Water risk is increasing worldwide with ever more serious water shortages and pollution, as well as abnormal weather caused by climate change. This affects production of raw materials and manufacture of products, leading to a corresponding interest in corporate water risk management. The Mitsubishi Electric Group uses WRI Aqueduct* to keep track of current and future water risk. As of July 2016, we have identified bases inside Japan and overseas at high risk of water shortage, flooding, etc.
We use the results of this assessment to prioritize countermeasures for each production base and take clear action. This includes reporting to government authorities as required.
The Mitsubishi Electric Group continuously reviews data from all production bases on water use and reuse, checks every six months to make sure there are no major fluctuations in the values reported, and implements countermeasures as needed. All production bases endeavor to decrease water use and increase water reuse. Examples of effective water use are shared with other bases through regional meetings and key person research so they can make use of the information. Product development takes effect on water sources and life cycle evaluation into account, reducing our products' impact on the environment.
Mitsubishi Electric continued to carry out initiatives to save water, including the reuse of the warm water used in shipment testing for processing and cleaning components, and the use of treated wastewater for flushing toilets and replenishing cooling towers. As a result, total water usage was 10.8 million m3, and the reuse ratio was 31%.
In addition to the aforementioned measures, our affiliates in Japan carried out other initiatives, including replacing water-cooled air-conditioners with air-cooled models. Consequently, water usage was 2.69 million m3, and the reuse rate was 40%.
The initiatives at overseas affiliates focused on using purified wastewater, resulting in water usage of 2.11 million m3 and a reuse rate of 8%.
|Affiliates in Japan||47||48||45||41||40||40|
|Water Usage||Waste Water|
|Total Usage||Public Water/Industrial Water||Groundwater||River Water/Spring Water||Total Usage||Sewage||Public Water System|
|Central and South America||32,289||29,569||2,720||0||26,705||6,077||4,420|
Green Cycle Systems Corporation (GCS), part of the Mitsubishi Electric Group, recovers plastic from end-of-life home appliances. By 2011, they had achieved reuse of 99% of the water used in this process and have maintained this level of reuse ever since.
Water is used in the GCS plant as part of their process for sorting mixed crushed plastic waste into individual types of plastic. The water becomes contaminated with fine particles of plastic and cannot be reused as-is, so GCS have developed a process where the fine particles are adsorbed and removed by microbubbles*, improving their water recycling and reuse ratio. Aside from exceptional cases such as treating salvaged sludge or evaporation, the process needs almost no new water and so does not consume large quantities of water.
View of the plant
Water recycling equipment
Mitsubishi Electric Dalian Industrial Products Co., Ltd., which manufactures factory automation equipment and other products, reuses purified domestic waste water as gray water.
Treatment systems using advanced technology such as membrane bioreactors, or catalytic oxidation which is widely used in Japan, are installed at the plant and housing buildings. Reusing this water for washing and in toilets has saved approximately 14,000 tons of water per year, and also reduced costs.
With the recent government-led introduction of corporate environmental credit assessments*, China has started to require greater measures for environmental protection. We will continue to look for ways to use resources sustainably, not only to comply with national regulations but also to respond to social demand.
Aerial view of Mitsubishi Electric Dalian Industrial Products Co., Ltd.
Grey water tap
For the 9th Environmental Plan, the new three-year plan spanning fiscal 2019 to 2021, we set the target of improving water usage per unit of sales by 1% per year compared to fiscal 2011. Our initiatives to achieve this target include evaluating water resource risk at all of the manufacturing sites in Japan and overseas, reducing the use of water resources through clear prioritization of sites where measures are needed, and promoting reuse of water. We are also developing and introducing original water treatment/purification technologies and systems.
In fiscal 2018, Mitsubishi Electric was named an A-List company in the CDP Water Program for two consecutive years, in fiscal 2017 and 2018. The CDP awarded us this highest evaluation in recognition of exceptional activities in terms of measures and strategies for water resources. For the CDP Supply Chain Program, we also received A-List recognition in the CDP Supplier Water category for two years running. We will continue to press forward with our efforts to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.