Environmental Performance

Reducing Energy Use and CO2 Emissions

Energy consumption at domestic business sites increased due to a recovery in production and an increase in consumption by SB Kawasumi Group, but energy consumption per unit of production improved as a result of energy conservation activities. CO2 emissions also increased due to the SB Kawasumi Group portion, but the switch to renewable energy sources for purchased electricity at all major business sites and the introduction of solar power generation brought improvement per unit of production. In fiscal 2022, improvement is expected due to the year-round effect of electricity derived from renewable energy sources.

Both energy consumption and CO2 emissions increased at overseas business sites more than they did in Japan, due to a greater recovery in production and increases on the part of SB Kawasumi Group (Kawasumi Laboratories [Thailand]). However, energy consumption per unit of production has improved due to more efficient production, and unit CO2 emissions have also improved significantly, thanks in part to the switch to electricity from renewable energy sources by the three European companies. More improvement is expected in the future through further promotion of switching to electricity from renewable energy sources and the introduction of solar power generation, which is scheduled for fiscal 2022 and beyond.

Business sites in Japan Energy usage per production amount value, CO2 emissions per production amount value
Business sites overseas Energy usage per production amount value, CO2 emissions per production amount value
  • *1 Energy usage per production amount value is determined using the following equation: Energy usage per production amount value. = energy usage/(production amount x unit price) Energy consumption is calculated as a crude oil equivalent.
  • *2 CO2 emissions per production amount value are determined using the following equation: CO2 emissions per production amount value. = CO2 emissions/ (production amount x unit price) Also, CO2 emissions are the sum of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 3* Data Disclosure

In 2015, our Group began calculating and disclosing Scope 3 emissions in the supply chain of business sites belonging to Group companies in Japan because of the growing importance of understanding CO2 emissions covering the entire supply chain. In fiscal 2018, we enlarged the scope to cover overseas business sites. The SB Kawasumi Group is also included in the scope of this report, having joined our Group from fiscal 2021.

The scope of said disclosures cover a total of eight categories including Category 1 “Purchased goods and services.” In addition, we confirmed that three categories including Category 8 “Upstream leased assets” are not applicable.

Both in Japan and overseas, Category 1 “Purchased goods and services” accounted for a large portion of CO2 emissions. In fiscal 2021, Category 1 emissions increased from the previous year due to increased raw material input both in Japan and overseas, reflecting strong performance in business fields such as semiconductor-related and high- performance plastics.

Moving forward, we will continue to calculate and disclose data on other categories and work to increase the accuracy of the data for each category, while also promoting ongoing efforts to reduce emissions across the entire supply chain.

CO2 Emissions in Certain Categories of Scope 3 and Other Scopes (In Japan and Oversea Sites)

No Category Emissions
(thousand t-CO2/year)
1 Purchased goods and services 952
2 Capital goods 39
3 Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1&2 45
4 Upstream transportation and distribution 81
5 Waste generated in operations 13
6 Business travel 2
7 Employee commuting 5
8 Upstream leased assets Not applicable
13 Downstream leased assets Not applicable
14 Franchises Not applicable
15 Investments 9
Scope 3 Total 1,146
Scope 1 (All direct emissions) 95
Scope 2 (Indirect emissions associated with purchased power and steam) 148
  • Calculation method: We calculated the amount of emissions in based on the Emissions Intensity Database for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Organizations through the Supply Chain Ver. 3.2 issued by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, using the emission coefficients stated this database, and in the IDEA Ver. 2.3 Carbon Footprint Communication Program Basic Database developed jointly by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry.
  • * See the organizations listed on "Editorial Policy" regarding those included in the data.

Reducing Material Loss

Our group is working to increase the effciency of resource utilization, because it regards the reduction of enviromental impacts as an opportunity to improve profitability. The increase in material loss, including both waste and valuable materials, leads to an increase in resource losses and in the loads involved in processing. Through MFCA initiatives, the Group is promoting load reduction through the reduction of material loss and the improvement of effective use of raw materials. The Group is implementing measures to attain zero emissions of waste in Japan by promoting recycling and reuse instead of disposing of waste in landfills or treating it in simple incinerators without heat recovery in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of our waste. Since the base year for the medium- and long-term targets has been revised to fiscal 2013, the graph on the right shows the recent trends for zero- emission materials, with the base year unified to fiscal 2013.

In fiscal 2005, when we began compiling the data, 948 tons of zero-emission materials were generated in Japan as a whole, but this figure was reduced to 17 tons in fiscal 2013 as a result of efforts at various locations. However, owing to an increase in waste going from recycling to landfill due to the circumstances of our treatment providers, landfill waste increased in fiscal 2019. In addition, the data for SB Kawasumi Laboratories was included in fiscal 2021, resulting in an increase compared to fiscal 2020.

