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 KOBELCO group continues to ensure thorough compliance with laws and regulations and reinforces environmental management.
The KOBELCO group set two targets on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023) below:
In fiscal 2020, each business location improves environmental management by environmental management systems and confirm the condition by environmental audit etc. To prevent from spreading COVID-19, we postponed on-site environmental audit for overseas business location and conducted self check by checklist. For business locations in the United States, Kobe Steel USA conducted on-line environmental audit.
The KOBELCO Group worldwide was involved in no serious issues of non-compliance, paid no big fines or penalties, nor caused any serious leaks.
The KOBELCO Group employs environmental management systems (EMSs) based on ISO 14001 and reinforces environmental management through a PDCA cycle.
Kobe Steel has acquired certification at all 11 business locations and for the Engineering Business, in addition to 19 domestic Group company business locations and 14 overseas Group companies. The percentage of major production business sites that have EMS certification is 92%.
* EA21 (Eco Action 21): An environmental management system accredited by the Ministry of the Environment for which certification is easier to obtain than ISO 14001
Oil recovery training (in case of oil spill)
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.
On-site environmental audit
The KOBELCO Group conducts paper audits based on checklists of risks every year to ensure compliance with laws and regulations at Kobe Steel and all business locations of domestic Group companies.
On-site environmental audits are conducted at 11 business locations of Kobe Steel and 28 business locations of 20 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 person(s) in charge.
Results of Measures in Fiscal 2020
Paper audits: 12 business locations of Kobe Steel, 416 business locations of 98 domestic Group companies
On-site environmental audits: 6 business locations of Kobe Steel, 8 business locations of 8 domestic Group companies
* We conducted on-line environmental audit 2 business locations of object of on-site environmental audit since a state of emergency was declared.
The KOBELCO Group established systems for checking the 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-checks 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.
Our overseas locations also have environmental management systems in place, just like our business locations and Group companies in Japan. Kobe Steel aims to strengthen environmental management further by sharing information among business divisions at Kobe Steel and with overseas 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.
Kobe Steel 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 and recommend steps to reduce risks.
A total of 32 overseas Group companies are subject to on-site environmental audits, comprising seven in the United States, 10 in China, 14 in Asia (excluding China), and one in Europe. We review the state of environmental management, identify problems. Based on the results of these audits, we implemented necessary corrective measures. In fiscal 2020, we postponed the planned on-site audit and conducted self-review of state of environmental compliance because of COVID-19 spreading situation. Kobe Steel will implement initiatives in order to strengthen its environmental management at overseas business sites.
The KOBELCO group continue:
-Eco-Office Activities to reduce energy consumption and make comfortable work environment
-environmental education/learning and improve environmental awareness in order to make all employees can take action with concerning environment
The KOBELCO group set target that continuing stratified training, e-learning environmental training for group companies and encouragement of the KOBELCO Eco-Life Notebook to increase environmental awareness on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023).
In fiscal 2020, we increased employees’ environmental awareness and knowledge through environmental conferences, stratified training, and e-learning. Also, we promoted environmental awareness at employees’ homes through the KOBELCO Eco-Life Notebook.
KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference
The KOBELCO Group Environmental Conference is held every year for the purposes of sharing environmental information and promoting cross-development of environmental initiatives. In fiscal 2020, participants shared useful examples of ways to reduce environmental burden at the business locations where they work and reviewed changes to environmental laws and regulations.
In order to prevent from spreading COVID-19, the conference was held on both on-site and on-line and on-site participant was limited.
Since fiscal 2006, we have continually incorporated environmental training and study into its stratified training program for employees in specific positions at respective business locations. Additionally, we provide e-learning programs regularly via the intranet.
In fiscal 2020, we provided e-learning program to raise compliance and environmental awareness including environmental management and global warming. 96.4% of participants answered that they understood the contents of e-learning in questionnaire after it. We will continue initiatives to raise employees’ environmental awareness and announce environmental laws and regulations.
Networking event in China
In the United States and China, employees in charge of environmental management participate in environmental seminars and networking events in order to advance the skills of environmental managers at Group companies and share information on the latest developments in environment-related laws and regulations. Employees who will be transferred to overseas locations are given environmental training prior to their departure with the aim of heightening the consciousness of environmental risks, raising the awareness of local laws and regulations, and preventing environmental problems.
In order to strengthen environmental management and raise environmental awareness, Kobe Steel promotes the acquisition of environmental qualifications (such as for pollution control managers or qualified persons for energy management).
Employees Acquiring Environmental Qualifications in FY 2020 (Kobe Steel, Ltd.)
|Qualification||Number of qualified personnel|
|Pollution Control Manager (air)||291|
|Pollution Control Manager (water)||240|
|Pollution Control Manager (noise/vibration)||209|
|Pollution Control Manager (dust)||53|
|Pollution Control Manager (dioxins)||68|
|Pollution Control Chief Manager||5|
|Qualified Person for Energy Management||261|
|Certified Environmental Measurer||22|
The KOBELCO group actively discloses environmental information to communicate environmental management initiatives to stakeholders. On business locations, we regularly communicate with local residents.
The KOBELCO group set target that continuing disclosing information in an effort to communicate with all stakeholders on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023).
In fiscal 2020, we disclosed environmental information via Integrated Report 2019, company website, environmental monitors, and other sources, and introduced Group environmental technologies and products at exhibition. Also, we agreed with Final Report Recommendations of TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and joined TCFD consortium, the organization consists of domestic companies which agrees with.
We disclose environmental information as important non-financial information.
In order to gain the understanding of local residents in the area of Kakogawa Works and the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant regarding its environmental preservation efforts, Kobe Steel holds regularly information sessions. (In fiscal 2020, information session on the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant was canceled to prevent from spreading COVID-19.)
Toll-free (within Japan) phone numbers have also been set up at Kakogawa Works and the Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant to answer environment-related questions. We will continue to value the opinions of people in local communities.
Air emissions and other environmental data for Kakogawa Works and Kobe Wire Rod & Bar Plant are disclosed in real-time via monitors installed at 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||Nadahama Science Square,
Nadahama Garden Baden