Supplementary Material for Integrated Report 2020

Appropriate Management of Water Resources

The KOBELCO Group is reducing its use of water in production processes by optimizing water use, and by reusing and recycling water. We also limit the output of pollutants to public waters by purifying wastewater from production processes with treatment systems suited to its characteristics.

Water Intake, Discharge and Recycling Rate Data for the Past Three Years (Kobe Steel, Ltd.; unit: 10,000 m3)

Locations Item FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
Kobe Steel, Ltd. (12 locations)*1 Water withdrawal source
Tap water and industrial water provided by the waterworks bureau in each area*2 4,547 4,414 4,309
Groundwater (recyclable) 490 483 420
Seawater for cooling 147,022 137,817 135,406
Water withdrawal total*3 152,059 142,715 140,135
Point of discharge*4
Rivers 166 165 156
Sea water 149,191 139,973 137,481
Sewage 64 65 63
Discharge total*3 149,421 140,203 137,700
Consumption 2,638 2,511 2,435
Recycling rate*5
Recycling rate*5 96% 96% 96%

Data on Water Pollution Load (Kobe Steel, Ltd.; unit: tons)

Location Item FY 2019
Kobe Steel, Ltd. (9 locations)*6 Water discharge total 137,571
COD 229
Nitrogen 1,914
Phosphorus 3
Annual Transfer and Release of Substances Subject to PRTR Reporting
Discharge to public waters 56
Drainage 0.2
  • *1 The data above covers 100% of the production sites of Kobe Steel, Ltd.

  • *2 The water withdrawal sources for tap water and industrial water are mainly rivers.

  • *3 The sum of the breakdown figures and the total might not match due to rounding of each item.

  • *4 Each location discharges wastewater in compliance with water quality regulations for wastewater stipulated by laws and regulations.

  • *5 The recycling rate is calculated as: (total recycled fresh water) ÷ (total recycled fresh water + total freshwater withdrawal). The calculation of total recycled fresh water includes some estimates based on equipment specifications.

  • *6 The wastewater from the nine locations included accounts for more than 99% of Kobe Steel’s 12 production sites.

In WRI Aqueduct (as of September 2020), the production sites of Kobe Steel, Ltd. are not located in regions where “Water Stress” is high or higher. In addition, the volume of water from the suppliers for our production sites is ensured, and we believe that the risk of water withdrawal affecting production is low. At Kakogawa Works, for example, the risk of water intake affecting production is thought to be low because upstream from the water used is the Gongen Dam (total storage capacity: 11.12 million tons), constructed to ensure a stable supply of industrial water from the Kakogawa River as well as the Kakogawa Weir (total storage capacity: 1.96 million tons) and the Heiso Dam (total storage capacity: 9.40 million m3), which were constructed to ensure the flow rate of industrial water.

Development of Water Management Plans in the KOBELCO Group

Of the Group’s 33 major production sites in Japan, 15 that account for 45% have formulated water management plans, monitor water intake, discharge and recycling, and are working to properly manage water resources and reduce environmental impact.

At Kakogawa Works, we are promoting the effective use of water resources, such as by monitor withdrawal and discharge through continuous measurement of flow rates at drains, and by recycling water to use again at the site after purifying wastewater from each production process through coagulation sedimentation, sand filtering, etc. In this way, the water recycling rate*1 reaches approximately 97%.

  • *1 The recycling rate is calculated from the following formula: (total recycled fresh water) ÷ (total recycled fresh water + total fresh water withdrawal). The calculation of total recycled fresh water includes some estimates based on equipment specifications.

Collaboration with External Bodies to Reduce Water Use

In Toyama Prefecture, where Nippon Koshuha Steel Co., Ltd. is located, the amount of water allocated to companies is ensured, but in order to leave enough water for snow clearing, every year the Prefecture calls on factories, workplaces, offices, and snow-clearing equipment managers to voluntarily save water from December to February. In order to do its part, Nippon Koshuha Steel is working to reduce its water usage as much as possible.

Expenses Associated with Water-related Risks and Investment to mitigate Water-related Risks (Fiscal 2019)

Item Equipment investment Expense
Water pollution prevention*1 ¥0.62 billion ¥4.94 billion
R&D expenses*2 ¥0.79 billion
  • *1 Performance for Kobe Steel, Ltd. For more information, see the Environmental Accounting page.

  • *2 R&D expenses for water treatment-related projects in fiscal 2019 at Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

There were no serious issues of non-compliance, payments of severe fines or penalties, nor any serious leaks over the permitted level in water quality/quantity that are viewed as a violation of standards and regulations.

Response to the CDP Water Security Questionnaire

Kobe Steel, Ltd. has been responding to questionnaires from CDP*1, an international NGO, since fiscal 2009. Please refer to the following for our response to the 2020 Water Security Questionnaire.

  • *1 An international NGO working on environmental issues. It sends environment-related questionnaires to companies and compiles the results to analyze and evaluate on a common scale.

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