Use of Sustainable Resources

  1. Initiatives for Timber Resources
  2. Reduction and Sustainability of Raw Materials
  3. Preservation of Water Resources

Among the instruments that the Yamaha Group produces, including pianos as well as string, percussion, and woodwind instruments, many require a primarily wood construction for acoustic reasons. Large amounts of timber are also used when making electronic musical instruments, speakers and soundproof rooms, due to the merits of wood in terms of acoustic performance, function, design, and texture.
Considering the diverse variety of timber used in our business operations, the Group established a policy indicating the fundamental guidelines for procurement and application of timber in fiscal 2008. The guidelines indicate the direction of our timber usage in order to better conserve this precious resource as well as ensure its availability for continued use. In fiscal 2015, the Yamaha Group established the Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct, which clearly stipulates points related to the harvesting and trading of timber resources, that Yamaha suppliers are requested to observe.
The guidelines and Code of Conduct help the Group accomplish sustainable procurement that is friendly to the environment and the biodiversity within its ecosystems, and meet its aim to maximize the use of timber as a first-rate recyclable resource without waste.

Ratio of Yamaha Timber Resources Origin by Country (fiscal 2017)

[ image ] Ratio of Yamaha Timber Resources Origin by Country (fiscal 2017)
Excludes some products that are not Yamaha brand.

For figures regarding volume, please refer to the environmental data page.

Investigation of the Timber Resources Supply Chain

It is necessary to consider the environment in a way that ensures forest resources are utilized in a sustainable way, and this requires the management of both forestry in the production region and the supply chain. Operations must be economically sustainable and contribute to advancement of the community through creating jobs and encouraging infrastructure. The Yamaha Group strictly confirms the sustainability and legality of timber resources by cooperating with suppliers, and conducts research regarding resource volume and the management status of forests that produce timber for musical instruments.
In fiscal 2016, Yamaha investigated African Blackwood (commonly known as granadilla), which is the material used for wood wind instruments, specifically regarding the amount of resources and forestry management status in the United Republic of Tanzania where the timber was being procured at that time.
African Blackwood is highly valued for its use in various products such as furniture, crafts, and musical instruments. However, it has been discovered the availability of the wood as a resource is decreasing, and an accurate understanding of resource volume is required.
The investigation was conducted with the cooperation of a local NGO as a part of Japanese Forestry Agency’s program “Promotion of Sustainable Forestry Management in Developing Countries.” As a result, we received a number of ecological findings related to the distribution, growth and natural regeneration of African Blackwood and Yamaha also investigated the FSC-certified forest*1 that was being operated by the local community, and confirmed the existing forest management system as well as the current status of processing and supply chain of wood.
In fiscal 2017, Yamaha began forming a business model for the African Blackwood as a sustainable instrument material, aiming for the effective utilization of existing resources and securing of sufficient future resources by systematic forest management and planting in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)*2.
Currently, based on the investigation conducted in fiscal 2016, Yamaha is extracting the previous issues relating to a model for the sustainable timber procurement. From fiscal 2018, Yamaha will conduct further forest investigations focusing on approximately 15 hectares of FSC-certified forest. Through this Yamaha aims to improve forest management techniques. In addition, an appropriate forestry system to produce sustainable timber by local residents will be established based on investigation results. We will also conduct social economy investigation in local communities. The sustainable forest Yamaha aims for will be achieved through close collaboration with local people and our own technical support.

  • *1 FSC-certified forests are believed to be guaranteed as having sustainable forestry management as certification is received after auditing by a third-party organization
  • *2 These activities were adopted as “preparatory investigation for the sustainable timber procurement project from FSC-certified forests (cooperative promotion of BOP business)” for “corporative preparatory investigation (BOP business) (currently: investigation of problem-solving business on developing countries (SDGs business))” which is one of JICA’s private cooperative businesses, (BOP Business) on August 2016.
[ image ] African Blackwood Tree
African Blackwood Tree
[ image ] Ecological survey
Ecological survey
[ image ] A cross-section of African Blackwood
A cross-section of African Blackwood

Creation of a Circulating-type Forest

Kitami Mokuzai Co., Ltd., a Hokkaido-based company that manufactures piano sound boards using natural Picea glehnii, signed an agreement to establish “Piano Forests” in cooperation with the Okhotsk Sub-prefectural Bureau and the town of Engaru, Monbetsu-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture in March 2016. Since then, these organizations have been working together to create a circulating-type forest and expand the demand of artificial Picea glehnii.
In recent years, due to a decrease in natural forest timber, it has become essential to secure a stable supply for the timber grown in Hokkaido. As a result, to secure a stable supply of Picea glehnii, the three parties established “Piano Forests” in the forestlands owned by the Okhotsk Sub-prefectural Bureau and the town of Engaru. The aim is to preserve the forests and to ensure that the Okhotsk "tree culture" is passed on to future generations.
Moreover, in the future, we will work to grow high-quality timber in this forest and use it to manufacture piano sound boards.

[ image ] A Picea glehnii plantation
A Picea glehnii plantation

Use of Timber Resources in Environmentally Friendly Products

The decline of timber resources makes it more difficult each year to stably acquire the wood materials needed for musical instruments and other products in good condition. The Yamaha Group strives to make full use of wooden materials and proactively introducing wood cultivated specifically for industrial purposes on planned plantations.
In addition, the Group focuses on developing alternative materials that accurately reproduce the sound quality of rare wood materials best suited for making instruments.

Resource-Conserving Products

The Yamaha Group strives to conserve resources used in its products from a variety of standpoints, such as reducing product size and weight, integration of several products into one and by reducing product packaging. Further, with waste reduction in mind, the Group also focuses on the longevity of its products that will ultimately lead to less use of resources.

