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EarthShift Global Launches New Asian Office in Japan

EarthShift Global is proud to announce a major extension of our international capabilities, with the appointment of
Dr. Kiyotada Hayashi as head of our newly established
Asian office in Japan

Dr. Kiyotada Hayashi comes to us from Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, where he has held increasingly higher-ranking positions, serving most recently as senior principal researcher. He brings 35 years of experience in agricultural research and policy development, including more than two decades of focus on sustainability and life cycle topics.

Kiyotada Hayashi

He and EarthShift Global founder and CEO Lise Laurin worked together on several studies utilizing total cost assessment (TCA), and also collaborated on developing and extending TCA into the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) methodology as a tool for public-sector decision-making.

In addition to participating in client-focused projects, Kiyotada will help build EarthShift Global’s business in Japan and the rest of Asia, where sustainability is an increasingly top-of-mind concern for governments and corporations.

“With the increasingly global nature of supply chains, I’m excited to be opening our Asian office as part of our client support efforts,” notes Lise. “This move will support our existing Asian clients while also providing better access to Asian data for our global clients.

“I’m especially excited to add Dr. Hayashi’s knowledge to our team. His deep knowledge of decision support systems as well as his in-depth knowledge of agriculture will be useful for helping our clients understand their results, especially our agriculture clients.”

Since 2004, Kiyotada has received a steady series of sustainability-oriented grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science’s Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research program. “Through these projects, I was able to deepen theoretical studies on LCA, including a decision-analytic approach to LCA and the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity within LCA,” he says.

He has also played a prominent role in biomass-oriented projects supported by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), with a focus on “how to resolve real-world problems by applying LCA and sustainability assessment. In one of those projects, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Lise and get a clearer understanding of the importance of providing support for people’s decisions and behavior; it also increased my appreciation of the value of consulting practices.”

Kiyotada says that over the years, he has seen significant progress in the appreciation of life cycle thinking in both the public and private sectors in Japan. He notes that, about a decade ago, the MAFF agency was not enthusiastic about his participation in an LCA project on animal production sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Office (FAO).

“They thought environmental assessment of animal production was very sensitive and unsuitable in Japan; there was a concern that environmental considerations could hinder development of the livestock industry,” explains Kiyotada. “But the present situation is quite different. Recently, MAFF created a fundamental strategy to establish sustainable agricultural systems. Balancing production and environmental conservation is an essential objective in the strategy, and life cycle thinking forms its foundation.

“Thinking in industry has also changed, and use of LCA is a must in many businesses. That’s partly driven by international considerations, especially the European policy framework, but in general LCA has become more established in society.”

Kiyotada met Lise when he participated in her workshop on total cost assessment over 10 years ago at the InLCA/LCM conference (predecessor to today’s ACLCA). “At that time, I asked Lise about the possibility of working together, and invited her to organize several workshops to explore ways of revitalizing rural areas in Japan through the introduction of biomass technologies,” he recalls. “The collaboration with her made a powerful impression on our colleagues, and they went on to organize similar workshops.”

The decision to join EarthShift Global, says Kiyotada, was prompted by a desire to find “an exciting and challenging job that can make the most of my knowledge and experience in LCA and decision analysis.”

He’s also enthusiastic about the opportunity to help extend EarthShift Global’s sustainability-building efforts in Asia. “Asian countries can be the driving force for a future sustainable world,” observes Kiyotada. “A good relationship with people there who need our capabilities is critical to our success in consulting, and knowledge of their culture and tradition will become a future resource for us.”