Waseda Environmental Institute Co.
CEO Hiroshi Onoda
From the age of 5 to 11, I lived in Paris due to my father’s work. Being fascinated by Michel Platini of France and Diego Maradona of Argentina at the 1986 World Cup games, I became crazy about soccer. At the end of the fifth grade of elementary school, my family returned to Japan and settled in Saitama. I played goalkeeper during junior high and high school and served as captain. I was selected as a member of the under-14 national team, and our high school team was among the top eight at the Saitama prefectural tournament.
I entered the department of mechanical engineering at Waseda University and joined the soccer club. I continued studying at the faculty of science and engineering of the graduate school of Waseda University. In August 2003, in the middle of my doctoral course, I founded Waseda Environmental Institute Co. Ltd. In September of the same year, I became an assistant of the faculty. In March 2006, I received my Phd in Mechanical Engineering and started teaching at Waseda University Environmental Research Institute in April. I became an associate professor in April 2008.
I also take executive responsibilities at nonprofit organizations such as Organization for the Promotion of Sustainable Society and Environmental Technical Support Network (TS-net). Through these activities, I am searching for common ground of universities and society.
I started my business at the suggestion of Professor Katsuya Nagata, a leading expert in the environmental field. Nagata said my findings on the life cycle assessment (LCA), the investigation and evaluation of the environmental impact of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence, could be commercialized. I had no specific business plan, but I just jumped into it head first and made adjustments when needed.
Thanks to the special exception to the minimum capital rule at the time, I was able to launch the company on only 250,000 yen. I didn’t know what to do for the first three months. In November 2003, I got my first commission for research from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Through the success of various projects, it has recently become like a real company. Public concern is shifting to environmental issues and our research and evaluation will have to meet society's needs. Our company is now entering a crucial stage.
- Waseda Environmental Institute Co.
- Consulting for environmental concerns