Sustainability

Environmental

Overall Perspective of Environmental Impact

The diagram below shows aggregate inputs to and outputs from manufacturing operations of the entire NGK Group at all domestic and overseas sites. Inputs represent data for raw materials and energy etc. and outputs for manufactured products and services as well as substances that are discharged into the atmosphere and into water.

NGK Group Material Balance (Input and Output)

Notes

  • NGK CO2 emissions on a non-consolidated basis were calculated based on the amount of electric power, city gas, and LNG purchased by NGK.
    When calculated using the CO2 conversion factor determined in the Enforcement Ordinance for the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures (revised in May 2016), the fiscal 2017 energy-origin actual CO2 emissions for NGK on a non-consolidated basis were 155x103 metric tons.
  • Environmental performance values in this report have been rounded off for convenience; therefore the sum of individual values may not match the totals.
  • "Discarded materials" indicates the total amount of industrial waste and valuables.

Preventing Global Warming

The NGK Group strives to reduce CO2 emissions, a major cause of global warming, setting reduction targets for the entire roup, including its manufacturing sites in and outside of Japan.

Reducing CO2 Emissions Associated with Manufacturing Activities

Fiscal 2017 saw a large new factory come online overseas and the commencement of mass production of new products, resulting in a temporary increase in CO2 emissions. Yet despite this and the strict annual targets that we had set in the Five-Year Action Plan, we were still able to exceed those reduction targets. This was thanks to carrying out more reduction efforts across all manufacturing divisions and minimizing startup losses. Furthermore, the reduction rate against BAU, an indicator newly introduced under the Five-Year Action Plan to help visualize the effect of measures to reduce emissions, was achieved ahead of schedule, thanks to steady ongoing progress backed by a significant improvement in the basic unit per production volume.

CO2 emissions / basic unit per net sales* (NGK Group)

*Basic unit per net sales calculated with the value in fiscal 2013 set at 100.

CO2 emissions / reduction rate against BAU* (NGK Group)

*Reduction rate against BAU: The percentage rate of emissions reduction resulting from implemented actions against a computed value for the hypothetical absence of the actions.

Adoption of Environmentally Friendly Production Processes

Through the introduction of highly efficient equipment and the promotion of the collection and use of exhaust heat and improved production efficiency, the NGK Group makes efforts to reduce environmental impacts resulting from production. Also, our Reformed Manufacturing Structures aimed at enhancing competitiveness significantly contribute to the realization of eco-processes. We will create further advanced eco-processes through our New/Reformed Manufacturing Structures.

Change in CO2 emissions from continuous kilns by year of introduction

Measures to Reduce CO2 Emissions and Effects

As we continue to expand overseas manufacturing, the NGK Group is particularly striving to raise manufacturing efficiency at our overseas sites in order to reduce the CO2 emissions of the Group as a whole. We have made steady progress by introducing the innovative manufacturing processes and improvements to facilities and operations that we have implemented to date in Japan in our overseas manufacturing sites, as well as promoting energy-saving activities for general-purpose equipment.
In fiscal 2017, these initiatives achieved an annual CO2 reduction effect of approximately 22,000 metric tons (a reduction rate of 2.4%), 60% or more of which was achieved by improvements carried out at our overseas sites.

Energy-Saving Activities for General-Purpose Equipment and Buildings

The NGK Group has been actively promoting energy-saving activities in relation to general-purpose equipment, such as lighting, air conditioners, boilers, and compressors. The headquarters plays a central role in this in terms of sharing know-how among different manufacturing locations, thereby achieving more efficient activities.
Whenever our buildings are built or altered, we ensure that large-scale energy-saving measures and ZEB (zero energy building) principles are incorporated.

Promoting Effective Use of Resources

To boost yield from manufacturing process improvements, the NGK Group reuses in-process materials in an effort to curb discarded materials while also focusing efforts on recycling to reduce final disposal volumes to promote resource recycling.

Reducing Discarded Materials from Manufacturing Activities

Although in fiscal 2017 we once again faced the challenge of negative factors associated with the building of new factories overseas, in the same way as for CO2, the basic unit per net sales showed a great improvement over the previous year, exceeding the annual target. This was thanks to the outstanding efforts of our manufacturing divisions that were directed at improving the material utilization rate, production yield, and recycling within each process, enabling them to achieve a drastic improvement in the basic unit per production volume over the previous year for many of our mainstay products. The reduction rate against BAU, which indicates the rate of improvement in the basic unit per production volume from the fiscal 2013 level, reached 22%, achieving the Five-Year Plan target ahead of schedule.

Amount of discarded materials generated / basic unit per net sales* (NGK Group)

*Basic unit per net sales calculated with the value in fiscal 2013 set at 100.

Discarded materials / reduction rate against BAU* (NGK Group)

*Reduction rate against BAU: The percentage rate of emissions reduction resulting from implemented actions against a computed value for the hypothetical absence of the actions.