Promoting our business activities has a considerable effect on the ecosystem. As part of its ecosystem conservation work, the Group practices proper management of chemical substances which could potentially impact ecosystems.
It is also committed to reducing chemical emissions in its production processes.
Relations between ecosystem conservation and corporations
Our life is based on the various benefits of nature (“ecosystem services”) provided by air, water, soil, animals, plants, and other natural capital. To achieve a society that can coexist with nature, so we can enjoy its blessings into the future, Hitachi has set a goal of minimizing its impact on natural capital in its “Long-term Environmental Goals.”
We categorize our business activities as either having a “negative impact” in terms of emissions of greenhouse gases or chemical substances into the atmosphere, and generation of waste, or a “positive impact,” in terms of providing goods and services that contribute to ecosystem conservation or social contribution activities related to protecting nature, including biodiversity and ecosystems. We are working to minimize the difference between the two by 2050.
The Group also affects ecosystems to a certain extent in all value chains, including the procurement of raw materials, product manufacturing, and use of energy for transporting materials and products.
Therefore, we at the Group work to maintain and recover ecosystem services by means of contribution through business, and by social contribution activities regarding protection of nature.
Of these activities, “contributing via business” includes promoting design and production activities that reduce the burden on ecosystems, as well as providing solutions that contribute to reductions in CFC emissions and products with a low environmental impact. We also control chemical substances properly by positioning such control as part of ecosystem conservation activities.
Environmental Friendly Initiative—Aiming to Develop Products with Low Environmental Impact
Our company promotes manufacturing that contributes to a resource-recycling society. Specifically, we work to design and develop products themselves to be lower in weight and volume, that save energy and resources during use, and that promote long-term use, while facilitating manual disassembly, sorting and disposal.
Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
We responded to a market trend toward lighter weight via steps like reducing the size of the new fan motor, even while maintaining a wide variety of tools and convenient functions, and enhancing suction power.
We provide information on use and maintenance via smartphone.
We also added a function that allows users to download new washing courses not built into the main unit, so it can be used long-term.
And we have put on the market*1 a cordless stick vacuum cleaner*2 whose plastic is more than 40% recycled. We have also taken recyclability into account, such as by eliminating secondary processes as much as possible, like painting and printing, which result in foreign substances. Such products have received the Good Design Gold Award*3.
*1 Product launched in August 2022
*2 For plastic materials used in parts such as the handle cover of the product body and the included charging stand, the ratio by mass of recycled plastic is 40% or higher
*3 Award received in October 2022; conducted by Japan Institute of Design Promotion
Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
A challenge in designing this product was replacing many of its parts, including exterior components, with recycled plastic, while maintaining the quality of its exterior.
We adopted a dark color scheme that doesn’t show dirt, and used different resins and surface treatments to achieve a high-quality feel, while using over 40% recycled plastic.
Controlling chemicals contained in products
As part of its ecosystem conservation activities, the Group manages the chemicals contained in materials and parts, etc.
This activity starts from the product development and design stage and extends through the procurement of materials and parts, to all stages of product manufacturing. The management of chemicals is particularly important in procurement, and our management is particularly stringent, in line with the Hitachi Group Green Procurement Guidelines, which is published by the Hitachi Group. We work in cooperation with our suppliers to investigate the content of chemicals in the parts and materials built into products, and also the oils used in manufacturing processes, and all other purchased materials used in production.
And based on J-Moss*1, the Group discloses information about the inclusion of chemicals in products to outside parties through its website.*2
*1 A common designation for JIS C 0950 (Marking for the presence of specific chemical substances for electrical and electronic equipment)
*2 For refrigerators, washing machines and clothes dryers, microwave ovens, and air conditioners
Reducing chemicals in the production process
To prevent atmospheric pollution, the Group practices proper management of chemicals, and is working to reduce emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), etc. from its factories.
We have been working on the action plan target of improving the amount of chemical atmospheric emissions per unit*3. The target set for fiscal 2021 was 118.1% compared to the level in fiscal 2010, and we greatly surpassed the target at 57.8%.
For fiscal 2022, we will continue efforts to reduce the amount of chemical atmospheric emissions, based on the new environmental action plan.
[Subject: Hitachi Global Life Solutions Manufacturing Sites]
Improvement in Chemical Atmospheric Emissions per Unit
(compared to fiscal 2010)
*3 Quotient of chemical substance emissions into the atmosphere divided by the amount of activities
*4 A value linked closely with the atmospheric emissions of chemical substances (such as the amount of chemical substances handled and their production)