With the advent of climate change, resource depletion, and declining biodiversity, global environmental issues are becoming ever more urgent. It is imperative to solve these problems in order to secure sustainability. At the United Nation's Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015, "Transforming Our World - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" was adopted by world leaders, and SDGs, which include responding to climate change, were added. At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (known as COP21) held in December 2015, an international framework on climate change—the Paris Agreement—was adopted with the aim of suppressing the increase in average global temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The Mitsubishi Electric Group provides solutions for energy savings and water resource conservation that utilize the strengths offered by the diverse businesses and products of member companies. In addition to such efforts, we continue to try to create new technologies and ideas that resolve environment-related social issues.
The following are examples of environmental practices carried out by the Mitsubishi Electric Group that correspond to six of the 17 SDGs.
Mitsubishi Electric Group's water treatment and purification technologies provide vital technologies and systems to help ensure the supply of safe water.
We produce equipment for water treatment plants, including various detectors and panel meter displays, and advanced water purification facilities as a means of supporting the supply of safe water. We also provide technologies for improving, maintaining, and operating water infrastructure overseas.
Mitsubishi Electric has been producing Ozonizers for nearly 50 years. These unique devices purify water using ozone instead of chlorine. They are utilized at water and sewage plants, pharmaceutical and chemical plants, and aquariums, where they contribute to the preservation of the global water environment.
Our bioreactors, which efficiently filter wastewater containing organic matter, help in the purification of drinking water and treatment/reuse of sewage/wastewater. We also develop and offer other technologies that contribute to saving water resources.
The Mitsubishi Electric Group has a wide range of technologies related to supplying and efficiently utilizing energy. Those technologies are being applied to develop advanced technologies and systems that contribute to more efficient energy generation, greater energy savings, and the realization of smart societies. We are also pursuing the most efficient use of energy by each of our products. The wide-spread application of our technologies and products enables us to contribute to the sustainable use of energy.
We manufacture products related to all stages of electricity supply, from generation to delivery to the end user, including transmission, transformation, and distribution. We contribute to increasing the efficiency of the electric power infrastructure by providing highly efficient power generators and various devices and systems that help reduce the loss of power in transmission and transformation processes.
We are involved in initiatives to develop and commercialize smart grids and smart communities, including the construction and use of our own testing facilities. While working towards the realization of smart societies, we are collaborating with external organizations in various ways, such as the delivery of storage batteries that enable electric utilities companies to conduct testing and demonstrations on remote islands.
We manufacture photovoltaic power generation systems designed for high output and high efficiency, and that can be applied for various purposes—from household use to large-scale solar projects. We have also developed technologies to help improve system stability, including the isolation of faulty circuits should a problem occur.
In addition to reducing the volume of resources used during manufacturing processes and collecting and recycling used products, we are involved in the business of recycling plastics used in home electric appliances. Furthermore, we are attempting to minimize environmental load during production by reducing final waste disposal and promoting green procurement.
We conduct large-scale, high-purity recycling of the plastics used in home electrical appliances and collect the rare earth elements used in air conditioners. Our rebuilding business also takes faulty automotive electrical parts and reconditions them rather than replacing them.
Primarily focusing on our production bases, we analyze and separate wastes in an attempt to transform all waste into valuable items that can be utilized, thereby minimizing the final waste disposal ratio. We have maintained a final waste disposal ratio of less than 0.1% for 13 years at Mitsubishi Electric and for 7 years at affiliate companies in Japan.
We published the "Green Procurement Standards Guide," which is based on various laws and regulations, and conduct eco-conscious materials procurement. The contents of the guide are revised as needed. In recent years, an appendix has added to explain the link between preservation of biodiversity and procurement activities.
In order to suppress the emission of greenhouse gases—including CO2, which is regarded to be a major cause of sudden climate change—we are contributing to the creation of a low-carbon society by reducing CO2 generated during the Group's production activities and that produced during product use.
In order to reduce the CO2 generated during product use, we continuously strive to design and develop products while keeping energy savings in mind, and focus on improving the performance of existing energy-saving products.
The products of the Mitsubishi Electric Group require power to operate. Products that operate with higher energy efficiency contribute to reducing the emission of CO2 during use. Accordingly, we have set targets to achieve through the development of energy-saving products.
The Mitsubishi Electric Group manufactures a wide range of eco-conscious products, including lighting systems, air conditioners, escalators and elevators, and home electrical appliances. By reducing the electric power used by these products, we contribute to energy savings for entire houses and buildings. Furthermore, we offer products and systems that help to achieve efficient energy usage, such as energy management systems and multi-function controllers.
We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2 by assessing emissions throughout the value chain as a whole and setting targets. We take every opportunity to use ingenuity in production lines, including the introduction of high-efficiency production equipment at the time of facility renewal.
We are contributing to the protection and recovery of local ecosystems around the world by developing and providing observation satellites that report the status of oceans and woodlands. We are also proactively promoting coexistence with the surrounding environments at each business site.
The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2 or Daichi-2) was developed for a mission to create maps, observe lands, assess the impact of disasters, and explore resources. It is currently contributing to the collection of various data that will help to protect ecosystems by observing the degree of forest degradation in rainforest areas.
As part of the activities designed for coexisting with nature in local communities, we are studying the conditions of animal and plant habitats at our business sites. The findings are used in discussions that focus on how we will approach the preservation of biodiversity in the future.
The "Satoyama" Woodland Preservation Project is a successful project that began in 2007. Its aim is to restore the surrounding natural environment near our business sites. Cooperating with communities and NPOs, we are conducting activities with the goal of improving wilderness park environments, and protecting and restoring forestlands and rivers.
Mitsubishi Electric was named an A-List company in the two fields of CDP Climate Change and CDP Water for two consecutive years, in fiscal 2017 and 2018. The CDP awarded the highest evaluation in recognition of Mitsubishi Electric’s actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change, as well as its exceptional activities in terms of measures and strategies for water resources. Also in the CDP Supply Chain Program, we received A-List recognition in the CDP Supplier Climate and CDP Supplier Water categories for two consecutive years. We will continue to press forward with our efforts to realize a sustainable society.