We are working to improve our environmental performance by formulating strategies across the company and proactively working to solve problems based on our Environmental Management Policy.
Environmental Management System
Our environmental management policy declares an active commitment to environmental issues facing society, including not only preventing environmental pollution but also building circular economies, delivering carbon neutrality, reducing environmental impacts, protecting water resources and conserving biodiversity as key management challenges. Under this policy we are striving to improve our environmental performance.
Environmental Management Policy
In January 2006 we formulated our Environmental Management Policy, reflecting the fact that we consider an active commitment to the environmental issues facing society to be key management challenges. In addition to initiatives emphasizing the six items in all business operations, we strive to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, from international society to local communities, and to seek the ideal form for a sustainable cement industry as a member of the GCCA (Global Cement and Concrete Association) and the UNGC (United Nations Global Compact).
Formulated in January 2006
Revised in April 2023
- Pursuing Environmentally Conscious Business Activities
In pursuit of reducing environmental impacts, we properly assess the impacts of our business activities and promote the introduction of eco-efficient technologies into our business and the development of eco-conscious products. Also, we pursue environmental conservation activities as a member of the regional community.
- Compliance with Environmental Laws and Regulations
As a minimum, we comply with all environmental laws and regulations applicable to our business activities. Furthermore, beyond compliance, we meet environmental commitments undertaken through voluntary agreements.
- Contribution to the creation of Circular Economy
We contribute to the creation of Circular Economy that both aims to reduce environmental impact and achieve economic growth. By taking advantage of the characteristics of the cement industry, we will develop technologies which utilize recycled materials.
- Efforts to achieve Carbon Neutrality
We strive to realize Carbon Neutrality throughout the supply chain on a company-wide basis, by maximizing the use of existing technologies, as well as developing and expanding innovative technologies sequentially.
- Promoting Global Technology Transfer
Through the worldwide transfer and deployment of our technology, we aid the development of greater energy conservation, environmental preservation, and utilization of waste materials.
- Ecosystem Conservation
We strive to realize “Nature Positive” by contributing to conserving and restoring water resources and biodiversity, as well as providing products and technologies which lead to harmonious coexistence with nature.
TAIHEIYO CEMENT CORPORATION
President and Representative Director Masafumi Fushihara
Structure and Operation
We have established an Environmental Management Committee chaired by the officer in charge of the Production Department as one of the specialized committees under the Sustainability Management Committee, which reports directly to the Board of Directors, to promote environmental management and implement the Environmental Management System (EMS).
Company-wide EMS Readiness
In June 1997, we initiated ISO 14001 certification of each of our plants and attained certification of all six of our directly operated plants by 1999. In April 2009, we established a company-wide EMS that extends the scope of application not only to plants but also to the headquarters, branch offices, and central research laboratory, and received ISO 14001 certification registration from the Japan Testing Center for Construction Materials. The company-wide system underwent a renewal audit for the fourth time in March 2021, and from April 2021 the certification was renewed with the Tosa Office added to the scope.
■Company-wide EMS Readiness
* The Carbon Neutral Technology Development Project Team
All of our cement plants in Japan, including those of group companies, have obtained ISO 14001 certification. Furthermore, all of our overseas cement plants in countries that adopt ISO have obtained ISO 14001 certification and are actively committed to environmental conservation. Cement plants in countries where ISO is not adopted as the mainstream standard operate their own EMS.
Internal Environmental Audits
We conducted internal environmental audits at all our sites in FY2023.
As priority items from this year’s audit, confirmation of compliance reviews regarding environmental laws and other requirements, external communications and corrective actions for unachieved items were identified. The status of a follow-up, including corrective and preventive actions for nonconformity with environmental requirements, and the status of responses to emergencies were identified as items that plants must deal with. Verifying the compliance status of service stations was implemented as an item that must be dealt with by branches. The audit identified 29 findings, and corrective actions were taken for all three findings for which improvements were requested.
During Environment Month each June we deliver a message from the president and provide educational materials on the environment page of our portal site to increase awareness and encourage learning about the environment, and about environmental preservation activities throughout Taiheiyo Cement Corporation and group companies. Each workplace also engages in a number of different activities, such as conducting training sessions related to accident response, viewing environment-related videos, holding lectures and taking part in local cleanup activities. In FY2023, more than 340 activities took place.
Training to respond to environmental accidents (Kumagaya Plant)
Status of Compliance with Environmental Laws
In FY2023, we had four minor accidents and have taken measures to prevent their recurrence. There were no violations of environmental laws that could result in fines or penalties, nor were there any major accidents that would have an effect on the environment or ecosystems.
Response to Environmental Accidents
Each plant maintains emergency response plans in preparation for possible environmental accidents. They also conduct periodic fire-fighting drills in cooperation with local fire departments. Other training includes how to reduce environmental impact when an environmental accident occurs, and how to report it to a government entity.
