This outdoor music festival has been held every year since 2005 in Tsumagoi in Shizuoka Prefecture, where large audiences have enjoyed music in beautiful surroundings and put some thought into the environment while having a good time. All profits from the event are used as seed money for lending to environmental projects and for ap bank's activity fund. The festival's highlight is the live music of the Bank Band, anchored by Takeshi Kobayashi and Kazutoshi Sakurai, who are joined by guest musicians. Festival-goers get to enjoy organic food and check out environmentally friendly products for sale, presentations on various environmental topics, hands-on workshops, and booths showcasing ap bank-funded environmental projects.
The first festival, ap bank fes'05, had a turnout of 60,000 people over three days. The second event, in 2006, attracted even more—75,000—while the third, in 2007, drew only 27,000 (because two of three days were cancelled due to a typhoon). Even so, ap bank fes'07 achieved a landmark first for any major outdoor music event in Japan—only reusable plates and utensils were used. All plates and cups for food and beverages sold were collected, washed by volunteers, and then reused, eliminating what would normally be a huge amount of garbage. Other waste from the venue was separated into nine categories, measured on the spot, and then the amount of each type of garbage was reported in real time. The fourth time we held this event, ap bank fes’08, we arranged carbon offsets for the CO2 emitted from transporting concertgoers, performers, and staff to and from the venue.
A report is issued each time, after the event and environmental accounting processes are completed.
In March 2007, this event was held at the Studio Coast event space in Tokyo. In contrast to the ap bank fes outdoor festivals, this one was indoors and went all night! It was produced for a younger crowd and people who are typically less interested in the environment. Going with the idea that the approach of spreading serious information is not the only way to talk about the environment, this event's theme, more about "the environment and desire," was a collaboration between all types of creative people, including artists and musicians, DJs, VJs, performers, and more. It was jam-packed with many different offerings and interactive events—live performances, visual works like animation and video clips, talk show segments, and so on. In the future, we plan to hold more free-wheeling events like this on the environmental theme, where new gatherings will bring together musical and visual artists, other creative types, people from corporations, governments, and citizenry to share and bounce their ideas and wisdom off of each other.
"eco-reso" is short for "eco-resonance," a new concept coined by Japanese copywriter Tomomi Maeda. It expresses the idea of fostering eco-awareness in ways that are appealing, uncomplicated, and up-beat—in ways that resonate with people.
eco-reso web was launched in the summer of 2007 with an eco-reso Question and Answer section that answered people’s straight questions about the environment and also included “partners’ messages” from key persons who have been an important part of ap bank's evolution.
In early summer 2008, eco-reso web was reborn as a medium that makes linkages between things more obvious for people to see. It became a web magazine that communicates from a broad perspective about environmental events in Japan and around the world, by means of news articles and video, illustrations, and so on. The new eco-reso web lets people see the connections between themselves and various happenings on Earth.
kurkku (the Finnish word for "cucumber") is a project focused on proposing ideas to promote comfortable yet eco-friendly lifestyles from the perspective of healthy food and sustainable material consumption. As a space to put this idea into concrete form, kurkku involves multiple retail operations, including the kurkku kitchen (a French-style restaurant in Tokyo’s fashionable Jingumae district of Shibuya Ward, with a focus on fine cuisine, the actual food producers, firewood and charcoal), mother kurkku (a cafe with open space for a variety of uses by people who are drawn to Tokyo to enjoy delicious food, drinks, and coffee), and the kurkku store (daily use items and luscious plants that can improve the quality of life without compromising on sustainability and design).
The goal is to make people rethink the meaning of the physical production of things, as well as the raw materials and transportation involved—all of which have environmental impacts—and to realize the organic connections between all processes, from production to consumption.
In addition, kurkku design has launched a brand named “sitoa kurkku” based on themes “sustainable” and “fashion,” and is developing a project to promote organic cotton. Meanwhile, kurkku green is preparing to kick-off a project to connect urban green spaces to each other.
ap bank provides conceptual input on kurkku’s initiative.