Realization of a Society Coexisting with Nature
Modern society is maintained by the value provided by natural
ecosystems, including material cycles and the regeneration of air, water,
and soil environments.
Kawasaki strives to reduce its environmental impact through products and manufacturing processes that exist in harmony with the global environment and contributes to the protection of ecosystems.
To reduce risks imposed on the natural environment, we are reducing the use of harmful chemical substances in our production activities.
In addition, we directly take part in environmental conservation activities in local communities in an effort to improve the environment and protect ecosystems.
Chemical Substance Reduction
As chemical substances used in processes to manufacture products can
have a detrimental effect on human health and ecosystems, we conduct
proper management and strive to reduce the use 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 are
reducing our use and emissions of said substances.
To reach these targets, in fiscal 2018, 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 annual reduction targets for major VOCs. We also achieved our reduction targets for dichloromethane and hazardous heavy metals.
Going forward, we will continue to conduct proper management of chemical substances while aiming to reduce their use and emission.
Furthermore, we are appropriately identifying chemical substances at each business site and notifying the government based on the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law (PRTR Law).
Emissions and Handling Volume of Managed Chemical Substances
- Major VOCs per unit of net sales figures are obtained by dividing VOC emissions by net sales.
- Figures for hazardous heavy metals represent the combined amounts of lead compounds and hexavalent chromium compounds. Reduction activities are undertaken separately for each substance.
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 Directive1, the RoHS Directive2, and the REACH Regulation3
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 initiatives espoused by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), which are on par with the ELV Directive requirements. The Precision Machinery & Robot Company also applies this directive to some of our products. The RoHS Directive covers electric and electronic products. The Precision Machinery & Robot Company, which includes the Robot Division, complies with the directive for some of its products. In addition, the Motorcycle & Engine Company’s general-purpose engine business completed system improvements during fiscal 2018 in preparation for the revised version of the RoHS Directive (RoHS 2) that went into effect in July 2019. 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 said chemical substances.
As Kawasaki products are mainly molded articles, only a limited number need to be registered under these regulations. 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 gather and manage information about the chemical substances in products throughout our entire supply chain.
Laws and regulations related to chemical substances are being strengthened not only in the EU, but in many countries around the world. As requirements vary by country, for instance, regarding the substances and products covered, we believe that our response must be based on a firm understanding of the law.
Kawasaki has established CSR Procurement Guidelines and responds to requests from customers to gather chemical substance information. In addition, the Motorcycle & Engine Company has created the Kawasaki Material Data System II4 to collect data about chemical substances in order to respond to REACH and other applicable chemical substance regulations.
Response to Chemical Substance Regulations 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, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals
- Kawasaki Material Data System II
- IMDS: International Material Data System, the automotive industry’s standard materials data collection system, used by finished automakers around the world.
Initiatives at the Motorcycle & Engine Company
Reducing Exhaust Emissions
Fiscal 2018 marked the worldwide launch of the Versys 1000 SE, a large adventure model motorcycle that achieves outstanding low exhaust gas levels. Although this is a 2019 model, its exhaust gas emission levels, including those of CO and NOx, meet the Euro 5 emission standards that will go into effect in 2020. It is being sold in Europe, Japan and elsewhere, thanks to its compliance with R41-04 noise emission regulations.
Promoting the 3Rs
Since October 2004, we have operated an independent motorcycle
recycling system in cooperation with other motorcycle manufacturers
and importers in Japan. In fiscal 2018, we achieved a recycling rate of
97.5%. Since October 2011, there has been no cost to users to recycle
their motorcycles (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 voluntary
reduction targets for 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 on heavy metals, like the JAMA voluntary reduction targets, but we are making elimination and reduction efforts that mimic those applied to motorcycles, and we achieved voluntary reduction targets for lead, mercury, and cadmium by fiscal 2007. Very small amounts of hexavalent chromium remaining in some components were then eliminated in fiscal 2008.
Kawasaki has set reduction targets for water consumption per unit of net sales in an effort to more effectively use water. In fiscal 2018, water consumption per unit of net sales increased 0.2% year on year.
Water Consumption and Water Consumption Per Unit of Net Sales
- Per unit of net sales figures are obtained by dividing water consumption by net sales.
Forest Conservation Activities
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 that we 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 we 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 2,220 people, and approximately 2,840 trees consisting of 47 varieties, including Japanese red pine, konara oak, and mountain cherry, have been planted. In fiscal 2018, activities included clearing undergrowth and trimming and thinning trees, with the focus mainly on the maintenance of trees planted in previous years.
In addition, in Kochi Prefecture, we have participated in a prefecture-organized forest restoration project aimed at forest regeneration since 2007, implementing activities in the town of Niyodogawa. Every year, new employees of the Company conduct forest conservation activities such as forest thinning, deepening our level of exchange with the local community.
Fiscal 2018 Achievements
|Activity location||Taka, Hyogo Prefecture||Niyodogawa, Kochi Prefecture|
|Activity content||Tree pruning and thinning, undergrowth clearing, tree planting, nature observation events, papermaking||Tree thinning, environmental education|
|Participants||Employees and their families, and others (237 people)||Employees and others
|Achievements||Area: 0.7 ha
CO2 absorbed: 1.26 t
Trees planted: 71
|Area: 0.3 ha
CO2 absorbed: 13.8 t
|Number of events||3||1|
Environmental Education through Forest Conservation Activities
We carry out forest conservation activities, such as forest development and experiential learning, every year to provide opportunities for thinking about the environment.
Fiscal 2018 Achievements
|Nature observation events||Interact with nature and learn about the importance of forests
(Through nature observation in forests severely affected by pine wilt, participants gain a firsthand understanding of the necessity of forest maintenance by seeing the state of fallen trees and soil erosion, even as they experience the bounty of nature in the plants, birds, and other wildlife living amid such challenging conditions)
|Postcard-making workshop using milk cartons||Learning about paper recycling
(Participants try dyeing using onions and grape skins commonly thrown away as trash)
Nature watching event (with the cooperation of the Hyogo Mori no Club, an NPO)
Paper-making class (with the cooperation of Kawasaki Heartful Service Co., Ltd.*)
- Kawasaki Heartful Service Co., Ltd. is a special subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., established to support the workplace 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.
Biotope Initiatives Using Plant Wastewater
Working in cooperation with Akashi City and Ecowing Akashi, a citizens’ group, Akashi Works created the Kawasaki Group’s first biotope using plant wastewater. The biotope was designed around the three concepts of creating a local forest using local materials, achieving biodiversity, and reusing plant wastewater.