Reduction of Water-related Risks

Working to Preserve Water Resources in a Shared Basin as a Precious Natural Resource

Management Approach

Basic ConceptThe minimization of water-related risks and the resolution of local and supply chain water issues

We formulated “Sekisui Environment Sustainability Vision 2050” in 2019 in line with our belief that the maintenance and development of our business requires us to maintain a healthy environment in the areas in which we conduct our corporate activities. To realize societies with abundant access to clean water in all the areas in which the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group and its supply chains operate, we have established the following two goals in line with our vision.

<Goals>

  • 1.
    Minimizing Water Risk at SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group
    With the goal on maintaining sustainable operations, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will seek to minimize risks related to received water. We will also focus on minimizing risk related to water discharged from the Group in order to better preserve biodiversity.
  • 2.
    Contributing to the resolution of water-related issues in local communities
    Not only will we work to minimize water risks, but with the goal of contributing to a positive return to natural capital we will contribute to the resolution of water-related issues in local communities through the provision of environment-contribution products and collaboration with leaders in the watershed area.

Roadmap to Realize Societies with Abundant Access to Clean Water

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has set the goal of realizing societies with abundant access to clean water by 2050, which is the target year of its SEKISUI Environment Sustainability Vision 2050. By backcasting from this goal, we are establishing specific measures and milestones while promoting initiatives.

  • We will evaluate the water risks in a given region as well as the business impact, and focus not only on locations and suppliers where the business impact is large, but also on locations in areas where water risks are substantial.
  • For locations where the business impact is substantial, we will minimize risks by 2023.
  • For suppliers where the business impact is substantial, we will minimize risk by 2030, including through a review of suppliers.
  • For regions where water risks are substantial, we will minimize the environmental impact by 2030.
  • Finally, we will create monitoring guidelines and oversee all locations to assess both business impact and environmental impact moving forward.

In order to accelerate returns to natural capital, including the conservation of water resources, we will continue to promote the development of products that contribute to sustainability in order to minimize the environmental impact from supply chain operations and help resolve local water issues.
Moreover, as an initiative being undertaken at locations around the world, we will continue to focus on contributing to the resolution of local water issues by establishing a collaborative system with those living in watershed areas between 2030 and 2050.

Roadmap

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Assessment of Impact on Business from Water-related Risks

In fiscal 2020, the first year of the roadmap for 2050, we conducted assessments of the likely impact on business from water-related risks at all SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group production sites and research institutes.

The Group had conducted investigations into water-related risks in 2013, but seven years have passed since then, and as some business sites have been newly established or closed, we conducted them again.

The purpose of these investigations was to identify water-related issues in the areas in which each business site is located (assessment of external factors) and to identify those sites that are at major risk from water and those that have a significant impact on the environment.

In identifying the water-related issues in an area, we used Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas 3.0, a tool for assessing water-related risks in each region of the world created by the World Resources Institute (WRI), an international environmental NGO. In addition, corrections were made based on water usage information obtained on an individual basis from business sites by means of surveys.

Impact of Water-related Risks on Supply Chain

Manufacturers of steel materials used in the Housing Business and manufacturers of synthetic resins used in the Plastics Business are suppliers of primary materials of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group that consume large quantities of freshwater during manufacture. Although we do not directly encourage such suppliers to conform to environmental standards, with our Sekisui Environment Sustainability Index we calculate as 'use of natural capital' the environmental impact of the pollutants contained in drainage generated during manufacture of primary materials and monitor it on a continual basis.

Reductions in the impact on water environments as a result of the Group’s business activities, the degree of our contribution to the environment through enhanced and expanded products and services that make a positive contribution to the improvement and maintenance of water environments are assessed* in terms of returns to natural capital.

From fiscal 2020 we will engage in gaining a better understanding of, for example, the water-related risks in supply chains involving products and the returns to natural and social capital as a result of product-based reductions in water-related risks.

Contribution to Reduction of Water-related Risks Through Operations

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group develops a range of businesses related to water infrastructure, such as supply, storage, and drainage of water, contributing to the society not only by technologies and products that help to improve the quality of drainage, such as water treatment systems and drain pipes, but also by creating strong water infrastructure made to withstand natural disasters.

For example, the “Cross Wave*” rainwater collection system, one of our products being marketed in Japan, India, China, Taiwan, and other ASEAN areas, reduces water-related risks by being used as a measure to prevent chronic water shortages, to recycle rainwater to achieve both the greening of urban areas and disaster prevention as well as by contributing to measures designed to counter the damage caused by floods.

With the goal of not only reducing damage from the ever increasing number of disasters brought on by climate change, but also promoting disaster mitigation in support of recovery efforts after a disaster, we are expanding the peace of mind we can offer to our housing customers by recommending, for example, the installation of a drinking water storage system that makes good use of water system infrastructure piping.

