Environmental management

Environmental Vision for 2050 (net zero)

Our Group relies upon the earth’s natural resources and energy in order to do business. However, doing business will generate garbage and air and water emissions. For this reason, we believe it is important for our Group to adhere to environmental laws and regulations, conduct business in an environmentally friendly manner, and engage in initiatives that reduce the environmental impact on the entire society through our products and services.

In fiscal 2018 our Group established a plan with medium-to long-term targets ending in fiscal 2030, and has been promoting activities based on this. However, considering the environmental issues that have become more severe recently, we thought it necessary to advance activities from a more long-term perspective, and have announced Environmental Vision for 2050 (net zero) which ends with 2050.

Since then, due to the government’s “2050 Carbon Neutral Declaration” and subsequent presentation of its target of reducing GHG by 46% (compared to fiscal 2013) by 2030, we performed a revision based on the new standards, and in fiscal 2021 we set 2050 as our target for taking on the challenge of carbon neutrality, and 2030 for a 46% reduction in CO2 emissions (compared to fiscal 2013).

In a new development, SBTi has made the 1.5°C target mandatory starting July 15, 2022, and the Group is in the process of studying ways to meet the 1.5°C target.

Taking on the challenge of zero CO2 emissions
Environmental Vision for 2050(net zero)

Climate Change Program efforts: agreement to TCFD expressed

CDP (headquartered in London)* is an international NGO established in 2000 in partnership with institutional investors from around the world. It carries out projects in which it sends out questionnaires to major companies and municipal governments around the world on issues such as climate change, water security, and forests, and that seek climate change strategies and specific declarations related to emissions of greenhouse gases.

With the CDP’s 2021 survey, survey activities were conducted on behalf of 590 institutional investors with net invested assets totaling 110 trillion U.S. dollars. More than 13,000 companies, accounting for over 64% of global market capitalization, disclose environmental data on their initiatives for climate change programs via the CDP.

Upon responding to the CDP questionnaire for fiscal 2021, we received an A- rating for climate change and a B-rating for water security, as we did in the CDP 2020 evaluation. Having received requests for responses in fiscal 2022 regarding climate change and water security as well, we have responded.

The TCFD initiative, for which we expressed our agreement in February 2021, is introduced in "Information Disclosure Based on the TCFD recommendations (Response to Climate Change)" (p. 54-57).

Moving forward, our Group will continue to conduct proactive information disclosure regarding risks and opportunities associated with climate change as we hold ourselves accountable to all of our stakeholders.
We will move forward with environmental information disclosure as we contribute to the response to climate change through environmental impact reduction, resource and energy conservation, chemicals management and development of products that contribute to the environment.

  • * Formerly “The Carbon Disclosure Project.” “CDP” is now the official name.

Environmental Management Structure

We solve social issues and aim to achieve sustainable growth and value creation under a structure comprised of our Sustainability Promotion Committee (which is chaired by the President) and its subcommittees based on our Business Philosophy, which upholds the Sumitomo Business Philosophy and sets forth our management principles.

The Responsible Care Committee is in charge of the Responsible Care activities that have been promoted to date to voluntarily implement and improve environmental and safety measures, while the Carbon Neutrality (CN) Promotion Committee is responsible for CN activities, which are indispensable in responding to recent trends in the world.

The CN Promotion Committee was formed to strengthen and promote CN initiatives throughout our Group, and is working with the subordinate organizations, the Life Cycle Subcommittee and the CN Technology Deliberation Subcommittee, to achieve CN.

Environ mental Management Structure

Activities of the Carbon Neutrality Promotion Committee

Our Group has specified the following measures in response to the government’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Declaration and the 2030 target.

  1. - 2050 target: Taking on the carbon neutrality challenge
  2. - 2030 target: Reducing CO2 emissions by 46% (from fiscal 2013)

The Carbon Neutrality (CN) Promotion Committee recaps each year’s progress toward medium- to long-term environmental targets at the end of the fiscal year and determines the targets for the following fiscal year. It carries out its activities with the approval of the Sustainability Promotion Committee, which serves as its parent body. Two subcommittees were established within the committee in order to achieve its objectives, and these subcommittees work to reduce our environmental impact.

The Life Cycle Subcommittee aims to establish production systems with minimal environmental impacts through scientific, quantitative, and objective assessments of environmental impacts, from the R&D phase onward.

Each R&D department must decide on a theme and work on it with an awareness of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), from raw materials extraction to final disposal (Cradle to Grave). We are moving forward with these activities having established the goal of credentialing 25% of all researchers to understand LCA and calculate GHG emissions in fiscal 2022. In fiscal 2021, the number of qualified employees continued to increase, reaching 21% as we provided all education and tutoring related to LCA in an online format. We will continue to enhance educational opportunities in fiscal 2022.

In addition, we will establish a system enabling us to speedily provide LCA information on all of our Group’s products by the end of fiscal 2024, in response to the rapid increase in inquiries from customers regarding LCA since the Japanese government’s October 2020 net zero greenhouse gas emissions declaration. In fiscal 2021, we conducted LCA calculations for 12 standard products, including information and telecommunication materials, high-performance plastic products, film and sheet products, industrial functional materials, and waterproof sheet products, from raw material extraction to factory shipment (Cradle to Gate).

In fiscal 2022, we will work to horizontally deploy LCA evaluations on standard products.

The energy conservation initiatives of the CN Technology Deliberation Subcommittee include its efforts to firmly establish a mechanism to continuously solicit and implement energy-saving ideas through voluntary promotion at all business sites in Japan. In fiscal 2021, the subcommittee successfully reduced energy consumption by as much as 1,433 kL (55,545 GJ) in crude oil equivalent, or 2,766t- CO2, compared with fiscal 2020, primarily by reducing city gas and electricity consumption. Outside of Japan, the subcommittee worked to ensure a similar level of activities as in Japan and continued to promote the roll out of activity methods and best practices. In addition, as part of our efforts to promote CN toward the 2050 target mentioned above, we have switched all purchased electricity at all of our domestic business sites to electricity derived from renewable energy sources, starting in January 2022. Overseas, our three European group companies have switched to electricity derived from renewable energy sources.

In fiscal 2022, in line with the objectives of the CN Promotion Committee, the CN Technology Deliberation Subcommittee will formulate a plan and work toward the most recent 2030 target. In terms of energy conservation, we will build upon past efforts to set energy conservation targets and also to complete our reduction plans for each business site. In particular, the subcommittee will focus on creating a system across business sites in Japan for sharing energy conservation practices and technical information related to energy conservation in order to improve the level of energy-saving technology throughout our Company; and having the mother plants in Japan provide technical support to their affiliated sites through a tie-up with the Company-wide Energy Conservation Secretariat.

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