As we increasingly utilize ever more diverse forms of waste and by-products the number of environmental issues we need to consider also increases. Therefore, we are ramping up our efforts to reduce environmental impact through activities such as introducing indoor storage and sealed containers for waste and by-products, and improving our flue gas stacks. On receiving an environmental complaint, whenever possible we quickly travel to the site in question to check the situation, investigate the cause and provide an explanation. If we find that our activities are the cause we implement improvements.
In FY2023, we received 109 environmental complaints, including those from outside sources. We responded to 36 of these, which were associated with our operations.
■Number of Environmental Complaints Received (Non-consolidated)
Mitigating Climate Change
Promoting measures to reduce CO2 emissions from a medium- to long-term perspective to contribute to the prevention of global warming and for sustainable growth.
A significant amount of CO2 is generated during cement production. This is because the production process requires a high temperature of 1,450°C and limestone, used as a raw material, is decarbonated through a chemical reaction during the calcination process (CaCO3 → CaO + CO2). In 2015, we therefore set in the CSR Objectives for 2025 a target for Taiheiyo Cement Corporation and our group companies of reducing specific net CO2 emissions by 10% or more from 2000 levels. In March 2022, we announced "2030 Interim Targets" towards carbon neutrality, and set targets of reducing emissions intensity by 20% or more throughout the supply chain and reducing total (domestic) CO2 emissions by 40% or more (each compared to 2000).
Efforts Related to CO2 Emissions Reduction in the Cement Production Process
■Progress of the Group's CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets
*1 Scope 1 (excluding alternative fossil energy and CO2 resulting from on-site power generation)
*2 Scope 1 (excluding alternative fossil energy) + Scope 2 + Scope 3 (Category 1,3)
*3 Scope 1 (excluding alternative fossil energy) + Scope 2
Trend in CSR Objectives for 2025
In order to reduce CO2 emissions, we have been working to conserve energy by installing energy-efficient equipment and improving the stability and efficiency of our kiln operations. We have also been implementing measures such as expanded use of waste- and biomass-derived energy sources to decrease our rate of use of fossil fuels. As a result of these efforts, specific net CO2 emissions in FY 2023 were 661 kg/t-cementitious product, achieving our FY2026 specific emissions target of 662 kg/t-cementitious product.
■Specific Net CO2 Emissions (GCCA)
■Total Heat Consumption for Clinker Production (GCCA)
■Ratio of Alternative Fuels and Biomass Fuels (GCCA)
Trend in direct specific CO2 emissions across the supply chain
Scope 3 (category 1) specific emissions increased due to the renovation of the production line at Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. and due to clinker purchases. There was a steady decline in Scope 1+2 emissions, with an 11.0% reduction from 2000 levels.
■Specific CO2 emissions in the supply chain (GCCA)
Trend in Total Domestic CO2 Emissions
Total CO2 emissions from cement plants (Scope 1+2, but excluding alternative fuels) have decreased significantly compared to 2000 (our benchmark year). This is due to decreased coal use via an increase in alternative fuels and a decrease in cement production.
Regarding the reduction of total domestic CO2 emissions by 40% or more (compared to 2000), which is one of our 2030 Interim Targets, the reduction rate was 42% in FY2023, exceeding the interim target.
■Total Domestic CO2 Emissions (GCCA)
Reducing CO2 Emissions during Transportation
We contract the delivery of our raw materials, fuels and products to transportation companies, and are striving to reduce CO2 emissions as a specified consigner designated under the Act on Rationalizing Energy Use. In trucking, we encourage not only the installation of digital tachometers on vehicles, but also the planning of transporting goods on return trips, eco-driving and energy efficient devices such as digital eco-tires. In shipping, we operate new ships that are equipped with various energy-saving features. We are also supporting energy-saving operations for conventionally powered ships.
Our FY2023 CO2 emissions were roughly 3% lower than in FY2022.
■CO2 Emissions by Mode of Transportation (FY2023) (Non-consolidated)
Improving Resource Efficiency
Promoting the recycling of waste and by-products into alternative raw materials and fuels for cement.
Through this, we are promoting the formation of a circular economy from the perspective of prolonging the life of landfills and preventing the depletion of natural resources.
Resource Recycling with Industries
Electric power utilities
We accept coal ash produced at coal-fired power plants and use it as a substitute for clay as a raw material in cement. In addition, we operate ash centers to use more ash effectively. We also supply power plants with limestone powder which is used to scrub the harmful sulfur oxides from the exhaust produced by the burning of coal. The reaction of the limestone powder with sulfur oxides forms by-product gypsum, which we make effective use of as a raw material for cement.
In the iron and steelmaking process, impurities are removed from iron ore to make iron. We supply the limestone and quicklime used in the refining process. We also use blast furnace slag, a by-product that remains after the refining process, as raw materials for cement and as cement admixtures.
Resource Recycling with Local Communities
In addition to industrial waste, we also use general waste generated by local governments, municipal waste incineration residues, water purification sludge and sewage sludge as raw materials and fuel to manufacture cement. The total amount of waste generated in Japan in FY2022 was 40.95 million tonnes, of which approximately 77% was incinerated, and 3.62 million tonnes of unused incineration residues were buried in landfill sites.
