Sustainability

Eco-friendly Production Activities

Environmental management

Environmental vision

INOAC respects the natural environment of our irreplaceable earth and contributes to realizing an affluent society that is comfortable to live in through technology harmonized with our environment and environment-friendly corporate activities.

Environmental policy

  • We comply with environment-related laws, regulations, and other requirements, and engage in business activities that society can trust.
  • We work to reduce CO2 emissions such as by saving energy, to help prevent global warming.
  • We work on resource conservation, waste reduction and recycling to contribute to a recycling-oriented society.
  • We properly manage chemicals that could impact the environment and seek to preserve our environment by reducing risk.
  • We actively develop products with less environmental impact, contributing to the conservation of nature throughout the life cycles of the products.
  • We engage in environmental management, educate employees about the environment, implement environmental audits, and continue to improve.
  • We contribute to establishing a sustainable society through local environmental preservation work as good corporate citizens.

Environmental management system

In order to engage in environmental activities in an organized fashion, the Person Responsible for Environmental Management implements integrated management related to the environment, under the direct control of top management. In addition, the company as a whole also engages in environmental activities under the direction of the Committee on Environment. We have organized specific section committees to handle industrial waste and energy saving, and we coordinate environmental management through these committees while seeking further improvements in mitigating our environmental impact. As we strengthen the connection between environmental management and our main business in managing our objectives, we are also supporting the appropriate efforts where changes are taking place, such as newly built business locations, buildings, and production lines.

Environmental Preservation Promotion System

Environmental Preservation Promotion System

Internal environmental audits

We implement internal environmental audits to check the operational state of our environmental management system. The audit team consists of two to three employees who have completed the auditor training prescribed by the company. The team checks if the environmental management system is being properly operated, maintained and improved. We create audit guidance and hold advance workshops for auditors at some locations in order to improve the quality of the audits.

External environmental examinations

We ask the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA), an external certification body, to conduct examinations to check if our environmental management system is functioning properly in accordance with ISO 14001:2015.
In FY 2019 examinations were conducted at the Jinno R&D Center (Aichi Prefecture) and Hanyu Plant (Saitama Prefecture) along with change reviews for expanding the scope of activities. No areas were found to be in need of improvement as a result, and the auditors determined that the system is being maintained. As a general opinion, they pointed out the need to improve the capabilities of each location as the applicable scope of the system is expanding year by year.


Summary of major activities in FY 2019

Initiative Policies & targets in FY 2019 Achieved in FY 2019 Result
Reduce energy consumption Factory-related Intensity
(CO2 emission/production sum)
0.612 or less

CO2 emissions
59,563 t-CO (2018 result)
Intensity
0.578

CO2 emissions 
59,149 t-CO2   (2019 result)
Goal Achieved
Office-related CO2 emissions
212,993 kg-CO2 or less
CO2 emissions
322,345 kg-CO2
Goal Achieved
Reduce waste Factory-related Measured units
(CO2 treated amount/ production sum)
0.0607 or less

Treated amount
6,766 t (2018 result)
Measured units
0.0708

Treated amount
7,245 t (2019 result)
Goal Unachieved
Office-related Treated amount
1,524 kg or less
Treated amount
1,133 kg
Goal Achieved
PRTR substances
reduction in release
and transfer amounts
Measured units
((amount emitted + amount transferred) / production sum)
1.86 or less

Amount emitted + amount transferred
188,693 kg (2018 result)
Measured units
2.05

Amount emitted + amount transferred
209,635 kg (2019 result)
Goal Achieved
Environmental improvement activities Cases of environmental improvements
(total in entire company)
1,123 cases or more
1,479 cases Goal Achieved
Environmental communication Issue CSR report Issued Goal Achieved
Goal
Target reachedGoal Achieved
Target not reachedGoal Achieved

*Business locations from which environment data is collected to summarize major activities are shown below.
INOAC CORPORATION
: Anjo Plant, Sakurai Plant, Nanno Plant, Yana Plant, Ishimaki Plant, Ikeda Plant, Ikeda 2nd Plant, Ohno Plant, Jinno Plant, Ukiha Plant, Head Office (Nagoya/Tokyo), Osaka Branch, Hanyu Plant, Jinno R&D Center
INOAC Housing & Construction Materials Co., Ltd.
: Ibigawa Plant, Kofu Plant
Kyushu INOAC Co., Ltd.
: Kikuchi Plant, Ukiha Plant, Kitakyushu Plant
Techno Foam Japan Co., Ltd.
: Head Office, Saitama Plant
Kyushu Color Foam Co., Ltd.
Higashi Nihon INOAC Co., Ltd.
* The Hanyu Plant (factory-related) and Jinno R&D Center (office-related) were added to the data collection range.

