Prevention of Pollution

In 2014, the Yamaha Group organized the Yamaha Group Environmental Equipment Standards, which defines Group standards regarding the installation, management and operation of environmental facilities to prevent environmental pollution from occurring in our business activities. The road map is determined at each individual site and we are on schedule to complete adaptation at all sites in fiscal 2021.

Monitoring and Response to Laws and Regulations

The goals of the Yamaha Group include reducing the environmental impact of our business activities and ensuring compliance with environmental laws. In accordance with the annual plan created by the Yamaha Corporation Environmental Division and the management divisions of each business site, the divisions in charge of environmental measurement regularly monitor emissions, wastewater, noise, odors, and other by products of our activities at each of our places of business, confirming our management status and strictly assessing compliance.
We assess our monitoring according to our own standards, which exceed existing legal standards. In the event that measurements exceed standards or are unusual in some way, we take immediate emergency and correction measures.
In addition, we are developing our system to make quick response to the revision of laws and regulations. The Group collects the latest legal and regulatory information, and the Yamaha Corporation Environmental Division summarizes, checks, and disseminates the information throughout each business site to ensure consistent compliance as a whole Group. Furthermore, the Group has established working groups made up of the management division and production division of each business site to reduce risk and determine responses. The Yamaha Group is carrying out initiatives in both Japan and overseas. For example, in China, where environmental laws have been amended frequently in recent years, the Yamaha Group works closely with Group companies in China to strengthen compliance systems.

[ image ] Environmental measurements
Environmental measurements

Environmental Audits

The Yamaha Group conducts internal environmental audits according to the ISO14001 integrated management system. We also conduct Group-wide environmental audits to prevent environmental accidents or violations of law. These activities serve to reduce our environmental risk as a corporate group.
Yamaha Corporation’s Environmental Division conduct these audits, using audit staff who have skills and expertise in environmental preservation. In addition to certification as an internal environmental auditor based on ISO 14001 standards, Yamaha audit staff have also received official Pollution Control Manager, Working Environment Measurement Expert and other relevant certifications.
In fiscal 2017, the audit system was adjusted to comply with the Yamaha Group Environmental Equipment Standards to reduce risk. The status of compliance to equipment standards at each site and environmental risks are itemized on a checklist used through the Group. By clarifying priority and items which require a response, the Company is efficiently making improvements.
In addition, audits are conducted in direct correlation to the risk level. In fiscal 2018, we conducted environmental audits at four sites in Japan and four sites overseas.

[ image ] Checklist
[ image ] 72% compliance to standards / 78% response rate to risks
[ image ] Environmental audit conducted by audit staff of the Yamaha Corporation’s environmental division.
Environmental audit conducted by audit staff of the Yamaha Corporation’s environmental division.

Preparation for Emergency

The Yamaha Group is working to prevent environmental pollution caused by the leak of harmful substances and oils from business locations by assuming emergency situations.
Yamaha is identifying risks using Group integration evaluation standards, and as a result, the Yamaha Group is striving to prevent accidents during assumed emergency situations at business sites by improving plans and procedures. Additionally, each site has put procedures, equipment and tools in place to respond to such emergency situations should they occur and is conducting emergency response training.

[ image ] Emergency response training
Emergency response training

The Yamaha Group has conducted cleanup measures at two sites with soil and groundwater contamination due to chlorine-based organic solvents. We have already completed the groundwater cleanup at the Yamaha Corporation Toyooka Factory. The Yamaha Headquarters business site has been restored to near-standard levels, and we continue cleanup activities at present. We have completed soil contamination cleanup activities at both sites.
Surveys focusing on water quality and biodiversity in waterways where the waste is discharged are periodically conducted, and constantly monitored for evidence that water discharged from business sites does not exert a negative impact on the watershed and related habitat.
Additionally, as of April 2015, all Group sites in Japan disposed of large machinery, like transformers or condensers that contained high-density PCBs. We have completed shipment packaging registration of small size high-density PCB wastes such as fluorescent lamp stabilizers, and we are organizing proper disposal.
Our activities to remove devices containing low-density PCBs started in fiscal 2017.