We will continue to move forward with loss analysis using MFCA as we aim for still greater reductions.

Material Subject to Zero Emissions Measures in Japan
  • * Zero-emissions-targeted substances comprise landfill waste, internally incinerated waste, and externally incinerated waste. No waste was internally incinerated at business sites in Japan from fiscal 2012 onward.
  • * Data covers all the business sites in Japan listed on "Editorial Policy".

Emissions into the Atmosphere

The Group’s business sites in Japan have been promoting a shift of boiler fuel from heavy oil to city gas since fiscal 2004. With the completion of the fuel conversion from heavy oil at the Shizuoka Plant in mid-2019, SOx emissions for the Group as a whole have been further reduced. We were able to greatly decrease emissions of NOx due to a decrease in the nitrogen content of city gas and stabilization of combustion conditions. Heavy oil is still in use at some business sites in regions where city gas supplies are unavailable, and we are working to optimize the combustion conditions and keep both emissions of SOx and soot and dust down at low levels.

Note that data for SB Kawasumi Laboratories has been included since fiscal 2021, but did not affect the overall trend because it is not a significant emission.

NOx emissions
SOx emissions
Soot and dust emissions
  • NOx, SOx, and suit and dust emissions data covers all the business sites in Japan listed on "Editorial Policy".

Emissions into the Hydrosphere

Effluent discharged from plants includes pollutants, which are categorized into industrial and household sewage. Treatment facilities, such as high-concentration phenol recovery equipment and activated sludge treatment equipment, and surveillance systems for constant monitoring are in place to ensure compliance with environmental standards and laws and regulations at the national and local government levels. Additionally risk assessments are conducted on leakages into rainwater that also includes cooling water to prevent sudden and unexpected increases in environmental impacts. COD load, a typical indicator of water quality, decreased only slightly from the previous year due to continued high loads caused by increased production throughout the company and the addition of SB Kawasumi Laboratories’ loads beginning in fiscal 2021, although the increase due to the malfunction of the activated sludge treatment system at the Shizuoka Plant was resolved. Emissions for the whole Company in Japan remain at low levels from a long-term perspective.

COD load

Conservation of Water Resources

When it comes to the water used at our Group’s locations, in Japan a large share of the water used comes from groundwater, while overseas a large share of this comes from waterworks. The water used in our plants in Japan accounts for 78% of the water used by the entire Group.

The Group has always worked continuously to reduce the amount of water it uses. Having begun providing responses to the CDP water program, we have now established a medium- to long-term target for water use reduction from fiscal 2020 onward, calling for a 25% reduction from the fiscal 2017 level by fiscal 2030. The impact of the participation of SB Kawasumi Group was retroactively included in fiscal 2013.

We are engaging in activities to achieve targets at all business sites. In particular, we are eagerly promoting reductions of water usage at our Shizuoka Plant, which accounts for a large percentage of the Group’s water usage in Japan, and have achieved steady annual decreases in water usage. However, in fiscal 2021, water consumption at overseas business sites increased significantly due to increased production, resulting in an overall slight increase from fiscal 2020.

The current overall domestic and international reduction rate from fiscal 2017 is 19%, well above the planned rate. We will continue to make steady reductions to achieve our goals.

Water Usage Volume
  • * See the organizations listed on "Editorial Policy" regarding those included in the data.
Water Usage by Source in Fiscal 2021

Assessment of Water-Related Risk in Fiscal 2021

Since fiscal 2015, we have been continuously surveying the regional watershed risk of all sites in the Group. In the past, data was disclosed for major production sites, but starting in fiscal 2021, we also began disclosing data for R&D and logistics sites where water consumption is known. Including the newly added SB Kawasumi Group sites, the Group now has 17 domestic locations and 27 overseas locations subject to information disclosure.

Regarding the identification of water risk, in fiscal 2021, our Assessment of Water-Related Risk in Fiscal 2021 Group revised risk levels based on the results of a study using the WRI Aqueduct tool* in addition to independent studies performed on each business site. We compiled the results into a table that contains the risks facing each of the regions in which the Group operates.

There are no major differences in the evaluation trends this year, but the results from Southeast Asia and China indicate relatively high risk. In light of these results, we will undertake more highly effective water resource conservation moving forward.

