Sustainable Resource Use

Many of the instruments that the Yamaha Group produces, such as pianos and string, percussion, and wind instruments, are primarily made of wood. 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 its business operations, the Group established the Yamaha Group Timber Procurement Policy, which sets forth directives for timber usage in order to better conserve this precious resource and to 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 suppliers are requested to observe. This policy and code guide the Yamaha Group in conducting sustainable procurement that is friendly to the environment and biodiversity and in fully utilizing timber, a highly renewable resource, without waste.

Breakdown of Timber Resources Used by the Yamaha Group by Origin (Fiscal 2020)

[ graph ] Breakdown of Timber Resources Used by the Yamaha Group by Origin (Fiscal 2020)
Note: Figures exclude products that are not Yamaha brand or original equipment manufacturer (OEM)/original design manufacturer (ODM) products.

Specific volume figures can be found on the Environmental Data page.

Timber Due Diligence

Sustainable use of timber requires consideration for forest conservation and for timber resource volumes. At the same time, it is crucial to contribute to community development, through employment opportunities and infrastructure, to sustain the economic viability of the supply chain. The Yamaha Group has established a due diligence system to prevent the procurement of timber from illegal sources, and it promotes a strict confirmation process for legality of timber harvesting through site visits and surveys of documents for procurement sources. In addition to environmental considerations, the Group is expanding the use of certified timber, which is produced in socially and economically sustainable forests and contributes to the advancement of the community.
The Yamaha Group conducted a survey targeting all business partners from which timber was purchased in fiscal 2019, assessing the place of origin, the legality of harvesting, and the sustainability of relevant resources. Based on the results, we performed stricter verification of legality for timber deemed to represent a high risk due to issues with origin or tree species by undertaking further investigation including local site visits and assessments by a committee comprised of members of the Timber Procurement Division and the Sustainability Division. We confirmed that 98.8% (volume ratio) of procured timber was low risk. The Group conducts such surveys each year with the cooperation of suppliers and is aiming to achieve a 100% rate of low risk timber procurement. Additionally, we are actively adopting certified timber. When calculated based on the fiscal 2021 timber purchasing forecast, we project that certified timber will constitute 46% (by volume, compared with 28% in fiscal 2020) of timber purchases for the year. In the medium-term management plan announced in April 2019, the Group set the goal of achieving a 50% purchasing ratio of certified timber over the three years leading up to fiscal 2022. Smooth progress is being made toward accomplishing this target.

[ photo ] Legality assessment meeting
Legality assessment meeting
[ photo ] Site visit
Site visit

Cultivation of Quality Timber through Coordination with Local Communities (Tone Forest Activities)

The Yamaha Group uses a diverse variety of timber to produce musical instruments and other products. However, concerns regarding the sustainability of these resources have arisen in light of the recent declines in timber resource volume and quality. The Yamaha Group aims to address these concerns through Tone Forest activities, which are being advanced through coordination with communities, government agencies, and academic institutions in Japan and around the world. These activities are designed to contribute to community development and sustainable forest conservation in producing regions while simultaneously enabling the Group to sustainably procure high-quality timber suited to musical instrument production.

Initiatives in Tanzania (African Blackwood)

