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Global Environmental Issues

UBE Group Environmental Vision 2050

The UBE Group released the UBE Group Environmental Vision 2050 on May 2020.

The UBE Group engages in corporate activities that are in harmony with nature in order to maintain an abundant global environment
The UBE Group aims to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and use UBE products and technologies to reduce GHG emissions throughout its supply chains, in order to contribute toward a carbon-free society

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)

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

  1. Reduce GHG emissions by 17% by FY2030 compared to FY2013 levels
  2. Aim for environmentally-friendly products and technologies to account for 50% or more of net sales by FY2030

GHG Emissions

Image: Explanation of
Image: GHG Emissions by Company in Fiscal 2019
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

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 (FY2020)
However, notifications will be issued as needed in the even of significant changes brought about by regulatory trends, etc. Carbon pricing subject to change.

Biodiversity Conservation

Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership

Ube Industries supports the Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and takes part in its Business and Biodiversity Partnership.

Forest Conservation Initiatives

Image: 12th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation 12th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation

In fiscal 2019, 101 employees took part in the 12th Forest Creation Experiential Activity for Water Conservation, thinning and logging bamboo.
This annual initiative is for employees of companies using the Kotogawa River system in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It helps forests retain water and educates participants about the links between water and forests.