Realization of a Society Coexisting with Nature
Modern society is maintained through the benefits of various ecosystem services from nature, including resource renewal and reproduction in air, water, and soil environments. Kawasaki strives to reduce environmental impact through products and manufacturing processes in harmony with the global environment and seeks to contribute to the protection of ecosystems. For that reason, we promote improvements in the environment and protection of the ecosystem through the reduction of chemical substances in production activities, while also cooperating with environmental conservation activities in local communities.
Chemical Substance Reduction
As chemical substances used in processes to manufacture products can have
a detrimental effect on human health and ecosystems, we will conduct proper
management and strive to reduce consumption of such substances. We have set
targets for major VOCs (toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene), dichloromethane and
hazardous heavy metals (lead compounds and hexavalent chromium compounds)
in each business segment, and applied approaches to curb consumption and
Toward this end, we made progress in improving efficiency in painting and introducing alternatives to current paints to reduce major VOCs emitted in the painting process. As a result, we achieved our reduction targets for major VOCs in fiscal 2018. We reduced the use of dichloromethane and hazardous heavy metals and achieved our targets.
Going forward, we will continue to conduct proper management of chemical substances, while aiming to reduce consumption and emissions.
Furthermore, we are appropriately identifying chemical substances at each business site and notifying the government based on the PRTR Law (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law).
Figure 17:Emissions and Handling Volume of Managed Chemical Substances
- Major VOCs per unit of sales is a measurement obtained by dividing VOC emissions by net sales.
- Hazardous heavy metals represent the combined amount of lead compounds and hexavalent chromium compounds. Reduction activities are undertaken separately for each substance.
Figure 18:Release and Transfer of Chemical Substances Designated under the PRTR Law*
- *PRTR Law:
- Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law (Order for Enforcement of the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof)
Responding to the ELV Directive*1, the RoHS Directive*2, and the REACH Regulation*3
Fiscal 2018 Achievements
Since 2000, laws and regulations related to chemical substances have been
strengthened in the European Union (EU) by the establishment of such controls as
the ELV Directive, the RoHS Directive, and the REACH Regulation. The ELV Directive
focuses on automobiles, and while motorcycles are not subject to the content of this
directive, the Motorcycle & Engine Company has embraced the voluntary actions
espoused by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). The Precision
Machinery & Robot Company also applies this directive to some of our products.
The RoHS Directive covers electric and electronic products, and in Kawasaki, the
Precision Machinery & Robot Company, which includes the Robot Division, complies
with the directive for some of its products. The REACH Regulation went into effect
in June 2007 and applies to all chemical substances manufactured in and imported
by the EU. Enterprises that manufacture or import one ton or more of chemical
substances a year are required to register the chemical substances.
As Kawasaki products are mainly molded articles, only a limited number need to be registered. Registration and notification are, however, compulsory for all substances that are deliberately emitted and all substances that are carcinogenic or otherwise of high concern. In addition to registration and notification, regulations exist for the evaluation, authorization, restriction and communication of information regarding chemical substances, necessitating a system to identify information about the chemical substances in products throughout our entire supply chain.
Laws and regulations related to chemical substances have been strengthened not only in the EU but in many countries around the world. As requirements vary by country, for instance regarding substances and products covered, we believe that our response must be based on a firm understanding of the law.
Kawasaki practices CSR procurement and responds to requests from customers to gather chemical substance information. In addition, the Motorcycle & Engine Company has created the Kawasaki Material Data System II*4 to collect data about chemical substances and respond to REACH and other applicable chemical substance regulations.
Figure 19:Response to REACH by the Motorcycle & Engine Company
- ELV Directive: End of Life Vehicles Directive
- RoHS Directive: Directive on Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- REACH Regulation: Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
- Kawasaki Material Data System II: Currently switching to IMDS (International Material Data System:A reporting system encompassing 26 finished automakers in Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States which enables suppliers to identify the composition of materials in respective parts delivered to the automotive industry)
Approaches by the Motorcycle & Engine Company
Reducing Exhaust Emissions
In fiscal 2018, we made efforts to achieve cleaner exhaust gas from our touring
motorcycle model, which has a supercharged engine and was launched worldwide.
In addition to securing the top level of output and acceleration for large touring models, this motorcycle achieves top results in fuel performance and low exhaust emissions. It is being sold in Europe, Japan and elsewhere in the world, thanks to EUROIV-compliant levels of exhaust emissions such as CO and NOx and compliance with R41 noise emission regulations.
