Initiatives toward creating a low-carbon society

Contribution to Reducing CO2 from Product Usage

As dozens of times more CO2 is emitted during product usage than during production, the Mitsubishi Electric Group has designated Reducing CO2 from Product Usage and Expansion of Contribution to Reducing CO2 from Product Usage as important tasks.

The Mitsubishi Electric Group has approximately 260 products. We pursue technological innovation and improved energy efficiency for products designed and developed in house that we have determined through product environmental analysis to have a major environmental impact due to CO2 generation during use.

Targets of the 8th Environmental Plan (Fiscal 2016 to 2018) for Reducing CO2 from Product Usage and Achievements in Fiscal 2018

Power consumed by the customer during product use is viewed in terms of CO2 emissions from production of the power used. Increasing product energy efficiency can reduce CO2 from product use. Under its 8th Environmental Plan (fiscal 2016 to 2018), the Mitsubishi Electric Group aims to achieve an average reduction rate of 35% compared to fiscal 2001, over 107 product groups.

We continued with initiatives to realize further reductions in fiscal 2018, mainly focusing on activities in the areas of information and communication systems and electronic devices. The average reduction rate for the 102 product groups targeted was maintained at a high level of 35% compared to fiscal 2001.

graph: Plan for Reducing CO<sub>2</sub> from Product Usage through Improving Energy Efficiency

Initiatives in Heating, Cooling, and Air Conditioning

We maximize the potential of high-efficiency devices such as inverter compressors and power semiconductors, offering heating, cooling and air conditioning with industry-leading energy saving functionality.

Our global development efforts focus on exploiting high-level energy-saving technology in air conditioners, but as we expand geographically we have started to encounter differences such as climate and customer requirements, as well as in the range of environmental regulations. We are globalizing our development and production systems in order to adapt to local requirements in a speedy and timely manner. For example, outside Japan we acquired an Italian air conditioning company (MEHITS, previously DeLclima) in 2015, and set up a new company in Turkey in 2016 for the development and production of room air conditioners. In Japan, we completed work on a heating and cooling air conditioner demonstration facility in our Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems Works in Wakayama Prefecture in 2016. An air conditioning design/development and evaluation building is under construction at our Shizuoka Works, and is scheduled to be operational in 2019. These initiatives contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Global Development Systems to Offer Products for Local Markets

diagram: Global Development Systems to Offer Products for Local Markets

FZ Series Kirigamine Room Air Conditioners

diagram: Winner of the Energy Conservation Grand Prize Fiscal 2018 Highest Honor, METI Minister's Award

Winner of the Energy Conservation Grand Prize Fiscal 2018
Highest Honor, METI Minister's Award

The innovative air conditioners in this model lineup are equipped with an AI application named "Move Eye mirA.I.", which utilizes the world’s first*1 technology to predict perceived temperature based on outside temperature and solar radiation heat obtained through 360-degree sensing. High energy efficiency and comfort have been achieved simultaneously as a result. In addition, an "Active Switch Compressor"*2 is used together with an inverter circuit to automatically change wiring depending on the required motor speed. This is also a world-first*3 technology, which helps to realize high-power operation that is able to adjust the room temperature to a comfortable level quickly. Combined with stable operation once the preset temperature is reached, Kirigamine air conditioners have achieved even more efficient operation.

  1. *1 In-house survey, as of the time of the launch on November 1, 2017.
  2. *2 A compressor with two types of DC motor wiring. By automatically switching the wiring, it is possible to achieve either high-power operation or stable operation, depending on the need.
  3. *3 In-house survey, as of the time of the launch on November 1, 2017.

Initiatives in Transportation Systems

We are the only manufacturer capable of providing a one-stop service when it comes to operating, stopping, and controlling rail transport systems, offering a range of electrical equipment such as propulsion systems, main motors, and Station Energy-saving Inverters (S-EIVs). We are contributing to energy savings in many rail systems.

