Japan-specific services of the Öko-Zentrum NRW

The Öko-Zentrum NRW advises German companies from the environmental industry on entering the Japanese market or on projects relating to energy-efficient and sustainable construction. Japanese companies wishing to use the know-how of the Öko-Zentrum NRW to adapt products to European markets or to obtain information on current developments have also been among its clients for many years.

For more than a decade, the Öko-Zentrum NRW has been shaping and promoting the transfer of knowledge between Japan and Germany and offers ministries, research institutions and companies a wide range of consulting and project development services.

Services at a glance

  • Consulting and project development services

  • Planning and implementation of trips

  • Market entry consulting and strategies

  • Research and market analysis

  • Contact mediation to actors from politics, research and economy

  • Organization and realization of workshops, seminars and lectures

Japan-related matters are mainly handled by our Japan team, which is supplemented by internal and external experts on a project-related basis.

Development of the cooperation and milestones

Since 2007, the Öko-Zentrum NRW has maintained a further foothold in Japan. This came about in an initially unusual way. A small delegation from Ishikawa Prefecture had contacted Hamm (Westphalia) in search of an international partner to support the region on the subject of energy efficiency in buildings. What initially sounded like just an attractive "business trip" quickly developed into a fruitful cooperation, which was quickly joined by other contacts and projects.

2012 saw the establishment of a joint venture, the JENA company in Tokyo, and since then the Öko-Zentrum NRW has been able to professionally market its expertise in Japan. One of the exceptional achievements is the planning of the first PlusEnergy house in Japan, which has been standing in Takamatsu since 2014 and proves that high energy efficiency can also work in the climatic conditions of Japan.

In addition to many companies from both countries, the reference list of the Öko-Zentrum NRW also includes the two construction ministries from Berlin and Tokyo. As early as 2013, it was decided within the framework of a Memorandum of Cooperation at state secretary level to exchange information on current construction topics on a regular basis, which has since led to annual meetings. This cooperation is organized and advised by the Öko-Zentrum NRW from the German side.

Since 2015, the Managing Director of the Öko-Zentrum NRW, Manfred Rauschen, has also been a member of the renowned German Japanese Energy Transition Council, GJETC, which has so far held eight meetings, alternately in Berlin and Tokyo, to seek joint ways of solving the climate problem.


Milestones at a glance

  • International exchange agreement with Ishikawa Prefecture; goal: Improve the energy efficiency of the prefecture's residential buildings.

  • Development of the first Japanese building energy certificate

  • Training of numerous Japanese building experts in the issuance of building energy certificates

  • Supervision of the technical exchange between the Japanese and German Ministries of Construction on behalf of the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) since 2013

  • Planning: Energy-Plush House in Takamatsu

  • Founding of JENA (Japanese Energy Agency); organization of numerous joint events

  • Organization of several trips of Japanese construction experts to Germany

  • Planning of solar plants, foundation of JENA Solar, development of various plants

  • Consulting for Envitec Biogas and PN Power Plants

  • Preparation of a market study on the current status of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in Fukushima

  • Numerous interview trips and a report for the research institute Nomura Research

  • Study trips with universities

  • Participation in trade fairs

  • Pilot study on ECOPROFIT in Fukushima in cooperation with B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH

Cooperation partners and contacts in Japan

In order to offer Japan-related services, the Öko-Zentrum NRW cooperates with various partners. Contacts are maintained not only with consulting companies in the field of energy efficiency, but also with ministries, municipalities, associations and companies.

Here you can find a small selection of our cooperation partners:


Consulting institutes and companies (selection)

Ministries, authorities and research institutes (selection)

Municipalities and prefectures (selection)

  • Prefecture/City: Tokyo
  • Prefecture: Fukushima
  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • City: Kanazawa

Japan as a growth market for German energy efficiency know-how

The triple disaster in March 2011 has left deep scars in Japan. The Japanese population's confidence in nuclear energy has been permanently shaken, and alternatives must be developed quickly. The current undersupply of electrical energy is to be countered both by expanding renewable energies and by increasing energy efficiency and exploiting potential savings.

The building sector has also come into focus. As in Europe, buildings make a significant contribution to overall energy consumption. The energy efficiency of Japanese residential and non-residential buildings, which is currently still lagging far behind European standards, and energy-efficient modernization, which has barely been developed, are to be promoted more strongly in the future.

Japan, with its 126 million inhabitants and its economic power, is an attractive market for many German companies, but entry often fails due to cultural hurdles. The Öko-Zentrum NRW is a partner for ministries, research institutions and companies and helps to overcome these and other hurdles.