The results of INOAC's major environmental efforts in FY 2019 are shown in the table below. In terms of reducing CO2 emissions that result from energy use, the Committee on Energy Saving continued to take the lead in various efforts, which enabled us to reach our targets. In terms of reducing waste disposal, we moved forward in reducing emissions, including recycling and measures against defects. However, we were unable to reach our targets because market conditions for resalable waste have become stricter each year. In terms of reducing emissions of substances subject to the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) system, we were unable to reach our target by a small margin because we transferred and closed several facilities, which resulted in the disposal of waste substances.


Compliance with environmental laws and regulations

At INOAC, we identify environmental laws and regulations that are relevant to our business activities, and manage them on a daily basis. Through monitoring, measurement, and assessment at each plant, we prevent environmental pollution and otherwise conduct environmental risk management to ensure that we properly comply with laws and regulations related to noise and industrial waste treatment as part of our environmental management system. In accordance with business ethics, we will continue strictly adhering to environmental preservation agreements with local government, including environmental laws and regulations.

Air
Air Pollution Control Act, Automobile Nox PM Law, Act on Special Measures against Dioxins
Water quality & soil
Water Pollution Prevention Act, Purification Tank Act, Sewerage Act, Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act
Noise, vibration & odor
Noise Regulation Act, Vibration Regulation Act, Offensive Odor Control Act
Chemical substances
Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof, Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act
Resource conservation & recycling
Act on the Rational Use of Energy, Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging, Act on Rational Use and Appropriate Management of Fluorocarbons, Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes, Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act
Disaster prevention
Fire Service Act, High Pressure Gas Safety Act
General & others
Factory Location Act, Act on Improvement of Pollution Prevention Systems in Specified Factories, Radio Act

*Local government ordinances are omitted.


Training for emergencies

We identify accidents and emergencies according to the characteristics of each business facility, and periodically conduct training to prevent environmental pollution from fires and chemical leakage (oils, solvents, etc.) from equipment and other facilities. General disaster training was held at the Anjo Plant (Aichi Prefecture) on May 29 and November 26, 2019 and other training is also conducted according to the characteristics of each department, including training for preventing outflows of raw materials and evacuation drills at night. In other facilities, training for emergencies is conducted on a preparatory basis.

Reducing our environmental footprint

Reduce energy consumption

Energy use and Energy use intensity

To help to prevent global warming, we have been engaged in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by promoting energy saving. We made significant revisions to our INOAC Energy Saving Standards, and made efforts to visualize the progress of our energy-saving activities. Major activities in 2019 included thorough heat insulation measures, utilizing heat exhaust from compressors, eliminating air leakage, and applying heat shields to windows.
In 2019, our CO2 emissions resulting from energy use decreased a little--approximately 10% in terms of intensity--compared to 2018.

Efforts

  • Photo

    Thermal insulation of worksites with THERMAX

  • Photo

    Utilizing heat exhaust from compressors

  • Photo

    Curtaining off areas of workspaces

Key efforts to promote energy saving in 2019

  • Insulating buildings using INOAC's thermal insulation board, THERMAX
  • Reducing energy usage by utilizing heat exhaust from compressors to heat rooms
  • Conducting air leakage patrols and eliminating air leakages at each business location
  • Lining windows with INOAC's heat insulation sheet, CELL SHADE
  • Installing inverters into cooling tower fans to reduce energy usage
  • Curtaining off areas of large workspaces to improve the efficiency of air conditioning
  • Switching to LEDs for fluorescent lights and using individual ON/OFF pull switches to save energy
  • Installing demand meters and visualizing demand as a measure to address peak energy usage

Other efforts to prevent global warming

INOAC is working on preventing global warming from other perspectives as well. During the summer, we hold our Summer Eco-style Campaign to educate our employees on how to save energy, such as by promoting "cool biz" energy saving attire. We are also engaged in cooperative transport and deliveries (milk runs), a modal shift to railway and maritime transport, and consolidation of distribution bases. Furthermore, we have installed and are operating solar power generation equipment (total installed capacity 5,417 kw/h) in unused spaces on 15 different production plant sites throughout Japan.


Activities to reduce waste

Activities to reduce waste

All Committees on Waste Reduction throughout our company take the lead in promoting waste reduction activities. These include cutting back on losses by reducing defects and improving yield; expanding on the use of recycled materials, such as by separating and recycling used paper; promoting sales of the long cushion produced from material remnants (see article on the right for more details); and developing recycled materials.