Railways have increased in importance globally in recent years in line with the move toward mass transit systems with lower environmental impact, and we are building up business structures for rolling stock electrical equipment in all territories to respond to that demand. For example, we acquired the Italian rolling stock air conditioner manufacturer KLIMAT-FER in 2013. We also started collaboration with the Polish rolling stock air conditioner manufacturer MEDCOM in 2016 in the European market. We strengthened our ability to respond to local manufacturing requirements in the USA in 2014. In Asia and specifically in India, which is forging ahead with plans to introduce rail transport in many cities, we have a rolling stock electrical equipment plant which became operational in 2015 and have now established a manufacturing, sales, and maintenance capability.

Providing Electrical Equipment for Regions with Growing Attention in Rail Transportation

diagram: Providing Electrical Equipment for Regions with Growing Attention in Rail Transportation

Initiatives in Building Systems

From vertical transport devices such as elevators and escalators through to lighting and air conditioning, we offer a wide range of products for use inside buildings. Improving the energy efficiency of these products allows energy to be saved throughout the building. We also offer building management systems that incorporate energy-efficiency enhancing devices and a range of sensors to provide system control, enabling building-wide energy savings and lower operating costs.

There has been rapid adoption of vertical transport devices in the cities of emerging nations, with a corresponding increase in demand. We are also seeing an increasing need in mature markets for replacement of existing vertical transport systems that have been in use for many years. We are therefore building up our development capability and improving production capacity in all regions to respond to these demands. New plants became operational in India and Thailand in fiscal 2017. A new test facility became operational on the premises of the new Thai plant in fiscal 2018, and a new plant also began operation in South Korea.

A new research center opened at our original plant in Inazawa (Aichi Prefecture) in 2016. With a view to the greater global development of building systems, we are building up our capacity to train and develop people for sales, manufacturing, construction, and maintenance of vertical transport devices and building management systems.

Wide Range of Products for Building Interior

illustration: Building Management Systems

Delivering Equipment and Systems that Contribute to ZEB as the Electric Industry’s First ZEB Planner

In January 2018, Mitsubishi Electric became the first ZEB*1 planner*2 in the electrical machinery industry with its delivery of equipment and systems that contribute to achieving ZEBs to the new head office building of Shirasagi Denki Kogyo Co., Ltd. This project marked the first time that the Smart Middle- and Low-voltage DC Power Distribution Network System (D-SMiree) was installed in an office building in Japan.*3 Additionally, the installation of other devices with excellent energy-saving performance also led to achieving an energy efficiency of 75%*4 compared to standard primary energy consumption*5.

  1. *1 Zero Energy Building
  2. *2 Registration system introduced in fiscal 2018 by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the dissemination of ZEB
  3. *3 As of January 31, 2018 (in-house survey)
  4. *4 Reassessment in June 2018, according to the building energy-saving performance labeling system (BELS).
  5. *5 Total energy consumption of various equipment, including air conditioners, ventilation equipment, lighting and vertical transport (elevators/escalators), specified by the 2016 Energy Efficiency Standards according to region and usage in buildings and rooms.
illustration: Overview of equipment and systems delivered to the new head office building of Shirasagi Denki Kogyo

Overview of equipment and systems delivered to the new head office building of Shirasagi Denki Kogyo

Targets of the 8th Environmental Plan (Fiscal 2016 to 2018) for Expansion of Contribution to Reducing CO2 and Achievements in Fiscal 2018

The Mitsubishi Electric Group is working to visualize and expand our Contribution to Reducing CO2 from Product Usage. Contribution to reducing CO2 is represented by the amount of generated CO2 deemed saved by switching from older products to new, energy-efficient ones. The calculation is based on the following formula, which multiplies the effect of reducing CO2 over the life of the product by the number of units sold.

