Environmental Management

Thorough Risk Management


The KOBELCO Group identifies environmental risks in its business activities and takes steps to reduce these risks, while properly managing risks in accordance with daily operating procedures. Through environmental audits and other activities, the Group continues to ensure thorough compliance with laws and regulations and reinforces environmental management.

Management Structure

Management structure is below:


The KOBELCO Group has set the following two targets within the Medium-Term Management Plan (Fiscal 2021–2023):

  • Enhance the environmental management structure by continuing conducting on-site environmental audits by the Head Office and expanding this to applicable Group companies
  • For overseas Group companies, promote the same level of environmental management as in Japan and improve risk management through activities such as on-site environmental audits


In fiscal 2021, we conducted paper-based environmental audits on all of the Group’s business sites in Japan, including nonproduction locations. We also carried out on-site environmental audits at 11 production sites. In this manner, we confirmed the management situation of each business location in Japan. At overseas Group companies, on-site environmental audits are conducted regularly, and in fiscal 2021 they were implemented at Group companies in Singapore and China.

Status of Compliance (Fiscal 2021)

At Company business locations and Group companies in Japan, there was one case where air quality values exceeded regulation standards, and five cases where water quality values exceeded regulation standards. All the cases were discovered by self-inspections and reported promptly to relevant authorities, with corrective measures taken. No fines or punishments were imposed.

At overseas Group companies, there were two cases where air quality values exceeded regulation standards, and one case where water quality values exceeded regulation standards. In one of the air quality cases, a fine of 30,000 Chinese yuan (equivalent to approximately 500,000 Japanese yen) was received.

The KOBELCO Group’s Initiatives

Strengthening Environmental Management (Promoting an environmental management system)

The KOBELCO Group employs environmental management systems (EMS) based on ISO 14001 and reinforces environmental management through a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. At Kobe Steel, Ltd., certifications were obtained at all 11 locations (an integrated certification for Fujisawa Plant, Ibaraki Plant, Saijo Plant, and Fukuchiyama Plant) and the Engineering Business, with 17 Group company locations in Japan and 12 Group companies overseas having also obtained certification. The percentage of locations that have obtained certification for environmental management systems at all 45 main production sites is 89%.

Training on the handling of the leak prevention gate assuming a spill of untreated water (Kobelco Actec Co., Ltd.)

Training on the handling of the leak
prevention gate assuming a spill of
untreated water (Kobelco Actec Co., Ltd.)

Each business location periodically conducts drills for possible emergency situations. Issues are identified in follow-up meetings after the drills and steps are taken to improve responsiveness.

Environmental Audits for Domestic Business Locations

The KOBELCO Group conducts paper-based audits based on checklists of risks for each business location every year to ensure compliance with laws and regulations at Kobe Steel and all business locations of domestic Group companies.

As of April 2021, on-site environmental audits had been conducted regularly at 12 business locations of Kobe Steel and 27 business locations of 18 domestic Group companies with high environmental risks. These are strict on-site environmental audits to check documents, such as measurement records and various reports, and inspect work sites for waste storage and other conditions. The audits also entail interviews with personnel in charge.

Results of Measures in Fiscal 2021

  • Paper-based audits: 12 business locations of Kobe Steel, (399 business locations of 95 domestic Group companies, as of April 2021)
  • On-site environmental audits: 3 business locations of Kobe Steel, and 7 business locations at 7 domestic Group companies

On-site environmental audit (Moka Plant)

On-site environmental audit (Moka Plant)

Environmental Management Structures at Overseas Business Locations

Our overseas business locations also have environmental management structures in place, just like our business locations and Group companies in Japan. Kobe Steel aims to further strengthen environmental management by sharing information among business divisions at Kobe Steel and with overseas business locations.

In the United States and China, where many Group production sites are located, the regional headquarters for respective regions, Kobe Steel USA Inc. and Kobelco (China) Holding Co., Ltd., have environmental managers who are well-versed in local laws and regulations to assist other Group companies and take steps to mitigate risks.

