With our mission "Bridging today and the future we want.” in mind, we aspire to realize our vision “Sustainable and circular innovations for centuries, building on the past to create the future.”
As a manufacturing company, we assess both direct and indirect environmental impacts from our operations and upstream/downstream activities by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
After the discussion within the Sustainability Committee, we identified 5 material issues with which our business activities are deeply involved. We report the performance of the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant of FY2020. In the scope of our reporting, we prioritize reporting on the production sites operation that has the largest environmental impacts. We strive to assess the environmental impacts of the sites including the headquarters and from suppliers, and improve our environmental activities in a planned and proactive manner.
value chain and environmental impact (Results of Shiroishi Plant & Tagajo Plant in 2020)
∗1: Approximately 758 MWh is due to use of renewable energy
∗2: Direct emissions from operations (calculated based on the GHG Protocol)
∗3: Indirect emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat, and steam
(calculated based on the GHG Protocol)
1. Water Resource Conservation
The issue on the global water resource
Global water crisis – from drought in the world’s most productive farmlands to the hundreds of millions of people without access to safe drinking water – is the biggest threat facing the planet over the next decade which also has been discussed at the World Economic Forum. Currently, in the world, it is said that more than 2.5 billion people are facing water shortage. It is expected that 40% of the population in the world will confront the water shortage by 2050. Water crisis could potentially cause agricultural water shortage and international conflicts as well.∗1
On the other hand, according to the report of OECD (OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 (2012)), water demand is expected to increase by 55% between 2010 and 2050. In particular, water for industrial use is expected to have the highest growth rate (an increase of more than 400%) among other water usages. It is also expected that water demand for our daily lives will increase by 30% or more. Each of us individually is required to consider ways in which to prevent a water crisis.
More details about Water Resources Crisis in the World
We recognize that the water crisis is a global environmental and social issue. We continuously assess and reduce the water use in the production of LIMEX in order to contribute to water resource conservation.
At the same time, we strive to contribute towards water resource conservation through our business operations. Since the factory operation has an impact on the result of LCA, we promote water management and appropriate and efficient water use at the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant. This initiative will be utilized when developing LIMEX sheet production plants in areas with high water stress in the future.
Contribution to reduction of water consumption in LIMEX sheet
We conducted a joint research that assessed the environmental impact of LIMEX through LCA, a method to quantitatively evaluate the resources invested and environmental impact in the lifecycle of a product. The assessment was conducted in cooperation with Professor Oki’s Laboratory at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo.
(Based on the result of the assessment in 2016.Subject to change by recalculation.)
Water resource conservation at Shiroishi Plant & Tagajo Plant
The total water use at the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant was approximately 3,891 m3 in FY 2020. The water use at the plants is mainly for domestic use in the office and for cooling in the manufacturing process of LIMEX products. The latter, cooling water, is recycled for the efficient use of water. The discharged water comes mainly from office use and product manufacturing processes. After the water is used, it goes through and treated by a septic tank and is released to a river. The septic tank is managed under the Purification Tank Act, and a monthly inspection, cleaning, and water analysis is conducted to secure its functions. Additionally, a limited amount of concentrated water is generated through the manufacturing process. We outsource processing the wastewater to an external contractor.
The water used at the Tagajo Plant is mainly for domestic use in the office and for manufacturing LIMEX products. As for the cooling water, the used water is circulated and effectively used. The large part of wastewater is domestic water in the office and is discharged into the sewer after use. Wastewater generated in the manufacturing process is outsourced to an outside contractor as industrial waste.
Participating in Collaborative Initiatives for water conservation.
Our company actively participates in collaborative initiatives for water conservation along with other organizations to gain knowledge regarding water issues within and outside of Japan, and to seek collaboration with external stakeholders.
2. GHG Emissions Reduction
Our business aims to reduce GHG emissions by reducing the amount of oil used to produce LIMEX and by conserving forest resources. Greenhouse gases (GHG) including CO2, are a cause of climate change including global warming. One of our environmental objectives is to reduce the amount of GHG emissions by diffusing our products worldwide.
We are working on further reduction of GHG emissions by managing the emissions from the plants, which will allow us to reduce the emissions from plants planned to be established in the future.
Contribution to Greenhouse Gas reduction in manufacturing process of LIMEX sheets and pellets
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method of quantitative evaluation of the environmental impact during the lifecycle of a product from raw material procurement through to disposal. The analysis was conducted at Professor Oki’s lab in the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo. According to the result of LCA, we have successfully cut down GHG emissions to 1,666kg-CO2/t for LIMEX paper. It has also cut down GHG emission to 847kg-CO2/t for LIMEX pellet production. (see figure1 and 2). In order to further contribute to the environment, we will work on reducing the GHG emissions in the drying process of the coating of the LIMEX paper or use resins that emit less CO2.
(Based on the result of the assessment in 2016.Subjected to change by recalcuration.)
GHG emissions reduction at the plants
The amount of GHG emitted from the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant in FY 2020 was approximately 1,137 tons. The Scope 1※1 emissions were approximately 460 tons, and the Scope 2※2 emissions were approximately 677 tons. We will strive to reduce GHG emissions within our operations and throughout our value chain.
∗1: Direct emissions from operations (calculated based on the GHG Protocol)
∗2: Indirect emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat, and steam (calculated based on the GHG Protocol)
3. Energy conservation
Reducing GHG emissions by raising energy efficiency leads to the prevention of global warming; thereby, energy conservation is intimately connected to the contribution to the global environment and that is an important issue to reduce our products’ environmental impacts.
In FY 2020, the total energy usage at the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant were approximately 4,325 MWh. Electricity use was approximately 2,095 MWh which accounted for most of the energy usage, followed by approximately 142 tons of LPG. In order to reduce energy usage, we will consider ways to conserve energy in scenes such as facility management and the coat drying process.
4. Waste Reduction
Our corporate philosophy calls for a circular and sustainability-oriented innovation. LIMEX is mainly made from inorganic materials and the recipe is developed to minimize the degradation when recycled. By establishing the recycling schemes of LIMEX products, we continue to address the circular economy and minimization of wastes.
The amount of total industrial waste produced at the Shiroishi Plant and Tagajo Plant was approximately 372 tons in FY 2020.
5. Environmental compliance
There were no violations of environmental laws and regulations in FY 2020.
Reporting guideline and period：
∗Reference Guidelines: GRI Standards and "Environmental Reporting Guidelines" by Ministry of the Environment, Japan
∗Reporting Period: from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020