Green Factories (procurement and production initiatives)
Addressing Biodiversity in Production Activities (Consideration of Water Resources and Wastewater, Proper Management of Greenery at Factories)
Consideration of Biodiversity at Production Sites
Carrying out efforts in accordance with the Guidelines for Biodiversity Preservation
Under its long-term environmental target, Eco Vision 2050, Konica Minolta is committed to the restoration and preservation of biodiversity. The Group has identified how its business activities worldwide depend on ecosystem services and the impact they have on those ecosystems. It did this by utilizing the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (ESR) developed for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a major study initiated by the United Nations concerning human impact on the environment. A relationship map was created, summarizing the benefits ecosystems provide to Konica Minolta's business activities and the impacts of the company’s activities on those ecosystems, for each stage of the product life cycle. The map was used for evaluation, and specific issues were identified for Konica Minolta to address. This evaluation and identification process incorporated the opinions of third parties, including Japan's Ministry of the Environment and another expert organization.
Konica Minolta is working to preserve biodiversity as part of its unique Excellent Green Factory Certification System for comprehensive evaluation of the environmental activities of its production sites. In April 2011, it established Guidelines for Biodiversity Preservation, which outline targets and standards for preservation activities identified as having a high impact on biodiversity and benefitting ecosystems supporting business activities. Compliance with these guidelines is required, and efforts are made to reduce water intake within the certification system.
Guidelines for Biodiversity Preservation
<Consideration of water resources>
- Reduction targets are set for total water consumption, or for water used on site, and reduction measures are implemented
- If groundwater is used, measures must be taken to reduce the amount used
<Consideration of wastewater>
- In order to prevent ecological damage to rivers and lakes, a risk management system must be established to eliminate highly polluted wastewater
- Checks are in place to determine the impact on ecosystems such as aquatic habitats of wastewater emitted into public water areas
<Proper management of greenery at factories>
- Invasive alien species that are likely to have a negative impact on ecosystems are not planted or sown on the factory's premises
- When planting trees on factory grounds, management and protection must be accorded to any rare species that are discovered
Consideration of Water Resources
Konica Minolta monitors and manages the volume of water use at each site and strives to reduce its total water consumption in line with the reduction targets it has established.
In initiatives for the Excellent Green Factory Certification System, Konica Minolta’s key production sites around the world are currently working to reduce water intake to meet targets for reduction of water consumption.
To be certified under this system, a factory must reduce its water intake per unit of production by 8% compared to 2015. This standard has been applied to the Group's major production sites around the world. The target was to reduce water intake by 378,000 cubic meters compared to 2015, before the end of fiscal 2019. As a result of various initiatives at each production site, Excellent Green Factory certification was achieved at nine sites, and in fiscal 2019 the Group’s water intake was down by 409,000 cubic meters compared to 2015.
As part of these initiatives, Konica Minolta’s key production sites reviewed their use of water in plants and worked to make reductions. These efforts included measures to reduce the volume of heated water used and the energy required to produce the heated water, such as changing temperature controls to only steam rather than a two-stage control process involving steam and hot water during in-process regulation of reaction temperatures. In addition, after considering the impact on users and the backup system in the event of problems, the sites decided to reuse drain water, which has relatively few impurities and is easy to reuse, as a supplementary feed for the cooling tower. The sites are also working to save water through other detailed efforts. These include reducing tool cleaning frequency by coating mesh surfaces on tools so material is less likely to adhere, and moving away from equipment cleaning using water to air blowing devices. Moreover, sites are collecting rainwater for use in cooling towers. They are also working to efficiently use water resources outside of the production process as well through measures such as installing water-saving faucet valves, checking for leakage from piping and repairing piping damage.
In fiscal 2013, the Group adopted an analysis method using the World Resources Institute’s (WRI)*1 Aqueduct*2 to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment on usage of water resources at the Group’s production sites and R&D sites and major suppliers around the world. Every year since, the results have confirmed that the Group has no sites with an extremely high risk.
One Group site is rated as having high water stress, but sales from this site accounted for less than 1% of total Group sales. In fiscal 2019, the water intake at this site was 93,000 cubic meters, and its water consumption was 14,000 cubic meters. With the goal of reducing its annual water intake by 5,700 cubic meters, the plant installed water-saving faucets and worked to reduce product cleaning water by improving manufacturing yield. As a result, intake was reduced by 9,800 cubic meters in fiscal 2019.
In the future, the Group will continue to conduct water risk assessments when establishing new sites and changing the business environment, and it will take measures to reduce water use as necessary.
Additionally, production sites that use groundwater as their main intake source are making efforts to reduce the amount of groundwater used, such as by turning off the supply of cooling water when production is stopped.
- WRI (World Resources Institute)
- Aqueduct: World maps and information showing the latest water risks published by the WRI. Produced based on 12 key water risk indicators such as physical water stress and regulatory risk related to water resources.
Consideration of Wastewater
Konica Minolta regularly conducts compliance assessments on a global basis to confirm the status of compliance with laws, ordinances, agreements, and other relevant regulations related to effluent, with the aim of preventing water pollution from effluent.
The Group has assessed the effect of effluent on the ecosystem at production sites that release effluent used in the production process into rivers. It adopted WET,* a new effluent management method using bioassays that is gaining worldwide attention, when conducting the assessments. With the cooperation of Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Group conducted tests using three aquatic species (algae, crustaceans, and fish). The results indicated that there was no negative impact (algae: inhibition of growth; crustaceans: inhibition of breeding; fish: reduced hatching rate or reduced survival rate after hatching) on any of the three test organisms.
- WET (Whole Effluent Toxicity): A method that assesses the aggregate toxic effect of wastewater on aquatic life rather than the evaluation of individual chemical substances. Unlike conventional effluent management methods, it enables holistic assessment of the effect of an effluent, detecting impact caused by any non-regulated chemical substance or the combined impact of multiple substances.
Proper Management of Greenery at Factories
Golden orchid at the Tokyo Site Hino Konica Minolta practices proper management of greenery on the grounds of the Group's production sites. By preparing greenery management lists for each site and conducting periodic checks, it makes sure that there are no invasive species, including sowing seeds.
Additionally, when rare species are discovered at a site, efforts are made to protect the species by making employees and visitors aware of its presence by putting up signs and fences. For instance, the Tokyo Site Hino is managing and protecting Golden Orchid (cephalanthera falcata) and Japanese lily (lilium speciosum), which are endangered species.
Consideration of Biodiversity in Procurement
As part of its procurement activities, Konica Minolta aims to help realize a sustainable society. To do this it is building strong relationships with business partners to fulfill corporate social responsibilities, based on transparency and fairness. In order to reduce the impact of its procurement activities on the ecosystem, Konica Minolta has set an example by implementing a green procurement policy. It has established a Supplier Code of Conduct and is asking business partners to adhere to its principles in order to minimize the depletion of natural resources.
The Group also provides suppliers with the environmental technology and expertise that it has cultivated in its Green Factory activities, thereby promoting Green Supplier initiatives that reduce both environmental impact and costs. As part of these activities, environmental experts from Konica Minolta visit suppliers to advise them on measures to reduce water usage.
Konica Minolta also uses its CSR Procurement Promotion Program to require suppliers to properly manage their water use by adhering to the Konica Minolta Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
Konica Minolta Japan, Inc., a sales company in Japan, has established the PPC Paper Purchase Standards, which have been implemented since 2007. The Standards stipulate that copy paper supplied to customers should be procured by taking into account the impact of forest destruction and degradation on the living environments of animals, plants, and people.