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Working towards a Recycling-based Society

As a result of being a mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal society, we now face many problems such as the depletion of resources and increasing waste. The Kubota Group is involved in initiatives to reduce wastes and recycle resources at its business sites in Japan and implementing initiatives globally to give form to a recycling-based society.

Ⅰ. Waste, Etc. from Business Sites

1. Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2020
 and the Results for RY2016

Actions
items
Management
Indicators*1
Scope Base
RY
Targets
for
RY 2020
Results of
RY 2016
Achievement Status
Reduce waste Waste discharge per unit of production Global Production 2014 -10% -8.8% We are promoting thorough sorting of wastes and separating valuable resources out of wastes.
Recycling
ratio*2
Production
sites in
Japan
- More
than
99.5%
99.8% We are maintaining the existing level through continuous efforts.
Overseas
production
sites
- More
than
90.0%
89.0% We are promoting the reduction of the amount of waste sent to landfills by changing contractors.
  • The figures per unit of production represent the intensity of the environmental load per unit of production money amount. The exchange rate of the base year is used when translating the production money amount of overseas sites into Japanese yen.
  • Resource recycling ratio (%) = (Sales volume of valuable resources + External recycling volume) / (Sales volume of valuable resources + External recycling volume + Landfi ll disposal) × 100. Heat recovery is included in external recycling volume.

2. Trends in Waste, Etc. (including valuable resources) and
 Waste Discharge per Unit of Sales

In RY2016, the waste discharge amount was 106 kilotons, a decrease of 8.8% compared to the previous reporting year. Additionally, the waste discharge per unit of sales improved by 5.7% compared to the previous reporting year. The decrease in waste discharge is mainly due to the reduction of production volume at cast iron production sites in Japan. We are continuously promoting thorough sorting of wastes and separating valuable resources out of wastes.

Trends in Waste, Etc. (including valuable resources) and Waste Discharge per Unit of Sales
  • Landfill disposal = Direct landfill disposal + Final landfill disposal following intermediate treatment
  • Waste discharge per unit of consolidated net sales.
    Waste discharge = Resource recycling and Volume reduction + Landfill disposal

Waste Recycling and Treatment Flow (RY2016 results)
Waste Recycling and Treatment Flow

* The amounts of resource recycling after treatment, volume reduction, and final landfill disposal were the
  results of surveys conducted by outside intermediate treatment companies.


Waste Discharge by Region
(RY2016 results)
Waste Discharge by Business
(RY2016 results)
Waste Discharge by Region Waste Discharge by Business
Waste Discharge by Type (RY2016 results)
Waste Discharge by Type
Waste, Etc. Discharge by Treatment Category (RY2016 results)
Waste, Etc. Discharge by Treatment Category (Japan) Waste, Etc. Discharge by Treatment Category (overseas)

3. Trends in recycling ratio

The resource recycling ratio in RY2016 was 98.1% in Japan, down 0.1 points compared to the previous reporting year. On the other hand, the recycling ratio overseas was 87.3%, a 2.8 points improvement compared to the previous reporting year, due to the efforts such as promoting recycling of casting dust, etc.

Trends in Recycling Ratio
Trends in Recycling Ratio

*  Recycling ratio (%) = (Sales amount of valuable resources + External recycling amount)÷(Sales amount of
  valuable resources + External recycling amount + Landfill disposal) × 100.
  Starting in RY2013, heat recovery has been included in external recycling volume. The resulting difference
  compared with the previous method that did not include heat recovery is minor.

4. Activities to reduce waste

Each plant works on minutely classified collection of wastes and takes thorough measures for recycling. Instructions on waste classification are given to the employees in an easily understood manner.

By effectively utilizing the casting business, we promote recycling within the group by turning waste oil into fuel and collecting and recycling sources of iron such as waste crawlers from construction machinery, waste metal chips and grinding sludge.

We promote the introduction of waste management using measuring systems. Reduction activities are encouraged through visualization of which work place reduced how much waste.

Ⅱ. Waste, Etc. Generated from Construction Work (in Japan)

Waste generated from construction work depends on the type of work being done, and the discharge can differ between orders, meaning that the recycling and reduction ratio fluctuates. However, Kubota maintains a high recycling and reduction ratio for specific construction materials.

Trends in Discharge, and Recycling and Reduction Ratio of Construction Waste, Etc. (Japan)
 Construction Waste
* Recycling and reduction ratio = [Sales amount of valuable resources + Resource recycling (including heat recovery) + Volume of reduction] ÷Amount of construction waste, etc. discharged (including sales amount of valuable resources) x 100 (%)
Until RY2015, the resource recycling ratio (referring to the Calculation Standards of Environmental Performance Indicators) was calculated. In RY2016, we adopted a new calculation method in which we calculate the reduction volume in accordance with the Promotion Plan for Recycling of Construction Waste 2014 (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and determine the recycling and reduction ratio.
The result of conventional calculation for RY2016 is 99.2% for the special construction materials, and 87.6% for the entire construction waste, etc.

