In 2014, the Yamaha Group organized the Yamaha Group Environmental Facility Management 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 is on schedule. We will complete adaptation at all sites in fiscal 2021.
Prevention of Pollution
- Structure for Prevention of Environmental Pollution
- Response to Pollution and Toxic Substances
- Chemical Substance Management and Reduction of Emissions
- Environmental Accidents and Litigation
Structure for Prevention of Environmental Pollution
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 division 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.
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 sites to ensure the consistent compliance as a whole Group. Furthermore, the management division and production division of each business site have established working groups to reducing risk and determine responses. These efforts enabled us to achieve compliance with revisions to the Water Pollution Prevention Act, which introduced standards concerning things such as facility structures in 2013, two years before the law went into effect. 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.
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.
The Yamaha Corporation’s Environmental Division conducts 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 Facility Management Standards to reduce risk as the audits are conducted in direct correlation to the risk level. In fiscal 2017, we conducted environmental audits at four sites in Japan and four sites overseas.
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 eliminating risk 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.
Response to Pollution and Toxic Substances
During fiscal 1998, the Yamaha Group conducted a soil and groundwater survey at all Group manufacturing facilities. We confirmed contamination due to chlorine-based organic solvents at two locations.
Having initiated cleanup measures based on these findings, we completed groundwater cleanup at the Yamaha Corporation Toyooka Factory at the end of fiscal 2009. We reported our status to the prefecture authorities and held a meeting with the local citizens. The Yamaha Headquarters business site has been restored to near-standard levels, and we continue cleanup activities at present.
By fiscal 2001, we had completed cleanup activities at all business sites with confirmed soil contamination. 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 pre-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.
Chemical Substance Management and Reduction of Emissions
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 Substance Usage Standards 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. In fiscal 2006, the Group fixed a target to “reduce the use of VOCs by 30% by fiscal 2011 compared to the level in fiscal 2001.” Since achieving this goal in fiscal 2009, the Group has maintained this level.
For inter-annual records regarding VOC emission, please refer to the environmental data page.
In accordance with the Yamaha Group Chemical Substance Usage Standards, 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.
- *1 PRTR: An abbreviation for Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. The PRTR Law is an abbreviation of the Law Concerning Reporting, etc. of Releases to the Environment of Specific Chemical Substances and Promoting Improvements in Their Management.
- *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.
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 CFSs, 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.
Environmental Accidents and Litigation
During fiscal 2017, 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.