Energy Conservation

The Nisshinbo Group's Contributions to the SDGs

The Nisshinbo Group contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through energy conservation activities.
The Group manages key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of systematic measures to achieve its medium-term environmental target of reducing energy use per unit of sales.

Core SDGs Goals and Targets and the activities of the Nisshinbo Group

The Nisshinbo Group is promoting energy conservation activities with SDG 12.2 as a core target, as follows.

  • ①Promoting activities to curb energy consumption through ISO 14001 activities
  • ②Selecting environmentally friendly equipment when renewing equipment and continuously implementing energy conservation measures through improvement activities
  • ③Systematic use of LEDs for lighting
  • ④Pursuit of the introduction of energy-saving equipment in new buildings and warehouses and the reduction of energy consumed by air conditioning
  • 12. Responsible consumption, production

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

  • Targets: 12.2

    By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

Energy Use by Type of Fuel

The Nisshinbo Group’s energy usage amounted to 10.56 million GJ, down 3% year-on-year (YoY) after adjustments*. Energy usage per unit of sales was 20.72 GJ per million yen, down 2% YoY after adjustments*. In the Precision Instruments and Chemicals segments, a change in the sales mix resulted in an increase in the number of products with low energy impact at the time of production.

By type of fuel used, purchased electricity accounted for 75% of the total. Of the total energy used, 14% was represented by coal used at two Indonesian subsidiaries in the textiles business (PT. Nikawa Textile Industry and PT. Nisshinbo Indonesia).

* Effective from the previous consolidated fiscal year, we have changed the fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the previous consolidated fiscal year, which is the transitional period, was an irregular fiscal year. For this reason, the rate of year-on-year change in actual results is not stated. Instead, when comparing the fiscal year under review with the previous fiscal year, for reference purposes, we state the rate of increase/decrease in energy usage and energy usage per unit of sales from the same period of the previous fiscal year, adjusted to be the same 12-month period as in the consolidated fiscal year under review, to the consolidated fiscal year under review.

Trends in the Amount of Energy Consumed and the Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales

Trends in the Amount of Energy Consumed and the Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales

(Million GJ)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
Purchased electricity 7.98 8.58 7.75 8.28 7.94
Coal 1.47 1.61 1.66 1.51 1.50
Town gas 1.22 1.33 0.77 0.85 0.80
Heavy oil 0.33 0.24 0.06 0.05 0.04
Other 0.08 0.13 0.12 0.25 0.28
Energy usage 11.08 11.89 10.36 10.94 10.56
(GJ/million yen)
The Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales 20.76 22.55 20.24 21.25 20.72

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

The automobile brakes business accounts for the largest portion of energy consumed, at 3.30 million GJ, followed by the textiles business at 3.16 million GJ.

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

(Million GJ)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
Electronics 1.87 1.88 1.89 2.64 --
Wireless and Communications -- -- -- -- 0.49
Microdevices -- -- -- -- 2.09
Automobile Brakes 3.58 3.56 3.63 3.43 3.30
Precision Instruments 0.62 1.35 1.42 1.43 1.31
Chemicals 0.10 0.10 0.11 0.12 0.10
Textiles 3.09 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.16
Others 0.15 0.16 0.12 0.12 0.12
Papers 1.67 1.66 -- -- --
Total 11.08 11.89 10.36 10.94 10.56

* In fiscal 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Microdevices business.

Effect of Introducing LED Lighting

The energy conservation impact of new conversion to LED lighting in fiscal 2019 was 1,435 MWh, as indicated in the table below.

Reduction in Electricity Consumption

Business Category Reduced Consumption (MWh)
Wireless and Communications 55
Microdevices 133
Automobile Brakes 1,038
Precision Instruments 49
Chemicals 97
Textiles 63
Total 1,435

* In fiscal 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Microdevices business.

Completion of energy-saving buildings

Japan Radio Co., Ltd. built a logistics Building at its Nagano Plant, and Ueda Japan Radio Co., Ltd. constructed an office building at its Head Office & Factory.

Completed in July 2019, Ueda Japan Radio’s office building is outfitted with LED lighting, gas heat pumps, and high-insulation exterior walls and ceiling materials. As a result, the facility consumes roughly half the energy that the former building did.

Japan Radio completed its Logistics Building in October 2019. This facility uses a total heat exchanger that recovers heat lost by ventilation, as well as LED lighting, a double folded roof, sandwich-panel outer wall and insulating double-glazed glass. We adopted spot-type air conditioners for efficient air-conditioning to achieve both eco-friendly performance and an easy-to-work workplace environment. Electricity consumption was 19% lower than that of fluorescent lamps used from January to March 2020.

