Global Warming Prevention

GHG Emissions (Scope 1 and 2) and Initiatives of the Kuraray Group

Total GHG emissions of the Kuraray Group decreased significantly in fiscal 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The GHG emissions further decreased by 0.8% in fiscal 2021 to 3,020 thousand tons-CO2e (down 6.5% compared to fiscal 2019*).
* Base year for GHG emission reductions in the Planet section of the Kuraray Group Sustainability Medium-Term Plan

The Kuraray Group in Japan continued to work on reducing GHG emissions at each of our production sites in fiscal 2021. In fiscal 2020, production activities were restricted due to a decrease in global demand caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with recovery of production in fiscal 2021, GHG emissions increased by 111 thousand tons-CO2e year on year to 1,340 thousand tons-CO2e. As GHG emission reduction measures, we are working to improve the yield of each product, recover and use raw materials and utilities, upgrade to energy-saving equipment, and implement energy-saving activities (waste elimination activities). This enabled us to exceed the target reduction of 30 thousand tons-CO2e/year (a cumulative total reduction of 100 thousand tons-CO2e since fiscal 2016). In addition, the GHG emission intensity index improved by 7.7 percentage points compared to fiscal 2020. This is due to the increased energy-efficient operation of many processes in line with recovery in the production of key products.

In the Kuraray Group outside Japan, in addition to our efforts to save energy and improve yields at each production site, power outages caused by a cold wave in the United States forced some sites to temporarily suspend production. As a result, GHG emissions totaled 1,680 thousand tons-CO2e, a decrease of 136 thousand tons-CO2e from fiscal 2020 (The decrease includes equivalent to 33 thousand tons-CO2e of reducing GHG emissions by Unbundled Energy Attribute Certification). Since most of the electric power and steam at our production sites outside Japan are purchased from external suppliers, we have set an annual target (a year-on-year improvement of 1.0 percentage point or more) based on the intensity index using energy consumption rather than GHG emissions as an index to properly evaluate the results of environmental improvement activities. However, the energy intensity index in fiscal 2021 worsened by 0.3 percentage points compared to fiscal 2020. This was due to the forced suspension of production caused by the cold wave in the United States, which resulted in operations with poor energy efficiency.

The Kuraray Group’s total GHG emissions increased in the period from fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2019 due to the incorporation of businesses through M&A, such as the acquisition of the vinyl acetate business and the activated carbon business (Calgon Carbon Corporation). In particular, the acquisition of Calgon Carbon Corporation in 2018 resulted in a significant rise in the Kuraray Group’s GHG emissions. The GHGs emitted by Calgon Carbon Corporation consist largely of the CO2 generated as a byproduct in the process of producing activated carbon products. (Activated carbon is produced by burning a part of coal used in the process to form micropores on its surface. At this stage of the process, the carbon removed from the surface of the coal to form the micropores is released into the atmosphere as CO2. In this way, activated carbon emits a large amount of CO2 during production.) On the other hand, activated carbon is widely used as an indispensable product for the adsorption and removal of hazardous chemical substances contained in factory exhaust gas and for the purification of industrial effluents and raw water for drinking. Activated carbon thus contributes greatly to improving the global environment and reducing environmental impact. Going forward, we plan to establish a carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) system for CO2 generated as a byproduct in the production process.

<GHG emissions(Scope1 + Scope2)>

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Kuraray Group(in Japan+outside Japan) GHG emissions
1,000 t-CO2e 2,362 3,188 3,231 3,045 3,020
Scope1 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 1,240 2,000 2,060 2,045 1,973
Scope2 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 1,122 1,188 1,170 1,000 1,047

<GHG emissions・Energy consumption(in Japan + outside Japan)>

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Kuraray Group in Japan GHG emissions
1,000 t-CO2e 1,330 1,320 1,310 1,229 1,340
Scope1 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 1,147 1,138 1,121 1,067 1,163
Scope2 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 183 182 189 162 177
GHG emission intensity index Target Improve by 1% or more from the previous fiscal year
Result 2.9% -3.5% -1.7% -10.9% 7.7%
Reduction (1,000 t-CO2e) Target Implement measures to reduce GHG emissions by 13,000 tons-CO2e or more from the previous fiscal year
Result 9 13 21 14 30
Kuraray Group outside Japan GHG emissions
1,000 t-CO2e 1,032 1,868 1,921 1,816 1,680
Scope1 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 93 862 939 978 810
Scope2 emissions 1,000 t-CO2e 939 1,006 981 838 870
Energy consumption crude oil equivalent, 1,000 kl 500 595 606 553 596
Energy consumption intensity index Target Improve by 1% or more from the previous fiscal year
Result -7.5% 9.1% -5.9% 0.2% -0.3%

【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.

