Implementing strategies to combat global warming ensures a smaller footprint through examining manufacturing processes and applying life cycle assessment strategies.
Our target was to lower our per unit energy consumption below 80% in fiscal year 2011 compared with fiscal 1991. Although various energy efficiency improvements were made at each plant, we did not meet this goal in fiscal 2011, realizing instead only an improvement to 86.6%. Calculated from primary fuel consumption, our greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 690 metric tons. We are working to achieve a per unit energy consumption below the 80% mark in fiscal 2013.
Tosoh is continuously improving the energy efficiency of its manufacturing processes. A Tosoh strength is its self-generation of energy using coal-fired power plants equipped with high-efficiency turbines. Those turbines, in combination with the heat energy from a portion of the steam generated by the boilers, supply the energy for and facilitate its balanced distribution across our manufacturing facilities.
In-house power plant
State-of-the-art boiler no. 6 at the no. 2 power plant for the co-firing of woody biomass is a Nanyo Complex asset that supplies power and steam to production plants. The complex operates boilers enabling the mixed combustion of coal and woody biomass, and the no. 6 boiler boasts a high-efficiency 220,000 kW power generating unit. Tosoh, meanwhile, has stopped using low-efficiency power generating units, and that and its use of the no. 6 boiler has helped it achieve around a 19% reduction in energy consumption.
Conventional electrolysis plants consist of electrolysis tanks that require enormous amounts of electricity. Electrolysis plants at Tosoh, however, are a demonstration of energy saving in action. We’ve almost doubled production in our electrolysis plants since 1990, and yet we’ve still managed to reduce their energy calorie units, fully 9%. The n-BiTAC electrolyzers we developed with Chlorine Engineers Co., Ltd., draw 9% fewer calorie units than conventional electrolyzers and are popular among electrolysis plant operators in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Initiatives to reduce emissions lessen the impact of chemical substances through a consistent approach.
Tosoh is implementing various measures to reduce its emissions of substances covered by Japan’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Law. The company set a target to lower those emissions from 2,800 metric tons at the end of fiscal 1996 to less than 360 metric tons by fiscal year-end 2010. We only achieved a reduction to 470 metric tons in fiscal 2010. Mainly through the completion of environmental facilities for, among other substances, ethylenediamine, chloroethylene, and high-density polyethylene, we achieved our target, albeit a year late, with a reduction in emissions to 250 metric tons in fiscal 2011.
Revisions to the PRTR Law prior to fiscal 2011, however, increased the number of designated substances from 354 to 462. An additional revision to the law in fiscal 2011 means that the number of substances that require notification by Tosoh has risen from 58 to 72. Our discharge of PRTR- designated materials was 440 metric tons in fiscal 2011. As such, we have set a new reduced emissions target for fiscal 2013 of less than 330 metric tons. We are also working to reduce our emissions of VOCs.
Reducing our output of sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and dust is important and we continue working to further curtail those emissions. We also take the initiative in keeping our emissions of waterborne pollutants well below the levels mandated by Japan’s Water Pollution Control Law.
Cost-Benefit Accounting for Environmental Protection
Tosoh undertakes environmental cost-benefit accounting in accordance with the 2005 edition of the Environmental Accounting Guidelines established by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. In regard to items not covered by those guidelines, we employ our own assumptions in making calculations. The results presented here are for the Nanyo Complex, the Nanyo Research Laboratory, the Technology Center, the Yokkaichi Complex, the Yokkaichi Research Laboratory, the Tokyo Research Center, the Tokyo Research Laboratory, and our Tokyo corporate headquarters.