  • * A tool providing information on water risks developed and published by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Assessment of Water-Related Risk in Fiscal 2021


Risk level

Extremely high High Medium to high Low to medium Low
Japan Number of bases 9 8 17
Water consumption (thousand m3) 3,588 986 4,574


(and Taiwan)
Number of bases 1 4 2 7
Water consumption (thousand m3) 78 159 68 305
Southeast Asia Number of bases 3 1 1 2 7
Water consumption (thousand m3) 305 49 89 23 465
North America Number of bases 2 2 6 10
Water consumption (thousand m3) 108 14 271 393
Europe Number of bases 1 2 3
Water consumption (thousand m3) 3 115 118

Soil/Underground Water Pollution Countermeasures

Response to Soil/Underground Water Pollution

Our Group carries out risk assessments relating to leakage of chemical substances at all of our business sites, and we promote both the development and implementation of preventive frameworks. At the same time, when contamination caused by past leakage accidents is confirmed, we actively undertake voluntary surveys and institute countermeasures in order to prevent the environmental impact and health damage from spreading. We did not suffer any severe leakage accidents in fiscal 2021.

Results of Soil and Groundwater Studies, Related Actions, and Monitoring Results

Site Results of investigation Countermeasures and monitoring results
Amagasaki Plant Lead was detected by soil content sampling in 2009 and 2010 (max. 500 mg/kg whereas the standard is 150 mg/kg). No groundwater contamination was detected. Heavy metals exceeding the standard values of the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act were detected at the business sites on the left. Monitoring of the groundwater is conducted at these sites every year and their contamination levels have been confirmed to be below standard values.
Akita Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. Lead was detected by soil elution sampling in 2005 (max. 0.032 mg/L whereas the standard is 0.01 mg/L). No groundwater contamination was detected.
Yamaroku Kasei Industry Co., Ltd In January 2016, 1,4-Dioxane in excess of the standard concentrations was detected in the company’s cooling water effluent, with concentrations of a similar amount confirmed in well water drawn from on the premises that had been used. In consultation with the government, the plant stopped drawing water and switched to a closed water cooling system. The company has no history of using the substance in question. The company cooperates with an ongoing monitoring survey of the groundwater quality that is regularly conducted by Osaka Prefecture, and also continues to perform independent examinations as well.
The latest measurement results were 1.2 mg/L (standard value of 0.05 mg/L).

Initiatives for resource recycling

Marine plastics

When it comes to the problem of marine plastics, we are moving ahead with activities to contribute to reducing plastic marine waste via a number of initiatives based on the Japanese government’s Plastic Resource Recycling Strategy. These initiatives include managing the raw materials used and the plastic products we manufacture, promoting the recycling of said products, and developing new products. We are currently taking part in the Japan Initiative for Marine Environment (JaIME), which was established by major companies and industry organizations in the chemical industry, as well as the Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA), which was established by a broad range of business operators related to supply chains for plastic products, including those in the chemical industry and distribution/retail industries, with the goal of forming cross-industry partnerships. Through this, we are working to address a variety of challenges by aiming to curb plastic waste across our supply chain as a whole and promoting recycling via 3R activities for plastic products.


Our Group promotes recycling as a means to make effective use of resources. This recycling includes the recovery and recycling of phenol from waste liquid produced by phenolic resin reactions during the product production process, fine grinding of offcuts from phenolic laminated sheets and decorative melamine resin laminate for use as a filler in phenolic resin molding compounds reuse of molded article by-products (sprues and runners) as raw material for molding materials, as well as reuse of excess sludge from activated sludge effluent treatment equipment as compost (organic fertilizer).

Renewable raw materials

Our company has been using inedible plant-derived raw materials as renewable raw materials, primarily of phenolic resins (Cashew nut shell oil, rosin (pine resin), wood flour, etc.) and molding compounds. They account for about 3.0% of all raw materials used. In order to further increase the rate at which we use renewable raw materials in the future, we will undertake the development of phenolic resins using plant-derived lignin, as well as the use of bioplastics.

Waste Management

Our Group conducts business activities in compliance with environmental laws and regulations while minimizing our impact on the global environment. For waste, we have established rules for on-site verification of waste disposal contractors in accordance with the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act, and we continue to manage and quantify the amount of waste generated based on the issuance of manifests. Based on the above, we promote minimization of material loss and effective utilization (reuse/recycling), and promote activities to reduce material loss, including of valuable materials.

We also consider it important to work to reduce the environmental impact of society as stated in our Environmental Vision for 2050 (Net Zero) "02. Contribute to reducing CO2, including along supply chains": "Develop products that factor in reducing CO2 throughout their life cycle." In this context, weight (volume) reduction, longer service life, recycling, and mono-material design are also initiatives by which we reduce waste in the supply chain as well as CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, we have been systematically disposing of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste in accordance with the Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes. As of the end of fiscal 2021, approximately 60% of the PCBs had been disposed of. Planned disposal of low-concentration PCBs has also been under way since fiscal 2017, and we are moving forward to complete disposal by the legally mandated deadline.

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