  • * Cross Wave:
    Rainwater storage system. This molded product made from recycled plastic creates an underground space which is used to store rainwater. It regulates the rain volume flowing into sewer systems and rivers during torrential rains and makes reuse of rainwater possible.

Reduction of Water-related Risks at Business Sites with High Water Intake Volumes and Discharge Rates

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group draws the water it needs to use in its business activities from public water systems, water systems for industrial use, underground reservoirs, and surrounding rivers. With the understanding that water is a precious natural resource shared by everyone in the community, we do our best to reduce the amount of water used, such as by reusing cooling water.

We have to date established targets and enacted measures for reducing water intake volume and discharged water chemical oxygen demand (COD) volume at each of our production and research facilities. However, based on local water risk conditions and the state of water consumption, we are focused in particular on promoting a reduction in business activities at locations where the business impact is particularly large.

Major Initiatives

Reduce the Amount of Water Intake Volume, and Discharged Water Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) Volume

Water intake volume at production sites in fiscal 2020 decreased by 3.7%, relative to results in the base fiscal year of 2016, while the COD volume of water discharged into rivers decreased 11.8% on the same basis. This was due to the decrease in production brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, but since fiscal 2019 we have been studying reduction measures targeting the three SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group production sites with the highest discharged wastewater COD volumes and the highest water intake, and the effects of capital investments using the environmental contribution investment framework are becoming apparent.

Examples of capex using the environmental contribution investment framework

  Site Reduction strategy Result
Reduction in water intake Shiga-Minakuchi Plant Introduction of filtration equipment allowing the reuse of recycled wastewater as a coolant.
Strengthened management and promoted visualization of water use at the facility.
Reduction of 9%
Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd. Iwate Plant 10% reduction through automation of industrial water intake adjustment system Reduction of 10%
Reduction in wastewater COD volume Sekisui Nano Coat Technology Co., Ltd. Improve treatment capacity by upgrading wastewater treatment facilities Reduction of 25%

Reuse of Water Discharged at Shiga-Minakuchi Plant Started

Engaged in the production of synthetic resins, the Shiga-Minakuchi Plant is the business site with the largest water intake volume in the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group. The water intake volume accounts for about 30% of all domestic business establishments of the Group, and has been increasing every year since fiscal 2015.

To improve this situation, we promoted comprehensive capital investment aimed at reducing the water intake volume from fiscal 2018, and all investment plans were completed in 2020.

Under this plan, we ascertained the places where factory water was used and the volumes used and then enabled adjustments to be made to the volumes of water used in those areas where the amounts were high. After purifying the wastewater, we also work to reduce the water intake volume by reusing the water in the 20 cooling towers installed within the site.

Through these comprehensive capital investments, the water intake volume in fiscal 2020 was reduced by 17% compared with fiscal 2017.

From fiscal 2021, we will utilize this capital investment while promoting a reduction in water intake volume.

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Water filtration equipment at the Shiga-Minakuchi Plant

Discharged Water Treatment Capacity at Sekisui Nano Coat Technology Co., Ltd. Increased

At Sekisui Nano Coat Technology Co., Ltd., high-concentration COD wastewater is discharged from the gelatinization and refining processes in the processing of textile products and, after passing through our in-house wastewater treatment facility, discharged into the sea.

In recent years, the amount of wastewater has been decreasing due to changes in our business domains. Also, COD wastewater has become difficult to break down due to changes in the composition of the glue used in raw materials, we have made improvements to optimize the capacity of the wastewater treatment facility.

Together with reducing the treatment process in accordance with the reduced amount of wastewater, we are improving the processing capacity by installing a process in which microorganisms suitable for the treatment of COD components that are difficult to break down are prioritized.

The running costs of the wastewater treatment facility have been reduced by 44% by reducing energy and maintenance costs. The COD load of wastewater has been reduced by 53%.

Sekisui Nano Coat Technology wastewater treatment facility

Water Recycling

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group promotes the reuse of water in its production processes in order to reduce the amount of water it draws from water sources. At the production plants of Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company and High Performance Plastics Company, large volumes of cooling water is recycled and reused in manufacturing processes. In fiscal 2020, at production sites in Japan and overseas, we used 108 million cubic meters of recycled water. This is equivalent to 5.4 times the water intake volume from all other sources.

The main water supply for Kurohama Lake* -which has been designated as a natural conservation area in Saitama Prefecture -is wastewater from the Musashi Plant (located in Hasuda City) that has been purified in accordance with environmental standards.

  • For more information about Kurohama Lake, see the page below.
Performance Data
  • Note 1:
    Some past figures have been revised due to improvements in precision.
  • Note 2:
    From fiscal 2019, Medical Business results are collated and presented with Headquarters results following its separation from the High Performance Plastics Company as an independent entity.
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  • Water Intake Volume at Production Sites / Japan

  • Water Intake Volume at Production Sites / Overseas

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  • Wastewater Volume at Production Sites / Japan

    Note: Some past figures have been revised due to improvements in precision.

