Water Resources

The Nisshinbo Group’s Contributions to the SDGs

The Nisshinbo Group contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through water resource activities.
In order to achieve our medium-term environmental target regarding reducing water consumption per unit of sales, we are managing key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of systematic measures, as follows.

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

The Nisshinbo Group is promoting water resource activities with SDG 6.4 as a core target, as follows.

  • ①Promoting water conservation activities through ISO 14001 activities
  • ②Expanding activities such as the introduction of water-saving equipment at manufacturing sites, reduction of water consumption and reuse of treated wastewater
  • ③Efforts toward sustainable water intake at overseas sites with different water availability conditions, such as use of rainwater and water recycling (returning to groundwater)
  • ④Activities in the Textiles business to purify well water that has been drained and deliver a portion of it to neighboring residents free of charge
  • ⑤Contributing to domestic and overseas wastewater treatment fields by providing microbial carriers for water treatment in the Chemicals business
  • 6. Clean water and sanitation

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

  • Targets: 6.4

    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

Understanding and monitoring water risks

Using the AQUEDUCT Water Risk Atlas* published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), we are conducting water risk assessments at the business sites and in the major supply chains of the Nisshinbo Group. Our group monitors sites and supply chains that are rated "very risky." In addition, we conduct surveys of water consumption in the supply chain and manage the results of these surveys.

* AQUEDUCT Water Risk Atlas: Maps based on 12 different water risk indicators, including "physical water stress," "water quality," "water resource regulatory risks," and "reputational risks."

AQUEDUCT Water Risk Atlas
AQUEDUCT Water Risk Atlas

Use of Water Resources

Volume of water usage totaled 9.4 million m3, down 9% year-on-year (YoY) after adjustments*. Volume of water usage per unit of sales was 18.4 m3 per million yen, down 8% YoY after adjustments*. Water consumption decreased due to reuse of wastewater and conservation activities.

Volume of water recycled totaled 0.74 million m3, down 29% YoY after adjustment. The main factor in this result was the withdrawal from the denim division of the textile business, which reduced water usage and eliminated the reuse of wastewater.

* 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 volume of water usage and volume of water 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.

Water Usage and Water Usage per Unit of Sales

Water Usage and Water Usage per Unit of Sales

(Million m3)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
Water Usage 24.2 26.2 10.5 10.3 9.4
(m3/Million yen)
Water Usage per Unit of Sales 45.4 49.6 20.6 20.0 18.4

Trends of Water Recycled

Trends of Water Recycled

(Million m3)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
Volume of Water Recycled 1.492 1.570 0.815 1.053 0.743

The textiles business accounted for 65% of total water usage.

Trends in Volume of Water Usage by Business

Trends in Volume of Water Usage by Business

(Million m3)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
Electronics 1.5 1.7 1.5 1.6 --
Wireless and Communications -- -- -- -- 0.4
Microdevices -- -- -- -- 1.3
Automobile Brakes 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4
Precision Instruments 0.7 2.0 1.3 1.2 1.0
Chemicals 0.2 0.1 0 0.1 0.1
Textiles 7.5 7.4 7.2 6.9 6.1
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Papers 13.8 14.6 -- -- --
Total 24.2 26.2 10.5 10.3 9.4

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

Reduction of groundwater consumption

At New Japan Radio Co., Ltd.'s Kawagoe Works, pure water (water with low impurities) used in the semiconductor manufacturing process is produced at a pure water manufacturing facility and sent to the plant. The raw water is groundwater pumped from a well.

Groundwater contains a lot of solid matter (small debris), which is removed by passing it through a filter. Over time, however, solid matter accumulates in the filter, obstructing the passage of water through the filter. To resolve this problem, we regularly send water back through the filter to clean it and remove any accumulated solid material. This process is called the filter regeneration process.

To reduce groundwater consumption, we rescheduled this process, which was previously performed once every eight hours, to once every 56 hours. This change in procedure served to reduce the use of groundwater by 7,490 m3 in fiscal 2019.

Operating cycle of the filter

Operating cycle of the filter

Reuse of wastewater from wastewater treatment plants

Nisshinbo Somboon Automotive Co, Ltd. (NSA) in Thailand, has built a system to make wastewater from wastewater treatment plants reusable, by means of scrubbers and sprinklers.

By switching entirely from industrial water to recycled wastewater, we were able to recycle about 34% of our own wastewater. This solution reduces the use of industrial water by approximately 15,000 m3 per year.

Contributing to solving Marine Plastic Waste Problems

Nisshinbo Chemical Inc. contributed to the production and sale of Carbodilite to solve the problem of marine plastic garbage (microplastics). Microplastics have emerged as a new global issue due to the marine ecosystem destruction and pollution they cause. Carbodilite is an additive used in biodegradable plastics, paints, inks, adhesives and coating agents. Powdery modifiers, which are one group of products in which Carbodilite is used, can be added to biodegradable plastics made using plant-derived raw materials, for example, to improve the durability of the plastics without impairing their degradation performance and safety.

We are reducing the volume of plastic waste (microplastics) in the oceans through two approaches. The first is by contributing to the practical reuse of products such as shopping bags, agricultural mulch film, and disposable tableware and cutlery. The second is by enabling them to be broken down by microbes in the soil and oceans. By supporting the expansion of demand for plant-derived biodegradable plastics, we are contributing to solving many environmental and energy problems, including oil-resource depletion and the formation of a sustainable carbon recycling society.

In addition, we are currently exploring materials that make it easier to decompose biodegradable plastics in the oceans by utilizing the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) 's leading research program.

Reducing Water Consumption through KAIZEN Activities

Nisshinbo Textile Inc. and its subsidiaries are working to create an organization and culture that nurtures innovation while operating efficiently and effectively. One approach we are taking is to eliminate strain, waste and variance (muri-muda-mura in Japanese quality management parlance) through activities named "T-KAIZEN".

As part of this initiative, PT. Nikawa Textile Industry in Indonesia has improved its control of the cooling water used in the cooling towers of its own power generation facilities. Water quality has been controlled using the electrical conductivity of cooling water, and the adjustment of water supply and drainage volume, which were adjusted using the upper and lower limits of electrical conductivity. In this improvement case, we remodeled the drainage piping and made improvements so that the electrical conductivity could be maintained and managed at a fixed value through continuously draining. With this new approach, we have been able to reduce water consumption by about 8,800 m3 per year.

The Group will continue to pursue T-KAIZEN activities to identify and implement measures to reduce strain, waste and variance hidden in the workplace.