Environmental Reporting

【Notes】As a result of the change in months in each fiscal year, the environmental data and information contained in this report including graphs are as follows.

    ・Fiscal 2014: Actuals for 9 months from April to December + Actuals for January to March 2014 (or estimated value) [Partially overlaps with fiscal 2013]
  • ・After fiscal 2015 : Actuals for 12 months from January to December

Environmental Management

■Kuraray’s Approach to Environment

We believe that the Kuraray Group’s mission is to manufacture basic and intermediate materials that will contribute to creating a low-carbon and environment-friendly society and minimize their environmental impact as much as possible. Based on this philosophy, the Kuraray Group continues to conserve the environment, such as promoting to combat global warming, curb chemical substance emissions, and effectively utilize resources, through global manufacturing.

■Environmental Conservation Promotion System

To undertake company-wide environmental conservation activities, the Kuraray Group has established the Environmental Conservation Working Team (WT) and Global Warming Prevention WT within the CSR Committee, promoting measures against global warming, managing chemical substance emissions and ensuring the beneficial use of wastes and water resource.

■Kuraray Group Environmental Policy

The Kuraray Group has established the Kuraray Group Environmental Policy, and is engaged in activities for environmental conservation. Furthermore, continuous improvements in its environmental activities are made by implementing a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and improving it in the production sites, group companies and head office in accordance with Kuraray Environmental Activity Management Rules. The Kuraray Group's production sites and affiliates have acquired ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) certificates and are continuing to operate.

Kuraray Group Environmental Policy

The Kuraray Group has established the following policy to contribute to the sustainable development of society and fulfill its responsibilities to future generations through business activities in harmony with environment.

Basic Policy

  1. We give maximum consideration to the environment in conducting our business operations.
  2. We conduct perpetual environmental improvement activities.
  3. We develop technologies and products which contribute to improvement of the environment.

Guiding Principles

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    Actively promote the improvement of energy efficiency, fuel conversion, and the utilization of sustainable energy such as biomass fuel. Continuously engage in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Reduce emission of hazardous chemicals into the environment
    Promote replacement with less hazardous chemicals and continuously reduce emissions, and strive to minimize the emission of hazardous chemicals into the air, water, and soil.
  3. Reduce the volume of waste
    Promote reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste, and strive to minimize the volume of waste resulting from business operations.
  4. Promote efficient utilization of water resources
    Recognizing that water is a limited resource, strive to minimize the amount of water necessary for business operations by promoting the optimization of operation conditions and recycling.
  5. Develop and provide environmental improvement technologies and products with low environmental load

    Strive to develop and provide technologies that reduce the environmental load throughout the entire lifecycle, and contribute to the environment.

  6. Reduce environmental load in procurement (raw materials, supplies, and equipment) and logistics

    Strive to procure environment-friendly materials, supplies, and equipment, while at the same time reducing the environmental load in the logistics process (transportation and storage).

  7. Consideration to biodiversity
    Give maximum consideration to biodiversity, and strive to preserve biodiversity and engage in the sustainable use of biological resources.
  8. Proactively disclose environmental information and promote dialogue with society
    Proactively disclose corporate information regarding the environment (including risk information), and promote dialogue with the local community and society as a whole in order to build mutual understanding and trust.
  9. Increase employee awareness of the environment and improve the level of environmental management

    Increase employee awareness and understanding of the environment through training and internal communications. Improve the level of environmental management by deploying environment activity management systems and environmental accounting.

■Environmental Conservation Management

In fiscal 2020, no leak accidents of chemical substances and waste that cause severe damage to the environment were reported, although there were minor problems such as a temporary exceedance of standard values. The statutory effluent standards for emissions into the atmosphere and public waters are strictly observed by the Kuraray Group in Japan, and there were no incidents causing a significant impact on the atmosphere, bodies of public water such as rivers, underground water, marine water, soil, and so on. The transportation of hazardous wastes, which includes transportation of waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to outside disposal companies, is handled appropriately in accordance with the Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes (PCB Special Measures Act). The Kuraray Group outside Japan also manages the concentration of exhaust gases such as soot and smoke and the quality of wastewater in accordance with the laws and regulations of the countries and regions where its production sites are located.

■Carrying Out the Medium-Term Environmental Plan

The Kuraray Group was engaged in a three-year Medium-Term Environmental Plan that began in 2018, and evaluated its performance by using the Production Intensity Index*.

As the Medium-Term Environmental Plan was scheduled to be completed in 2020, we were originally supposed to formulate a new plan, and the new plan should have been launched from 2021. However, as the outlook of the global economy and the business environment became uncertain due to the spread of COVID-19, we changed the initial year of the next Medium-Term Environmental Plan to fiscal 2022, in accordance with the change of the initial year of the Medium-Term Management Plan to fiscal 2022. In fiscal 2021, we set environmental targets for a single fiscal year, continuing the policy of the previous Medium-Term Environmental Plan up to fiscal 2020. Specific numerical targets are shown in Table “Environmental Targets and Results.” We are now formulating the next Medium-Term Environmental Plan, which is scheduled to be announced during fiscal 2021.

With regard to global warming prevention, the Paris Agreement, an international framework on climate change, will enter its implementation phase in 2020. In each country and region, long-term targets have been set to achieve a decarbonized society, and stricter regulations and concrete measures have been implemented. In Japan, a long-term national strategy including the Green Growth Strategy has been formulated with a view to realizing a carbon-free society in 2050. In light of these circumstances, Kuraray plans to establish medium- to long-term targets based on the Kuraray Group’s responsibilities and roles. In addition, progress has been seen in discussions and activities within the production industry on marine plastic pollution and other global environmental problems. As a materials manufacturer, we have joined the Japan Initiative for Marine Environment (JaIME) and the Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA), and we participate in discussions and exchanges of information on its activities. Based on these efforts by the national and industrial sectors, the Kuraray Group will steadily strive to improve the environment by thoroughly implementing the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle for environmental improvement activities.

* Production Intensity Index = Converted Production Volume/Environmental Load
Converted production volume: Production volume converted from the production volume of each product as the production volume of the reference product using a conversion factor determined based on the environmental load intensity of each product in the reference year.
Environmental Load: GHG Emissions Volume (Japan), Energy Consumption Volume (outside Japan), etc.
Converted production volume per environmental load unit. Figures are an index based on fiscal 2016 as 100. Kuraray newly introduced an “Intensity Index” of converted production volume to evaluate “how efficiently the company conducted production activities.” While reviewing the conversion coefficient in accordance with a change in the business environment, it helps reflect on-site environment improvement activities more clearly. Starting from fiscal 2018, Kuraray aims to improve this “Intensity Index” as an environmental objective.

Environmental Targets and Results

☆☆☆: Largely achieved,
☆☆: Achieved,
☆: Need to be improved

■Material Flow in Business Activities

The Kuraray Group uses large amount of energy, chemical substances and water resources required for its business activities. We make quantitative surveys on the used raw materials, resources, products supplied outside the Group and emitted substances every year to help reduce environmental load associated with our business activities.

■Collaboration with industry associations

The Kuraray Group has joined Japan Chemical Fibers Association (board member), Japan Chemical Industry Association (member), and Japan Petrochemical Industry Association (member) to enhance our environmental management efforts, and engages in a broad range of activities, such as reduction of GHG emissions, energy conservation, reduction of chemical substance emissions, and prevention of marine plastic pollution, in cooperation with the industry in order to address global environmental issues.