In fiscal 2016, Yamaha began investigating the African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon), an important material used for woodwind instruments. These investigations are looking at matters such as ecology, resource stocks, and forest management status in Tanzania, where this tree is grown. The goal of these investigations is to help conserve this tree species while securing a stable procurement source. The African Blackwood is classified as near threatened by the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and a downward trend in the resource volume has been seen in recent years. As a result of investigating the management status of forests and the ecological status of these trees, including distribution, growth, and natural regeneration, we discovered that sustainable procurement is possible with proper forest management. Following these results, we undertook the development of a business model for realizing the sustainable use of this species as a material for musical instruments as a preparatory survey on a BOP (base of pyramid) business with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Taking place over the period spanning from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2020, this process included the construction of a value chain for generating a cycle of forest conservation, timber use, and instrument production, as we tackled the issues that arose in the pursuit of the quick development of said business model. Furthermore, we began working together with local NGOs and community members in fiscal 2018 to conduct regular African Blackwood tree planting activities with the goal of securing future resource volumes. In fiscal 2020, we had planted approximately 1,000 seedlings. By providing tree planting and propagation techniques to the local community in cooperation with local NGOs, we are facilitating the systematic cultivation of seedlings under the management of the local community. These seedlings will be transplanted into forests on a yearly basis. Approximately 6,000 seedlings have been planted over the three-year period from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2020, and ongoing monitoring of seedling growth is conducted after planting. We have confirmed the survival and growth of around 80% of the roughly 1,500 seedlings planted in fiscal 2018. As we accumulate the fundamental knowledge required to raise high-quality trees, we are also striving to entrench and expand seedling cultivation and tree planting activities as a forest management activity for the local community. In addition, Yamaha formed partnerships with local timber producers and is conducting initiatives aimed at the effective use of existing resources, including procuring timber from forests that have been certified as being sustainably managed and improving the usage efficiency of wood materials.

[ photo ] Forest survey
Forest survey
[ photo ] Young African Blackwood seedlings (left) and growing seedlings (right)
Young African Blackwood seedlings (left) and growing seedlings (right)

Initiatives in Hokkaido (Sakhalin Spruce)

Kitami Mokuzai Co., Ltd., a Hokkaido-based company that manufactures piano soundboards, signed an agreement to establish “Piano Forests” in cooperation with the Okhotsk General Subprefectural Bureau and the town of Engaru, Monbetsu-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture in March 2016. Under this agreement, these organizations have been working together to foster sustainable forests and expand the demand for Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) plantation timber.
In recent years, it has become necessary to rely on imports for the majority of wood for use in piano soundboards due to a decrease in natural Sakhalin spruce timber. Under this agreement, we are cooperating in the development of appropriate forest management, planting, and other forestry activities for the Sakhalin spruce plantations owned by the Okhotsk General Subprefectural Bureau and the town of Engaru. The aim of this initiative going forward is to once again secure a stable supply of high-quality Sakhalin spruce timber for use in piano soundboards as well as to manage forests and to ensure that the Okhotsk tree culture is passed on to future generations.
In 2019, a group of approximately 80 people comprised of employees of Kitami Mokuzai and members of their families gathered at a Sakhalin spruce plantation managed by the Okhotsk General Subprefectural Bureau to prune the trees (remove branches to improve timber quality). This pruning served as a prime opportunity for reaffirming how the production of pianos will be supported by the forests, which will be shaped by years of time and substantial effort, and the timber produced therein.
Furthermore, Kitami Mokuzai, the Okhotsk General Subprefectural Bureau, and the town of Engaru held exhibits at the Mokuiku Plaza in the Chi-Ka-Ho event that took place in the Chi-Ka-Ho underground plaza in front of Sapporo Station in January 2020. This event was designed to inform people of these forestry activities and to give them the opportunity to think about the trees and forests from which the rich expressiveness of musical instruments originates. The exhibit featured panels and videos introducing the Yamaha Group’s timber-related initiatives, displays of Sakhalin spruce trees and piano soundboards made from these trees, and corners allowing visitors to experience the different sounds produced by various materials. Handmade piano-shaped music box workshops were also held. In these workshops, wood offcuts from piano parts manufactured by Kitami Mokuzai were used in resonance boxes, making for an exhibit that underscored the connection between trees and pianos.

[ photo ] Sakhalin spruce plantation
Sakhalin spruce plantation
[ photo ] Timber used for piano parts
Timber used for piano parts
[ photo ] Employees of Kitami Mokuzai and members of their families that took part in pruning
Employees of Kitami Mokuzai and members of their families that took part in pruning
[ photo ] Exhibit at Mokuiku Plaza in Chi-Ka-Ho event
Exhibit at Mokuiku Plaza in Chi-Ka-Ho event
[ photo ] Music box workshop using piano offcuts
Music box workshop using piano offcuts

Environmental Considerations for Timber Resources in Product Creation

The Yamaha Group is proactively utilizing 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 ecosystems. The goal of measures is to use the high-quality renewable resource of trees on a sustainable basis.
In addition, the Group focuses on developing alternative materials that accurately reproduce the superior sound quality of scarce wood materials best suited for instruments.

