Global Environmental Conservation

We work for environmental conservation in order to reduce the impact of our business operations, products and service on environment, and make continuous improvements.

Fundamental Environmental Policy and Environmental Mid-to Long-term Plans

Fundamental Environmental Policy

In recent years, we understand that our stakeholders have become increasingly concern about our environmental issues, including climate-related issues. In such a situation, we believe that we are socially responsible for realizing a low-carbon society and contributing to a recycling-oriented society.

The GS Yuasa Group has established this Fundamental Environmental Policy to outline our basic Group-wide approach to environmental efforts. The policy aims to clarify our social responsibility toward the environment and guide our contributions to the emergence of a sustainable society. We are also developing and using environmental management systems that will help to reduce environmental impacts and prevent any accidents that could cause environmental pollution.

Fundamental Environmental Policy

  • Fundamental Philosophy

    We are committed to people, society and the global environment through innovation and growth of our employees and business entities. We will apply the advanced energy-related technologies we have built up through battery research and development work to help form a carbon-neutral circular economy and bring about a sustainable society.

  • Action Agenda

    1. Compliance with laws, regulations, and other requirements

      We will strive to prevent environmental incidents, comply with legal requirements, and reduce risks connected with the use of chemical substances, and continually improve our environmental management system with the aim of enhancing our environmental performance.

    2. Reducing environmental load

      To contribute to the prevention of global warming, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption levels across our entire supply chain.

    3. Efficient utilization of natural resources

      To contribute to the creation of a circular economy, we will minimize the amount of natural resources we use through a range of means, including reducing raw material usage, using recycled materials, and reducing wastage.

    4. Environment-friendly products

      To be able continue “creating the future of energy”, we will develop and manufacture products that can contribute to the formation of a carbon-neutral circular economy.

    5. Disclosure

      We will disclose environment-related information to stakeholders in an appropriate manner, and strive to coexist harmoniously with communities through engaging in proactive communication.

    6. Human resources development

      We will foster, across the entire GS Yuasa Group, personnel able to forge the future of our business with the aim of meeting our responsibilities in helping to create a carbon-neutral circular economy.

Environmental Mid-to Long-term Plans

We have developed mid-term plans for important issues related to our fundamental environmental policy in order to contribute to the emergence of a sustainable society.

Since fiscal 2019 we have been promoting this as one of our business strategies to address key management issues that concern the entire Group by incorporating environmental objectives into our Mid-term Management Plan. In addition, we have set long-term CO2 emission reduction targets for fiscal 2021, taking into account the trends in the international community toward transition to a decarbonized society and the carbon neutral targets of domestic governments. Going forward, the Group will continue to actively promote initiatives to mitigate climate change and aim to achieve the long-term environmental goals.

Medium-term environmental goals (FY2019-2022)

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Items Objectives
(fiscal 2022)
Objectives
(fiscal 2020)
Results
(fiscal 2020)
Self-Assessment
/ Challenges
CO2 emissions 6.0% reduction
compared with
fiscal 2018
4.0% reduction
compared with
fiscal 2018
5.7%
reduction
We believe that a major factor why the target was achieved was the decrease in production volume due to effects of the novel coronavirus. We are encouraging activities to save energy and procuring renewable energy. In the future, it will remain important to continuously take measures in order to achieve the target.
Water consumption 8.0% reduction
compared with
fiscal 2018
6.0% reduction
compared with
fiscal 2018
9.1%
reduction
We believe that a major factor why the target was achieved was the decrease in production volume due to effects of the novel coronavirus. Going forward, we will continuously undertake measures to reduce water use (including reuse of water).
Percentage of
environmentally
considered
products in total
sales of all products
35.0% or more34.0% or more 34.8% Product sales were impacted by the novel coronavirus, but there has been a gradual recovery since the second half of fiscal 2020. Even under these circumstances, we were able to steadily increase sales of environmentally considered products. Going forward, we will undertake activities to provide products that meet the needs of a decarbonized society.
Ratio of
recycled lead used
as lead raw materials
in lead-acid batteries
35.0% or more35.0% or more 44.5% The rate of use of recycled lead increased at some overseas Group companies in Turkey, Indonesia, and Thailand, and as a result, the result improved by 2.8 points compared to the previous fiscal year. Going forward, we aim to continue our efforts to maintain and improve these levels.