  • Wastewater Volume at Production Sites / Overseas

    Note: We have been improving the accuracy of our wastewater volume from fiscal 2019.

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  • Water Consumption at Production Sites / Japan

    Note: Some past figures have been revised due to improvements in precision.

  • Water Consumption at Production Sites / Overseas

    Note: Water consumption increased to improve the accuracy of wastewater volumes from fiscal 2019.

Water Intake Volume at Production Sites by Water Source Type

(thousands of m3)
Water source Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Surface water Japan 696 1,086 197 726 129 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 1 3
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Total 696 1,086 197 727 131 0 1 0 1 3
Ground water Japan 2,604 2,624 2,632 2,517 2,340 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 103 120 144 111 121 25 26 35 16 22
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2,710 2,745 2,776 2,628 2,461 25 26 35 16 22
Seawater Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Third-party water* Japan 12,086 11,969 12,389 10,903 11,250 0 0 0 0 0
China 273 298 324 265 247 236 288 311 256 241
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 896 1,097 966 1,093 957 18 46 72 80 55
Europe 1,943 1,883 1,866 1,960 1,674 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,887 1606
North and Central America 2,042 2,209 2,732 3,092 3,165 10 81 156 141 94
Total 17,241 17,456 18,278 17,313 17,293 2,121 2,213 2,344 2,365 1,996
Total volume of water withdrawn Japan 15,386 15,679 15,218 14,146 13,719 0 0 0 0 0
China 273 298 324 265 247 236 288 311 256 241
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 999 1,217 1,110 1,204 1,081 44 72 107 97 80
Europe 1,943 1,883 1,866 1,960 1,674 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,887 1,606
North and Central America 2,046 2,209 2,732 3,092 3,165 10 81 156 141 94
Total 20,646 21,286 21,250 20,668 19,885 2,146 2,239 2,379 2,382 2,021

* Third-party water: Water withdrawn from local government water suppliers (public water systems, water systems for industrial use)

Wastewater Volume at Production Sites by Discharge Destination

(thousands of m3)
Discharge destination Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Surface water Japan 11,219 11,627 11,353 10,680 10,179 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 22 26 20 43 18 2 2 0 22 4
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 11,241 11,653 11,372 10,722 10,197 2 2 0 22 4
Ground water Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seawater Japan 2,892 2,503 2,277 2,160 2,293 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2,892 2,503 2,277 2,160 2,293 0 0 0 0 0
Third-party water* Japan 591 614 636 567 515 0 0 0 0 0
China 272 287 308 255 237 235 277 296 246 232
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 679 867 830 860 790 26 55 103 60 54
Europe 1,930 1,874 1,860 1,944 1,664 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,875 1,601
North and Central America 1,585 1,571 1,981 2,060 2,012 9 62 79 81 62
Total 5,057 5,213 5,615 5,685 5,219 2,127 2,193 2,283 2,262 1,949
Total volume of water withdrawn Japan 14,703 14,744 14,266 13,407 12,987 0 0 0 0 0
China 272 287 308 255 237 235 277 296 246 232
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 701 893 850 902 809 29 57 103 83 58
Europe 1,930 1,874 1,860 1,944 1,664 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,875 1,601
North and Central America 1,585 1,571 1,981 2,060 2,012 9 62 79 81 62
Total 19,190 19,370 19,265 18,567 17,709 2,129 2,195 2,283 2,285 1,952

* Third-party water: Wastewater (sewer systems) discharged to wastewater treatment facilities of local governments, etc.

Water Consumption at Production Sites

(thousands of m3)
Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Japan 683 935 952 739 732 0 0 0 0 0
China 1 11 16 10 10 1 11 16 10 10
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 298 324 260 302 272 15 15 4 15 22
Europe 13 9 6 17 9 0 0 0 13 5
North and Central America 461 638 751 1,032 1,153 1 19 77 60 33
Total 1,456 1,916 1,985 2,101 2,176 17 45 97 98 69
Indicator Calculation Method
Water intake volume Water intake volume = Total water intake volume = (The sum of water intake from surface water, ground water, seawater, and third-party water)
Wastewater volume Wastewater volume = Total wastewater volume = (The sum of wastewater from surface water, ground water, seawater, and third-party water)
Water consumption Water consumption = Water intake volume - wastewater
Areas with water stress Areas where baseline water stress is ranked as high or extremely high under the WRI Aqueduct TM Water Risk Atlas (Aqueduct 3.0) evaluation system
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  • COD Emission Volume / Japan

Index Calculation Method
COD emission volume Emission volume = Σ[COD concentration (annual average of measured value) x Drainage volume]