Resource Conservation in Products and Packaging

The Yamaha Group strives to use less resources in its products from a variety of standpoints, such as lowering product size and weight, integrating several products into one, and reducing the sizes, and sometimes complete eliminating of product packaging and cushioning. Furthermore, the Group is also engaged in efforts that will ultimately lead to less use of resources, such as extending the lifespans of its products and developing its piano renewal business.

Utilization of Sustainable and Recyclable Materials

Yamaha is developing alternative materials that can be substituted for scarce timber and adopting sustainable materials, such as biomass-derived resins, for use in its products. In addition, we use recycled polystyrene in portions of speaker boxes while incorporating recycled plastics into other products.

Effective Use of Timber Resources

Yamaha is working to reduce losses by improving the yield ratio in timber processing while also reusing and recycling wood chips from production processes. The Company is using offcuts in other components and either using, selling, or disposing such offcuts as raw materials, fertilizer, or fuel. In recent years, the Company has also been conducting unique initiatives, such as using sawdust produced in the wood manufacturing process at Japanese factories that manufacture pianos as bedding for cows.

[ picture ] Timber offcuts previously disposed of as waste being repurposed as corner block (structural reinforcement materials inside guitar bodies)
Timber offcuts previously disposed of as waste being repurposed as corner block (structural reinforcement materials inside guitar bodies)

Waste Reduction and Resource Recycling

The Yamaha Group has established systems for recovering and separating waste in order to reduce waste produced at factories and offices and promote recycling. In Japan, the Yamaha Group has a recycling rate of approximately 99%.

Waste Reduction Initiatives
Office Details
Toyooka Factory In November 2010, the Company 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%.
In fiscal 2012, we began processing waste containing rare metals from the R&D Department as a valuable resource and making effective use of this resource.
The Company introduced a new liquid waste reduction CD dryer, taking the place of the decompression and concentration equipment. This dryer was put into full operation in February 2019, which contributed to an approximately 30% reduction in emissions of specified controlled industrial waste, such as waste acids and waste alkalis.
Kakegawa Factory In September 2009, the Company installed more wastewater processing equipment and began the in-house processing of wastewater containing adhesive agents generated in the piano manufacturing process. These efforts have led to annual waste reductions of approximately 90 tons.
In September 2012, the Company increased its ability to process wastewater containing adhesive agents. These efforts have led to annual waste reductions of approximately 270 tons.
Kitami Mokuzai Co., Ltd. A liquid waste reduction CD dryer was installed in February 2019. This dryer has resulted in a 50% reduction in emissions of wastewater, sludge, and other waste.
Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. In fiscal 2014, the Company reduced paint process-related waste by keeping the circulating water used in the musical instrument painting booths clean to enable longer usage, which resulted in annual waste reductions of approximately 120 tons.
Yamaha Fine Technologies Co., Ltd. In fiscal 2012, the Company cut down on car part rejects by reducing equipment defects and quality defects. The result was a 16% reduction in overall factory waste production coupled with energy and resource savings achieved through improved productivity.
[ photo ] CD dryer (Toyooka Factory)
CD dryer (Toyooka Factory)
[ photo ] CD dryer (Kitami Mokuzai Co., Ltd.)
CD dryer (Kitami Mokuzai Co., Ltd.)

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

Product and Packaging Recycling

The Yamaha Group complies with laws and ordinances related to recycling products and packaging in relevant countries and regions, including the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive of the European Union. In addition, we are promoting efficient use of resources in Japan by establishing locations for collecting used Electone products across the country to recover and recycle.