Scope: Seven domestic business sites, twenty overseas business companies

Due to effects of the novel coronavirus, the final year of the Group’s Mid-Term Management Plan was changed from fiscal 2021 to fiscal 2022, and consequently, this plan also was extended to fiscal 2022.

Long-term environmental goals (FY2030)

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ItemObjectives
(fiscal 2030)
Base yearScope
CO2 emissions Reduction of
30% or more
FY2018 7 plants in Japan and 20 overseas group companies

Environmental Management Systems

Operation of environmental management systems

At GS Yuasa Group, we are developing and using environmental management systems that comply with the ISO 14001 international standard.

At every site, we use a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle as part of a systematic framework for environmental management, enabling us to make continual improvements for environmental conservation.

PDCA Cycle

image:PDCA Cycle

Organizational Structure

In the organizational structure for GS Yuasa Group's environmental management systems, the president of GS Yuasa serves as the chief executive officer responsible for environmental management, overseeing the environmental management of the entire Group working with officers in charge of environment under direct supervision. Environmental issues that affect the entire Group, such as fundamental environmental policy, are discussed and finalized at management meetings.

We are also establishing environmental management systems for domestic business sites and overseas Group companies to enable quick and efficient communication within the group. Starting in fiscal 2018, we are expanding the scope of ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental management systems, from our main domestic business sites to the entire Group, thereby building a system for strategically achieving the Group's environmental goals.

ISO certification acquisition rate at domestic and overseas production sites
96%

Overview of Organizational Structure

image:Overview of Organizational Structure

Seven domestic business sites have obtained integrated ISO 14001 certification

Among our overseas Group companies, 19 production sites have obtained ISO 14001 certification for systems currently in use

Environmental Auditing

We conduct internal environmental audits at every GS Yuasa Group business site to determine whether our environmental policy is being implemented appropriately and that environmental objectives are being met. In addition, we evaluate the environmental management system to improve performance as well as to improve the system itself. We also have an environmental certification agency conduct external environmental audits to check the conformity and effects of our environmental management systems.

Internal environmental auditing

Internal environmental auditors — with qualifications gained from training both inside and outside the company — determine the condition of the following:

  1. Compliance with environmental laws and regulations, etc. (legal compliance audit)
  2. Maintenance and management of environmental management systems (system audit)
  3. Degree of achievement of environmental objectives (performance audit)

External environmental auditing

Audits of the status of maintenance and management for environmental management systems based on ISO 14001 standards and the functioning of PDCA cycles confirmed that every business site adheres to ISO 14001 standards. We will continue working to improve these systems by evaluating environmental management from a third-party perspective and by using information on such items as areas needing improvement.

Environmental Education

The GS Yuasa Group employs different types of environmental education to maintain and improve environmental management systems. In addition, we regularly provide training to avoid exposure to environmental risk.

General Environmental Education

Education for Employees In every division, we provide education to all employees to build awareness of their role in achieving the environmental policy.
Education for new recruits New recruits are made aware of the GS Yuasa Group's basic philosophy on environmental management.

Specialized Environmental Education

Training of internal environmental auditors At every business location, we train internal environmental auditors and provide them with education to boost their skills to continually improve our environmental management systems.
Emergency response training In every division, we regularly provide training on responses to potential emergencies to all employees working in operations that have significant potential impact on the environment.

Environmental Compliance Management

The GS Yuasa Group regularly reviews the environmental laws and regulations that must be obeyed, and ensures, through monitoring, that operations are managed in a way that is legally compliant.

Further, business is conducted in compliance with environmental laws and regulations since we use hazardous substances, such as lead, in our products and we must obey the laws and regulations related to the operation of recycling systems for used products.

There was no litigation and there were no punitive fines or administrative fines for nonadherence to environmental laws or regulations in fiscal 2020.

