Factory and Office Initiatives
Initiatives to prevent global warming and save energy
Each TEL factory and office has an established goal of reducing energy consumption by at least 1% year-over-year. Initiatives to achieve this goal include energy-saving clean room operation, appropriate temperature settings for office cooling and heating, the introduction of highly energy-efficient equipment, and the adoption of renewable energies.
As a result of these initiatives, in fiscal 2018, we reduced energy consumption per unit sales at our factories and offices by 21% year-over-year. However, an increase in our volume of production and an increase in energy consumption associated with product development and evaluation resulted in power consumption of 282 GWh in fiscal 2018, up 11% year-over-year; and energy-derived CO2 emissions* of 152 kilotons, up 8% year-over-year. Based on the correlation between business operations and energy use, we changed to an appropriate metric at factories and offices in Japan, and standardized it across the Group. Specifically, we adopted a metric calculated using a complex weighting of data from each area on the number of evaluation units used in development, the number of units produced, total floor area and man-hours. Of all 11 of our factories and offices, both those overseas plus those in Japan that had set goals based on this method, goals were achieved at 6 of them.
As a result of these initiatives, power consumption was 253 GWh in fiscal 2017, down 0.4% year-over-year; and CO2 emissions from energy consumption* were 141 kilotons, down 4.3% year-over-year. Goals were also achieved at seven of our 11 worldwide factories and offices that had reduction goals.
* In calculating CO2 emissions, the emission factor for TEL’s electricity consumption in Japan in fiscal 2018 was substituted by adjusted emission factors for the electrical power providers concerned. The emission factor for TEL’s overseas electricity consumption was substituted by estimated factors calculated by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan based on values published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Initiatives to reduce water consumption
Recognizing that the preservation of water resources is a social issue, TEL has established a goal of keeping water consumption at the same level or below that of the baseline year (fiscal 2012 for plants and offices in Japan and a fiscal year of their choosing for each overseas operation). Our ongoing efforts to achieve these goals include reusing pure water from our manufacturing operations, installing water-saving devices, watering lawns with rainwater, and implementing intermittent operation of cafeteria faucets.
During fiscal 2018, an increase in our volume of production and an increase in water consumption associated with product development and evaluation resulted in water consumption of 1,135,000 m3, up 7.6% year-over-year. Compared to the baseline year, though, this represents a 4.7% decrease. Moreover, we achieve 11 of the 14 goals at our sites worldwide. We also discharged an estimated 905,000 m3 of wastewater.
Initiatives to reduce waste
In an effort to curb the amount of waste generated and to recycle it wherever possible, TEL promotes initiatives for reducing waste. In addition to participating in the electronic manifest system**1 to ensure proper waste management, we are also engaged in maintaining an appropriate amount of parts inventory and in reusing cushioning material. We are also achieving lower waste processing costs, by promoting waste sorting activities and by modifying and increasing the capacity of space used for storing waste so as to reduce the frequency that it is collected. In fiscal 2018, we generated 133 tons of incinerated and landfill waste in Japan. As a result of our waste-reduction initiatives, the recycling rate**2 at sites in Japan in fiscal 2018 was 99.0%, achieving our goal of maintaining a recycling rate of 97% or higher for the 12th consecutive year since fiscal 2007. We have also maintained a high level of recycling at our overseas factories and offices of 87.7%.
*1 Electronic manifest system: A system for electronically tracking the flow of industrial waste instead of using paper-based manifests (i.e. paper forms for tracking industrial waste). The system uses a communications network of data processing centers, businesses that generate waste, and waste collection/disposal companies.
*2 Recycling rate: (Recycled amount/ Amount of waste generated)x100
Management of chemical substances
TEL uses chemical substances in its product development and manufacturing phases. The use and release of chemical substances subject to the Japanese PRTR* law are constantly monitored and managed. Whenever we introduce a new chemical substance or change the way an existing substance is used, we check for environmental, health, and safety risks beforehand. We dispose of substances properly after use, either through expert waste disposal contractors or by using in-house processing equipment. In response to the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons, we conduct simple, regular inspections based on the law in an effort to monitor the amount of fluorocarbons used and recovered. During fiscal 2018, no TEL factories or offices exceeded the level of ﬂuorocarbon leakage that requires reporting.
* PRTR: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. A framework for tracking, tabulating, and disclosing quantitative data on chemical substances that may be hazardous to human health and the ecosystem, including the amounts used and discharged into the environment and the amounts transferred (as part of waste) off the original business’ premises.
The environment plays host to an enormous amount of biodiversity. This biodiversity supports a number of ecosystem services, without which the TEL Group would be unable to continue its business activities. Our activities, however, have a non-negligible impact on biodiversity. Based on this recognition, the Group has put in place a framework to promote initiatives for biodiversity conservation.
Activity guideline and map of biodiversity relationships
The TEL Group sets activity guidelines (as below) and makes a map of biodiversity relationships based on our own product life cycle assessments. We promote biodiversity initiatives based on the activity guidelines and the relationship map.
In fiscal 2018, TEL carried out activities with the goal of conducting at least two ecosystem tours or protecting acticities at factories and offices in Japan.
In March 2017, the Fuchu District Office held a tour with the theme of “Thinking about how to improve green environments and protect ecosystems .” Participants had the chance to exchange ideas with experts about approaches and methods for protecting indigenous flora around the office and conserving rare plants on the office grounds.
TEL’s environmental policy requires that we foster mutual understanding and a cooperative partnership with our wide-ranging stakeholders to appropriately respond to their expectations. Therefore, it is critical for us to maintain close communication with our stakeholders when implementing environmental measures.
Example of initiatives - 1
In both 2014 and 2015, Esashi factory in Iwate invited its neighbors (representatives of community associations) and local government representatives to the 6th Environmental Debriefing for the Local Community. To help the local stakeholders better understand TEL’s environmental activities, the Esashi Plant also held a lecture entitled "TEL’s Environmental Management" at an environmental skill-building seminar for local businesses in Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture. In February 2016, a TEL representative gave a lecture entitled “Technology for Eco-Life” at the 2nd Environmental Business Seminar held in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture to further enhance communication with our stakeholders.
Example of initiatives - 2
As part of our activities to raise environmental awareness, TEL has been holding the TEL Eco-Life Art and Photo Contest annually since 2009. The contest, which is held for employees and their families, has attracted more entries every year. As many as 745 entries were submitted in 2017 from TEL Group companies worldwide, with a grand total of 3,399 submissions over the past seven years.