Sustainability

Environmental Management

Environmental Management Frameworks and Environmental Management System

The NGK Group promotes environmental conservation activities in accordance with our Core Policy on the Environment through initiatives pertaining to environmental management frameworks and the Environmental Management System (EMS) implemented by global Group companies working in conjunction with one another.

Environmental Management Promotion System

In addition to environmental management systems built independently at each site of NGK (Nagoya, Chita, Komaki, Ishikawa), we have established a consolidated management system to control environmental activities at all Group companies in and outside Japan under the leadership of each Business Group. The Five-Year Environmental Action Plan and the related annual plan are shared across the entire Group via the Business Groups to be incorporated into activity plans of each Group company.
To promote unified environmental management for the entire Group, annual liaison meetings are held for Group companies in Japan, while headquarters personnel visit Group companies outside Japan on a regular basis. Thus, we create interactive discussion and support opportunities to address issues facing each company.

Environmental Management Promotion System. In addition to furthering environmental management in each Business Group, our business locations around the world are working on environmental management that transcends the boundaries of Business Groups.

1. NGK Environmental Protection Committee

In principle, this committee meets twice each year. Other meetings are held at the discretion of the chair.

Governing Structure

Chair President makes decision in light of Executive Committee deliberations (As of July 2020, Executive Vice President)
Vice Chair Appointed by NGK Environmental Protection Committee Chair (As of July 2020, General Manager of Environmental Management Dept.)
Members Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents responsible for Headquarters Departments, Group Executives, General Managers, General Manager of Pollution Control at each site, General Manager of Environmental Management Dept., General Manager of Safety and Health Management, General Manager of Corporate Strategy Office, General Manager of Corporate Communications, General Manager of Human Resources Dept., General Manager of Group Compliance, General Manager of Finance & Accounting Dept., General Manager of Legal Dept., General Manager of General Affairs Dept., General Manager of Purchasing Dept., General Manager of Construction & Maintenance Dept., General Manager of Global Engineering Center, and others designated by the Committee Chair

2. Environmental Expert Committee

The committee meets before the NGK Environmental Protection Committee to review and discuss items to be reported to the committee.

Governing Structure

Expert Committee Chair General Manager of Environmental Management Dept.
Vice Chair General Manager of Construction & Maintenance Dept.
Members General Manager of Business Planning Dept., persons in charge of promoting environmental activities in each division, Group Manager of Environmental Management Dept., others designated by the Expert Committee Chair

3. Environmental Committees at Each NGK Site

In principle, committees of each NGK site (Nagoya Site [headquarters, Atsuta/Mizuho], Chita Site, Komaki Site, Ishikawa Plant) meet twice each year in each area. They thoroughly convey matters determined by the NGK Environmental Protection Committee, and communicate and discuss issues and topics in each area (five sites hold two meetings each for total of 10 per year).

4. Environmental Management In and Outside Japan

Business divisions of NGK, including those at Group companies in and outside Japan, have environmental management systems aimed at realizing NGK’s Core Policy on the Environment. The NGK headquarters surveys environmental performance at Group companies and conducts audits to monitor their conformance to environmental laws. If problems are discovered, the causes and remedies are determined and disseminated throughout the Group. At Group companies in Japan involved in manufacturing, annual liaison meetings are held in order to convey environmental policy and to share information on matters such as companies’ environmental management status and effective environmental initiatives.

Environmental Management System (ISO 14001, etc.) Initiatives

The NGK Group encourages the acquisition of ISO 14001 or third-party certifications (such as Eco Stage 2 or Eco Action 21 in Japan) meeting this standard to systematically and continuously develop its environmental conservation activities in line with NGK’s Core Policy on the Environment.
Under this initiative, all Group companies (excluding new Group companies), including those outside Japan, as well as the Nagoya, Chita, Komaki, and Ishikawa sites, have received certification. Five of these are bases that were newly certified in fiscal 2019.

