Environmental Risk Management

At the NGK Group, each manufacturing site has individually established environmental management systems to prevent environmental pollution.
Every year, business group staff members who oversee Group companies join together with staff members from the Environmental Management Department at NGK headquarters to conduct environmental audits of Group company manufacturing sites and help improve the level of environmental management of the NGK Group as a whole. In fiscal 2020, on-site audits were carried out as usual for the manufacturing sites of Group companies in Japan, while, due to travel restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, remote audits were conducted for select sites of Group companies outside Japan.

Regulatory Compliance

NGK conducts monitoring and assessments as well as vigorous control of exhaust and wastewater produced from its sites, observing relevant regulations and environmental preservation-related and other agreements with control authorities. Additionally, we organize environmental management specialist seminars on a regular basis for all Group companies in Japan to keep responsible persons updated on related topics, thereby enhancing our capabilities to prevent environmental pollution.
In fiscal 2020, there were no major violations of environment-related laws by NGK.

Environmental Patrols and Emergency Response Drills

NGK implements environmental patrols in line with annual plans to prevent environmental pollution and conducts response drills based on emergency scenarios to minimize damage.
In fiscal 2020, environmental patrols were conducted at the Nagoya, Chita, and Komaki sites and the Ishikawa Plant to prevent atmosphere and water pollution, ensure the appropriate management of chemical substances, and suppress noise and vibrations. Response drills based on emergency scenarios were also conducted at these four areas. Going forward, NGK will continue to proactively engage in patrols and drills in an attempt to improve operational methods and mitigate environmental risks.

Activities Conducted in FY2020

Category Atmosphere Water Noise and vibrations Chemical substances
Nagoya Environmental patrols 4 4 4 2
Emergency response drills 5 2 - 2
Chita Environmental patrols 1 3 1 1
Emergency response drills 5 5 - -
Komaki Environmental patrols 1 2 2 1
Emergency response drills 7 11 - -
Ishikawa Environmental patrols 2 2 2 2
Emergency response drills 5 3 - 4

Note: “-” indicates emergency response drills were considered of low importance and not conducted.

Chemical Management System

NGK abides by laws, guidelines, and other rules on chemical substances by maintaining a proper level of management for the procurement, usage, and disposal of chemicals, and by constantly striving to improve this level. Before new chemicals are used, each department that will procure and use them works with an NGK panel of chemical substances safety for confirmation and guidance regarding the necessity of using these chemicals and what precautions must be taken in stages such as their usage and disposal. For chemicals already being used at NGK, each site’s chemical substances committee and chemical substances patrol team determine and confirm the state of chemical management and provide the necessary guidance. We also follow and post information regarding changes in chemical substance-related regulations in order to ensure proper chemical management is implemented.
At Group companies inside and outside Japan, ISO 14001 management systems are used to survey and understand regional rules and regulations so that chemical substances can be properly managed.

Chemical Management Flowchart

Flowchart of chemical management system. After the department that will use the chemical submits an application, the division in charge of checking reviews the chemical and issues guidance. If permission to use the chemical is granted, the purchasing department registers the purchasing information. The department uses the chemical while following the appropriate management protocols.

Strengthening of Global Environmental Management

In accordance with the Guidelines for Environmental Action, the NGK Group horizontally deploys domestic environmental impact reduction initiatives in Group companies outside Japan while creating mechanisms to strictly comply with amendments to environmental laws and regulations to propel our global environmental management to the next level.

Mitigating Environmental Risks throughout the Group

All NGK Group manufacturing bases in and outside Japan have completed acquisition of ISO 14001 or third-party certifications meeting this standard and implement environmental management in line with environmental management systems.
NGK shares information regarding changes in domestic environmental laws and regulations with Group companies and has created a structure to ascertain the status of responses to these changes. Overseas, NGK headquarters is enhancing its ability to regularly ascertain the status of responses and management in terms of important legal and regulatory system revision information in the countries and regions where Group companies are located.
In fiscal 2020, continuing from fiscal 2019, staff of the NGK headquarters continued their work in conducting audits at 7 manufacturing bases in Japan and 11 overseas, with a focus on environmental risk. Based on audit results, problems were remedied and support was provided for improvements as part of continuing efforts to mitigate environmental risks throughout the Group. Periodic audits will continue to be conducted at all bases in fiscal 2021 and beyond.

Strengthening Environmental Management Linked to Business Planning

The NGK Group aims to build an environmental management system that can cope with changes in both our business plan and the state of the social environment.
Initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact in accordance with business plans include conducting biannual forecast estimates and achievement evaluations in each business group, product line, and manufacturing base to determine which initiatives to pursue next.
These efforts include the establishment of the Environmental Expert Committee under the Environment, Industrial Safety & Health Committee as a company-wide decision-making body. The Environmental Expert Committee facilitates discussions among managers from planning and production divisions who formulate and promote actual business planning in each business division, strengthening the company-wide environmental management system. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen management integration with the aim of promoting environmental management that combines global environmental protection and corporate growth.

Commitment to Reducing Hazardous Substances

The NGK Group aims to reduce the amount of hazardous substances used. In our Guidelines for Environmental Action, we state that we “Reduce risks through the appropriate usage and management of chemical substances.”
Regarding the raw materials we handle, documents such as our CSR Procurement Guidelines and Green Procurement Standard require that our suppliers follow rules for specific hazardous substances.