London, Hitachi Vantara is collaborating with Uber, Royal Mail, the UK Power Networks and other corporate partners on Optimize Prime, the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle trial to date that should inform similar U.S. trials. Hitachi is developing specialist fleet tools, providing the IoT platform, data management and analysis expertise for the three-year trial designed to better understand fleet usage and charging habits of EV fleets. The project will inform the UK Government on how best to develop its EV infrastructure, and we will leverage this expertise to help build EV fleet infrastructure and systems in the U.S.

Our goal is to spur the widespread installation of EV infrastructure and the large-scale adoption of EVs to steer the American economy towards net-zero emissions.

As a pioneering technology leader, Hitachi ABB Power Grids is playing a key role in facilitating America’s transition to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. As electricity demand grows, the nation’s power grid will have to increase its transmitting and distributing capacity. The rising contribution of often remote and intermittent renewables, as well as new demand load created by EVs and datacenters, will also result in new supply and demand complexities. To meet these demands, Hitachi is adding intelligence to the grid through automation and is digitalizing all elements of the energy value chain. By pursuing smarter and greener grid technologies, we are reducing transmitting and distributing losses, maintaining better power quality and ensuring greater control and protection. In short, we are making the grid more resilient, flexible and efficient.

Encouragingly, the Biden Administration is also prioritizing grid investment. The American Jobs Plan calls for $100 billion to upgrade power grid and transmission systems, a Nationwide Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard (EECES) and $50 billion in resilience investments for the electric grid and other critical infrastructure.14 With the world’s largest installed base, one quarter of the world’s installed high-voltage switchgear and a grid automation business that serves 80 of the top 100 U.S. power generators, we are well positioned to leverage these needed infrastructure investments.

Our aim is to decarbonize the energy sector while ensuring that American communities continue to have access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity.

We have committed to achieving carbon neutrality at all business sites by 2030.

We are striving to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions across the company's value chain by 2050.

FOCUSED ON COMMUNITIES

Climate change mitigation must be about more than curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Requiring a whole-of-society effort, it must also unleash new economic opportunity and transform American communities to be healthier, more adaptive and more resilient.

Hitachi is helping the country transition to a low-carbon economy by digitalizing key infrastructure and modernizing the mobility and energy domains, and we are focused on doing so responsibly. We recognize the disproportionate effects that climate change has had on communities of color and low-income communities, and we share the Federal Government’s resolve to reverse environmental inequities. Technology is needed to help vulnerable communities, particularly those in urban environments, withstand extreme weather-related incidents—resulting in erosion, flooding and fires—and decrease exposure to extreme heat conditions and pollution. We are working collaboratively with industry partners and lawmakers at the local, state and Federal levels to engineer greener urban environments that address these challenges.

We are also focused on creating a more inclusive, robust economy as we help expedite decarbonization. The Biden Administration’s green infrastructure investment targets will enable companies like Hitachi to generate green collar jobs and provide Americans with cleaner, more affordable mobility and energy services. Through digital, battery-powered and high-speed rail solutions, we can connect historically underserved communities to commercial opportunities in urban centres across the country. In the Electric Vehicle (EV) space, we can bolster American competitiveness through the continued production of cutting-edge EV components, the development of novel charging systems and the scaling of digital fleet operation management platforms. By making the nation’s power grid smarter, greener and more resilient, we can also lower Americans’ energy bills while delivering cleaner, more reliable electricity.

COP26 SUMMIT

Hitachi Principal Partner for COP26.

On November 1, global leaders will gather in Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). Set over 12 days, COP26 is expected to be the largest international climate summit to date, marking the first five-year review of the Paris Agreement adopted by 197 nations in 2015 at COP21.

Hitachi is proud to be a Principal Partner of COP26.

As the global community convenes to assess the efficacy of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is critical that we, as a Social Innovation leader committed to delivering a decarbonized future, facilitate dialogue between public and private sector stakeholders. Cross-sector co-creation will be needed to translate ambitious climate targets into action in the United States, and we look forward to discussing our vision for a green innovation ecosystem and sustainable economy with American policymakers, community leaders and industry partners ahead of COP26.

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