Resource Conservation and Waste Reduction

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Basic Approach

The recoverable reserves of aluminum, the primary raw material used by the UACJ Group, are in greater abundance, and will be recoverable for a longer period, than those of other metals. Nevertheless, as a beneficiary of a limited metal resource, we have a duty to conserve resources, reduce waste, and ensure availability for future generations.

The UACJ Group believes that advancing recycling and reuse is critical and is actively working in support of closed recycling* of aluminum cans and printing plates, as an addition to standard recycling practices. At the same time, we are advancing waste reduction initiatives and the effective use of limited resources. In pursuit of our environmental objective of realizing a recycling-oriented society, we will work continuously to reduce our generation of industrial waste per unit of production and achieve zero emissions.

* Closed recycling is the recycling of aluminum used in a specific type of product into raw material to produce the same type of product.

Fiscal 2015 Results

The UACJ Group is moving forward with efforts to reduce industrial waste and pursuing activities aimed at achieving zero emissions.

At the UACJ Group, “zero emissions” means that direct landfill waste comprises less than 1% of all industrial waste generated. For fiscal 2015, we achieved zero emissions with a direct landfill waste ratio of 0.22%. Going forward, we will work to maintain zero emissions by separating industrial waste and recycling.

In fiscal 2015, the total amount of industrial waste generated at our principal business locations fell by 4.3% compared to the prior fiscal year. This result is attributed to an increase in production volume. Going forward, we will redouble our efforts to reduce industrial waste, recycle, and turn waste into substances of value.

Industrial Waste Subcommittee

At UACJ, the Industrial Waste Subcommittee has been established mainly with representatives of business locations generating significant amounts of industrial waste. The subcommittee meets regularly to promote reductions and proper processing of industrial waste by establishing a common understanding of separation and processing information, and by examining and promoting improvements in separation practices, and establishing a common understanding of reduction measures, at individual business locations.

Amounts of Industrial Waste Generated

Graph of Amounts of Industrial Waste Generated

Breakdown of Waste by Handling Approach (FY 2015)

Graph of Breakdown of Waste by Handling Approach (FY 2015)

  • Measurement Scope: UACJ Group business locations in Japan
  • * Figures for fiscal 2013 are totals of the sums for the two UACJ predecessors for the first half (April 1 to September 30, 2013) and UACJ for the second half (October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014).

Waste Amounts by Type and Main Post-Recycling Application (FY 2015)

Waste Type Amount Generated (t) Recycling Rate (%) Main Post-Recycling Application
Sludge 10450 87 Raw material for cement
Waste oil 3458 90 Fuel
Wood waste 2482 94 Fuel, fertilizer
Slag 1655 100 Roadbed material
Waste plastic 1416 31 Fuel

Industrial Waste Reduction Examples (Fiscal 2015 Activities)

Business Location Theme reduction
(t/yr.)
Nagoya Works Reduction of sludge generation through an improved processing method 105
Fukui Works Recycling of waste alumina 47
UACJ Extrusion Nagoya Corporation,
Nagoya Works
Reduction of washing iterations by adding a dispersing agent to the die washing apparatus 12
Multiple business locations Promotion of reuse of wooden pallets and skids -
Recycling of waste oil and waste ink
Recycling of metal waste
Recycling of wastepaper
Implement a purchase and recycling program for waste plastic

Promoting Recycling of Aluminum Cans

Aluminum is light-weight, does not rust, conveys heat well, and is highly recyclable*1. Given the outstanding qualities of the metal from which they are made, aluminum cans – with the help of the public - are recycled at a rate*2 of 90% (fiscal 2015). The UACJ Group, as a leading producer of aluminum products, supports aluminum can recycling as an activity beneficial for the formation of a recycling-oriented society. We do this through activities such as collecting (purchasing) aluminum cans at our works to participate in local recycling activities, and using recycled aluminum.

  • *1 Recycling aluminum requires only about 3% of the amount of energy needed to produce new aluminum from bauxite.
  • *2 Aluminum cans collected and recycled in Japan (including for export purposes) as a percent of all aluminum cans purchased by consumers in Japan.

Effective Use of Water Resources

With 70% of its surface covered by water, the earth is sometimes referred to as the “blue planet.” But nearly all of the earth’s water, 97.5%, is salt water and only 2.5%, freshwater. Moreover, water that is easily used by humans – the surface water in rivers and lakes - accounts for only 0.4% of freshwater, and only 0.01% of the total amount of water on the earth.

From a global perspective, this precious freshwater is said to be recyclable. At the local level, however, uneven distribution means there are already countries and regions facing pressing problems due to the risk of water shortages.

Well aware of global conditions concerning water, the UACJ Group pursues effective water resource usage and management. Each of our business locations tracks its water usage by water source, manages wastewater discharges by the waterway into which the discharges are made, and includes this information in material balance charts organized by business activity and environmental burden.

Furthermore, the UACJ Group has confirmed that none of its business facilities using large amounts of water are located in areas where the risk of water shortage is high.

Volumes of Water Used and Wastewater Generated

Graph of Volumes of Water Used and Wastewater Generated

  • * Figures for fiscal 2013 are totals of the sums for the two UACJ predecessors for the first half (April 1 to September 30, 2013) and UACJ for the second half (October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014).

Reducing Wood Usage to Protect Forests

Considering that deforestation plays a major role in ecosystem destruction, the UACJ Group is helping to protect forests by reducing our usage of wood. The Nagoya Works, for example, is shifting to steel pallets, and away from wooden pallets, for the shipment of aluminum can products in Japan. Meanwhile, UACJ Copper Tube Corporation has ceased using wooden pallets, in favor of cardboard pallets, for shipping intermediate products to overseas subsidiaries.