Reduction of Environmental Impacts


As part of its environmental management policies, the KOBELCO Group is committed to environmentally friendly manufacturing. We pursue this commitment on a variety of fronts—including improvements to sustainable manufacturing processes, updates to equipment, introduction of efficient state-of-the-art equipment, and introduction of pollution control equipment—to reduce environmental impact from soot and other sources. We will continue to implement these initiatives.

Management Structure

Water Pollution Measures

The KOBELCO Group strives to conserve water through such measures as efficient use of water in manufacturing processes and wastewater recycling.

Additionally, by purifying drainage from manufacturing processes using specialized treatment systems, we reduce levels of polluting substances in public water resources.


The KOBELCO Group has set the target in the Medium-Term Management Plan (Fiscal 2021–2023) of reducing environmental impact from air emissions, etc., through meticulous operational management and facility management.


The actual water recycling rate in fiscal 2021 was approximately 96%, exceeding our target of achieving 95% or more

We also set targets for water pollution load (COD, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus). All of the targets were achieved.

Data on Water Pollution Load* (Kobe Steel, Ltd. and domestic Group companies)

Item Target Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2021
Water discharge total - 2,598,130,000 m3 2,664,060,000 m3
COD 474t 243t 244t
Total nitrogen 2,513t 1,915t 1,887t
Total phosphorus 23t 3t 3t

Initiatives of the KOBELCO Group

At each business location, we are 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 reaches approximately 96%.

Water Recycling Status (including domestic Group companies with significant water use)

Water Recycling Status (including domestic Group companies with significant water use)

Each KOBELCO Group business site remains aware of regulatory water quality requirements and evaluates their compliance with these levels. Please see below for water discharge data for each business site, including the results of water quality measurements.

Air Pollution Measures

The KOBELCO Group is working to control air pollutant emissions by introducing low-NOx combustion facilities along with enforcing appropriate management of exhaust gas treatment facilities and dust collectors.


Our Group’s goal during the Medium-Term Management Plan (Fiscal 2021-2023) is to continue meticulous operational management and facility management, and to work to reduce the environmental impacts of soot and smoke, and other emissions.


In fiscal 2021, we continued to control emissions by thoroughly managing soot and smoke. However, we exceeded our voluntary steelworks influence value targets for dustfall (measurement sites: 3.0 tons/km2/month or less at Kakogawa Shinko Building, Befu Elementary School, and Onoe Elementary School) at Kakogawa Works for three consecutive months from May to July 2021.

Initiatives of the KOBELCO Group

Limiting SOx and NOx Emissions (SOx and NOx emissions over the past three years)

We have taken measures to limit sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions during manufacturing processes, such as conserving energy to reduce fuel consumption, using low-sulfur fuels, and switching to city gas, while also implementing exhaust-related measures, such as desulfurization. Likewise, to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, we have implemented low-NOx combustion technology and energy-saving measures.



Measures to Counter Dust at Kakogawa Works

At Kakogawa Works, voluntary targets for dustfall in three neighboring locations have been set at 3.0 tons/km2/ month or less. In fiscal 2021, we fell short of the voluntary targets for three months from May to July 2021. After investigating, we determined the following two causes.

In the future, we will add a dust collector for the sintering plant and mitigate blockages of the dust prevention net through regular cleaning in an effort to achieve the voluntary target consistently.


Appropriate Management of Chemical Substances

We established the KOBELCO Group Policy on Controlling Hazardous Chemical Substances to ensure the appropriate handling of chemical substances from procurement to manufacturing and quality control.

KOBELCO Group Policy on Controlling Hazardous Chemical Substances

We comply with all domestic laws and regulations concerning the handling of chemical substances and implement the following actions:


In addition to accurately assessing the use, disposal, and transfer of chemical substances covered under the PRTR Law1 and Chemical Substance Control Law,2 we engage in activities to limit the use and output of such substances.

The Group’s targets involve working on the appropriate management of chemical substances and activities to reduce or replace them. We also appropriately store and manage waste electrical machinery with PCB and equipment using fluorocarbons in accordance with the PCB Special Measures Law3 and Fluorocarbons Control Law.4

  • 1 Law Concerning Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR): Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof

    2 Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.

    3 Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes

    4 Act on Rational Use and Appropriate Management of Fluorocarbons


In fiscal 2021, we completed registration for disposal of high-concentration PCB waste (transformers, fluorescent light stabilizers, etc.) located in areas where the treatment deadline was approaching, and have outsourced the processing sequentially. Also, we expect to complete disposal at business locations in other areas by the statutory deadline. Regarding the equipment containing low-concentration PCB, we thoroughly investigated the in-use equipment and contracted the processing for some of them. In addition, through audits and other means, we verified that appropriate action is being taken under the Act on Rational Use and Appropriate Management of Fluorocarbons.

Annual Transfer and Release of Substances Subject to PRTR Reporting over the Past Three Years

Fiscal 2019 Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2021
Substances subject to reporting 48 46 46
Air emissions 581t 470t 429t
Releases to public water areas 64t 57t 63t
Drainage 0.5t 0.3t 0.5t
Transfers outside the premises (waste) 652t 588t 625t
  • * The information above covers 99% of the KOBELCO Group’s release and transfer of chemical substances in Japan.

    ** Detailed results in fiscal 2021 are listed below:

Air Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Other Hazardous Substances over the Past Three Years (including emissions by domestic Group companies) (unit: t/year)

Fiscal 2019 Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2021
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 577 469 428
Other hazardous substances Lead 0 0 0
Manganese and its compounds 0.1 0.1 0.1
  • * Calculated for VOCs relevant to the KOBELCO Group, out of those specified as Class 1 Designated Chemical Substances in Appended Table 1 of the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Law Concerning Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

    ** The information above covers 99% of the environmental impact of the KOBELCO Group in Japan.

Initiatives of the KOBELCO Group

Examples of Initiatives to Reduce Chemical Substance Use and Output

Production Facility / Company Name Location Activities
Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.
Ogaki Factory
Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture Introduced electrostatic coating to enhance coating efficiency
Nippon Koshuha Steel Co., Ltd.
Toyama Works
Imizu, Toyama Prefecture Stopped use of tetrachloroethylene in the coating process

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