The Yamaha Group established the Yamaha Group Environmental Equipment Standards in 2014 to guide efforts to prevent environmental pollution during the course of its business activities. These Group standards are regarding the installation, management, and operation of environmental facilities. Compliance with these standards is being pursued in a systematic matter based on roadmaps set on an individual business site basis, and we plan to achieve full compliance with these standards at all sites in fiscal 2022. In this manner, we aim to keep the number of accidents resulting in environmental pollution at zero.
Prevention of Pollution
Environmental Pollution Prevention Frameworks
Monitoring and Legal Compliance
With the goal of reducing the environment impact of its business activities and ensuring compliance with environmental laws, Yamaha Group divisions in charge of environmental measurement regularly monitor gas, wastewater, noise, odor, and other emissions to confirm the status of the management of these emissions and to assess compliance in accordance with the annual plans created by the Yamaha Corporation Environmental Division and the management divisions of individual business sites. In monitoring environmental impacts, we employ our own standards, which are stricter than 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 have systems in place to facilitate quick responses to revisions to laws and regulations. The Group collects the latest legal and regulatory information, and the Yamaha Corporation Environmental Division compiles, checks, and communicates this information to business sites to ensure consistent compliance on a Groupwide basis. Furthermore, the Group has established working groups at business sites comprised of members of the management and production divisions of the respective sites to advance risk reduction measures. 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 local Group companies to strengthen compliance systems.
The Yamaha Group conducts internal environmental audits according to the ISO 14001 integrated management system in order to prevent environmental accidents and violations of law. In addition, we conduct environmental audits calling on the expert knowledge of the Yamaha Corporation Environmental Division and in accordance with the Yamaha Group Environmental Equipment Standards. Yamaha auditing staff acquire internal environmental auditor certification based on ISO 14001 standards as well as official qualifications related to environmental preservation, such as Pollution Control Manager and Working Environment Measurement Expert certifications.
Shared Groupwide checklists are used to score compliance with equipment standards at business sites and environmental risks. By clarifying priorities and items requiring a response, the Company is pursuing efficient improvements to mitigate risks. In addition, the frequency of audits is determined based on risk levels, and audits are conducted regularly. In fiscal 2020, we conducted environmental audits at four sites in Japan and four sites overseas.
The Yamaha Group implements frameworks and conducts training sessions to prevent environmental pollution caused by leaks of hazardous substances and oils from business sites as part of its efforts to ensure preparedness for emergency situations, such as natural disasters or accidents. The Yamaha Group identifies risks using uniform Groupwide evaluation standards and implements improvement measures and refines procedures pertaining to emergence response measures at business sites deemed to face significant risks through these evaluations. Additionally, business sites have prepared procedures, equipment, and stockpiles to respond to such emergency situations and are conducting emergency response training.
Pollution and Hazardous Substance Response Measures
The Yamaha Group constantly monitors wastewater to prevent wastewater from business sites from negatively impacting water and related habitats. Furthermore, we conduct regular surveys on the impact of wastewater on life-forms and the water quality in the waterways to which waste is discharged. In the past, the Yamaha Group has conducted cleanup measures at two sites where soil and groundwater contamination occurred due to chlorine-based organic solvents. We have already completed groundwater cleanup activities at the Toyooka Factory of Yamaha Corporation. In addition, conditions at Yamaha’s headquarters office have been restored to near-standard levels, and we continue to advance cleanup activities today. We have completed soil contamination cleanup activities at both sites.
In addition, all domestic Group business sites have completely disposed of large machinery, such as transformers and condensers that contain high-density polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), and received registration for disposal of small, high-density PCB waste articles, such as fluorescent lamp stabilizers. Furthermore, disposal of devices containing low-density PCBs has been completed at four sites: Toyooka, Tenryu, Iwata, and Katsuragi. At the main factory of Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan Corporation, the Company upgraded wastewater processing equipment in March 2018 in order to improve earthquake resistance and processing capabilities. This new equipment can process twice as much wastewater as the previous equipment and has been designed to withstand an earthquake with an intensity of 6 upper to 7 on the Japanese seismic scale.
Chemical Substance Management and Emission Reduction
Based on the Yamaha Group Chemical Substances Usage Standard, the Yamaha Group practices exhaustive management of chemical substances regulated under the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof (PRTR Act) and takes steps to reduce emissions of these substances from its production processes and products. These precautions are part of our efforts to minimize the negative impact on people and the environment from chemical substance use. At domestic Group companies, safety data sheets*1 pertaining to materials containing chemical substances are managed in an integrated manner via a database, evaluations of the dangers of these substances and their potential impacts on the environment are performed, and the necessary steps are taken to mitigate risks.
At present, the chemical emissions that occur in the course of production processes in the Yamaha Group companies mainly consist of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)*2 from product coating and adhesive processes. The Group constantly monitors VOC emissions and is working to reduce such emissions by installing treatment equipment and using alternative substances. (For details regarding VOC emissions, please refer to the Environmental Data page.)
Factories in China are introducing VOC treatment equipment in their efforts to reduce emissions of such substances. Meanwhile, PT. Yamaha Music Manufacturing Asia of Indonesia is implementing used thinning agent recycling initiatives and was thereby able to reduce emissions of these substances by approximately 70% in 2019.
- *1 Safety data sheets are used to record information on the potential dangers and handling methods for chemical substances and products containing chemical substances regulated under the Industrial Safety and Health Act, the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act, and the PRTR Act
- *2 VOCs are substances used in thinning agents as coatings and adhesives thought to be one factor in the release of photochemical oxidants and suspended particulate matter
Reduction of Chemical Substance Emissions in Coating Processes
Coating processes are performed to give musical instruments and automotive interior components their beautiful appearance and durability. In these processes, Yamaha continues to research and introduce coating methods that lower environmental impacts by reducing the use of coating agents and the emission of organic solvents. To date, we have developed applications for electrostatic coating, powder coating, and flow coating matched to our products, and we are making use of these applications in the production process.
Yamaha Music Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has been replacing the coating agents used for parts from agents containing organic solvents to water-based coating agents in the piano manufacturing process. Water-based coating also has the positive effect of improving the work environment.
Similarly, Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd., has developed an in-mold coating method that completes the coating process inside of the mold. This method has been adapted for automobile interior components. By switching from traditional spray coating to in-mold coating, this company has achieved adhesion efficiency*3 of more than 90% while lowering the amount of organic solvents released into the atmosphere using less coating. Ventilating operations in the workplace have been significantly reduced as well, contributing to a reduction in the amount of energy used. Through this coating method, we were able to reduce the amount of styrene used in fiscal 2020 by approximately 51 tons.
- *3 Adhesion efficiency is the ratio of materials adhering as a coating compared to total used
Protection of the Ozone Layer
The Yamaha Group has historically worked to reduce usage of fluorocarbons to protect the ozone layer. We have eliminated the use of all specified chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Since eliminating the use of all special CFCs in manufacturing processes in fiscal 1994, we have been using 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 in fiscal 2006 because of its large contribution to global warming.
Environmental Accidents and Litigation
In fiscal 2020, 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.
- Yamaha Group Sustainability Policy
- Yamaha Group Human Rights Policy
- Yamaha Group Environmental Policy
- Yamaha Eco-Products program
- Yamaha Group Purchasing Philosophy
- Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct
- Yamaha Group Timber Procurement Policy
- Yamaha Group Green Procurement Policy
- Yamaha Compliance Code of Conduct