Contribution to reducing CO2 = Effect of reducing CO2 from product usage per unit × Number of units sold during the fiscal year

We use official standards and industry-mandated calculation methods when computing our contribution to reducing CO2. Where no calculation method is specified, we make calculations based on our own product scenarios. Calculations for interim products are based on GHG Protocol Scope 3 Guidance, with proportional division by product weight and percentage of sales.

The target of the 8th Environmental Plan (fiscal 2016 to 2018) was to contribute to reducing a total of 92 million tons in more than 127 product groups. However, due to disappointing sales of products that promised a large contribution, the overall contribution for fiscal 2018 was a reduction of 71 million tons* in 114 product groups.

  • * This is more than the CO2 emitted by fuel consumption in the Tokyo Metropolitan region, which is 60.6 million tons (Bureau of the Environment, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, July 2016).
graph: Contribution to Reducing CO<sub>2</sub> from Product Usage Through Improving Energy Efficiency

Breakdown of Products Included in the Calculation for Contribution to Reducing CO2 from Product Usage

(Number of product groups)
Examples of Products Standard/Benchmark
Used for Calculation
End Products (88) Plant monitoring control systems, railcar air-conditioning systems, onboard information systems (TIS, ATC, TIMS), monitor/protection control systems for power generation plants, circuit breakers, elevators, intelligent transport systems (ITS), satellite communications earth station facilities, optic/wireless access systems, air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators, Lossnay, processing machines, robots, lighting fixtures/lamps, IH cooking heaters, etc. Contribution from reducing power consumed by the product
Energy-saving support equipment, elevator modernization, Lossnay total heat exchange ventilation systems Reduced power utilization through introduction of energy efficiency enhancing devices, contribution from upgrading to highly efficient components during refurbishment, previously wasted energy used by heat exchange
Circuit breakers, switchgear Reduction in leaked SF6 gas (CO2 equivalent)
Photovoltaic power generators, turbine generators Power produced by the generator minus energy used to generate the power, increase in power generated by improving generation efficiency
Interim Products (31) Compressors purchased separately from air conditioners Contribution from incorporation of products with lower power consumption
Inverters, motors Contribution from incorporation of products with lower power loss
Power devices
Electric power steering, alternators, starters Contribution from incorporation of products with greater fuel efficiency, proportionally divided by weight
Combined-cycle thermal power generators Reduction of fossil fuel use by replacement of old thermal power generators. Contribution calculated as reduction in CO2 emissions proportionally divided by sales
  • * Calculations for products using electricity are based on the national or regional CO2 emission factors given in CO2 Emissions From Fuel Combustion Highlights (2013 Edition).
  • * Calculations for thermal power generation use thermal power generation factors from the calculation methods in the Initiative for Creating a Low-Carbon Society, issued by four electrical and electronics industry associations.
  • * Calculations for other forms of energy use and greenhouse gases use factors from the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Accounting and Reporting Manual issued by the Japanese Department of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
  • * The number of product groups excludes those that did not have any shipment during the relevant fiscal year.

Key Points of 9th Environmental Plan (Fiscal 2019-2021)

The 9th Environmental Plan, the new three-year plan spanning fiscal 2019 to 2021, is the final plan formulated for achieving Environmental Vision 2021. We set the target of reducing CO2 from product use by 30% compared to fiscal 2001 when Vision 21 was first formulated. That goal was reached during the period of the 7th Environmental Plan (fiscal 2013 to 2015). Accordingly, we revised the end-goal for the 8th Environmental Plan, increasing the target. For the 9th Environmental Plan, our aim is to maintain an average reduction rate of 35% in 107 product groups compared to fiscal 2001. This will be done by embedding target products for reducing CO2 from product usage in our development plans so that improvements in product performance will contribute to achieving the goal.

Additionally, for Expansion of Contribution to Reducing CO2 from Product Usage, we set an overall target of 70 million tons for more than 127 product groups, and are working to achieve it. The target figures set in the 9th Environmental Plan are designed to contribute to exceeding 70 million tons annually on a continuous basis.