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Release: November 17, 2004

NGK Issues Environmental and Social Responsibility
Report 2004

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President: Shun Matsushita, Head Office: Nagoya, Japan) has issued its "Environmental and Social Responsibility Report 2004." The report covers NGK's commitment to achieve environmental conservation and to fulfill its social responsibility in 2003. NGK has issued its Environmental Report every year since 1998. Starting from this year, it is being published under the title of "Environmental and Social Responsibility Report" and covers our commitment to fulfill our social responsibility.

NGK established its "Core Policy on the Environment" with its basic philosophy aimed at the solution of environmental issues, based on the "Triple-E" business fields of Ecology, Electronics and Energy. In addition, we have set an action guideline, the "Green Management" in our new three-year management plan, starting from the 2002 fiscal year. Under the guideline, NGK is enhancing its group-wide environmental activities by preventing global warming, recycling by-products, developing environmental-conscious products, and qualitatively increasing environmental management. Through these activities, NGK will further reduce environmental impact at every stage of business activity, from development and design to procurement, production and logistics. At the same time, NGK fulfills its social responsibility by complying with laws and regulations, as well as corporate ethics, and by promoting employment and making contributions to society. Through these efforts, NGK strives to achieve corporate excellence based on global standards. This year's Report stipulates NGK's various activities, focusing mainly on the contents outlined below. The Report is also available on our website at:
http://www.ngk.co.jp/english/.

Environmental Accounting

  • - In 1999, NGK introduced environmental accounting as an indicator of its ability to manage and ascertain the state of its environmental conservation activities. In 2003, NGK strove to increase calculation accuracy by expanding the cost computation system, which is linked to the company-wide accounting system.
  • - In 2003, the environmental costs of NGK's consolidated domestic sites were ¥3.3 billion (a ¥740 million increase from 2002). The increase owes to the installation of pollution prevention equipment and resource recycling equipment, as well as increased development costs for the development of technologies, which aim to lower environmental impact. The direct economic effect was ¥940 million (a ¥220 million increase from 2002) mainly due to an increase in income from the sale of by-products of domestic Group companies.
  • - In the future, in addition to continued calculation by each business group, we will examine the application of internal management in environmental conservation activities, and will work towards increasing the usefulness of environmental accounting. By 2005, we plan to expand the coverage of calculation to include overseas Group companies in order to calculate cost and effect on a consolidated group basis.

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CO2 Emissions Reductions

  • - In order to fulfill our social responsibilities of cost reduction and prevention of global warming, by restricting energy consumption, NGK is developing and improving combustion technologies to conserve energy, shifting to fuels that generate less CO2, and recovering heat from waste gases produced during kiln use. These efforts are improving the energy efficiency of firing kilns and other production facilities.
  • - Total CO2 emissions by NGK in 2003 were 166,000 tons-CO2 (a 2.0% increase over 2002), and the basic unit (total amount/sales) was 85.8 tons-CO2¥100 million (a 3.3 tons-CO2¥100 million increase over 2002). These increases are due to a rise in electricity and liquid natural gas (LNG) consumption, due to the increased production of ceramics for exhaust gas purification and NAS® batteries.
  • - As for greenhouse gases other than CO2, which we started calculating in 2001, emissions of SF6 insulating gas (sulfur hexafluoride), which has an extremely high greenhouse effect, were reduced by 50% over 2002 levels to 2,000 tons-CO2.
  • - For future initiatives, NGK will change its management standards to a total quantities basis from the conventional basic unit (total amount/sales). In addition, the Company has established new medium-term targets for 2006 (a 0% increase over 2003) and long-term targets for 2010 (a 7% decrease over 1990). Furthermore, "Project E," which was launched in July 2003, assumes a central role in the Company-wide achievement of reduction in environmental impact. NGK will continue to develop and employ new technologies to ensure drastic reduction in CO2 emissions and to meet its goal.

Recycling of Production By-products

- We are working to minimize a range of by-products (waste products) generated during production activities, while at the same time enhancing our efforts to recycle them into effective reusable resources. We set our recycling targets of reduction in amount of by-products for outsourced processing by 40% (3,300 tons) in 2003 compared to 2001 levels, and zero emissions in 2005 (volume of by-products for final disposal into landfills to less than 1,000 tons per year).
- The total amount of by-products generated by NGK itself in 2003 was 16,000 tons, a level similar to 2002. For amounts of outsourced processing, we were unable to achieve the 2003 targets of below 3,300 tons, however, this was still a 24% reduction (1,300 tons) from 2002, and we are thus making a steady advancement toward achieving zero emissions in 2005.
- The recycling rate of by-products was 74% (8 percentage points rise over 2002). In particular, the recycling rate of ceramic material by-products increased substantially to 71% (10 percentage points rise over 2002), and the recycling rate of glass and ceramics rose to 92% (4 percentage points rise over 2002) as well.

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Management of Chemical Substances

  • - NGK introduced the Chemical Substances Management System in October 2000. The System has been integrated with the on-line purchasing system, and approximately 6,500 chemicals have been registered and carefully managed under the system.
  • - In 2003, NGK alone handled 71 of the PRTR-listed substances (13 substances more than in 2002), and reported to the government concerning 19 substances (5 substances more than in 2002). The total amount handled decreased to 250 tons (an 11% decrease over 2002), as a result of appropriate purchasing and management, along with increased management consciousness.
  • - NGK aims to reduce the amount of organic solvents, which are used in the manufacturing process of ceramic products, released to the atmosphere to less than 20% of 2000 levels by 2005, and has investigated the use of the alternative substances and improved facilities. As a result, the amount emitted into the atmosphere in 2003 was 9% of 2000 levels, with NGK achieving its goal two years ahead of schedule.

Social Responsibility Activities

  • - This year's report covers the establishment of a corporate governance system, human rights and employment activities, occupational safety and health, and environmental communications.
  • - For establishment of a corporate governance system, the Guidelines for Corporate Behavior, originally compiled in 1999, was revised in April 2003 in order for all individuals engaged in the NGK Group to comply with laws and regulations, as well as corporate ethics. In addition, the Compliance Committee, the Security Committee, and the Disaster Measures Headquarters were established under the President's direct control. Moreover, the Company has newly set up the "Helpline" for consulting and accepting of reports, which will ensure the thorough observance of these Guidelines.
  1. Environmental Report 2004pdf(1,463KB)
Environmental Report 2004

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