The Yamaha Group uses water to wash products and cool facilities. The Group evaluates water-related risks through comprehensive risk assessments conducted on a Groupwide basis as well as through surveys and water-related risk evaluation tools at all business sites. 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 lacking, and we have therefore judged that our operations do not have a large impact on the environment through water intake. Furthermore, the Group requires high-transaction-value suppliers that use large amounts of water to provide reports describing water intake volume, the water-related risks they recognize, examples of damage, and other matters to maintain an understanding of water-related risks across the value chain.
Meanwhile, the plating and washing processes involved in wind instrument manufacturing use large volumes of water. Recognizing this fact, since the early 1970s the Yamaha Group has been reusing cooling water, recycling wastewater from production processes using reverse osmosis membrane equipment, and implementing measures to prevent leakage in water-using facilities.

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

Resource Conservation and Recycling Initiatives

Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instruments

Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instruments Co., Ltd., which manufactures wind instruments and percussion instruments in China, has been reusing approximately 80% of wastewater for manufacturing processes since it installed a wastewater treatment facility that purifies wastewater to the level of pure water. (This facility has brought this company in compliance with legal provisions for the inspection and improvement of corporate pollution resulting from electroplating of Zhejiang Province.*)
In addition, Xiaoshan Yamaha Musical Instruments has adopted a cooling method that uses a circulating water supply to cool the annealing furnaces used for heat treating the copper tube components of wind instruments, resulting in annual reductions in water use of approximately 5,700 tons.

  • * Legislation passed in Zhejiang Province promotes environmental preservation in electroplating factories by requiring companies engaged in electroplating processes to conform to 56 items related to environmental preservation systems and equipment. Standards for metals such as copper and nickel are stricter than those for general factory wastewater
[ photo ] Wastewater treatment facility
Wastewater treatment facility
[ photo ] Cooling unit using circulated water
Cooling unit using circulated water

Yamaha Musical Products Indonesia

Wind instrument manufacturer P.T. Yamaha Musical Products Indonesia (YMPI) has introduced a wastewater treatment facility that enables the reuse of more than 60% of wastewater. Furthermore, wastewater treatment processes have been rationalized to reduce the use of chemicals.
In addition, YMPI has installed equipment to allow cyclical reuse of the wash water used in recorder production processes. This equipment has reduced water use by about 12,000 tons per year. In 2019, such equipment was deployed for other processes, cutting water use by an additional 1,300 tons.

[ photo ] Wastewater treatment facility
Wastewater treatment facility

Hangzhou Yamaha Musical Instruments

Piano and guitar manufacturer Hangzhou Yamaha Musical Instruments Co., Ltd., installed a new wastewater treatment facility in May 2016 in response to increasingly strict wastewater standards. This facility allows for wastewater to be purified to the point that it can be reused. The wastewater treated in this facility is used for cooling water and other applications, resulting in annual water use reductions of 10,000 tons.

[ photo ] Wastewater treatment facility
Wastewater treatment facility
[ photo ] Reuse of wastewater for cooling water
Reuse of wastewater for cooling water

Yamaha Music India

Yamaha Music India, which completed construction in January 2019, has introduced a completely closed wastewater treatment facility. Wastewater generated from the manufacturing process is 100% reused and is not emitted outside the factory.

[ photo ] Wastewater treatment facility
Wastewater treatment facility
[ photo ] Reuse of 100% of manufacturing process wastewater
Reuse of 100% of manufacturing process wastewater

Yamaha Music Manufacturing Asia

PT. Yamaha Music Manufacturing Asia, a manufacturer of electronic instruments, installed reverse osmosis membrane equipment in 2019 to treat wastewater for reuse in the manufacturing process. In addition, it is conserving approximately 120,000 kWh of power a year by spraying mist on chillers to augment their cooling capabilities.

[ photo ] Reverse osmosis membrane equipment
Reverse osmosis membrane equipment

Yamaha Musical Products Asia

At PT. Yamaha Musical Products Asia, which is scheduled to commence production in fiscal 2021, we have completed construction of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility designed for the purpose of reusing wastewater in manufacturing processes. Trial operation of this facility has already begun.

[ photo ] Wastewater treatment facility
Wastewater treatment facility