Environmental Audits for Overseas Business Locations

The KOBELCO Group implements on-site environmental audits once every two to five years at overseas business locations.
During these audits, the environmental manager at the regional headquarters, who is well-versed in local laws and regulations, or a local consultant is appointed to review compliance with environmental laws and regulations as well as to recommend steps to reduce risks and provide guidance.

A total of 32 overseas Group companies are subject to on-site environmental audits: 7 in the United States, 10 in China, 14 in Asia excluding China, and 1 in Europe. During on-site environmental audits, we grasp the actual state of environmental management and identify problem areas, based on which necessary corrective measures are undertaken.

In fiscal 2021, we conducted a total of three on-site audits, involving two companies in China and one company in Singapore. Going forward, we will continue to implement initiatives to strengthen environmental management at overseas business locations.

Monitoring of Environmental Risks in Investment Projects

The KOBELCO Group established systems for checking compliance with environmental laws and regulations as well as environmental risks associated with investment projects at each business location. In addition, we employed an environmental checklist system through which the head offices double-check the laws and risks pertaining to projects that entail particularly large investments.

These checks are to confirm that, for example, chemical storage tanks are not installed underground in order to prevent soil contamination and check whether or not effective measures are in place for preventing leaks in cases when storage tanks are located near drainage channels.

Promoting Environmental Initiatives with Full Employee Participation


The KOBELCO Group is working to improve environmental awareness through Eco-Office activities to create an energyefficient and comfortable work environment and to sustain environmental education/learning to enable all employees to take action for the environment.

Management Structure

Management structure is below:


The KOBELCO Group has set targets in the Medium-Term Management Plan (Fiscal 2021–2023) to continue initiatives such as stratified training, e-learning environmental training for Group companies and encourages all employees to use the KOBELCO Eco-Life notebook in an effort to increase environmental awareness.


In fiscal 2021, we worked to increase our employees’ environmental awareness and knowledge through the KOBELCO Group Environmental Meeting, stratified training, and e-learning. Also, we promoted environmental awareness among employees in their home lives through the KOBELCO Eco-Life Notebook.

The KOBELCO Group’s Initiatives

KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference

KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference (held online)

KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference
(held online)

The KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference is held every year for the purposes of sharing environmental information and promoting cross-divisional environmental initiatives. In fiscal 2021, participants confirmed their commitment to steadily implementing the Group’s carbon-neutral strategy, shared useful examples of ways to reduce the environmental burden at the business locations where they work, and reviewed changes to environmental laws and regulations.

Environmental Training and Study

Since fiscal 2006, we have continually incorporated environmental training and study into our stratified training program for employees in specific positions at respective business locations. Additionally, we provide e-learning programs regularly via the intranet.

Stratified training conducted in fiscal 2021 included topics such as compliance with environmental laws and regulations along with environmental management and our initiatives to take on the challenge of realizing carbon neutrality by 2050, serving to raise environmental awareness of all participants.

Environmental Training and Study at Overseas Business Locations

In the United States and China, we hold environmental seminars and networking events for employees in charge of environmental management at Group companies in order to advance their skills and share information on the latest developments in environment-related laws and regulations. Employees who will be transferred to overseas business locations are given environmental training prior to their departure with the aim of heightening the consciousness of environmental risks, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations, and preventing environmental problems.

Networking event in China

Networking event in China

Promoting Environmental Qualifications

In order to strengthen environmental management and raise environmental awareness, we are encouraging employees to acquire environmental qualifications (such as for pollution control managers or qualified persons for energy management).

Employees Acquiring Environmental Qualifications in Fiscal 2021 (Kobe Steel, Ltd.)

