Use of Water Resources
Volume of water usage totaled 8.3 million m³. Volume of water usage after adjustment* came to 10.3 million m³, down 2% year on year, while volume of water usage per unit of sales after adjustment* was 19.7 m³ per million yen, down 4% year on year. Despite the addition of Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd., the Nisshinbo Group’s overall volume of water usage after adjustment declined owing to to the promotion of water saving and recycling initiatives.
Volume of water recycled totaled 0.8 million m³. Volume of water recycled after adjustment* came to 1.1 million m³, up 30% year on year, mainly due to the effective use of waste water supported by the waste water reuse systems at NJR FUKUOKA CO., LTD. and SAGA ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
*The consolidated fiscal year that ended in December 2018 was a transitional period with an irregular fiscal year adjusted for changes in the fiscal periods of the Company and consolidated subsidiaries as follows: the Company and consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in March (nine-month consolidation from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018); consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in February (10-month consolidation from March 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), and consolidated subsidiaries with fiscal years ending in December (12-month consolidation from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).
Consequently, we do not indicate comparisons (% of change) versus past results of volume of water usage, but provide comparisons (% of change) for volume of water usage and volume of water usage per unit of sales after adjustment to a 12-month consolidated financial year as a reference.
The textiles business accounted for 67% of total water usage.
Trends in Volume of Water Usage by Business
Bacterial Immobilization Carrier for Wastewater Treatment (AQUAPOROUSGEL)
Bacteria are generally used to purify wastewater from factories and homes, but Nisshinbo Chemical Inc.’s bacterial immobilization carrier for wastewater treatment, AQUAPOROUSGEL, allows their power to be utilized more effectively.
AQUAPOROUSGEL is a sponge carrier with a large surface area that absorbs wastewater and quickly sinks. It has a high purification capacity because many bacteria attach to it and colonize.
AQUAPOROUSGEL is used at dispersed wastewater treatment facilities (in carrier flowing tanks; figure below), factory wastewater treatment facilities, and public sewage treatment facilities in Japan and other countries. Environmental issues concerning the atmosphere and water have especially grown dire in China resulting in stricter penalties and regulations. Demand for water disposal carriers is expected to expand rapidly in the wastewater treatment market where there is a pressing need to meet these regulatory requirements.
Wastewater Reuse System
NJR FUKUOKA CO., LTD. works to effectively use wastewater by leveraging a wastewater reuse system. The wastewater reuse system removes wastewater from the factory before it is discharged as sewage water, and treats it with a sand filtration tower, filter, and RO membrane to remove impurities. The treated water is then reused as spraying water in the cooling tower.
The wastewater reuse system has contributed to the reuse of roughly 84,000m³ of wastewater per year.
Sustainable Cotton Production
Following the registration of PT. Nikawa Textile Industry in fiscal 2016, Nisshinbo Do Brasil Industria Textil LTDA. was registered as a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in January 2018.
BCI is an NGO that comprehensively aims for sustainable cotton production and is distinguished by its strategic approach, in which it stablishes concrete targets, including efficient water use, reduction of pesticides usage, and improved profitability for commercial farms. Many global companies participate in BCI, including Adidas, H&M, Ikea, Nike, and Levi’s.
The Nisshinbo Group will continue to work toward reducing its environmental impact through the sustainable procurement of raw materials.
Maintenance and Management of Large Cooling Tower
PT. Nikawa Textile Industry (Indonesia) uses a large amount of cooling water in the process of turning water vapor, in which the temperature has gone down as a result of passing through the vaporization turbine of the in-house power generation turbine, into water again. Because the temperature of cooling water rises after use, it is cooled to around atmospheric temperature again in the cooling tower before being recirculated and used.
Refrigerators used for compressors and A/Cs similarly circulate cooling water from the cooling tower. Through these water recycling efforts, the company aims to reduce water usage by roughly 20 million tons per year for the entire plant.
The preventive maintenance of the cooling tower to sustain its functions is not just an important task of the company’s preservation division, but also contributes to the protection of underground water volume in the region.
Understanding Water Usage in the Supply Chain
Using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct*, Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. conducted water risk assessments at 35 of the Group’s key sites worldwide. In addition, it completed assessments of water risks within its key supply chains and shared this information through its Council of Environmental Supervisors.
*World Resources Institute Aqueduct: A free tool developed and released by the World Resources Institute that offers information regarding water risks