Environment – Reducing CO2 from Production
Targets of the 8th Environmental Plan (Fiscal 2016 to 2018) and Achievements of Fiscal 2017
With the 8th Environmental Plan (fiscal 2016 to 2018), we will move forward with activities to reduce the emissions of "CO2 originating from energy" and "non-CO2 greenhouse gases (SF6, HFCs, and PFCs)". Our goal is to lower annual emissions of all types of greenhouse gases to the CO2 equivalent of 1.54 million tons or less by fiscal 2021.
In fiscal 2017, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 1.34 million tons equivalent of CO2, and we surpassed our goal of 1.43 million tons or less. The major factors behind this achievement were the shift to pump-inverters and the updating of air conditioners and lighting in Japan, and progress with facility renewal and operating improvements to production facilities overseas. The eradication and recovery of non-CO2 greenhouse gases is proceeding, and the plan has made smooth progress.
- Base year for CO2: Mitsubishi Electric parent company, fiscal 1991; affiliates in Japan, fiscal 2001; and overseas affiliates, fiscal 2006.
Non-CO2 greenhouse gases: Mitsubishi Electric parent company and affiliates in Japan, fiscal 2001; overseas affiliates, fiscal 2006.
- Figure published by the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA) in 1997
- Figure published by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan at the time of drawing up the 8th Environmental Plan (in 2013, when two nuclear power stations were operational)
- Figure published by JEMA in 2006 has been referred to when calculating the overseas emission coefficient.
- Figure published in IPCC's Second Assessment Report (1995) was referred to when calculating the global warming coefficient of non-CO2 greenhouse gases.
Initiatives to Reduce CO2 Originating from Energy and the Results
For reducing CO2 originating from energy, our activities focused on pushing forward with energy savings in utilities and production facilities. As a result, we reduced emissions by 25,000 tons in fiscal 2017.
The following initiatives to push forward with energy savings in utilities resulted in a 19,000-ton reduction: a shift to pump-inverters, the updating of air-conditioners and lighting, and operational improvements such as adjusting the set temperatures of air conditioners.
The following initiatives to push forward with energy savings in production facilities aimed to reduce the overall consumption of electrical energy through updating production facilities and improving production efficiency, and resulted in a 4,000-ton reduction.
Going forward, while CO2 emissions are expected to increase accompanying an enlargement of the production scale at overseas works, we aim to continue to reduce emissions through utility updates and improving the operation of air-compressors.
Example: Mitsubishi Electric Consumer Products (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
At Mitsubishi Electric Consumer Products (Thailand) Co., Ltd., which manufactures air conditioners in Thailand, we have tackled energy saving activities with the policies of 1) an all-personnel approach, 2) the proactive support of management personnel, and 3) ongoing planning and implementation. We ensure that our staff are familiar with these policies, and work as a whole company to practice energy saving during production. Having continued highly sustainable energy saving activities for over six years, we have reduced the CO2 emissions by 10,000t-CO2 in total from fiscal 2012 by means of initiatives ranging from the development and manufacture of products that contribute to energy saving to improvements at the administrative level.
Through these approaches, we have created an environmental management model that will also improve corporate sustainability in the pursuit of environmental concerns. Improving our brand strength has increased our turnover by 78% compared with fiscal 2012, which has also led to a 190 million yen reduction in energy costs during production.
The company won the Thailand Energy Award run by the Ministry of Energy of the Kingdom of Thailand 6 times between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2017. We were invited to a government panel meeting as an excellent energy conservation company.
Example: Nagoya Works
The flagship products of Mitsubishi Electric's Nagoya Works are factory automation (FA) products that increase productivity at the site of manufacture. We also use these products in our plants, and we aim to introduce new models as appropriate to improve productivity.
In fiscal 2015, we started operations at a new production building for FA equipment. At this plant, we are improving productivity and achieving optimal facility management by adopting highly efficient equipment such as air conditioners, heat sources, outside conditioners, and lighting, and by constructing a system based on our company's "e-F@ctory" that coordinates IoT technology, FA technology and IT technology. By visualizing not only energy usage but all information on the facility and environment, and by coordinating control of the building's facilities and production facilities, we have enabled advanced energy monitoring and control. Through these approaches, we have achieved a 30% reduction (120 kWh/m2/year) in the power use basic unit, and control of the annual volume of power consumption has reached 13% (9,273,000 kWh/year) for the site overall.
The approaches related to the new building were evaluated, and the Nagoya Works received the Director-General of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Award (energy conservation field) in the fiscal 2017 Energy Conservation Grand Prize/Energy Conservation Example category.
Initiatives to Reduce SF6, HFC, and PFC and the Results
Three types of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are emitted by the Mitsubishi Electric Group in its business activities: SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride), HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), and PFCs (Perfluorocarbons). SF6 is used inside gas-insulated switchgear for electrical insulation, as well as in the etching process during semiconductor and liquid-crystal display production.
HFCs are used as refrigerants in air conditioners and refrigerators, while PFCs are used during the etching process in production of semiconductors and liquid-crystal displays.
In fiscal 2017, emissions were further reduced owing to expansion of the introduction of abatement systems at factories in Japan and improved collection capabilities at overseas plants. In total, emissions were reduced by the CO2 equivalent of 21,000 tons.
Going forward, in Japan, we will continue to improve our capacity for SF6 collection, as well as introduce more SF6 and PFC abatement systems to the semiconductor etching process. Overseas, we will test regenerators in order to increase the number of times that HFC refrigerants can be regenerated, while continuing to run our refrigerant recovery scheme.
Receiving "A-List Company" Recognition, the Highest Evaluation from CDP*
In fiscal 2017, Mitsubishi Electric was named an A-List company in the CDP's "Climate Change 2016" program. The CDP awarded us this highest evaluation in recognition of the company's actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. For the CDP Supply Chain Program, we also received A-List recognition in the CDP Supplier Climate category. Furthermore, for the CDP Supplier Engagement Rating, which assesses initiatives against climate change across the entire supply chain, a top "A" grade was also given. We will continue to press forward with our efforts.
- CDP: An international NGO that examines, evaluates and discloses environmental initiatives of corporations and cities.