Reduction of Environmental Impacts

Concept

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 continue these initiatives.

Management Structure

Management structure is below:

Water Pollution Measures

The KOBELCO Group strives to conserve water through such measures as improvements to 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.

Targets and Results

The KOBELCO group set target that continuing meticulous operational management and facility management in an effort to reduce environmental impact from air emissions, etc. on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023)

In addition, we set target that keeping water recycling rate 95% and over. The result in fiscal 2020 was 96% so that we achieved the target.

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

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*1 reaches approximately 96%.

水のリサイクル状況(当社)

Data on Water Pollution Load (Kobe Steel, Ltd.; and domestic group companies)

Location Point of discharge Item Target FY 2020
Kobe Steel Ltd,. and domestic group companies
(10 locations)*1
Public waters Water discharge total - 2,598,130,000m3
COD 474t 243t
Nitrogen 2,513t 1,915t
Phosphorus 23t 3t
Substances Subject to PRTR Reporting - 51t
  • *1: The wastewater from the ten locations (located in area which has total pollution load regulations) included accounts for more than 99% of whole the KOBELCO group.

The KOBELCO group grasps standard related water on each business location and evaluates condition of compliance. Data of discharge including water quality measurement result of each business locations is below:

Air Pollution Measures

Targets and Results

The KOBELCO group set target that continuing meticulous operational management and facility management in an effort to reduce environmental impact from air emissions, etc. on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023)

Initiatives of the KOBELCO group

We take measures to limit SOx (sulfur oxide) 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 NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, we have implemented low NOx combustion technology and energy saving measures.

SOx・NOx排出量(国内グループ会社含む)

Measures to Counter Dust at Kakogawa Works

At Kakogawa Works, voluntary targets for dustfall in three neighboring locations have been set at 3 tons/km2 /month or less. In fiscal 2020, we met our voluntary targets for all months by implementing conventional initiatives and taking measures such as increasing the number of dust collectors and managing the suppression of dust.

SOx・NOx排出量(国内グループ会社含む)

Steelworks Influence Value (Kakogawa Shinko Building)

Promoting Resource Recycling(Waste Reduction) and
Raw Materials Usage Reduction

To make effective use of limited resources, the KOBELCO Group implements measures to control waste. We add value to by-products created during manufacturing processes, develop and introduce new applications for materials, and actively pursue recycling. Also, the KOBELCO group reduces paper consumption by reusing packaging for shipping products with revising specifications and actively promoting digitization and IT adoption of documents used at office work on whole group.

Targets and Results

We actively promote yield improvement and reduction of by-raw-material consumption. Also, we set fiscal 2025 target of recycling rate of major by-products (slag, dust and sludge) as 99%. The result in fiscal 2020 was 98.7%. We make effort to achieve the target.

Fig. Transition of Recycling rate (Kobe Steel Ltd.)

Fig. Transition of Recycling rate (Kobe Steel Ltd.)

Controlling Waste Generation and Promoting Recycling

In fiscal 2020, a total of 3.20 million tons of by-product materials were generated by the KOBELCO Group and the recycling ratio was 95%. We will continue to reduce final landfill disposal volume by controlling the amount of waste produced, increasing recycling, and developing new recycling technologies and adding value.

副産物発生量(国内グループ会社含む)

Amount of byproducts, recycled resources and landfill disposal over the past three years (incl. Group companies in Japan)

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020*1
Amount of byproducts 4,508,559t 4,118,779t 3,188,926t
Amount of recycled resources 4,268,090t 3,912,532t 3,021,888t
Amount of landfill disposal 160,561t 180,808t 135,923t
Other (volume reduction, etc.) 79,908t 25,439t 31,155t
By-products recycling rate*2 96% 95% 95%
Percentage hazardous*3 0.46% 0.53% 0.75%
  • *1 The data above covers 99% of the environmental impact of the KOBELCO Group in Japan.

    *2 By-products (total) recycling rate = amount of recycled resources/amount of by-products object to treatment

    *3 Percentage hazardous = amount of special controlled industrial waste generation/amount of by-products generation

Amount of hazardous waste over the past three years*
(incl. Group companies in Japan)

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Amount of hazardous waste* 598t 652t 588t
  • * Amount of hazardous waste: Transfer and release of substances subject to PRTR reporting outside the premises

Main Resource Use at Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Main raw materials Iron ore FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020*1
Iron ore 1,000 t 10,370 10,380 9,310
Coking coal / coke 1,000 t 5,650 536 492
Aluminum ingots, copper ingots, etc. 1,000 t 470 430 430
Total 1,000 t 16,490 16,170 14,650

Initiatives of the KOBELCO group

Initiatives to Reduce Waste in Collaboration with Outside Entities

取組み 詳細
Joint Business for Recycling Steel Mill Dust into Direct Reduced Iron
  • In October 2008, Nippon Steel Corporation and Kobe Steel, Ltd. established a joint venture company, Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine Co., Ltd., for the purpose of using steel mill dust and iron ore fines from their steel mills as raw materials to recycle iron into direct reduced iron (DRI) and recover zinc.
  • Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine constructed a recycling plant that utilizes Kobe Steel’s FASTMET® Process. In this process, steel mill dust is heated to a high temperature in a doughnut-shaped Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF) and quickly undergoes reduction to make DRI, which is then formed into hot briquetted iron (HBI). At the same time, the zinc in the steel mill dust is recovered. As the steel mill dust and zinc are effectively recycled, the DRI can be used as an alternative or supplement to scrap and iron ore as the main raw material, and the recycled zinc can reduce the use of zinc ore. Recycling also promotes zero emissions.
  • Nittetsu Shinko Metal Refine recycles the steel mill dust it receives and uses it to produce DRI. The DRI is supplied to Nippon Steel and Kobe Steel, with a portion also going to Sanyo Special Steel Co., Ltd., a group company of Nippon Steel.