Qualification Number of Qualified Personnel
Pollution Control Manager (air) 294
Pollution Control Manager (water) 232
Pollution Control Manager (noise/vibration) 193
Pollution Control Manager (dust) 53
Pollution Control Manager (dioxins) 67
Pollution Control Chief Manager 5
Qualified Person for Energy Management 264
Certified Environmental Measures 20

Disclosure of Environmental Information


The KOBELCO Group actively discloses environmental information to communicate its environmental management initiatives to stakeholders. At our business locations, we continue with environmental communication efforts, including regularly holding dialogue with community members.

Management Structure

Management structure is below:


The KOBELCO Group set targets in the Medium-Term Management Plan (Fiscal 2021–2023) to continue initiatives such as the disclosure of information in an effort to communicate with all stakeholders.


In fiscal 2021, we continued to disclose environmental information via our integrated report, corporate website, public monitors, and other measures. Also, we set up booths at various exhibitions and introduced our Group’s environmental technologies and products.

KOBELCO Group’s Initiatives

Issuing Integrated Report

We disclose environmental information as important non-financial information.

Communication with Local Communities

In order to gain the understanding of community members in the area of Kakogawa Works, the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant, and the Kobe Power Plant regarding our environmental preservation efforts, we regularly hold information sessions. (In fiscal 2021, information sessions on the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant and Kobe Power Plant were canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)

Toll-free phone numbers (within Japan) have also been set up at Kakogawa Works, the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant, and the Kobe Power Plant to answer environment-related inquiries. We will continue to value the opinions of people in local communities.

Disclosing Environmental Information via Public Monitors

Kakogawa Works and the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant (including the Kobe Power Plant) provide real-time information on the environment, including soot and smoke emissions from the steelworks, through monitors set up in various locations.

Locations of Public Monitors
Kakogawa Works environmental information Kakogawa City Hall, Harima Town Hall, and local community
centers in Befu
and Onoe, both in Kakogawa
Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant environmental information
(includes the Kobe Power Plant)
Nadahama Science Square,
Nadahama Garden Baden

Environmental Accounting


The KOBELCO Group continues to work to reduce its environmental impacts

We will continue to disclose information to better grasp the costs and benefits associated with our environmental conservation activities, and to deepen stakeholder understanding of our efforts.

Environment-Related Investments and Results

Kobe Steel, Ltd. invests in the installation and continual maintenance of environmental equipment and pursues environmental measures on a variety of fronts.

In fiscal 2021, we invested approximately 0.65 billion yen, primarily to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent water pollution. Expenses in fiscal 2021 totaled 36.0 billion yen.

Moreover, we invested about 29% of total expenses, or roughly 10.3 billion yen, in research and development for technology development, including making automobile weight-reduction proposals that combine competitiveness of cuttingedge materials such as high-tensile strength steel and aluminum with automotive solution technologies, demonstrating our strengths as a company that operates the steel, aluminum, and welding businesses. Of these, we invested approximately 4.8 billion yen as R&D expenses related to climate change.

We will continue to implement measures to reduce environmental impacts.

Breakdown of Capital Investment and Expenses [Kobe Steel, Ltd.]

(Millions of yen)

Item Fiscal 2019 Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2021
Expense Capital
Expense Capital
Expenses in
business areas
Air pollution
0.8 95.4 2.1 76.1 2.2 90.9
Water pollution
6.2 49.4 2.1 39.4 0.8 46.6
Waste recycling/
yield improvement
0.1 90.3 0.1 89.5 94
32.1 12.3 3.5
Management activities expenses EMS registration/renewal 0.5 0.4 0.4
Environmental impact monitoring/measuring 3.0 2.5 2.8
Personnel expenses for environmental measures/organizations 20.2 18.8 19.3
R&D expenses Development of eco products and
reduction of environmental
impact of manufacturing processes
93.9 89.6 102.6
Of which, R&D related
to climate change
57.7 45.1 47.6
Social activities
Environmental organization
support, advertising
0.1 0.1 0.1
Other expenses Pollution levy 3.2 3.0 2.8
Total 39.2 356 16.6 319 6.5 360

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