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Global Environmental Issues

UBE Group Policy for Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Taking a further step forward from the UBE Group Environmental Vision 2050 that was announced in May 2020, the UBE Group in April 2021 announced a policy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The policy calls for the UBE Group to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from its business activities. The Group will also strive to help the broader society become carbon neutral by pursuing R&D for products and technologies that are beneficial for the environment and the practical application of eco-friendly innovations. The UBE Group will work as a leading solution provider to help realize a decarbonized society.

UBE Group Policy for Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

1. Achieve carbon neutrality for the Group’s business activities (minimizing GHG emissions and developing innovative technologies), by:
  1. Practicing rigorous energy conservation and making process improvements
  2. Maximizing the use of CO2-free energy
  3. Realigning the business structure to reduce dependency on fossil resources (minimize the use of fossil resources)
  4. Pursuing R&D and bringing products to market in fields such as CO2 utilization technology and non-fossil raw materials
2. Help the broader society become carbon neutral, by:
  1. Supplying products that, when used, contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions
  2. Contributing to reduction of CO2 emissions in customer supply chains (supplying products such as biomass-derived polymers, biodegradable polymers, and polymers with both of those properties, as well as recycled and re-used chemicals)

UBE Group Announces New Medium-Term Targets by 2030 for Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

In April 2022, the UBE Group has revised its medium-term environmental targets for fiscal 2030 and set new targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by fiscal 2030 (compared to fiscal 2013) and raise the share of environmentally friendly products and technologies it sells to at least 60% of consolidated net sales.

In 2021, the UBE Group announced its Policy for Achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050, setting out the goal of achieving net-zero emissions of GHGs from its business activities. Also, as medium-term targets on the road to carbon neutrality, the group set the targets of achieving an 20% reduction in GHGs emissions in the chemicals segment by 2030 (compared to fiscal 2013).

The UBE Group, which spined-off and transferred its cement business to Mitsubishi UBE Cement Corporation and shifted to a business portfolio focused on the specialty chemicals business, reviewed its previous targets. The Group further strengthen its efforts to address global environmental issues, and strive to help the broader society become carbon neutral.

Fiscal 2030 Targets

  • GHG emission reduction targets:
    50% reduction compared to FY2013 (previously 20% reduction in the chemicals segment)
  • Target percentage of consolidated net sales comprising environmentally friendly products and technologies:
    60% or more (previously 50% or more)

Measures for Carbon Neutrality

  • Advancing energy conservation and making process improvements
    The Group will minimize the use of fossil resources by continuously working on practicing rigorous energy conservation and making process improvements.
  • Maximizing the use of renewable energy
    The Group will maximize the use of renewable energy by introducing solar power generation systems in its factories and procuring electricity generated by utilizing renewable energy such as wind power, solar power and biomass power.
  • Reforming business structure
    The shift to specialty products, which have a relatively low energy burden, will help reduce the Group’s GHG emissions by minimizing the use of fossil resources, and will also facilitate the development of a resilient business structure that is not greatly influenced by market conditions for raw materials and fuel. The UBE Group aims to create a business structure with a low environmental impact focused on specialty products to drive profitability and growth potential, while creating high added value for basic chemicals and carrying out business structure reforms.
  • Innovative technology development
    Innovative technological development is essential to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Accordingly, with a medium- to long-term outlook, the Group will also work on research and development into and the practical application of non-fossil raw materials and technologies for utilizing CO2, and these efforts may involve collaboration with other companies.

Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality

Percentage of consolidated net sales comprising environmentally friendly products and technologies

The UBE Group has formulated guidelines based on the revised ISO 14001:2015, and has defined environmentally friendly products and technologies. The Group aims to help the broader society become carbon neutral by further driving the development of environmentally friendly products and technologies and providing them to more customers.

Timeline for generating more than 60% of consolidated net sales from environmentally friendly products and technologies by fiscal 2030

Basic Policy for  Global Environmental Issues

The UBE Group pursues a unified approach that addresses global warming, biodiversity conservation, marine plastics, and water resource conservation as global environmental issues.

Approach to Climate Change

Human activity has raised the level of GHGs in the atmosphere, which has had a warming effect on the earth’s climate. Unprecedented and abrupt climate change could have profound implications for people’s lives and for business activities. It is the UBE Group’s mission and social responsibility to act as quickly as possible to address global warming.

  1. We conduct our business with care for the environment, to help build a decarbonized society.
  2. We take a long-term perspective and reduce GHG emissions while continuing to develop and supply environmentally friendly products.
  3. We aim to ensure a global environment that is safe and secure for the next generation, continuing into the future.
  4. We suitably educate all employees on the importance of implementing initiatives to address global warming. We also work in unison to implement initiatives across our supply chain.

Approach to Biodiversity Conservation

Most if not all products, services, and energy sources that people’s lives depend on exist because of what nature has to offer. Biodiversity is essential to humanity’s living environment and the way people live. It preserves natural blessings, mitigates natural disasters, and serves as the foundation for unique cultures and art form including food cultures.

We will fulfill our responsibility to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity in our business activities.

  1. In all our business activities, we place a strong emphasis on maintaining healthy natural environments and biodiversity.
  2. We help build a society that takes into account biodiversity conservation, by developing and providing environmentally-friendly materials, services, and technologies.
  3. We comply with international agreements and laws and regulations concerning biodiversity in Japan and other countries, and we collaborate with internal and external concerned parties.
  4. We suitably educate all our employees to recognize and understand the importance of conserving biodiversity. We also work in unison to implement initiatives across our supply chain.