Environmental Risk Management

Our GS Yuasa Group develops environmental risk management with consideration to the different needs of our stakeholders. In every business location, we work to prevent environmental pollution through operational management based on voluntary standards that are stricter than regulatory standards based on environmental laws, regional ordinances and agreements.

In operations that have significant potential impact on the environment, we implement both tangible and intangible measures to reduce the risk of pollution. The tangible measures include: increasing the visibility of operations, preventing spills and using equipment to remove noxious substances. Intangible measures include: equipment inspections, monitoring, measuring and enhancing of operational procedures.

We also hold emergency response training regularly to help mitigate damage in an emergency situation.

In fiscal 2020 there were no instances of emergencies directly related to environmental pollution at any of our business locations.

Initiatives for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)*

Since the Group recognizes that climate-related issues are one of the important management issues, in December 2019, we announced its support for the TCFD recommendations and is working on climate-related information disclosure based on the TCFD framework.

An organization established by the Financial Stability Board at the request of G20 for examining climate-related information disclosure and ways in which financial institutions can respond

Refer here for information on our initiatives for the TCFD

Appropriate Environmental Information Disclosure

The Group conducts information disclosure in response to the CDP. The CDP requires companies to disclose information of environmental strategies based on the needs of institutional investors and customers.

For the volume of greenhouse gas emissions, we disclose information for which authenticity of data has been secured through third-party verification*. We are also promoting disclosure of information on performance and countermeasures with regards to water risks.

In the future as well, we are committed to working on disclosure of appropriate environmental information in response to the needs of various stakeholders.

We have received third-party verification from SGS Japan Inc.

Statement on third-party verification (FY2020)

Activity to Decrease Environmental Burdens

Designing environmentally conscious products

The GS Yuasa Group's products have some impact on the environment during every stage of the product life cycle, from procurement and manufacturing to transportation, use and disposal. In order to reduce the environmental burden throughout the product life-cycle caused by the consumption of resources and the generation of greenhouse gases and waste, the Group is committed to improving the product performance through designing that considers selection of raw materials, ease of disassembly and segregation, energy conservation, and appropriate labelling.

For an environmental assessment of product design, design departments employ design standards and then evaluate the suitability of products in design review (DR) meetings based on environmental impact assessments of every stage of the product life cycle. When environmental impact standards are not met, we review the design standards and redesign the product. We use the expertise of several departments in addition to design departments, including engineering, marketing, procurement, quality and the environment, to make sure that the results of Design for the Environment (DfE) are communicated widely, which also maximizes their effectiveness.

Environmental Assessment Items

  1. Energy conservation
  2. Volume reduction
  3. Recyclability
  4. Ease of disassembly
  5. Ease of separation processing
  6. Safety and environmental conservation
  7. Material selection
  8. Ease of maintenance
  9. Energy efficiency
  10. Reusability (life extension)

Flow of Environmental Assessment

image:Flow of Environmental Assessment

Reflecting information in the products we distribute

Important information, such as customer requirements for GS Yuasa Group products, is used when we change the design of existing products or design new products. This helps boost the value of our Design for the Environment. Information from interested parties related to after-sales service, returns and complaints are used as a valuable resource to improve the environmental performance of products.

Management of chemical substances contained in products

The GS Yuasa Group takes steps to provide products with minimal environmental burden based on the Chemical Substance Management Guidelines, which clarify the standards for chemical substances in products. These guidelines are part of initiatives to examine chemical substances contained in materials delivered as stipulated in the GS Yuasa Group green procurement criteria. With these guidelines, we classify chemicals contained in our main materials, as well as the secondary materials and the parts used in the products that the Group makes and sells as either prohibited substances or managed substances. The GS Yuasa Group works with our business partners who supply main materials, auxiliary materials and components to identify and definitively manage the substances covered by the guidelines to raise the environmental quality of our products.

Popularizing environmentally considered products

The GS Yuasa Group defines environmentally considered products as those products that help mitigate global warming, and we are actively working to develop and popularize such products.

In fiscal 2019 we started incorporating into the Group's Mid-Term Management Plan sales targets for environmentally considered products, making it part of our business strategy to work on climate change through the products we provide to customers.

