Waste and Recycling Measures
Output of waste and other substances in FY 2019 decreased by 1.7% year on year. Meanwhile, we continue to maintain a recycling rate over 99% by prioritizing reusing resources. We appoint and train “Eco Leaders” and “Industrial Waste Leaders” at each Shimadzu location to promote initiatives for establishing a recycling-oriented society that uses the Earth’s limited resources efficiently. Furthermore, we monitor suppliers, including regular site inspections of waste management vendors, and have established and implemented company regulations intended to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
Waste Output and Recycle Rates
(Manufacturing, Research, and Major Manufacturing Subsidiary Locations in Japan)
Introduction of IoT-Based Automatic Plastic Waste Collection System
A system to automatically collect plastic waste generated from plants was introduced in January 2020 to increase recycling rates and reduce CO2 emissions. Currently, the systems have been introduced at five locations within and outside Shimadzu in cooperation with suppliers, including at Sanjo Works and Seta Works, which have high plastic waste output levels.
Using IoT technology means waste management companies can determine the quantity of waste stored at each site in real time without having to travel to the site. Consequently, they can collect waste from multiple sites at more appropriate times to increase loading efficiency, reduce travel distances, and help increase supplier recycling rates. In the future, we intend to further contribute to environmental conservation by expanding the introduction of the systems within the Shimadzu Group and achieving widespread use in society.
This initiative is a Kyoto Prefecture demonstration project, in which Shimadzu was a participant and which received the ICT Regional Revitalization Award 2019 from the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Shows waste quantities in real time Collection efficiency improved by collecting from multiple sites
Sensors Installed (on ceiling) at Waste Collection Areas
Reduction in Waste Boxes from Seta Works
Measures were implemented to reduce the amount of wood packing materials, used to transport parts or other items, that are generated as waste from Seta Works. Due to the limited space available for storing waste wood packing materials, a specialized container was previously used to have the materials removed by a waste management company as soon as they started accumulating, but the waste included many unflattened wooden crates that limited the container capacity.
Therefore, wood crates are broken down if possible and the bottom panels of wooden crates are reused as pallets for storage.
As a result, the wood waste is now collected only six times per month, whereas it was previously collected about 20 times per month, which required requesting a container pickup almost daily, also reducing the amount of waste and disposal costs.
In addition, the discarded wood crates are also converted to carbon, which is used as a soil amendment for Kyoto Prefecture gardens, for example, or donated for use during local festivals and so on.
Shimadzu Precision Technology, Ltd.
Method for Reducing Waste from Crates
Using Carbon for Planting Soil Amendment
Reusing Paper and Wood Materials
One environmental activity that everyone can participate in is the sorting of paper waste from offices and plants. Sorted and recovered paper is recycled into original notebooks for reuse by employees.
Having employees experience the benefits of environmental activities in such a tangible way helps employees become more conscious of environmental activities.
In FY 2016, Shimadzu began donating charcoal generated from Shimadzu wood waste to the olive orchard operated by the Setouchi Olive Foundation on Teshima, an island in Kagawa Prefecture, for use in amending the soil.
Currently, the charcoal is used to cultivate 1,000 olive trees in five olive orchards on the island.
Utilizing charcoal in an olive orchard
The Handling of PCBs
Transformers, capacitors, and other devices containing highly toxic PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are disposed of in accordance with the Japanese Act on Special Measures Concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes. (PCBs are particularly toxic to biological organisms because they are highly persistent and bioaccumulative.) Of the PCB waste materials owned by Shimadzu, Shimadzu started processing transformers and capacitors, which contain high PCB concentrations, in FY 2013 and will finish processing all the PCB waste within the time frame specified in the Japanese Act on Special Measures Concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes.
Meanwhile, Shimadzu Techno-Research Inc., a Shimadzu Group company, offers an easy method for analyzing the quantity of trace PCBs in two types of insulating oil. This measurement technology is able to quickly and inexpensively provide highly reliable measurement values and was even included in the Manual for Simplified Measurement of Trace PCBs in Insulating Oil (3rd edition), published by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment in May 2011.
Promoting Environmentally-Friendly Packaging
Shimadzu Logistics Service Corporation is engaged in a wide variety of activities for environmental conservation within its logistics activities. Of these, they are currently focused on switching to more environmentally-friendly packaging materials. Previously, heavy items were typically packed in crates made of lumber and plywood, but now they are switching to reinforced corrugated cardboard. The environmental benefits of switching to reinforced corrugated cardboard include conserving wood resources and reducing CO2 emissions during transport or incineration of the packaging materials. If wood materials are used, materials from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests are recommended as a measure to promote biodiversity.
We intend to continue activities in the logistics field that help conserve the environment.
Reinforced Corrugated Cardboard Packaging
Wood Materials Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council