Approach to Marine Plastic Waste

Oceans cover 75% of the earth’s surface and hold 97% of the planet’s water. Marine waters absorb approximately 30% of the carbon dioxide that is released because of human activity, thereby helping to mitigate the impacts of global warming. Humans also depend on oceans as a source of food.

Oceans are essential to making the earth habitable to people. It is critical to ensure that we carefully manage marine resources to realize a sustainable future.

We will strive to conserve the oceans by implementing initiatives to address the problem of marine plastics.

  1. We promote ways of effectively using plastic waste.
  2. We address the issue of marine plastics by developing and supplying environmentally-friendly materials and products.
  3. We help to conserve ocean environments including cleaning up shores and harbors, and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders.
  4. We suitably educate all our employees to recognize and understand the importance of addressing microplastic waste. We also work in unison to implement initiatives across our supply chain.

Approach to Water Resource Conservation

Water is the source of all life and a valuable and irreplaceable resource for our lives and business activities. Today, the world is facing global-scale water resource issues driven by global population growth, economic growth in developing countries, and climate change.

We will work to maintain and improve the quality of water released into oceans and rivers, while reducing our use of water resources and increasing water reuse and recycling.

  1. We utilize water more efficiently in our business activities and reduce our water consumption.
  2. We help develop technologies such as for wastewater treatment, water recycling, and water reutilization, and actively use these technologies.
  3. We work to conserve and restore ecosystems related to water, including forests, satoyama* landscapes, wetlands, and rivers.
  4. We suitably educate all our employees to recognize and understand the importance of conserving water resources. We also work in unison to implement initiatives across our supply chain.

*Satoyama: Borderlands between human habitation and nature.

Governance System for Global Environmental Issues

Image: Governance system for climate change

Addressing climate change

UBE Group’s medium-term goals

Progress toward GHG Emissions Reduction Targets
Progress in Creating and Expanding Our Lineup of Environmentally Friendly Products and Technologies

GHG Emissions

Image: Explanation of
Image: GHG Emissions by Company in Fiscal 2020
Image: Scope 3 Emissions by Category
Image: Emissions Data by GHG Category
Image: GHG Emission Indensity (GHG emissions per unit of production)
Image: Energy Type Consumption Data
Image: Energy Consumption Data
Greenhouse gas emissions verification statement

Internal Carbon Pricing

The UBE Group sets internal carbon pricing as a guideline for evaluating carbon prices in capital investment.

Objectives
  1. Raise awareness of importance of CO2 measures
  2. Promote investments to reduce CO2 such as energy conservation and fuel conversion
Start date April 1, 2010
Targeted greenhouse gas Energy-related CO2
Listed items Increase/decrease in CO2, economic indices when CO2 is considered
(CO2 increase/decrease of 1,000t-CO2 or more per year)
Materials and text covered
  1. Descriptions of facility plans to be discussed by Strategic Management Meeting members
  2. Written requests for approval (at time of execution)
Carbon price 3,000 yen/t-CO2 (~FY2021)
However, notifications will be issued as needed in the even of significant changes brought about by regulatory trends, etc. Carbon pricing subject to change.

Marine Plastic Waste

We use waste plastics as a source of energy for cement production, helping reduce the volume of this material going to landfills. We help prevent plastic from being discarded and flowing into the oceans by conducting cleaning along the industrial roads around our plants.

Polyethylene pellet collection equipment at Chiba Petrochemical Factory

The UBE-Fujimagari Factory collects plastic and other waste along the Kotou River each June as part of Environment Month and the Seto Inland Seawater Conservation Month. The Chiba Petrochemical Factory removes polyethylene pellets from wastewater and collects them at the final wastewater treatment facility. It regularly cleans one kilometer of roads within its premises. Approximately 100 employees from UBE Film, Ltd., take part in local cleanups each year, with 50 of them helping clean up plant environs once a month. UBE Steel Co., Ltd., uses high-temperature electric furnaces to melt steel scrap as a key raw material for mainstay billets and castings. It also melts glass and waste plastics at high temperatures during manufacturing processes to dispose of waste and use resources effectively.

Collecting plastic and other waste
around Chiba Petrochemical Factory
Collecting plastic and other waste
around UBE Film, Ltd

Biodiversity Conservation and Water Resource Conservation

Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership

UBE supports the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and takes part in its Business and Biodiversity Partnership.
The Chiba Petrochemical Factory participates in Chiba Prefecture’s biodiversity conservation activities to help preserve the Japanese white pine*, growing this tree on its premises.

* The Japanese white pine in the Boso Hills is an extremely valuable cold season relic, but the local population of these trees has rapidly declined, prompting the Chiba prefectural government to designate it a most important protected species and undertake steps to both protect it and restore numbers.

Forest Conservation Initiatives

Employees participating in the 13th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation Employees participating in the 13th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation

In fiscal 2020, 54 employees volunteered to take part in the 13th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation, thinning and logging bamboo.
Although we had to reduce the number of participants and shorten the activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this annual initiative is held for employees of companies using the Kotou River system in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It helps forests retain water and educates participants about the links between water and forests.
Officials from the Mine Agriculture and Forestry Office lectured participants about the benefits of forest conservation, deepening their understanding about the environment and the importance of conservation.