The Group's systems for recycling municipal waste that meet the needs of society include the Incineration Residues Recycling System, the AK System and the Ecocement System. We use the set of these three technologies related to systems for recycling municipal waste and strive to make effective use of such resources and resolve environmental issues.
All of our directly operated cement plants in Japan recycle waste and by-products into alternative raw materials and fuels for cement. This helps to prolong the life of landfills, prevent the depletion of natural mineral resources, limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.
In FY2023, the amount of waste and by-products used decreased by 473 thousand tonnes from the previous fiscal year due to a decrease in cement production, but the amount of dirt, sludge, waste plastic and municipal waste incineration residues that was accepted increased.
■Trends in Amount and Intensity of Waste and By-products Used (Non-consolidated)
■ Amount and Intensity of Main Waste and By-products Used (FY2023)
Waste and By-products Used in Cement Manufacturing Processes
■Examples of Waste and By-products Used
Reducing Environmental Impact
Air pollutants generated from cement production are primarily NOx, SOx and dust in combustion gases emitted from cement kilns.
To ensure the appropriate management of these substances, we are striving to ensure proper operations through measures such as continuous monitoring of emission concentrations in exhaust gases.
Preventing Environmental Pollution
Air pollutants generated from cement production are primarily NOx, SOx and dust in combustion gases emitted from cement kilns. To ensure the appropriate management of these substances we strive to reduce air pollutant emissions through measures such as installing equipment to continuously monitor emission concentrations, improving NOx reduction systems and installing bag filter equipment to capture dust emissions. Our target is to maintain our FY2011 emissions levels. The details regarding emissions are provided in ESG Data.
■Specific Emissions of Clinker for Main Pollutants (GCCA)
* Calculation results were reviewed and retroactively revised.
Most of the water discharged from our plants to public watercourses is cooling water and not polluted as defined in the Water Pollution Control Act. At our cement plants all water resources are reused as circulation water to minimize water discharge into public watercourses. Moreover, we are taking measures to prevent the leakage of contaminants by installing bunds around oil tanks and acid/alkali tanks, as well as installing sedimentation tanks, water-oil separation tanks, oil film detectors, pH meters and suspended solid sensors on water discharge routes that connect to public waters.
■Example of Water Circulation Flow at a Cement Plant
Across FY2008 and FY2009, we evaluated the risks associated with cement plants that may be sited on contaminated ground by appointing an expert consultant to undertake a soil history survey, conducted drilling surveys, and verified whether or not the soil is contaminated. Actions have been taken as necessary based on the findings, such as the installation of observation wells to monitor ground water contamination and the removal of contaminated soil.
We are also working to eliminate the possibility of soil contamination via measures to prevent the leakage of wastewater from scrapyards or fluid from oil tanks, acid/alkali tanks, pipes and so forth.
Initiatives at Plants
Our cement plants reduce the amount of waste handled by disposal contractors by reusing waste from operations as raw material for cement production. We also endeavor to reduce waste that ultimately ends up in landfill via measures such as the use of chromium-free kiln bricks.
In FY2023, there was 1.9 tonnes of waste, compared to the target of 40 tonnes or less.
■Volume of Waste to Landfill at Plants (Non-consolidated)
Initiatives at Service Stations
Service stations (SS) reduce the waste handled by waste disposal contractors by returning any residual cement that remains in silos after switching the cement products. Returned cement is recycled as raw material.
In FY2023, the recycling rate was 73.4%, compared to the target of 50%.
■Recycling Ratio (Non-consolidated)
Appropriate management of chemicals
Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR)
The PRTR Law requires that we report on equipment installed at our Kumagaya plant for the washing of municipal waste incineration residues. This washing process uses water, and our total discharge of dioxins and ferric chloride into public waterways in FY2023 are as shown below.
■Reported Levels of Dioxins and Ferric Chloride Emissions (Non-consolidated)
Management of PCB Waste
centrations of PCB waste in accordance with the Amendment to the Law concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes (hereinafter referred to as the PCB Special Measures Law).
For high-concentration PCB waste with an early disposal deadline as stipulated by the PCB Special Measures Law, we signed a processing contract with the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO) in 2006 and have prioritized processing.
In FY2023, one capacitor, one transformer and 1,110 electrical ballasts stored at the Kamiiso Plant, Ofunato Plant, Kumagaya Plant, Saitama Plant, Fujiwara Plant, former Chichibu Plant, former Kawara Plant, Garo Quarry and branch office service stations were processed, as well as three unprocessed capacitors that were in the Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku area.
Pollutants such as electrical ballasts stored at the former Osaka Plant and former Kawara Plant are planned for processing in FY2024, and we are scheduled to complete the processing of all high-concentration PCB waste.
■Treatment of High-concentration PCB Waste (Non-consolidated)