Overall Environmental Approach
Based on our management philosophy of "Perfrcting Machine Press Technologies: Going a Step Beyond," Unipres Corporation contributes to global environmental preservation from an international perspective by constantly striving to create new functions and value. To pass down a beautiful and rich earth to the next generation, Unipres promotes the following activities with an eye to creating a society that enjoys sustainable development:
- We comply with environmental laws and regulations as well as other requirements to which our company agrees, and we work to protect the environment.
- We endeavor to curb greenhouse gas emissions by bringing together materials, dies, equipment, and products on an entirely new plane.
- We strive to prevent pollution of the air, water, and soil by reducing and limiting our use of environmentally hazardous substances (including harmful chemicals).
- We endeavor to curb our use of mineral and water resources and our production of waste by conserving energy and resources, as well as reusing and recycling.
- We collaborate with local communities and society at large to help preserve biodiversity and ecosystems.
- We seek to maintain and upgrade our environmental management system by making ongoing improvements.
April 1, 2020
■ISO 14001 Certification Status
Since 2004 the Unipres Group has been working to earn certifications under the ISO 14001 international standards for environmental management systems. We are operating our environmental management system and pursuing measures to reduce the impact on the environment of our corporate activities.
FY2020:ISO 14001 Certification Status
81.0% of the number of all Unipres Group's manufacturing bases are certified (100% in Japan and 63.6% overseas).
With regard to overseas bases, Unipres (China) Corporation, although not a manufacturing base, is located on the same site as Unipres Guangzhou Corporation, therefore it acquired at the same time. The overseas manufacturing bases that have not yet acquired ISO 14001 certification are following 4 bases, Unipres U.S.A., Inc., UNIPRES ALABAMA, INC., UM Corporation, SAS, and PT. Unipres Indonesia.
■Structure for Operating the Environmental Management System
In order to operate our environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001, we employ the structure shown below to pursue various environmental measures, including climate change, based on our Environmental Policy.
The Central Environment/Safety and Hearth Committee is chaired by Executive Vice President who is Representative Director responsible for the plants and production departments.
*Note: Unipres R & D Co., Ltd. is included in Head Office II, Fuji Office, and Sagami Office.
■Our Policy and Stance on Climate Change
The Unipres Group recognizes and supports the importance of the "The Paris Agreement" and various other agreements on global warming countermeasures. We support the Japanese government's move toward decarbonization, and we comply with the country's climate change-related laws and regulations, such as Act on the Rational Use of Energy and the Law Concerning the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming, and submit annual reports to the government on our energy consumption, progress in achieving energy conservation targets, and greenhouse gas emissions. And, in June 2021, Unipres expressed its support for the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We are part of Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), which is a broad network of companies and organizations actively working to stop climate change. We also set targets for reductions in greenhouse gases, using as a reference the Environmental Voluntary Action Plan provided by the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association(JAPIA), an industry group to which we belong. Now, We are making efforts to collect information by answering a questionnaire on our company's efforts toward carbon neutrality by JAPIA, and actively participating in seminars on carbon neutrality.
★Online link:Supporters list of TCFD
★Online link:Japan Climate Initiative (JCI)
★Online link:The Environmental Voluntary Action Plan provided by the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association (in Japanese)
Development and Design Efforts
Unipres has contributed to weight reduction, improved fuel efficiency, and enhanced safety by improving car body press, precision press, and plastic press technologies thanks to our base technologies relating to materials, molds, equipment, and quality assurance.
What are High-Tensile Materials?
A high-tensile material refers to a high tensile strength steel material. In general, a high-tension material is steel sheet that has pulling strength (material strength) greater than 340 Mpa.
Unipres provides our customers with parts that are both strong and lightweight that are made from high-tensile materials.
While a high-tensile material keeps sufficient strength even after thinning the sheet thickness and weight reduction, it is difficult to process and mold, and requires advanced press technology.
We have acquired high technological skills and know-how through joint research with our customers and steel manufacturers and through our own research and development, and we have been working to manufacture many parts made of high-tensile materials.
High-tensile materials are applied in about 60%*1 of our major structural parts, and we plan to expand the application of high-tensile materials in the future.
*1 As of 2016.
Development and Production of Parts for Electric Vehicles
Unipres contributes to the promotion of zero-emissions vehicles through development of the electric vehicle Leaf.
For the Nissan LEAF, we have manufactured battery cases and plastic undercovers along with major structural parts.
Supply Chain Efforts
■Green Procurement Activities
Unipres established the Unipres Green Procurement Guidelines in April 2009.
The guidelines have set forth our commitment to reduce the impact on the environment when materials, parts, and sub-materials are delivered by our supplies. In this way, Unipres promotes global environmental conservation activities with an aim to create a society that enjoys sustainable development throughout the supply chain.
■Initiatives for Substances of Very High Concern
With the understanding and cooperation of our suppliers, Unipres keeps track of the content of substances of concern and of very high concern*1 and provides reports to our customers.
In addition, in order to respond quickly and appropriately to tightening regulations on chemical substances in each country (including PRTR Regulations, domestic chemical substance-related laws, European ELV Directives*2, and REACH Regulations*3), we have established the Chemical Substance Control and Green Procurement Committee to share information and consider countermeasures as needed.
*1 Substances that, as set out in Article 57 of the REACH Regulations, carry a high degree of concern for human health and the environment, including CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic substances), PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals), and vPvB (very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances).
*2 ELV = End-of Life Vechicles.
A directive that aims to promote waste reduction to reduce impact on the environment by preventing waste generation by vehicles in EU countries and promoting the recycling, reuse, and other types of reproduction of used vehicles and their parts.
*3 REACH = Registration,Evaluation,Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.
