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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 believes that tackling environmental issues to ensure sustainable social progress and fostering stakeholder trust by announcing outcomes are vital for sustainable corporate growth.

Image: Overview of Group Environmental Impact (Fiscal 2015 through 2019)
  • *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

The UBE Group has installed pollutant monitoring facilities to manage the quality of water discharges into public waters water. The Group also uses wastewater treatment equipment to clean up plant wastewater that could cause significant pollution.

Image: UBE Group water resource usage (Fiscal 2015 through 2019)

Emissions Data by Facility

Image: Environmental Impact Data by Facility
  • *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 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.

Suppressing Chemical Substance Emissions

The chemical industry complies with laws and regulations while endeavoring to voluntarily cut chemical substance emissions through a disclosure program based on the PRTR Law.*1 The UBE Group chose 20 substances whose emissions are significant*2 from substances subject to the PRTR Law, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs)*3, and is striving Companywide to reduce emissions of these substances. In fiscal 2019, we lowered emissions of these 20 substances by 29% from the fiscal 2010 level, suppressing emissions subject to the PRTR Law and VOC emissions.

Suppressing VOC Emissions

The UBE Group’s VOC emissions in fiscal 2019 were 40% lower than those in fiscal 2010.

Suppressing PRTR Substance Emissions

The UBE Group handles 61 of the 462 substances subject to the PRTR Law. The Group’s emissions of these substances in fiscal 2019 were down 33% from fiscal 2010.

Image: VOC Emissions
Image: 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 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, 2-hexanone
  • *3 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.

Establishing a Recycling-Based Society

Using Resources Effectively

Ube Industries’ cement factories recycle diverse waste and by-products as raw materials (material recycling) and alternative fuels (thermal recycling). The cement kilns operate at up to 1,450°C, 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 2019, the three cement factories harnessed 3.30 million metric tons of waste and by-products, 2.91 million metric tons of which the Company sourced externally, contributing considerably to a recycling-oriented society. (Note)

Ube Industries is developing new businesses to use waste materials in applications other than as materials for cement. For example, we recycle plasterboard, for which we expect demand to increase. We will continue to boost our capacity for handling various waste as part of efforts to expand our recycling business.

Note: Changes in Waste and By-Product Use are shown in Non-Financial Highlights on page 11 of the UBE Group’s Integrated Report 2020.

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

Reducing Industrial Waste

The Japanese government’s 4th Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society targets a 77% reduction in industrial waste landfill amounts from 2000 levels by 2025. The UBE Group endeavors to recycle such waste and cut landfill volume to contribute to a recycling-based society.

Industrial Waste Recycling

The Group’s chemical factories, in-house power stations, machinery factories, and other facilities generate an array of industrial waste, most of which is recycled at cement factories and other Group facilities.

Industrial Waste for External Final Disposal

In fiscal 2019, such waste from Ube Industries and its Group companies was 80% below the fiscal 2000 level. The Group will keep endeavoring to cut volumes in fiscal 2020 and beyond.

Image: Industrial Waste Recycling Amount
Image: Industrial Waste for External Final Disposal
Image: Treatment of Industrial Waste