Environmental Considerations; Water
Basic ideas and policies
The importance of water resources is recognized globally, and it is regarded as a social requirement to use water resources in an appropriate and efficient manner, thereby reducing the consumption of water. It is also necessary to ensure that water circulates through its natural cycle with its quality and functions maintained at a level that is suitable for human activities and environmental conservation.
The Resonac Group regards the shortage of water as a global issue and is working to make effective use of water and reduce its consumption. We also treat the water used in our activities to reduce its environmental impact before releasing it back into the environment.
Efficient use of water to reduce its consumption
The Resonac Group has made targets for water resources as part of its Environment and safety Action Plan. We are fostering the effective use of water and reduction of its use at each of our sites in consideration of their individual business features. We are also working to maintain and increase the quality of water discharged from the sites.
In particular, at our sites located in areas prone to water shortages (water stress), we proactively engage in dialogue with local stakeholders to make efficient use of water for water conservation. Communities neighboring the Higashinagahara Plant are exposed to high water stress, making it difficult to secure water sources for firefighting. In response, we have had dialogues with officials of the prefectural government to obtain the prefecture’s approval for those communities to use water from the plant’s Toishigawa Kyu-suiso water tank for firefighting purposes.
Also, for the Asahi Dam owned by the plant, we concluded an agreement to prevent Agano River flooding with the Hokuriku Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to prepare against the risk of flooding posed by typhoons and linear rainbands, which Japan has frequently experienced in recent years. We are thereby helping the national government enhance its anti-flooding measures. In the future, we will set our own water use targets on a medium- to long-term basis based on a detailed examination of water-related risks in the geographical areas where we are conducting operations and will announce the actual results achieved against the targets.
TOPICSEfforts made by the Tokuyama Plant for water saving: Collaborating with other organizations to reduce water
The Tokuyama Plant has been working to reduce water consumption in collaboration with other companies, in response to the annual request for voluntary water conservation made by the council of industrial water users in the Shunan district. Regardless of the request, the plant is committed to saving more water and monitoring seasonal changes in water temperature and the operational status of plant equipment. The amount of water saved differs by year, but in 2020 the plant achieved a roughly 42% reduction in water use (relative to the volume of water contracted to be supplied). Moreover, employees of the Tokuyama Plant participate in a local volunteer activity conducted for forest and water management. The activity is designed to help participants deepen their understanding of the water source protection and global warming prevention functions provided by forests and to foster forestation and the appropriate management of forests as a voluntary initiative. It is conducted twice in fall by employees of companies located in the Shunan district and their families. (In 2021, the activity was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Measures to reduce our impact on the aquatic environment
Based on the regulatory standards set by laws, regulations and ordinances, the Resonac Group set its own management criteria to monitor changes in chemical oxygen demand (COD) and the emissions of nitrogen, phosphorous and various other water pollutants, thereby reducing the environmental impact of its business activities.
At our major production bases in Japan, we recover wastewater from the manufacturing facilities for neutralization and the removal of solid substances. For wastewater that contains organic matter, we break down the matter by using microorganisms in the activated sludge process. For wastewater that is difficult to treat by the activated sludge method, we adopt adsorption treatment, coagulative separation, incineration treatment and other methods. We also monitor the discharge of water from our facilities to public waters. In the event that a failure of wastewater treatment equipment causes the generation of wastewater with a potentially high environmental impact, the blocking system installed at the discharge outlet is activated to prevent the water from being discharged to outside the facilities site.