Japan Radio Co., Ltd. Nagano Factory Logistics Building Japan Radio Co., Ltd. Nagano plant Logistics Building
Ueda Japan Radio Co., Ltd. Head Office & Factory  Building Ueda Japan Radio Co., Ltd. Head Office & Factory Building

Reduction of energy by introducing heat pumps

At New Japan Radio Co., Ltd.'s Kawagoe Works, an electric boiler equipped with a heat pump was installed in conjunction with the boiler renewal.

A heat pump is a technology that uses refrigerant gas to exchange heat with high efficiency. This boiler can produce hot and cold water at the same time. Household heating and air-conditioning units also use the principle of heat pumps, but when the room is heated by air conditioners, cold air is expelled from the outdoor units. This boiler uses the cool air expelled in this way to cool water. Cold water obtained at the same time as hot water in this way is taken into the inlet of the chiller and pre-cooled, thereby reducing the energy used by the chiller to cool water.

Installation of this boiler reduced greenhouse gases by 518 tons of CO2 in fiscal 2019.

Schematic view of system operation

Schematic view of system operation

2019 Electrical and Electronic Components Award Received at Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun’s Super Manufacturing Parts Awards

In 2019, Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd. received the Electrical and Electronic Components Award at the Super Manufacturing Components Awards, sponsored by the Monozukuri Japan Conference and the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, for the RP604 Series of Buck-Boost DC/DC Converter*1.

The RP604 Series consists of Buck-Boost DC/DC Converter used to ensure the accuracy and responsiveness of output voltage, which is important for the performance of power supply ICs*2. This Series consumes approximately 1/90 (0.3μA versus 27.5μA) of the current used by conventional converters. IoT (Internet of Things) Contributes to long-term operation of batteries such as edge-terminal*3. It contributes to long battery life in devices such as edge terminals³ used in IoT solutions.

Awards ceremony

*1 Buck-Boost DC/DC Converter: Components that convert from DC (direct current) to DC (direct current). When the voltage after conversion is lower than that before conversion, the result is called "falling voltage"; conversely, when it becomes higher it is referred to as "rising voltage." Switching regulators such as DC/DC Converter can obtain voltages higher than the input voltage and different polarities, such as boost, buck-boost, and invert, in addition to step-down.

*2 Power supply ICs: ICs that protect the power line at the same time as switching the power supply on and off.

*3 Edge terminal: In the IoT field, the point (network terminal) that sends the data collected by the terminal and terminal network to the line is called the "edge".

Energy Conservation Activities

Nisshinbo Brake Inc.'s Tatebayashi Plant worked continuously on energy conservation activities Plant-wide, making 223 improvements in fiscal 2019.

The Plant have reduced annual electricity consumption by approximately 2,000 MWh through a range of measures. These included installing LED lighting, upgrading HVAC with high-efficiency motors, and optimizing and raising the efficiency of production equipment. In two particularly effective measures, the Plant eliminated approximately 830 MWh of power consumption by revising the method of operation of the deodorization equipment in the open combustion system, and approximately 240 MWh by switching to LED lighting.

Tatebayashi Plant will continue its efforts to save energy by pursuing further improvements.

Energy-saving activities

Saeron Automotive (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (SABC) is actively engaged in energy conservation activities.

We reviewed the paths of the dust collection ducts connected to the presses of the disc pad and improved them by enabling the dust collector to be stopped when the number of presses in operation decreases due to a reduction in production. This improvement was successful in reducing annual power consumption by approximately 800 MWh, by eliminating two 75 KW dust collectors from use in fiscal 2019.

In addition, 65 lamps in raw material warehouses were replaced with LEDs (from 600 W to 100 W) to reduce annual power consumption by approximately 190 MWh.

In the press process of disc pads, hydraulic pumps were operating continuously even when the facility was on standby. To eliminate this waste, the Plant improved the hydraulic pumps so that they would automatically stop if there was no press operation for 5 minutes. As a result, annual power consumption was reduced by approximately 20 MWh for 33 pre-molding and thermal molding presses, and approximately 110 MWh for three brake lining presses. SABC will continue to promote energy conservation activities.

Energy conservation by reducing the amount of electricity used for air conditioning in the plant

Nisshinbo-Continental Precision Machining (Yangzhou) Co., Ltd. processes precision parts for automobiles.

In the processing room, a hot water boiler was operated for about three months every year for heating in winter. By installing a mid-ceiling and changing the ceiling height from the conventional 13m to 9m, and by partitioning the areas requiring heating with insulation sheets, the Company succeeded in heating the facility using waste heat only, eliminating the need for the hot water boiler. This improvement resulted in a reduction in annual power consumption of 436 MWh. In addition, by installing blinds in the windows of offices to reduce the air-conditioning load in summer, the Company reduced annual electricity consumption by 22 MWh.

The Company is currently considering lowering the compressor’s pressure setting. Nisshinbo-Continental Precision Machinery (Yangzhou) will continue to work to reduce power consumption further.

Insulation sheets
Insulation sheets