Environmental Approach

As climate change due to global warming progresses, the reduction of greenhouse gases such as CO2 is an issue of global proportions. As part of our effort to reduce the environmental impact of our business activities, the Tsubaki Group is implementing concrete initiatives through our voluntary environmental action plan.
Much of the energy used in our manufacturing activities is concentrated in the heat treatment process used to make steel for manufacturing chain parts. Focusing on this point, in addition to introducing an energy efficient heat treatment furnace and improving energy efficiency, we are implementing a number of measures to reduce CO2 such as changing fuel sources from fuel oil to city gas, applying thermal insulation coating to our main factories, using renewable energies like solar power, and employing LED lighting.

Reducing CO2 emissions

In FYE 2018, the CO2 emissions and intensity (CO2 emissions / production) of the Tsubaki Group were as follows.
With the expansion of production, CO2 emissions have unfortunately increased by 2.1% year-on-year. On the other hand, there was a 3.3-point improvement with respect to intensity.
Since FYE 2018, the CO2 conversion factor for electricity has been changed from the fixed value (0.378) that had been used until then to a calculation method that uses the annual CO2 emission factor disclosed by the relevant power company that supplies electricity to each worksite.

Total CO2 Emissions/CO2 Emissions (per Million Yen of Output)

CO2 reduction initiatives at our plants

Energy saving at the new materials handling plant (Saitama Plant)

Solar power generation system at the new materials handling plantSolar power generation system at the new
materials handling plant

Our new materials handling plant in Saitama, designed as a development-oriented “showcase factory,” started its operations in June 2018.
Many energy conservation measures have been implemented at this new plant. A 510-kW solar power generation system has been installed on the rooftop. All the electricity that is generated by the system is used for the operations of the plant.
We have also reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 300 tons annually through introduction of LED lighting throughout the building, heat insulation paint on the outer walls, top-runner transformers, fuel conversion for heating, and so forth. We are aiming at reducing our CO2 emissions by half at the materials handling plant.

Transition from cogeneration air conditioning to a new air conditioning system (Kyotanabe Plant)

New air-conditioning chiller on the roof of the plantNew air-conditioning chiller on the roof of
the plant

The Kyotanabe Plant used to cool its facilities as well as the water used as part of the production operations using a cogeneration system. However, the energy efficiency had declined, and maintenance costs had increased, both in a significant manner, due to the deterioration of the cogeneration system. By replacing that system by an optimal, high-efficiency system, substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and life-cycle costs have been achieved.
This new system combines various efficiency-enhancing equipment such as high-efficiency chiller (50% more efficient than before) and inverter systems. Furthermore, by modernizing our monitoring control equipment, it became possible to visualize the operations in real time, thus achieving optimal operations in accordance with the load variation. We have reduced our CO2 emissions by about 500 tons between January and July 2018.

Thailand — Annual reduction of 190 tons of CO2 by planting mangrove trees (Thailand)

Annual reduction of 72 tons of CO2 by planting mangrove treesMangrove planting

Since 2007, Tsubakimoto Automotive (Thailand) has been continually involved in mangrove planting activities. While mangrove forests nurture a rich ecosystem and diverse biodiversity, and absorb large amounts of CO2, in recent years, they have been cut down to facilitate development and are at risk of extinction. Through our activities, approximately 25,000 mangrove trees have been planted over the past 10 years, leading to the absorption of approximately 300 tons of CO2 every year.

Actively Changing Over to LED Lighting (Kyotanabe Plant)

Annual reduction of 72 tons of CO2 by planting mangrove treesBrighter main factory building

In accordance with the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emission prevention measures and Japan’s Act on the Rational Use of Energy, the Kyotanabe Plant is curbing CO2 emissions and lowering its power use during peak demand periods by reducing the power that the plant uses for lighting, air-conditioning, and manufacturing.
We are introducing light-emitting diode (LED) ceiling lighting, which is steadily reducing the power needed for lighting. In the main factory, replacing 500 metal halide lamps with 200 LED lights has reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 180 tons per year. Moreover, the new lights are brighter, which contributes to safety.
The Kyotanabe Plant will replace the lighting in all factory buildings with LED lights by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. Also, the plant is steadily replacing office buildings’ fluorescent lights with LED lights.