Use of Sustainable 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 the “Yamaha Group Timber Procurement Policy,” which indicates the direction of our timber usage in order to better conserve this precious resource, as well as ensure its availability for continued use in the future. The Yamaha Group also 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 Policy and Code of Conduct help the Yamaha 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 2018)

[ image ] Ratio of Yamaha Timber Resources Origin by Country (fiscal 2018)
Excludes some products that are not Yamaha brand and OEM/ODM products.

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

Initiatives for Sustainable Timber Procurement

It is necessary to consider the environment in a way that ensures timber is utilized in a sustainable way. Operations must consider forest conservation and timber resource volumes, sustain the economic viability of the supply chain, and contribute to the advancement of the community through creating jobs and encouraging infrastructure. The Yamaha Group has established a due diligence system to prevent procuring timber from illegal sources as it promotes a strict confirmation process for timber procurement legality through site visits and surveys of documents for procurement sources. In addition to environmental considerations, the Group is expanding the use of certified timber, such as FSC certified timber, which is produced in societally and economically sustainable forests and contributes to the advancement of the community.
The Yamaha Group conducted a documentary investigation targeting all business partners from which timber was purchased in fiscal 2018, assessing the place of origin, the legality of harvesting and the sustainability of relevant resources. Based on the results, we are undertaking further investigation, including local site visits, for timber deemed to represent a high risk due to issues with origin or tree species, performing stricter verification of legality. Additionally, we are actively proceeding with the adoption of timber that has obtained certification such as FSC and PEFC, and converting fiscal 2020 timber purchasing forecast shows that certified timber will constitute at least 29%*1 of timber purchases for the year.

From fiscal 2016, Yamaha began investigating African Blackwood, which is an important material used for wood wind instruments, specifically regarding the ecology, amount of resources, and forestry management status in the United Republic of Tanzania where the timber was being procured at that time as Yamaha aimed to conserve the tree, and secure a stable procurement source.
This tree is classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List and in recent years the resource volume has been trending down. As a result of investigating the management status of these forests and ecological status, including distribution, growth, and natural regeneration, we discovered that sustainable procurement is possible with proper management. Following these results, from fiscal 2016, Yamaha aimed to construct a business model which could sustainably use African Blackwood as a material for musical instruments. Yamaha is continuing surveys and is proposing initiatives as a BOP cooperation business with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In fiscal 2018, we cooperated with local NGOs and the local community to begin tree planting activities for African Blackwood as we aim to secure future resource volume. In addition, Yamaha formed a partnership with local timber producers and is conducting initiatives aimed at the efficient use of existing resources, including procuring certified timber from FSC-certified forests*2, and improving the usage efficiency of wood materials.

  • *1 This figure is a volume ratio. FSC mix is calculated assuming that 100% of this volume is certified timber. This figure excludes non-Yamaha brand products and OEM/ODM sourced products
  • *2 FSC-certified forests are believed to be guaranteed as having sustainable forestry management as certification is received after auditing by a third-party organization
[ image ] Ecological survey
Ecological survey
[ image ] African Blackwood seedlings
African Blackwood seedlings
[ image ] Built tree nursery facilities, such as pump, water tank, and well in corner of local agricultural village
Built tree nursery facilities, such as pump, water tank, and well in corner of local agricultural village

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 Yamaha Group is proactively introducing wood cultivated specifically for industrial purposes on planned plantations as well as certified wood, which is properly managed so that the lumbering process does not harm the forest or the ecology. These measures aim to use the excellent renewable resource of trees on a sustainable basis.
In addition, the Group focuses on developing alternative materials that accurately reproduce the sound quality of rare wood materials best suited for instruments.

Resource-Conservation in Products

The Yamaha Group is striving 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, the Group is also taking efforts in its piano renewal business, and is aiming to extend the longevity of its products that will ultimately lead to less use of resources.

Utilization of Sustainable 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 wood chips from processes. The Company is both selling offcuts to building material makers as raw material for hard board, and creating other components using offcuts. In recent years, the Company has also begun unique initiatives, such as using wood chips produced in the wood manufacturing process at the Kakegawa Factory, which manufactures pianos, as bedding for cows.

[ 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 ] 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)

Waste Reduction and Resource Recycling

The Yamaha Group (in Japan) has established systems to perform recovery/separation in order to reduce waste produced at factories and offices and promote recycling. The Yamaha Group (in Japan) has a recycling rate of about 99%.

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 by about 80%.
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.
Sep. 2012 Increased ability to process wastewater including adhesive agents. 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. Reduced waste by about 120 tons/year.
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.

Recycling of products and packaging

The Yamaha Group is striving to both respond to laws and ordinances related to recycling products and packaging in each country and region, including the WEEE directive of the European Union, and efficiently use resources in Japan by establishing nationwide recovery points for used Electone products to conduct recovery and recycling.

The Yamaha Group uses water to wash products and cool facilities. The Group evaluates water-related risks through its comprehensive risk assessment conducted throughout the Group as well as surveys and water-related risk evaluation tools at every work site. These measures are used to evaluate “physical water stress,” “water quality,” “regulatory risks related to water resources,” and “reputational risks.” The Group does not have large-scale 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.
On the other hand, in the manufacturing processes of wind instruments, much water is used in the plating and washing process. Because of this, 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 Conservation 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 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). Furthermore, wastewater treatment processes are rationalized to reduce the use of chemicals.
In 2017, the Group introduced equipment to allow cyclical reuse of wash water used in the recorder production processes. This equipment has reduced water use by about 12,000 tons per year.

[ 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)