Promoting the 3Rs
Since October 2004, we have operated an independent motorcycle recycling system
in cooperation with three other motorcycle manufacturers and 12 importers in
Japan. In fiscal 2018, we achieved a recycling rate of 97.5%, again exceeding our
target as in the previous year. Since October 2011, the user burden of recycling
costs has become free of charge (excluding transportation costs).
For new-model motorcycles, we emphasize environmentally conscious designs highlighting reduced materials and more recycling, right from the development phase. We conduct preliminary evaluations of efforts related to the 3Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle—before commencing design, prototyping and mass production phases. In particular, we seek to increase recyclability through greater use of materials that are easy to recycle, and we have achieved a potential recycling rate exceeding 90% on every model, with most models exceeding 95%. This potential recycling rate was calculated based on the Guidelines for Definition and Calculation Method on the Recyclability Rate for New Vehicles (1998 Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association).
Reducing and Eliminating Environmental Substances of Concern
For new-model motorcycles sold in Japan, we already meet the voluntary targets of
reduced environmental substances of concern (lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium
and cadmium) set by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, and we have
also achieved voluntary targets for older models still being sold.
For general-purpose engines and JET SKI watercraft, there are no Japanese regulations such as the JAMA voluntary reduction targets, but we are making elimination and reduction efforts that follow those applied to motorcycles, and we had achieved voluntary reduction targets for lead, mercury and cadmium by fiscal 2008. Hexavalent chromium had been contained to a very small amount, but we completed its elimination in fiscal 2009.
Kawasaki has set reduction targets on a per unit of sales basis for the effective use of water. In fiscal 2018, water consumption per unit of sales decreased 2.4% year on year.
Figure 21:Water Consumption and Per Unit of Sales Basis
- Per unit of sales basis is a measurement obtained by dividing water consumption by net sales.
Forest Conservation Activity
We are engaged in forest conservation activities in two locations: Hyogo Prefecture
and Kochi Prefecture.
In Hyogo Prefecture, we have participated in the prefecture’s corporate forest restoration project since December 2008. Our forest conservation activities started out at a community forest named Kawasaki Heavy Industries Saidani Nagomi-no- Mori, in the town of Taka. In 2014, we changed the location of our activities within this town, and are continuing our efforts under the new name, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Yokamura Park Nagomi-no-Mori.
Since the start of our forest conservation activities in 2008, the number of participating employees and their family members has reached a cumulative total of approximately 1,980 people, and approximately 2,760 trees consisting of 45 varieties, including Japanese red pine, konara oak, and mountain cherry have been planted.
In addition, in Kochi Prefecture, we have participated in a prefectureorganized forest restoration project aimed at forest regeneration, and have been active in the town of Niyodogawa since 2007. Every year, new employees conduct forest conservation activities such as thinning and deepen our level of exchange with local communities.
Figure 22:Number of Planted Trees by Fiscal Year
Table 4:Fiscal 2018 Achievements
|Activity location||Town of Taka,
in Hyogo Prefecture
|Town of Niyodogawa,
in Kochi Prefecture
|Activity content||Tree pruning, thinning and planting Nature watching and observation events, woodworking classes||Tree thinning, environmental education|
|Participants||Employees and their families,
|Employees and others
CO2 absorbed: 4.98t/CO2
Trees planted: 200
CO2 absorbed: 16.5t/ CO2
|Number of events||Three times a year||Once a year|
Environmental Education through Forest Conservation Activities
We carry out forest conservation activities every year, such as forest development and experiential learning, to give people an opportunity to think about the environment.
Table 5:Fiscal 2018 Achievements
|Paper-making workshop using milk cartons||Learning about paper recycling||April 2017|
|Building nest boxes for great spotted woodpeckers||To attract the great spotted woodpecker, a predator of the Japanese pine sawyer beetle, which causes pine wilt disease||October 2017|
|Woodworking classes||Getting in touch with nature by using materials such as pine cones and acorns||October 2017|
Figure 23:Paper-making class (with the cooperation of Kawasaki Heartfelt Service Co., Ltd.*)
Figure 24:Building nest boxes for great spotted woodpeckers (with the cooperation of the Hyogo Mori no Club, an NPO)
Figure 25:Woodworking class (with the cooperation of the Hyogo Mori no Club, an NPO)
- Kawasaki Heartfelt Service Co., Ltd. is a special subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., established to support retention of people with disabilities. Its main business is contracted general administration and cleaning services. It also engages in the business of recycling milk cartons to make paper.