Ⅲ. Handling and Storage of Equipment
 Containing PCB (in Japan)

Transformers, capacitors and other equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are properly reported, stored and handled based on the Japanese Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes and Japanese Waste Disposal Law. Waste with high-concentration PCB is being disposed of steadily, beginning with sites for which acceptance at PCB treatment facilities are available. Waste with low-concentration PCB will be properly disposed of by the disposal deadline of March 2027.     
 Although PCB-containing waste in storage is being controlled in accordance with the relevant laws, a case of inappropriate disposal of equipment containing low-concentration PCB was found in 2016. We implemented necessary countermeasures and are working to prevent recurrence.


Ⅳ. Conserve Water Resources

1. Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2020
 and the Results for RY2016

Actions
items
Management
Indicators*1
Scope Base
RY
Targets
for
RY 2020
Results of
RY 2016
Achievement Status
Conserve water resources Water consumption per unit of production Grobal production 2014 -10% -2.7% We are promoting recycling of waste water and saving of water use.
* The figures per unit of production represent the intensity of the environmental load per unit of production money amount. The exchange rate of the base year is used when translating the production money amount of overseas sites into Japanese yen.

2. Water Consumption in the Business Sites

In RY2016, water consumption was 4.86 million m3, a decrease of 3.4% compared to the previous reporting year. Additionally, water consumption per unit of sales improved by 0.2% compared to the previous reporting year. The decrease in water consumption is mainly due to the reduction of production volume at cast iron production sites in Japan and at overseas production sites for formed and fabricated materials. We are continuously promoting recycling of waste water and saving of water use.

Trends in Total Water Consumption and Consumption per Unit of Sales
 Trends in Total Water

* Water consumption per unit of consolidated net sales.


Water Consumption by Region
(RY2016 results)
Waste Consumption by Business
(RY2016 results)
Water Consumption by Region Waste Consumption by Business
Water Consumption by Type (RY2016 results)
Water Consumption by Type (Japan) Water Consumption by Type (overseas)

3. Activities to reduce water consumption

We work on reduction of water use as well as effluent drain into rivers with our effluent recycling membrane treatment facility. Introduction has been started in oversea sites including the developing countries where worsening of environmental pollution is concerned.

4. Water Stress Survey

Demand for fresh water is expected to rise sharply worldwide, due to population increase and economic growth. Meanwhile, however, supply of freshwater is likely to become increasingly unstable due to the impact of global warming, etc. Thus, there is a growing interest in "water risks," such as water shortage, flood, and torrential rain, as a factor that may have serious impact on business activities.
 In order to identify the risks related to the use of water resources and find effective responses to such water risks, the Kubota Group conducted a survey concerning water stress*1 for all of its production sites.
 The results of the survey on water stress of a total of 52 sites in 15 countries using WRI Aqueduct*2 and WBCSD Global Water Tool(Version2015 1.3.5)*3 are as follows.


Results of the Survey on Water Stress of Production Sites

Region/country Water stress level / number of sites
High High-Middle Middle Middle-Low Low
Asia Japan 1 9*4 9 2 0
China 0 3 1 0 0
Indonesia 0 2*4 0 0 0
Thailand 0 0 4 1 0
Saudi Arabia 1*4 0 0 0 0
Europe Russia 0 1 0 0 0
Norway 0 0 0 0 1
Denmark 0 0 0 0 1
Netherland 0 0 0 1 0
Germany 0 0 1 1 0
France 0 1 0 0 1
Italy 0 1 0 0 0
United Kingdom 0 0 1 0 0
North America Canada 0 0 0 0 1
United States 6 0 2 0 0
Total 8 17 18 5 4

Water Consumption by Water Stress Level (RY2016 results)
 

 The results of the survey showed that about half of the production sites (25 sites in total) are located in areas with water stress of the high to middle level, of which the sites in the coastal area of Osaka Bay (Japan), Saudi Arabia, and the Midwest area of the United States (eight sites in total) are located in areas with extremely high water stress. The amount of water consumption in these areas with extremely high water stress account for approx. 2% of total water consumption.
 The Kubota Group has been involved in initiatives such as the effective utilization of water resources by promoting wastewater recycling. As a result of these initiatives, the Group achieved in RY2016 approx. 150,000 m3 reduction (compared to RY2014) in water consumption at production sites. Based on the results of this survey on water stress, Kubota will continue to promote the initiatives to ensure 3Rs of water.

  • Water stress refers to the state where the annual water availability per capita is less than 1700 t and people feel inconvenience in their daily life (according to the World Resources Institute (WRI)).
  • A tool developed and released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to assess water risk information
  • A tool developed and released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to assess water risk information
  • For the sites with no data by river basin, assessment results by country are employed.

Related Information

Kubota's research and development values thorough hands-on approach. As an agricultural and water expert, we challenge and attain the future of food, water, and the environment, realizing our customer’s needs.

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