Examples of Environmentally Considered Products

ItemDescriptionExamples of products
Batteries for vehicles with start-stop systems Batteries for vehicles with start-stop systems (ISS) for improving gas mileage by allowing the engine to stop instead of idling to reduce fuel consumption
image:Batteries for vehicles with start-stop systems
Storage battery system A system to effectively utilize renewable energy (power conditioners, lithium-ion battery, etc.)
image:Storage battery system1 image:Storage battery system2
Automotive Lithium-ion Batteries Hybrid vehicle batteries and electric vehicle batteries that contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gases
image:Automotive Lithium-ion Batteries1 image:Automotive Lithium-ion Batteries2

Click image to enlarge

Increasing Usage Rate of Recycled Lead in Products

The GS Yuasa Group is working to increase the usage rate of recycled lead—the primary material used in lead-acid batteries, one of our core products.

In fiscal 2019 we started taking action to work toward a recycling-oriented society as part of our business strategy by incorporating into the Group's Mid-Term Management Plan targets for the usage rate of recycled lead contained in our lead-acid batteries.

The GS Yuasa Group has been taking action to recycle our post-use products by building and operating a recycling system based on extended producer responsibility (EPR). Going forward, we also plan to strengthen our efforts to promote the use of recycled materials in our products.

Reduction of CO2 Emissions and Water Consumption at Production Sites Worldwide

The Group promotes initiatives that contribute to a low-carbon, sustainable society as part of our business strategy by incorporating CO2 emissions and water consumption reduction targets in production activities around the world in the Group's Mid-Term Management Plan.

In particular, with regard to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, we have set a CO2 emissions reduction target* (30% or above compared to fiscal 2018) with fiscal 2030 as the final year, and are promoting a long-term greenhouse gas reduction plan to achieve these goals. In April 2021, we launched a project to formulate and promote a Group-wide energy strategy with the aim of transitioning to a decarbonized society.

This project aims to achieve the long-term CO2 emissions reduction target by further promoting energy conservation activities and effective procurement of renewable energy. The Group will continue to promote initiatives to realize carbon neutrality in order to fulfill the role of the company in the transition to a sustainable decarbonized society.

The Group manages CO2 emissions in totality and not on a basis of intensity, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Refer here for data on CO2 emissions and water consumption at production sites around the world in FY2020. Refer here for data the five-year trends of CO2 emissions and water consumption data for production sites around the world.

Energy conservation activities

The Group promotes efficient use of energy through improvement activities aimed at enhancing productivity (including efficient use of production facilities and updating to energy-saving equipment), as well as energy-saving activities by using LED lighting equipment and renovating plant buildings.

At the Kyoto Plant, the energy consumption of air conditioning equipment was reduced through control of temperature rise in the room by painting the roof of the plant building with thermal insulation coating. In plant buildings where thermal insulation coating was implemented in fiscal 2019, power consumption could be reduced by approximately 170 MWh, which is equivalent to a power-saving effect of about 10% of the electricity used in the building.

In addition, the Group has set long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets (reductions of 30% or more by fiscal 2030 in comparison to fiscal 2018) associated with its business activities, and has started projects aimed at achieving this target. In these projects, we aim to formulate and promote energy strategies with an eye to transitioning to a decarbonized society by strengthening energy conservation activities and procuring renewable energy.

image

Factory roof before thermal insulation coating

image:

Factory roof after thermal insulation coating

Operation of wastewater treatment assuming abnormal weather

As hazardous substances (such as lead) are used to manufacture storage batteries, the Group is continuously engaged in activities to minimize the adverse effects on the environment around the plant. In addition, we have adopted preparatory measures that conform to regulatory standards for discharge of wastewater off-site, in the event of abnormal weather (such as heavy rainfall) caused by climatic changes.