[ image ] Groundwater purification equipment at the headquarters office
Groundwater purification equipment at the headquarters office

At the headquarters factory of Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan, the Company updated the wastewater processing equipment in March 2018 in order to improve earthquake resistance and processing capabilities. This new equipment can process twice the wastewater of the previous equipment and has been designed to withstand an earthquake with an intensity of 6-strong to 7.

[ image ] Wastewater processing equipment at the headquarters factory of Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan
Wastewater processing equipment at the headquarters factory of Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan

When utilizing chemical substances, the Yamaha Group strives to minimize adverse impact on people and the environment by thoroughly managing chemical substances such as those designated under the PRTR*1 Law, and reducing emissions of substances from production processes and products. In 2013, the Group reviewed management regulations regarding chemical substance use in factories and established Yamaha Group Chemical Substances Usage Standard to reduce environmental load and improve the work environment at all major factories in Japan and overseas.
At present, the chemical emissions that occur in the course of production processes in companies of the Yamaha Group mainly consist of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)*2. The Group is constantly monitoring VOC emissions and is working to replace and reduce VOCs. (For inter-annual records regarding VOC emission, please refer to the environmental data page.)
In accordance with the Yamaha Group Chemical Substances Usage Standard, from fiscal 2016, Yamaha began activities to abolish all use of dichloromethane and reduce the use of 1-bromopropane. In fiscal 2017, two business sites eliminated the use of dichloromethane and replaced the use of 1-bromopropane by 80% through the introduction of an alternative substance. Additionally, our factory in China introduced a VOC disposal facility to reduce emissions.

[ image ] Yamaha’s VOC disposal facility in Tianjin
Yamaha’s VOC disposal facility in Tianjin
  • *1 PRTR: An abbreviation for Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. The PRTR Law is an abbreviation of the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof
  • *2 VOCs (volatile organic compounds): These compounds, contained as thinning agents for coatings and adhesives, are believed to be one factor in the release of photochemical oxidants and suspended particulate matter (SPM).

Reducing Chemical Substance Emissions in Coating Processes

In the coating processes that give musical instruments and automotive interior components their beautiful appearance and durability, Yamaha continues to research and introduce coating methods that reduce the environmental impact by reducing the use of paints and the emission of organic solvents.
To date, we have developed applications for electrostatic coating, powder coating and flow coater in accord with each product and are making use of them in our production process.
Yamaha Music Manufacturing Co., Ltd. began switching the coating materials for parts from one containing an organic solvent to a water-based coating in the piano manufacturing process. Water-based coating also has the positive effect of improving the work environment.
Similarly, Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd. developed an in-mold coating method that completes the coating process inside of the mold, and has adapted this method for automobile interior components. By switching from traditional spray coating to in-mold coating, more than 90% of adhesion efficiency*3 is achieved, less organic solvents are released into the atmosphere, and less paint is used owing to high coating efficiency. Ventilating operations in the workplace have been reduced as well. This, in turn, contributes to a significant reduction in the amount of energy used.

  • *3 Adhesion efficiency: ratio of materials adhering as coat compared to total used.
[ image ] In-mold coating process (YMC:Yamaha Mold Coating)
[ image ] Spray coating process

Protecting the Ozone Layer

The Yamaha Group has historically worked to reduce usage of fluorocarbons to protect the ozone layer. We eliminated the use of all special chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). After we eliminated the use of all special CFCs used in manufacturing processes in fiscal 1994, we used HCFCs, which have a lower ozone depletion potential compared to special CFCs, in the degreasing process for metal materials. However, we also eliminated the use of all HCFCs by fiscal 2006 because of its large impact on global warming.

During fiscal 2018, the Yamaha Group did not violate any laws, receive fines, pay fees, or be named in any lawsuits with respect to environmental concerns. The Yamaha Group did not experience any accidents having an effect on the outside environment, nor did we receive any significant complaints.