Various graduate schools and research institutes at the University of Tokyo are working on sustainability-related research, education, and university-society collaboration. Those that are particularly applying their efforts to sustainability are the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), which was created under the Committee for Presidential Initiatives; the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science, which is run by the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences; and the Todai Sustainable Campus Project (TSCP), which was set up in the University of Tokyo Administration Bureau. Their initiatives are described below.
IR3S aims to form an international research hub on sustainability science while collaborating with Japanese universities and research institutes that excel in this field, and with administrative authorities and businesses with interest in this field. Additionally, IR3S organized the International Society for Sustainability Science (ISSS) with universities and research institutions around the world which are leaders in this area. It holds the International Conference on Sustainability Science in Asia and other conferences every year, and publishes the international academic journal Sustainability Science (Springer). IR3S also implements international collaborative projects with a focus mainly on Africa and Asia for such endeavors as mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change, conservation and regeneration of biodiversity and ecosystems, and building a recycling-based society.
The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences further expanded the preexisting Graduate Program in Sustainability Science (GPSS), and in 2011 launched the Global Leadership Initiative (GLI), which is a global human resources development program for international personnel development in this field. This program enables students to gain practical knowledge about sustainability science, including help for recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, in accordance with the keywords “holistic,” “resilient,” and “transboundary.” Additionally, the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences is to further develop Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA), which it has carried out in tandem with United Nations University, and develop a program in which graduate students learn about the challenges of sustainability on site in Africa. The school will also run a collaborative education program with UN University and Arizona State University.
The Todai Sustainable Campus Project (TSCP) is carrying out initiatives aimed at low-carbon practices for the University of Tokyo, which is the biggest carbon dioxide emitter in Metropolitan Tokyo. TSCP has approached the goal of reducing non-experimental CO2 emissions by 15% (from the 2006 level), and is now exploring specific measures aimed at attaining a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions (from the 2006 level) in 2030. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, TSCP has been implementing power-saving measures aimed at substantially reducing electricity use at summer peak-load times. These measures have proved very effective, such as by sharply reducing electricity fees. TSCP engages in other activities, such as using the above initiatives in sustainability education and conducting international exchange on campus sustainability under the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), in which the University of Tokyo participates.