  • ・Before fiscal 2013: Actuals in 12 months from April to March of the following year
  • ・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

GHG Emissions(Scope 3)

The GHG Protocol* classifies GHG emissions into three categories: Scope 1, 2 and 3.

Scope 1: Direct emissions
GHG emissions generated by fuel combustion at the plants and other facilities of one’s own company
Scope 2: Indirect emissions
GHG emissions generated by the use of purchased energy such as electricity, heat, and steam supplied by other companies
Scope 3: Other indirect emissions
The other indirect emissions. GHG emissions along the entire supply chain (from procurement of raw materials to product disposal.)

Mandated under the law by which businesses calculate and report Scope 1 and Scope 2 to the government, we report these figures for the whole Kuraray Group to the government and publish the results mainly in the Kuraray Report and on the Kuraray Group’s website. On the other hand, Scope 3, which means the GHG emissions based on the entire supply chain related to us other than Scope 1 and Scope 2, is indirect GHG emissions generated from the viewpoint of a life cycle such as raw material procurement, product distribution, product use and disposal as well as the direct emissions related to our business activities. Since fiscal 2013, we have made and are publishing Scope 3 calculations for some categories in the Kuraray Group in Japan.
 Among the 15 categories in the total of Scope 3, we calculated actual values for fiscal 2021 for 5 categories [(1) to (5)] with a relatively large emission amount, excluding those not applicable to us and those having a limited calculation coverage in the products of the Kuraray Group. We will also continue to quantify our environmental contribution based on evaluations on the life cycle of our products.

* GHG Protocol (Greenhouse Gas Protocol) is an initiative to develop international standards and related tools on greenhouse gases and climate change led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and participated in by corporations, NGOs, government institutions and other organizations throughout the world.

Conceptual Image of Control on Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in Entire Scope 3 Supply Chain ((1) to (15) show categories of Scope 3) (Scope covered: Kuraray Co., Ltd.)

<GHG emissions(Scope3)*1

(Unit:1,000 t-CO2e)

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Upstream Purchased goods and services*2 628 684 598 388 563
Capital goods 92 121 170 108 91
Fuel and energy related activities not included in Scope1,2 126 130 140 130 153
Transportation and distribution 12 12 12 10 12
Waste generation in operations 25 24 27 26 23
Business travel Not calculated
Employee commuting
Leased assets*3
Downstream Transportation and delivery
Processing of sold products The Data is not disclosed because the scope of the calculation covers very limited Kuraray products.
Use of sold products
End-of-life treatment of sold products
Leased assets*4 *4,5,6 Not Applicable
Others *7 Not calculated
Total*8 883 971 946 662 842
  • *1 Boundary is Kuraray Group in Japan. (Coverage:40%)
  • *2 Calculation method: Purchased amounts of major sixty-two raw materials were multiplied by emission index (purchasing price and amount basis) of each raw material.
  • *3 Offices, electric appliances and company cars are leased. These are included in Scope 1, 2.
  • *4 No assets are leased to other company.
  • *5 Franchise system is not applied.
  • *6 Other company's stock was not held for investment purpose as reported in the security report.
  • *7 Optional category indirectly related to corporate activity except for Category 1 to Category 15
  • *8 Boundary of calculation was reviewed and related data was revised, including for past years.

<Example of Scope 3 GHG Emission Reduction Efforts (Reduction of Environmental Load during Product Transportation)>

We are working to reduce GHG emissions at the logistics stage, when transporting products to users. For example, to improve the efficiency of transportation by truck, we are consolidating the storage locations of products (warehouses) to ship products previously shipped from multiple locations from a single location. Through such large-lot transportation hubs, we are working so that products previously transported using multiple trucks can be loaded onto a single trailer. We also continue to pursue a modal shift, switching from trucks and other motor vehicles to modes of transportation with less environmental impact, such as freight trains and ships. In addition, in 2019 we submitted a declaration of voluntary activities in support of the White Logistics Movement being promoted by the Japanese government.