Utilization of Sustainable Raw Materials

Yamaha conducts initiatives to develop alternative materials that can be substituted for scarce timber, and adopts sustainable materials such as biomass-derived resins for use in its products

Making Effective Use of Timber Resources

Yamaha is working to reduce waste by improving the yield ratio in timber processing, and reusing and recycling timber offcuts from processes and unused materials.

[ image ] Some timber offcuts previously disposed of as waste are instead reused as angle rafters (reinforcing materials inside guitar bodies)
Some timber offcuts previously disposed of as waste are instead reused as angle rafters (reinforcing materials inside guitar bodies)
[ image ] Wood chips are being sold to building material makers as raw material for hard board.
Wood chips are being sold to building material makers as raw material for hard board.
[ image ] Briquettes made from sawdust left over from the piano manufacturing process (pellet)
Briquettes made from sawdust left over from the piano manufacturing process (pellet)
[ image ] Recycling as a material for wood plastic composite (WPC)
Recycling as a material for wood plastic composite (WPC)
[ image ] Memorabilia using timber offcuts or unused materials
Memorabilia using timber offcuts or unused materials

Waste Reduction and Resource Recycling

Aiming at the most effective use of limited resources, the Yamaha Group (in Japan) has established systems to perform recovery/separation in order to reduce the volume of waste produced and promote recycling.
Waste going to landfills from the Yamaha Group amounted to less than 1% of total waste generated, maintaining a zero-emission*3 status for the Group.

  • *3 The Yamaha Group defines “zero emissions” as less than 1% of total waste emissions ending up in landfills.
Examples of Waste Reduction
Business-site Timing Description of activity
Toyooka Factory Nov. 2010 Introduced vacuum concentration equipment for liquid waste and reduced the amount of waste acids and waste alkali generated in the wind instrument manufacturing process. Factory waste discharge was 49 tons in fiscal 2012 (80% reduction compared to fiscal 2010), largely contributed to reduction of domestic waste for the Yamaha Group.
Fiscal 2012 Began processing waste from the R&D Department, which includes rare metals, as valuable resources and effectively utilizing it.
Kakegawa Factory Sep. 2009 Installed more wastewater processing equipment and began the in-house processing of wastewater including adhesive agents generated in the piano manufacturing process. This has led to a waste reduction of around 900 tons annually since fiscal 2011.
Sep. 2012 Increased ability to process wastewater including adhesive agents in newly installed processes. This has led to a waste reduction of around 270 tons annually.
Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd. Fiscal 2014 Reduced paint process-related waste by keeping the circulating water used in the musical instrument painting booths clean to enable longer usage. Waste produced was reduced more than 50% in fiscal 2014 compared to fiscal 2012 (202 tons reduced to 85 tons)
Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd. Fiscal 2012 Reduced car part rejects by reducing equipment defects and quality defects. Reduced the factory’s overall waste generation by 16% and achieved energy savings and resource savings by improving productivity.
[ image ] Vacuum concentration equipment (Toyooka Factory)
Vacuum concentration equipment (Toyooka Factory)

For data related to waste, please refer to the environmental data page.

The Yamaha Group uses water to wash products and cool facilities. The Group does not have production activities in areas where water resources are poor, so we believe there is not a large impact on the environment due to water use.
In the manufacturing of wind instruments, much water is used in the plating and washing process. Since the first half of the 1970s, the Yamaha Group has been recycling cooling water and wastewater from production processes using a reverse osmosis (RO membrane) device, as well as actively pursuing a policy to prevent leakage in water facilities.

For data related to water usage and reuse, please refer to the environmental data page.

Initiatives for Reduction and Recycling Use

Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.

Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd., which manufactures wind instruments and percussion instruments in China, installed a wastewater treatment facility that purifies wastewater to the level of pure water. As a result, approximately 80% of the wastewater is now being reused for manufacturing processes. (In compliance with legal provisions for the inspection and improvement of corporate pollution resulting from electroplating in Zhejiang Province.*4)
In January 2015, a change was made to the cooling method for the annealing furnaces used for heat treating the copper tube components of wind instruments. The new cooling method uses a circulating water supply. As a result, water used for cooling was reduced by approximately 5,700 tons from the previous fiscal year.

  • *4 Legislation passed in Zhejiang Province aims to enhance environmental preservation in electroplating factories. Companies engaged in electroplating processes must conform to 56 items related to environmental preservation system and equipment. Standards for metals such as copper and nickel are stricter than those for general factory wastewater.
[ image ] Wastewater treatment facility (Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.)
Wastewater treatment facility (Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.)
[ image ] Cooling unit using circulated water (Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.)
Cooling unit using circulated water (Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instrument Co., Ltd.)

P.T. Yamaha Musical Products Indonesia

The Group also introduced a new wastewater treatment facility that enables the reuse of 60% or more of the wastewater at the wind instrument manufacturer P.T. Yamaha Musical Products Indonesia (YMPI) in fiscal 2015. Furthermore, wastewater treatment processes are rationalized to reduce the use of chemicals.

[ image ] Wastewater treatment facility at YMPI
Wastewater treatment facility at YMPI

Hangzhou Yamaha

In response to increasingly stringent wastewater standards, Hangzhou Yamaha introduced a new wastewater treatment facility in May 2016.
This facility enables us to clean wastewater for reuse. The wastewater treated in this facility is reused for cooling water, etc., enabling 10,000 tons of water to be saved in fiscal 2017.

[ image ] Wastewater treatment facility (Hangzhou Yamaha)
Wastewater treatment facility (Hangzhou Yamaha)
[ image ] Reusing wastewater for cooling water (Hangzhou Yamaha)
Reusing wastewater for cooling water (Hangzhou Yamaha)