At the Osadano Plant, roof deposits (including hazardous materials) are regularly cleaned by the sprinkler system installed on the roof of the factory. The wash water from the artificial sprinkling is released after conducting proper wastewater treatment. We are committed to working on stabilization of the water quality of wastewater by adopting regular countermeasures to deal with heavy rainfall.

image:Sprinkler system installed on the factory roof (Osadano Plant)

Sprinkler system installed on the factory roof (Osadano Plant)

Energy conservation activities for logistics

The GS Yuasa Group promotes energy conservation for freight forwarding (shipping) as one way to reduce the environmental burden during the product life cycle.

As part of coordinated efforts to save energy, we created a system to identify the quantity of goods being shipped, as well as energy consumption and CO2 emissions during logistics. We have established a system to identify the quantity of goods being shipped, as well as energy consumption and CO2 emissions during logistics, and are implementing energy saving measures such as reducing the quantity of items shipped between sites by integration of physical distribution bases and a modal shift from trucks to rail containers and other related systems for transportation.

In addition, the Group has been designated as certified by the Eco Rail Mark System* for four series of batteries for automobiles and motorcycles. By getting customers to purchase certified products, we are promoting activities in which customers and companies can participate together to reduce the burden on the environment.

Our Group promotes logistics that consider the environment by active utilization of rail freight transportation.

A system of certification by the Railway Freight Association, for companies and products that make thorough use of rail transportation for minimal environmental burden.

image:Examples of GS Yuasa Group products with Eco Rail certification

Examples of GS Yuasa Group products with Eco Rail certification

Identifying chemical substance emissions

Today, chemical substances used at GS Yuasa group's business sites include those subjects to reporting under the PRTR Law*. The Group incorporates the management of hazardous substances into environmental management and regularly assesses how they have been handled to reduce environmental risk and related legal compliance.

PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) Law

This law covers identifying, etc., the emissions of specific chemical substances into the environment and promotes improved management. The law requires businesses to collect, tabulate and disclose data related to hazardous chemical substances, their sources, the amount of emissions and how much is transferred out of the plant, including as waste.

Class I Designated Chemical Substances (substances that may damage people's health or interfere with the growth of animals and plants) are subject to reporting under the PRTR system. Of these substances, those that have carcinogenic properties are classified as Specific Class I Designated Chemical Substances.

Refer here for data on chemical substance emissions in FY2020.

Reducing waste emissions

In addition to reduction of waste (including lead-containing sludge and waste alkali) that contains hazardous substances generated during the production process, the Group is also actively working on reducing the generation of non-hazardous waste (such as wood scraps and waste plastic).

At the Gunma Plant, we were able to reduce the consumption of stretch film by altering stretch film used for packing products to a highly elastic material. As a result, the amount of waste generation associated with the use of stretch film was reduced by approximately 380 kg. Further, GS Yuasa Ibaraki Co., Ltd has been able to reduce the generation of waste wooden pallets by approximately 5.5 tons by miniaturizing the wooden pallets used at the time of product shipment to match the product size. In both cases parts used in production activities are optimized so as to reduce waste generation.

The Group promotes recycling of waste and also focuses on activities to reduce waste generation.

image

Product packaging using stretch film

image

Miniaturized wooden pallets

Resource Recycling of Used Product

The GS Yuasa Group believes in the importance of creating and operating a system for recycling resources from our used products to help create a recycling-oriented society. To achieve this goal, the Group is promoting initiatives for processing used products and resource recycling by using the wide area certification system.

A wide-area certification system aims to involve the manufacturers of a product in the product's recycling and disposal once it reaches the end of its useful life. These systems make possible more efficient recycling and provide feedback on product design leading to easier disposal and reuse, while ensuring that discarded goods are disposed of properly.

In January 2008, the GS Yuasa Group in Japan acquired wide-area certification from the Ministry of the Environment for industrial batteries and power supplies, and in January 2009 started accepting orders in earnest for a recycling system based on this certification. Even following the start of operations, we continue to make improvements such as expanding the scope of covered products and reviewing operational rules to create mechanisms for the reliable and proper disposal of used industrial batteries.

In the future, we will promote even more effective operation of the wide-area certification system to improve customer service as well as to recycle and properly dispose of post-use products.

Refer here for a five-year trend on end-of-life recycling of industrial batteries and power supplies.