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Release: September 3, 2003

NGK Issues Environmental Report 2003

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President: Shun Matsushita, Head Office: Nagoya, Japan) has issued its "Environmental Report 2003", an annual statement which covers NGK's commitment to environmental conservation in 2002. The main points of change to take place regarding NGK's efforts in 2002 are as follows:

  1. In order to strengthen the Company's commitment to Green Management, environmental management systems for each business group has been organized in addition to the existing systems run by each site.
  2. As we work toward achieving a recycling-based society, we renamed what was formerly called "waste" as "by-products" to change our perceptions. With this in mind, we have further expanded our efforts to use resources effectively aiming at zero emissions.
  3. To further enhance Groupwide efforts for Green Management, data from overseas group companies on CO2 emissions and by-products have been added to the conventional data of domestic group companies. This year's environmental report is the sixth edition since the first issue covering 1998. NGK's "Environmental Report" will be issued annually and can be found on our website at:

This year's environmental report is the sixth edition since the first issue covering 1998. NGK's "Environmental Report" will be issued annually and can be found on our website at:http://www.ngk.co.jp/english.

The very structure of society is changing, and regulation systems related to the environment are being augmented to respond to the needs of a society that values environmental conservation. Under these circumstances, NGK has established their "Core Policy on the Environment" aimed at the solution of environmental issues based on the "Triple-E" business fields of Ecology, Electronics and Energy. In addition, one of the action guidelines of our new three-year management plan, starting from fiscal 2002, is "Green Management". At the same time, we are further striving to alleviate environmental impact at every stage of business activity from development and design to procurement, production and logistics. Furthermore, in March 2001, NGK commenced the Environmental Action Plan, which will continue through 2005, in order to respond swiftly to the needs of a recycling-based society. NGK will further enhance its environmental activities through its business operations groupwide. The Environmental Report 2003 stipulates NGK's various environmental conservation activities focusing mainly on the contents as follows:

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Promotion System for Environmental Management

  • - The conventional system was organized based on the NGK Environmental Protection Committee established in 1972 together with three local environmental protection committees at respective business sites. The system promoted environmental activities focusing mainly on compliance with pollution prevention laws and regulations.
  • - From 2002, the Company has newly instituted systems organized along business-group lines in addition to the existing system organized along business-site lines. This new stance strengthens Green Management by including NGK Group companies, with the aim that respective business groups reduce environmental impact arising from the development, manufacture and sales of products.

Environmental Accounting

  • - In 1999, NGK introduced environmental accounting as a tool for managing and ascertaining the state of its environmental conservation activities.
  • - The environmental costs dropped approximately ¥370 million from the previous year to ¥2.24 billion. The direct economic effect was ¥620 million, representing an increase of ¥330 million over 2001, as a result of improvement in the recycling rate within processes and the conservation of materials and energy.
  • - To improve precision, we expanded the scope of application of the items in our cost computation system, which is linked to the companywide accounting system. In 2003, we began to cover repair expenses in addition to conventional general expenses and material purchasing. Furthermore, by 2005 we plan to expand the coverage of costs as well as effects to include overseas Group companies besides domestic Group companies.

CO2 Emission Reduction

  • - Efforts to prevent global warming are focused on production facilities such as large size kilns, and include developing or improving combustion technologies to conserve energy as well as shifting to the use of environmentally-friendly fuels that reduce the volume of CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions reduction target is to decrease the number of basic units (total amount/sales) to 1990 levels (70 tons of CO2/¥100 million) by 2005.
  • - Total CO2 emissions in 2002 reached approximately 166,000 tons, representing a 2.4% rise over 2001 owing to an increase in the production of ceramic substrates for catalytic converters for exhaust gas purification. The basic unit (total amount /sales) was 84.6 tons-CO2/¥100 million, an increase of 5.4 tons-CO2/¥100 million, due to a decrease in sales.
  • - For greenhouse gases other than CO2, SF6 insulating gas, which has an especially high greenhouse effect, was reduced by 60% over the previous year to 4,000 tons-CO2 as a result of our reduction efforts.
  • - We will continue to enhance companywide activities for energy conservation while emphasizing the development of innovative manufacturing technologies through a fundamental review of the manufacturing processes which consume so much energy.

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Recycling of Production By-products

  • - We are working to minimize a range of by-products generated in manufacturing activities, while at the same time expanding our efforts to reuse them as resources. With our aim of achieving zero emissions in 2005, we plan to reduce the amount of industrial by-products requiring outsourced processing by 40% (3,300 tons) in 2003 compared to 2001.
  • - Toward the achievement of a recycling-based society, the "waste" produced by corporate activities was termed "by-products" and the Waste Countermeasures Commission was renamed the Recycling Promotion Commission to change perspective, to clarify environmental vision, and to increase environmental awareness.
  • - The total amount of by-products generated in 2002 decreased by 12% to 16,000 tons due to the curbing of the generation of by-products from insulators and HONEYCERAM® that accounts for 60% of all by-products. In addition, the recycling rate increased 8 points to 66% and the amount for outsourced processing decreased by 28% to 5,547 tons over the previous year due to the enhanced efforts for recycling.
  • - To achieve our goal of zero emissions, we are working toward the improvement of yield and the expansion of applications for recycled materials to reduce the amount which must use outsourced processing. Technological innovations to curb the generation of by-products and the development of new manufacturing technologies for recycling by-products will also help us achieve our target.

Management of Chemical Substances

  • - The Chemical Substances Management System began operations in October 2000, and currently approximately 8,500 chemicals are registered in the system. NGK's chemicals are carefully stored in approximately 1,200 storage boxes companywide.
  • - The PRTR-listed substances handled decreased by 17 % to 280 tons of 58 substances in 2002. This total includes a decrease of 4 substances since 2001, as well, 14 substances were reported to the government. The decrease was due to a change in production amount and the total abolition of 3 substances. Atmospheric emissions of PRTR-listed substances totaled 21 tons, and the amount transferred off-site for outsourced processing was approximately 29 tons.
  • - We are carrying out investigations combined with the research and development of substitutes, as well as making improvements in processing technologies in order to reduce the use of volatile organic solvents which are used in the production of ceramic products and released in large amounts into the atmosphere. We are developing new technologies for detoxification and recycling, and are making steady progress toward our target of cutting atmospheric emissions in 2005 by 80% from 2000 levels.
  1. Environmental Report 2003pdf(1,038KB)
Environmental Report 2003

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