A regulation that aims to control the use of chemicals in order to protect human health and environment in European countries. The regulations require that business operators that manufacture or import more than one ton of substances (including the ones being dispensed) in the EU not only complete registration procedures, but also implement authorization, restriction, and notification under various conditions.
■Reduction of CO2 emissions
Unipres has been working on energy conservation activities in its Offices and Plants to promote CO2 emissions reduction and the efficient use of energy resources.
We will promote the reduction of this number by implementing further energy conservation measures such as adopting production equipment with high energy-saving effects, and undertaking measures to improve the efficiency of production processes.
■Reduce of our production of waste
Unipres has set medium- and long-term targets to reach by FY2030 and set the goal of recycling rate 60% or higher of the industrial waste from our operations as one of our initiatives to reach these targets.
In FY2020, we achieved 58.4% against the target of 58% or higher.
*The system boundary corresponds to Unipres Corporation, Unipres R & D Co., Ltd., and Unipres Kyushu Corporation.
*As all steel scrap is sold as valuables, it is excluded from the above targets.
■Energy conservation activities
Introduction of energy-efficient transformers Use of a gas heat pump for air conditioning Introduction of cogeneration system
We install transformers with less energy losses when we need a new transformer or replace an old one in an effort to save energy. Currently, our Tochigi Plant in Mooka and Fuji Plant in Fujinomiya have these energy-efficient transformers.
Our Tochigi Plant in Mooka has replaced its boiler for indoor heating with a gas heat pump (GHP) that uses municipal gas. Since the GHP is designed to recover exhaust heat, which was
conventionally discarded, we hope that the use of it will help us save more energy.
The Sagami Office introduced a cogeneration system
using city gas as fuel. By switching from a conventional heavy-oil-fired hot-air boiler, it has become possible to recover exhaust heat and achieve an energy reduction of about 14%. In addition, as the system uses city gas as a fuel, which is considered to be disaster-tolerant, we can expect early recovery from damage caused by an earthquake or other disturbance.
Although Unipres is not subject to the specific business operators of specified shippers*1 stipulated by the energy conservation law, we work independently to conserve energy in matters related to logistics.
*1 A shipper whose freight ton kilometers is over 30 million. A specific business operator is required to submit a periodic report as defined by the energy conservation law, as well as a written plan including the shipper's energy conservation activities as they relate to logistics.
Unipres' freight ton kilometers
(FY2016 - FY2020)
|Freight ton kilometers|
|FY2016||2383 million ton kilometers|
|FY2017||1965 million ton kilometers|
|FY2018||1602 million ton kilometers|
|FY2019||1660 million ton kilometers|
|FY2020||1651 million ton kilometers|
■Reduction of CO2 Emissions through Improvements in Distribution
We have been working on distribution-related energy conservation measures by setting a CO2 emissions reduction target each fiscal year.
CO2 Emissions Reduction
|CO2reduction||Rate of achievement|
■CO2 Reduction via Modal Shift
We have switched from truck-based transportation to rail freight and ferry transportation to mitigate impact on the environment through reduction of CO2 emissions, and through other means such as alleviating traffic congestion to prevent air pollution.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, CO2 emission per transportation unit for rail freight and ferry transportation is approximately one-eleventh of the emission for commercial truck-based transportation. *
Unipres’ rail freight and ferry transportation in FY2020 amounted to 9,290,000 ton-kilometers. If one compares the resulting emissions with emissions for equivalent transportation by truck, it appears that the modal shift resulted in a CO2 emissions reduction of approximately 1,017 tons.
* CO2 emission per transportation unit is the volume of CO2 emitted
when transporting 1 ton of freight 1 kilometer. The ratio refers to
relative emission volumes in FY2017.
Office and Plant Efforts
■Introducing Renewable Energy
As part of our strategy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, we are introducing photovoltaic power generation. Having installed photovoltaic power systems at in Japan, our Fuji Office, our Fuji plants in Fuji and Fujinomiya, and our Tochigi plants in Oyama and Moka, and overseas in Mexico and the United Kingdom in 2020, we are now generating electricity.
At our Tochigi Plant (in Moka) for example, we are able to supply almost all the energy used in the administrative building. The generated electricity is also used to charge the Company’s Leaf electric vehicles and as an emergency power supply during power
In FY2020, Unipres as a whole generated 170,007 kWh of electricity, all of which was used within the Company. This resulted in an annual reduction in use of fossil fuel (crude oil) of approximately 44 kl, as a consequence of which annual CO2 emissions were cut by some 80 tons. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by 5,642 cedar trees in a year.*
*Calculation was based on the assumption that the amount of CO2 absorbed by one cedar tree was approximately 14 kg per year
(Estimated from Measures to Promote Forest Carbon Sinks to Prevent Global Warming by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry Agency)
■Initiatives for Biodiversity
We defined FY2019 as the kickoff year of our initiatives to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, and
selected our research project.
Objectives of the Research and Our Basic Stance
(1) To avoid or minimize the effects of business activities on biodiversity that must be conserved
(2) To engage in preventive initiatives to conserve biodiversity as well as initiatives that have
incorporated the results of monitoring
(3) To be committed to the conservation of biodiversity from a long-term perspective
Selected Research Project
According to the Report of Comprehensive Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Japan (Japan Biodiversity Outlook 2) published in March 2016 by the Ministry of the Environment, the biodiversity outlook continues “a declining trend over a long period.” The Report says that one of the major drivers of the decline is the “Second Crisis (reduction in use/management of Satochi-
Satoyama [woodlands and mountains near populated areas]).” We reviewed the environments surrounding our bases in Japan and selected Unipres Kyushu as the project location in FY2019. Then we defined the location in terms of environmental protection and conducted field research.