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Environmental Preservation

Basic Approach to Environmental Preservation Initiatives

The UBE Group strives to keep environmental accidents to zero by working to reduce environmental risks. The Group also engages in continuous activities to reduce its environmental impact in order to help ensure sustainable social progress.

The UBE Group also responds to global environmental issues by ensuring that its corporate activities are in harmony with nature and helping to resolve climate change, conserve biodiversity, address the issue of marine plastics, and conserve water resources.

Environmental Performance

The UBE Group is committed to extensively managing atmospheric and water emissions of pollutants and contaminants, and endeavors to comply with agreements and voluntary standards. We are endeavoring to lower our environmental impact, managing it by checking progress with reduction plans in strategic management meetings and undertaking PDCA cycles. We will keep pursuing business activities that contribute to a circular economy by tackling environmental issues, lowering and using industrial waste, and constraining chemical substance emissions.

Data covers UBE factories, laboratories, and key domestic consolidated subsidiaries with factories shown on page 16 of Integrated Report Supplementary Information (Environment and Safety / Quality Assurance)pdf, representing 70% of such subsidiaries.

  • *1 Sulfur oxides (SOx) originate in the sulfur (S) component of fuels. Boilers are our main source of these oxides.
  • *2 Nitrogen oxides (NOx) stem from fuel combustion, primarily from Group boilers and cement kilns.
  • *3 Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Law: This legislation requires companies to identify business site chemical substance emissions and transfer volumes and report to the government. The Ministry of the Environment discloses the submitted information on its website. Such disclosure is designed to encourage voluntary efforts to improve chemical substance management.
  • *4 Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): This is an indicator of water pollution by organic substances and represents the amount of oxygen consumed in the chemical oxidation of organic matter.

Water Resource Usage

We installed pollutant monitoring facilities to manage the quality of water discharges into bodies of waters water. We maintain facilities to treat plant wastewater that could cause significant pollution.

UBE Group Water Resource Usage (Fiscal 2017 through 2021)

Data covers UBE factories, laboratories, and key domestic consolidated subsidiaries with factories shown on page 16 of Integrated Report Supplementary Information (Environment and Safety / Quality Assurance)pdf, representing 70% of such subsidiaries.

Emissions Data by Facility

Environmental Impact Data by Facility

Suppressing Chemical Substance Emissions

The UBE Group accorded Companywide priority to 20 key chemical substances*3 with high emission volumes from among those subject to the PRTR Law*1 and VOCs*2, and endeavors to control their emissions. In fiscal 2021, we reduced the total emissions of 20 chemical substances by 24% from the fiscal 2010 level (in terms of PRTR substances and VOC emissions reductions, as shown above, down 42% and 41%, respectively, from fiscal 2010). The reduction target for fiscal 2024 is 32%. We will continue to cut our emissions.

In fiscal 2020, we lowered emissions of these 20 substances by 29% from the fiscal 2010 level, suppressing emissions subject to the PRTR Law and VOC emissions.

Data covers UBE factories, laboratories, and key domestic consolidated subsidiaries with factories shown on page 16 of Integrated Report Supplementary Information (Environment and Safety / Quality Assurance)pdf, representing 70% of such subsidiaries.

VOC Emissions
Emissions Volume of PRTR Substances
  • *1 Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Law: This legislation requires companies to identify business site chemical substance emissions and transfer volumes and report to the government. The Ministry of the Environment discloses the submitted information on its website. Such disclosure is designed to encourage voluntary efforts to improve chemical substance management.
  • *2 Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): These organic chemicals evaporate or sublimate easily, entering the atmosphere as gases. They are factors in the forming of suspended particulate matter (PM) and photochemical oxidant pollution.
  • *3 20 chemicals selected independently: Methyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, toluene, epsilon-caprolactam, styrene, ammonia, cyclohexane, cyclohexanone, oxalic acid, vinyl acetate, xylene, n-hexane, ethylbenzene, chloromethane, benzene, dimethyl phthalate, N,N-dimethylacetamide, boric acid compound, phenol, hydrogen fluoride and its water-soluble salts

Establishing a Recycling-Based Society

Using Resources Effectively

Our cement factories recycle diverse waste and by-products as raw materials for cement and thermal energy alternatives. Our cement kilns operate at up to 1,450℃, so they can burn and detoxify substances that conventional counterparts could not handle. They can also process large waste volumes. It is also possible to use ash from incineration as an alternative to the clay used in cement, thereby eliminating the need to maintain final disposal sites.

In fiscal 2021, our three cement factories harnessed 3.18 million metric tons of waste and by-products, 2.82 million metric tons of which we sourced externally, contributing considerably to a recycling-oriented society.

As well as using gypsum recycled from waste gypsum board as a raw material for cement, we are cultivating new businesses, including for applications other than for raw materials for cement. We are doing so by assessing the use of recycled gypsum at Group companies while evaluating on-site sewage sludge treatment with other companies. In April 2022, we merged our cement business with that of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. It will strive to enhance and expand recycling businesses by taking advantage of their collective expertise to maximize the use of waste materials.

Cement Factory Resource Recycling
  • *Refuse-derived fuel (RDF): A solidified fuel made of waste plastic, woodchips, and household waste.

Reducing Industrial Waste

We are reducing and recycling industrial waste to help create a circular economy. Our medium-term goal is to cut external final disposal by 87% from fiscal 2000 level by fiscal 2024. We have taken steps to reach that target. In fiscal 2021, our external landfill disposal amount was 82% below that of fiscal 2000. We will keep striving to reduce industrial waste.

Data covers UBE factories, laboratories, and key domestic consolidated subsidiaries with factories shown on page 16 of Integrated Report Supplementary Information (Environment and Safety / Quality Assurance)pdf, representing 70% of such subsidiaries.

Industrial Waste Recycling Amount
Industrial Waste for External Final Disposal
Overall Flow of Industrial Waste