Sustainability

Environmental Education and Communication

Participating in Local Environmental Education

In accordance with the Guidelines for Environmental Action under NGK’s Core Policy on the Environment, we conduct ongoing environmental education and awareness activities aimed at increasing employee environmental awareness. Our aim is to deepen the understanding of environmental problems among each employee to inculcate an awareness of environmental conservation activities.
We also conduct environmental events and provide information to a wide range of stakeholders, including on-site classes at elementary schools, to increase environmental awareness.

Offering Guest Lectures at Elementary Schools and Children’s Centers

Picture of on-site class held at a local elementary school.

NGK sends instructors to participate in lectures and workshops for young people that are hosted each year by EPOC (Environmental Partnership Organizing Club)*. Our instructors offer classes on water resources and usage in which children can experience how soil can purify water.
So far, a cumulative total of 2,300 people have participated in environmental education programs with which NGK is affiliated.

EPOC (Environmental Partnership Organizing Club): A voluntary organization consisting mainly of companies in the Chubu region of Japan, which was established in 2000. Its purpose is to spread information regarding the environment with the aim of building a recycling-oriented sustainable society. NGK has been involved in the planning and management of this organization since its establishment. EPOC currently has approximately 260 members.

Sharing Information with Other Companies

Picture of lecture held at the Environmental Partnership Organizing Club.

The EPOC subcommittee led by NGK organizes seminars and field trips several times a year under the theme of corporate environmental management (low carbon, resource recycling, biodiversity, water resources, environment-related laws, etc.) and sends out information to members. In fiscal 2020, this was handled via online distribution.

Support for the Kagayake☆ Aichi Sustainability Research Institute

NGK took part in the “Kagayake☆ Aichi Sustainability Research Institute” project launched by Aichi Prefecture and aimed at university students, who represent the future of Aichi. This project is being directed by Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura and is focused on achieving sustainable eco-action by globally minded university students on environmental challenges put forward by companies.

In fiscal 2020, 10 companies in Aichi Prefecture took part in this project. The challenge we put forward was to work with NGK in developing an educational program that gets children thinking about a sustainable future. The four-member team of university students who took part in this challenge was proactive about engaging in discussion and collaboration with NGK employees, even in the face of severe restrictions on face-to-face meetings, plant tours, and other interactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Picture of the research team that supported the Kagayake☆ Aichi Sustainability Research Institute.

The end result was a proposal whose theme was: “Partnering up for happiness! How can we make a happier future together?” Team NGK created a classroom program that resonates with NGK’s mission and philosophy of “Enriching Human Life by Adding New Value to Society” and creates opportunities for elementary school students to think freely and positively about environmental challenges and how they can be addressed in order to actively change the future for the better. The program content was presented at a meeting for final results reports where it was quite well received, earning top prize. NGK is now making plans for school visits in order to actually put this program into action.

Employee Environmental Training and Skills Development

Environmental Education inside the Company

We conduct position-based training related to environmental management systems to familiarize employees with the aims and content of NGK’s environmental policies. We also provide specialized environmental training courses for personnel who will be directly involved in environmental management, as well as special environmental training for the entire workforce.

Fiscal 2020 Specialized Environmental Training

This fiscal year, in order to foster more robust compliance, training sessions were increased from one to two times per year. These sessions were carried out online in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Managing machinery that uses CFCs
    Held in October, 346 participants.
  • Environmental law and NGK
    Held in March, 270 participants.

Promoting the Acquisition of Qualifications

To continue conducting environmental conservation activities in compliance with laws and regulations, we make an effort to develop and increase the skills of legally qualified personnel. We provide support in each department for the acquisition of environment-related legal qualifications targeting managers engaged in pollution prevention required for the management of each site.
We systematically educate Qualified Energy Managers in the Engineering Department, and Special Controlled Industrial Waste Managers and others involved in waste-related activities in the Environmental Management Department and other business divisions.

Qualifications Acquired as of March 31, 2021 (NGK)

(Persons)

Pollution Control Managers Qualified Energy Managers Special Controlled Industrial Waste Managers Waste Disposal Facility Technical Managers
Air Water Noise/Vibration
72 58 14 12 18 9

Support for Acquisition of Eco Test Certification

With the aim of ensuring that each employee acquires a strong environmental awareness and a wide range of knowledge with respect to the environment, NGK encourages employees sitting the Eco Test* by lending them reference materials and subsidizing test-related expenses.
To date, a total of 782 people—approx. 20% of all NGK employees—have passed the test.

  • *The Eco Test is an environmental and social certification test administered by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry focused on a wide-range of environmental issues.

Eco Test Certification

Fiscal Year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of successful examinees 120 125 90 37 73

Fiscal 2020 Specialized Environmental Training

Around 700 people took part in a Web-based seminar entitled, “Moving Towards a Decarbonized Society and a New Corporate Paradigm” conducted by outside experts invited by NGK.

NGK Eco Point System

NGK promotes its Eco Point System in an effort to contribute to regional environmental improvement. Employees earn points for environmental behavior conducted at work and in the home, a portion of which is converted into cash and donated to local government-managed funds (environmental funds).
In addition to the company’s three sites in Nagoya, Komaki and Chita and the Ishikawa Plant, the system was newly introduced to the Tokyo Main Office and Osaka Branch and sales offices in fiscal 2016.

Mayor of Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture and NGK employees

Donation of NGK Eco Points

The NGK Eco Points earned by individual employees through their engagement in environmental activities are aggregated on an annual basis for each site (Nagoya, Chita, Komaki, Ishikawa), and top scorers are commended every year. For earned points, employees select from two options: exchange for eco goods or donate to local funds. The number of employees choosing donation is growing every year, indicating increasing environmental awareness.