Prevention of Pollution and Chemical Substance Management
Environmental Pollution Prevention Frameworks
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 contain provisions regarding the installation, management, and operation of environmental facilities. Compliance with these standards is being pursued in a systematic matter based on road maps set on an individual production site-basis, and we plan to achieve full compliance with these standards at all domestic and overseas production sites in fiscal 2024. In this manner, we aim to keep the number of accidents resulting in environmental pollution at zero.
As of March 31, 2023, 18 of 19 sites were in full compliance with the Yamaha Group Environmental Equipment Standards.
Monitoring and Legal Compliance
With the goal of reducing the environmental 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 corrective measures.
In addition, we have systems in place to facilitate quick responses to revisions to laws and regulations. The Yamaha Group collects the latest information on regulatory reforms, 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. Legal compliance frameworks are developed through coordination among Group companies worldwide. Particularly strong coordination is being practiced with companies in China, where environmental laws have been amended frequently in recent years.
The Yamaha Group conducts internal environmental audits according to the ISO 14001 integrated management system standard 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 2023, we conducted environmental audits at two sites.
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 emergency 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 waterways to which wastewater is discharged. In the past, the 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 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.
At the main factory of Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan Corporation, the Company upgraded wastewater processing equipment in 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.
|Treatment processes were adopted for acids and waste alkali, which were previously condensed due to difficulties associated with wastewater processing. This enabled the factory to eliminate all emissions of specified controlled industrial waste from waste liquids.
|The Company has installed more wastewater processing equipment and begun 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.
|The Company has augmented 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 has been installed, resulting in a 50% reduction in emissions of wastewater, sludge, and other waste.
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 (the "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 at 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 ESG Data page.)
Factories in China have completed the introduction of VOC treatment equipment, resulting in a reduction of approximately 90% in emissions of such substances. Meanwhile, PT. Yamaha Music Manufacturing Asia is implementing thinning agent recycling initiatives and has been able to achieve a reduction in emissions of these substances of approximately 70%.
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, the Yamaha Group 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 are making use of these applications in the production process.
Yamaha Music Manufacturing Japan Corporation 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 2023 by 11.9tons.
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 specified CFCs in manufacturing processes in fiscal 1994, we have been using HCFCs, which have a lower ozone depletion potential compared to specified 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 2023, the Yamaha Group did not conduct any serious violations of any laws, receive fines, pay fees, or be named in any lawsuits with respect to environmental concerns. The Group did not experience any accidents having an effect on the outside environment, nor did we receive any significant complaints.