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Promoting Resource Recycling

In order to make effective use of limited resources, the Kobe Steel Group implements measures to control waste at each of its locations.

Additionally, adding value to byproducts created during the manufacturing processes allows us to pursue greater levels of reuse and recycling.

Promoting Waste Control and Recycling

In fiscal 2013 a total of 5.61 million tons of byproduct materials were created by the Kobe Steel Group, including overseas Group companies, with approximately 98.6% of those coming materials from the Iron & Steel Business. At the steelworks, we strive to recycle and add value to secondary materials produced during iron and steelmaking such as slag* and dust. In fiscal 2013 the recycling ratio for all of Kobe Steel was 97.7%, while the overall ratio for the Kobe Steel Group, including overseas Group companies, was 97.5%.

In addition to recycling, we also follow a fundamental policy of minimizing the initial production of waste through thorough adjustments to the amount of raw materials and auxiliary materials used.

Throughout the Kobe Steel Group, including overseas companies, Kobe Steel consigned 140,000 tons of waste to landfills. We plan to continue to reduce this amount through measures such as controlling waste, increasing recycling, developing new recycling technologies and adding value to byproducts, so as to meet the fiscal 2015 targets set (for reducing waste and increasing recycling) in voluntary action plans for each industry sector.

* Slag is a byproduct generated and recovered during the ironmaking and steelmaking stages.

Byproducts by Business Unit (includes Group Companies)

Byproducts by Business Unit (includes Group Companies)

Byproducts, Amount Recycled and Recycling Ratio (Kobe Steel)

Byproducts, Amount Recycled and Recycling Ratio (Kobe Steel)

Recycling Initiatives

In each business unit and at each location we implement action programs to reduce levels of waste consigned to landfills, and strive to add value through measures to reduce and reuse waste, develop recycling technologies, and create new avenues for use.

Iron & Steel Business

Recycling of Waste and Byproducts

Breakwater construction using slag (Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture)

Breakwater construction using
(Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture)

Expected result(Seaweed growth around Ieshima, Hyogo Prefecture)

Expected result
(Seaweed growth around
Ieshima, Hyogo Prefecture)

Kobe Steel continues to develop new technologies for the recycling of slag and dust as well as new uses for recycled material. As a result, in fiscal 2013 the Kobe Works, Kakogawa Works and Tagasago Works reduced waste consigned to landfills by approximately 100,000 tons.

The Kakogawa Works started up a new hot-metal treatment plant to further raise production efficiency and promote on-site recycling of slag and dust.

In fiscal 2013, 2.66 million tons of blast furnace slag* and 1.17 million tons of steelmaking slag were produced at the Kakogawa Works and Kobe Works.

As one new use for recycled slag, a submerged breakwater utilizing approximately 1,000 tons of slag was constructed at Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. By carrying out demonstration tests on the validity of slag as a harbor material and its safety for oceans we will greatly increase the range of future slag recycling.

*Blast furnace slag, steelmaking slag: Products classified as iron and steel slag, produced in the blast furnace and the steelmaking processes, respectively.

Aluminum & Copper Business

Drawing on the exceptional initiatives for controlling waste that are in place at individual locations, such as those for the effective use of dross produced from aluminum melting furnaces, the Aluminum & Copper Business aims for horizontal development of measures so as to raise the resource recycling rate of the business unit as a whole.

Previously, the alkaline degreasing liquid produced during copper sheet and strip production at the Chofu Works was treated as industrial waste and handled by outside contractors. In fiscal 2013, however, in order to reduce the amount of contracted liquid waste disposal, new vacuum distillation equipment was introduced. As a result, liquid waste was condensed to 20% of the previous amount, drastically reducing contracted amounts.

Due to measures such as these, a high resource recycling rate of 93.7% for the Moka Plant and 99.9% for the Chofu Works was maintained.

Suzhou Kobe Copper Technology, Co., Ltd. in China is also working to reduce scraps, promote reuse, increase yield rate, and otherwise raise its resource recycling rate.

Vacuum distillation equipment

Vacuum distillation equipment

Recycling Ratio (Moka Plant)

Recycling Ratio (Moka Plant)

Recycling Ratio (Chofu Works)

Recycling Ratio (Chofu Works)

Welding Business

The Welding Business pursues a variety of measures to identify items and set targets for waste reduction. The know-how behind such measures is shared through regular meetings.

In order to decrease waste consigned to landfills, we work to improve the collection of waste flux and lubricant produced during the production of welding materials, reuse these materials, and raise output levels.

Kobe Welding of Korea Co., Ltd. is also striving to reduce the amount of waste consigned to landfills, including through recycling of wire drawing lubricant and dehydration of sludge.

Machinery Business

In the Machinery Business, a high resource recycling ratio is maintained through the careful solidification of previously enacted measures. The Takasago Machinery Center, which produces industrial machinery such as nonstandard compressors, has been introducing measures to reduce waste (from the source) and increase recycling. Additionally, the Harima Plant, which produces standard compressors, maintains zero waste consigned to landfills through recycling measures such as the introduction of returnable containers for product packing. The U.S. companies Kobelco Stewart Boiling, Inc. and Kobelco Compressors Manufacturing Indiana, Inc., meanwhile, are developing methods to recover and reuse metal chips resulting from machining.


Takasago Works
Sorting Used Paper

Information on how to sort used paper

Information on how to sort used

The Takasago Works has environmental initiatives in place to sort used paper and reduce the amount of paper waste produced. In order further improve these activities, the works created illustrations and a campaign encouraging employees to think before tossing away recyclable paper by showing the ways in which recycled paper can be used. Since the campaign began, the amount of paper recycled (for sale as new materials, etc.) has increased approximately twofold. This has also helped to reduce the amount of general incinerated waste. Activities such as these also help to foster environmental awareness among employees.