Certified Production Bases

Illustration showing the 47 production bases in the NGK Group, all of which have implemented Environmental Management Systems.

Certification of Environmental Management System

As of July 2020

Category Number of manufacturing bases Number of bases certified
NGK 4 4
Domestic
Group
Energy Infrastructure Business Group 5 5
Ceramic Products Business Group 1 1
Electronics Business Group 12 12
Process Technology Business Group 4 4
Overseas
Group
Energy Infrastructure Business Group 3 3
Ceramic Products Business Group 9 9
Electronics Business Group 5 5
Process Technology Business Group 4 4

New bases operating less than two years not covered.

External Organizations’ Evaluation of NGK Environmental Management

On the right is an evaluation by external organizations of NGK’s recent environmental management and ESG activities.
Our fiscal 2019 rank was “A-” on CDP’s Climate Change list. Since fiscal 2016, we have been selected every year for the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index. In the Nikkei Environmental Management Survey, NGK’s highest placing was 50th, in fiscal 2017. In the fiscal 2019 Nikkei SDGs Management Survey, we received a deviation value of 59.6.

ESG Company Evaluation

Evaluation index Survey year
2016 2017 2018 2019
CDP-Climate Change B B B A-
CDP-Water Security B B B- B-
DJSI/Asia Pacific Selected Selected Selected Selected
Nikkei Environmental Management Survey 109th 50th 62th -
Nikkei SDGs Management Survey - - - Deviation value: 59.6

Environmental Audits

NGK conducts internal audits and external audits (renewal audits) of the environmental management system at the Nagoya, Chita, and Komaki sites, as well as the Ishikawa Plant. Group companies also conduct these same internal audits, and external reviews of the environmental management systems are conducted by external auditors at all Group companies.
In fiscal 2019, in the same way as with the previous year, there were no significant findings. In the event of a significant finding, the relevant division and Environmental Management Dept. work together to review and implement countermeasures, as well as inform environmental committees in each area in an attempt to horizontally deploy these measures.

Environmental Risk Management

At the NGK Group, each manufacturing site has individually established environmental management systems to prevent environmental pollution.
In fiscal 2019, the NGK headquarters conducted audits, which were focused on environmental risk control, at 14 manufacturing bases in Japan and 9 overseas. The main purpose of the audits was to ascertain progress on improvement since the previous year’s audits and to determine the situation at overseas bases that could not be audited in the previous year. Based on audit results, problems were remedied and support was provided for improvements as part of efforts to improve the management level for the entire Group.

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 2019, 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 2019, 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 FY2019

  Atmosphere Water Noise and
vibrations
Chemical
substances
Nagoya Environmental
patrols
4 4 4 1
Emergency
response
drills
4 2 - 2
Chita Environmental
patrols
1 2 1 1
Emergency
response
drills
4 5 - -
Komaki Environmental
patrols
1 2 1 1
Emergency
response
drills
9 9 - -
Ishikawa Environmental
patrols
2 2 2 2
Emergency
response
drills
5 2 - 2

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

Chemical Management System

For NGK sites on a non-consolidated basis, strict checks are carried out when new substances come into use as part of efforts to maintain and raise the level of management. Before purchasing a new chemical substance, the Chemical Substances Safety Committee decides whether it should be used, then confirms with, and provides guidance to, the departments that will use the chemical on important matters regarding the chemical’s use and disposal. The departments using the new chemicals thus take the lead in proper management of the substances. Thanks to these efforts, atmospheric emissions of organic solvents and other PRTR-listed substances at NGK decreased in fiscal 2019 against fiscal 2010 by 62%. We are transferring this success to our main overseas manufacturing bases so that they lead to a lower environmental impact for the NGK Group as a whole.

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 2019, staff of the NGK headquarters continued their work from fiscal 2018 in conducting audits at 14 manufacturing bases in Japan and 9 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 2020 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 NGK Environmental Protection 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.