For more information, please see the following:

Initiatives to Effectively Use Underutilized Energy in Local Communities —from turning wastewater sludge into fuel to producing and supplying hydrogen—
  • Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd., which has wastewater sludge treatment technology, and Kobelco Power Kobe Co., Ltd.(the Kobe Power Plant), which operates coal-fired power plants, plan to turn wastewater sludge into fuel and use it as wastewater biomass fuel at the power plant (an appropriate method for using wastewater sludge biomass in pulverized coal-fired power generation business).
  • We plan to use wastewater sludge biomass fuel as a portion of the fuel for generating electric power to produce hydrogen, which will be supplied to fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs). This initiative will contribute to the spread of FCVs, reduction of CO2 emissions in local communities, and improvement in air quality.

For more information, please see the following:

鉄鋼スラグの利用拡大研究会
  • In a study group established by Hyogo Prefecture (Hyogo Eco-Town Promotion Council), we are conducting research to expand the use of steel slag in industry-government-academia collaboration/cooperation. The KOBELCO Group participates as a member of the following research working groups.
  • The Port Environment Research Working Group is conducting experiments on improving the fishing ground environment and on the effects of environmentally friendly seawalls. The purpose is to contribute to the improvement of the fishing ground environment by using dredged soil and steel slag as materials for the development of seaweed beds, etc., making use of the characteristic of dredged soil to solidify when mixed with steel slag.
  • The Construction Method for Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group aims for the practical utilization of low-cost and effective reinforcement method for old road fill, whose aseismatic performance is decreased. Working towards actual use of fill mixed with steel slag, we are conducting aseismatic reinforcement test with using it.

For more information, please see the following:

Major Initiatives in the Business Divisions (Japan)

Business division Examples of initiatives to reduce the generation of byproducts/waste and decrease landfill disposal
Iron & Steel Reduced generation of iron and steel slag, developed new applications
Developed recycling technologies for dusts
Welding Recycled sorted waste flux into roadbed material and cement raw material
Reusable product packaging materials
Aluminum & Copper Recycled arc furnace ash
Reused aluminum scrap generated in the plant
Machinery Reused shipping boxes by strengthening packaging materials
Electric Power Recycled gypsum byproducts from coal ash and flue gas desulfurization equipment
Testing for utilization of sewage sludge fuel

Initiatives at Overseas Group Companies

Company name Examples of initiatives to reduce the generation of waste and decrease landfill disposal
Kobelco Spring Wire (Foshan) Co., Ltd. Reused lubricants and sand
Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC Recycled caustic soda and shot blast
Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. Recycled caustic soda and waste oil
Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Reused copper scrap
Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube (M) Sdn. Bhd. Reused waste kerosene
Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (China) Co., Ltd. Reused machining scraps
Hangzhou Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. Reduced waste by compressing waste paint
Kobelco Construction Machinery (China) Co., Ltd. Sludge volume reduction by compressing and drying

Appropriate Management of Chemical Substances

In addition to accurately assessing the use, disposal and transfer of chemical substances covered under the PRTR Law*1 and Chemical Substance Control Law*2, the KOBELCO Group engages in initiatives to limit the use and output of such substances. Waste electrical equipment containing PCB and equipment using fluorocarbons are stored and managed appropriately in accordance with the PCB Special Measures Law*3 and the Fluorocarbons Emission Control Law*4, respectively.

  • *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

Targets and Results

The KOBELCO group set two targets on Medium-Term Management Plan (fiscal 2021-2023) below:

-Making initiatives for appropriate management, reduction and substitution of chemical substances
-Taking appropriate action for Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes and Act on Rational Use and Appropriate Management of Fluorocarbons
In fiscal 2020, we completed registration to JESCO for disposal of high concentration PCB waste (transformers, fluorescent light stabilizers, etc.) which is stored at business locations in JESCO northern Kyushu and Osaka business area (disposal period is Mar 2021.) Also, we will complete disposal at business locations in other JESCO business area. About the equipment contains low concentration PCB, we thoroughly investigated in-use equipment and some of them were disposed. In addition, we appropriately took action to Act on Rational Use and Appropriate Management of Fluorocarbons.

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

FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Substances subject to reporting 49 48 46
Air emissions 640t 581t 470t
Releases to public water bodies 63t 64t 57t
Drainage 0.5t 0.5t 0.3t
Transfers outside the premises (waste) 598t 652t 588t
  • * The data above covers99% of the environmental impact of the KOBELCO Group in Japan.

    * Detail of result in fiscal 2020 is below:

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

2018 2019 2020
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 634 577 469
Other Hazardous Substances Lead 0 0 0
Manganese and its Conpounds 0.1 0.1 0.1
  • * Calculated for volatile organic compounds (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 Resister

    * The data above covers99% 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
Nippon Koshuha Steel Co.,Ltd.
Toyama Works
Imizu, Toyama Prefecture Reduce VOCs by changing detergent to alkaline degreasing at washing Process
Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture Reduce VOCs by changing paint to environmental-friendly products

Page top