Initiatives toward creating a recycling-based society

Effective Utilization of Resources

Targets of the 8th Environmental Plan (Fiscal 2016 to 2018) and Achievements in Fiscal 2018

The Mitsubishi Electric Group focuses on the following three measures to reduce final disposal ratios: thorough analysis and separation of waste for conversion to valuable resources; higher levels of conversion to valuable resources through development of disposal contractors and sharing information about waste disposal contractors; and increased efficiency in waste (recycling) logistics.

The target final disposal ratio under the 8th Environmental Plan (fiscal 2016 to 2018) is less than 0.1% for Mitsubishi Electric and Japanese affiliate companies. In fiscal 2018, both parties achieved this target, with Mitsubishi Electric achieving a rate of 0.001% and Japanese affiliates bringing their ratio down to 0.01%. Overseas affiliates had a final disposal ratio of 0.59%, narrowly failing to reach the fiscal 2018 target of 0.5% or less.

Results of Activities at Mitsubishi Electric

graph: Total Waste Output / Mitubishi Electric

Each Mitsubishi Electric production base manufactures different products and so generates different kinds of waste. Our general rule is therefore to create and implement a different plan for each base. However, we also endeavor to share management expertise and information on contractors, and cooperate with neighboring bases.

Additionally, we have introduced a waste control system to all 26 Mitsubishi Electric production bases to implement stricter compliance.

Total waste output amounted to 88,000 tons in fiscal 2018, slightly up compared to the previous fiscal year, but the final disposal ratio improved to 0.001%.

Results of Activities at Affiliates in Japan

graph: Total Waste Output / Affiliates in Japan

The expanded scale of business operations and other factors led to a total waste emissions of 46,000 tons in fiscal 2018, which was slightly lower compared to the previous fiscal year. Overall, the final disposal ratio was maintained at the previous fiscal year’s level of 0.01%.

Our own waste management systems were introduced at affiliates in Japan to enhance legal compliance and are in use at approximately 140 companies. In fiscal 2018, we extended use of the system to sales offices while pushing forward with the digitalization of manifestos.

Results of Activities at Overseas Affiliates

graph: Total Waste Output / Overseas Affiliates

It is difficult to set the same target levels as Japan for overseas affiliates as regulations and waste treatment practices vary by country and region. Therefore, our aim was to lower the final disposal ratio from 0.87% in fiscal 2015 to less than 0.5% over the three years covered by the 8th Environmental Plan.

As situations vary from one business site to another, we tried to improve overall performance of overseas affiliates by selecting focus sites, thoroughly separating wastes, and expanding recycling. In fiscal 2018, however, due partially to higher overseas production, waste emissions totaled 81,000 tons with a final disposal ratio of 0.59%. Despite improving compared to the previous fiscal year, we failed to achieve the target.

Example

Starting from fiscal 2017, we changed cushioning material in the packaging of parts and materials purchased from Styrofoam to cardboard in a cooperative initiative with suppliers at some of our US sites. Up until that time, used Styrofoam cushioning material was disposed of by sending to landfills. However, this switch has led to recycling.

diagram: Example

Specification, Disposal and Transportation of Hazardous Wastes

The Mitsubishi Electric Group specifies hazardous wastes as follows, monitors their output and appropriately disposes of them in compliance with the laws and regulations of the regions in which our facilities are located. We also carry out material recycling and thermal recycling where we can in order to reduce final disposal (landfill) volume.

  • Mitsubishi Electric and affiliates in Japan: "Specially-controlled industrial wastes" specified by the Japanese Waste Disposal Law
  • Overseas affiliates: Wastes determined by each affiliate as hazardous wastes based on local laws and regulations

Wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) are managed separately based on the "Law concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes, PCB Special Measures Law.* Please refer to our Environmental Risk Management webpage for details.

In fiscal 2018, total hazardous waste emissions of Mitsubishi Electric amounted to 2,612 tons, of which, 2,326 tons was recycled. That of affiliates in Japan totaled 649 tons, of which, 644 tons was recycled, and that of overseas affiliates totaled 5,042 tons, of which 2,830 tons was recycled.

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

Environmental initiatives at overseas affiliates are essential for the Mitsubishi Electric Group to improve its overall performance in the effective utilization of resources and reduction of final disposal volume. To this end, we aim to achieve a targeted final disposal ratio of 0.5% or less, which is the goal set in the new three-year plan (9th Environmental Plan, fiscal 2019-2021). Our initiatives include even more thorough separation of wastes and expanding our plastic recycling operations.

As environmental initiatives remain a vital part of managing operations at Mitsubishi Electric and its affiliates in Japan, we are striving to maintain a final disposal ratio of 0.1% or less.