Activities to reduce the use of environmentally hazardous substances

Activities to reduce the use of environmentally hazardous substances

INOAC uses PRTR substances such as m-tolylene diisocyanate, a raw material for polyurethane foam as well as xylene and toluene which are used in coating processes. We are making efforts to cut back on the amount of these substances we use, release and transfer, such as by implementing alternatives to replace the use of 1-bromopropane as a cleaning agent which we were able to fully accomplish. Conversely, however, there were also increases in the use of such substances arising from new coatings for automotive purposes, so output intensity remained mostly level.

*Business places from which environment data are collected are shown below.
INOAC CORPORATION Anjo Plant, Sakurai Plant, Nanno Plant, Yana Plant, Ishimaki Plant, Ikeda Plant, Ikeda 2nd Plant, Ohno Plant, Jinno Plant, Ukiha Plant, Head Office (Nagoya/Tokyo), Osaka Branch, Hanyu Plant, Jinno R&D Center
INOAC Housing & Construction Materials Co., Ltd. Ibigawa Plant, Kofu Plant Kyushu INOAC Co., Ltd. Kikuchi Plant, Ukiha Plant, Kitakyushu Plant Techno Foam Japan Co., Ltd. Head Office, Saitama Plant
Kyushu Color Foam Co., Ltd.   Higashi Nihon INOAC Co., Ltd.


NCV project participation

The NCV (Nano Cellulose Vehicle) project was launched by the Ministry of the Environment to improve automobile fuel consumption by weight and CO2 reduction by applying cellulose nanofiber (CNF), which is a light-weight and high-strength next generation material, to the automotive field. Kyoto University leads the project and more than 20 industrial, academic and governmental institutions participate. INOAC CORPORATION has participated in this project from the beginning, evaluated moldability, physical properties and more, and worked to implement practical realization.

Ministry of the Environment

Development and sales promotion of the recycle mat "Pellemat"

Pellemat is the name of a product we sell that is made using the material remnants of rubber sponges produced at our company. They are first crushed into chips and then hardened into sheets. Since rubber sponges have an airy layer, the mat is lightweight and demonstrates excellent thermal insulation in addition to reasonable cushioning. Furthermore, the surface is not slippery, which makes it the perfect work mat for factory floors to alleviate foot fatigue while working. In this way, we are contributing to waste reduction by utilizing what used to be unneeded material remnants that would have otherwise been disposed of in landfills as industrial waste.


Development and manufacturing of the long cushion, a recycled product

We are developing and manufacturing products with material remnants of urethane that we produce, crushed into chips to be used as filling for cushions. With urethane in chip form, cushions exhibit less deformation over long-term use, thus extending the life of the product. Products have longer replacement cycles and produce less waste thanks to longer product life and the use of unneeded material remnants that had been treated as industrial waste.

Managing information on chemical substances

Promoting IMDS, chemSHERPA and more

Information collection through IMDS in INOAC - reporting process and chemical management system

From parts / materials maker to INOAC. From INOAC to automobile manufacturer etc.

INOAC registers information on chemicals and reports it to our customers through IMDS*1, particularly in the automotive field which is our main field of business. We have a management system to obtain the necessary information via our supply chain and to register the information into IMDS.
We also collect information and report it to our clients using the chemSHERPA*2 format, which is widely used in the industrial world, especially the electrical machinery industry.

  • IMDS (International Material Data System): A database for transmitting and obtaining information on materials and chemicals over the internet for the automotive industry, which was originally developed to comply with the EU ELV Directive.
  • chemSHERPA: A unified format to transmit information on chemicals contained in products in the supply chain, which the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry took the initiative in developing.

Creating an in-house database

The Automotive Division is creating an in-house database through which information on chemical substances contained in parts and materials purchased from suppliers is identified based on information about chemical substances, and centrally managed. This has allowed us to be certain of our compliance with laws and regulations on chemical substances and client requirements which increase each year, while also helping to improve the efficiency and the reporting accuracy of information we register in IMDS and when examining the chemical substances contained in our products.

Establishment and implementation of green procurement criteria

We ascertain what chemical substances are regulated by laws, regulations, and by our customers, based on which we create our green procurement criteria - a list of those chemical substances that we should work to reduce. We present these criteria to suppliers and use them to obtain information on chemical substances contained in raw materials to be purchased. We are also consistently monitoring the latest regulatory developments, based on which we revise these criteria once each year.

Environmental Communication

Communication about chemical substance management

The Global Quality Assurance Division is a company-wide organization for environmental stewardship, which organizes and leads meetings for the chemical substance management sections of each department once every two months. They review the green procurement criteria, check the management system and establish or change its operating rules, and exchange opinions concerning the latest trends in chemical regulations, such as the REACH regulation and RoHS Directive. They also periodically audit the management system in each department to maintain and improve management systems that are appropriate and reliable.

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