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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Building Contractors Society on the Earth


Building Contractors Society on the Earth

Names of businesses, apartment buildings, products and services in Japan reflect a lot of what is going on overseas - especially in recent years the ecological concerns of individuals and nations regarding the sustainability of resources.

This often has odd results. For example, I live in an apartment building, the first word of whose name is "Ecology." English-speaking friends who visit are expecting solar panels, wind farms on the roof, recycled water, maximum use of natural lighting and the like. But nope. Far from it, while we are required to separate out our bottles from our garbage (as are all our non-"Ecology" neighbors), there is absolutely nothing else about our dwelling that remotely encourages conservation of energy and resources.

Then take this signboard I saw on a Tokyo building site recently. The Building Contractors Society is an association representing major Japanese construction companies. It does actually work for sustainability so this sign is not mere lip service. But for all the phenomenal wealth of the Society's members, they have refrained from employing a native English speaker to frame their slogans, thus the above truism of being "on the earth." Or have they transcended even globalization and now have a branch, too, on Mars?

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