Conservation of Water Resources

Working to Preserve Water Resources in a Shared Basin as a Precious Natural Resource

Management Approach

Basic ConceptContributing to the resolution of local and supply chain water issues and the minimization of water risks

We formulated “Sekisui Environment Sustainability Vision 2050” in 2019 in line with our belief that the maintenance and development of our business requires us to maintain a healthy environment in the areas in which we conduct our corporate activities. We have established the following two goals in line with our vision of ensuring that societies in all the areas in which we and our supply chains operate have abundant access to clean water.

<Goals>

  • 1.
    Minimizing Water Risk at Sekisui Chemical Group
    With the goal on maintaining sustainable operations, Sekisui Chemical Group will seek to minimize risks related to received water. We will also focus on minimizing risk related to water discharged from the Group in order to better preserve biodiversity.
  • 2.
    Contributing to the resolution of water-related issues in local communities
    Not only will we work to minimize water risks, but with the goal of contributing to a positive return to natural capital we will contribute to the resolution of water-related issues in local communities through the provision of environment-contribution products and collaboration with leaders in the watershed area.

RoadmapTargeting the realization of societies with abundant access to healthy water by 2050

SEKISUI Environment Sustainability Vision 2050 includes the goal of realizing societies with abundant access to clean and healthy water by 2050. Backcasting from this goal, we have established specific measures and milestones as part of our continued work toward achieving this goal.
More specifically, we will implement the following measures with an aim of minimizing water risks.

  • We will evaluate the water risks in a given region as well as the business impact, and focus not only on locations and suppliers where the business impact is large, but also on locations in areas where water risks are substantial.
  • For locations where the business impact is substantial, we will minimize risks by 2023.
  • For suppliers where the business impact is substantial, we will minimize risk by 2030, including through a review of suppliers.
  • For regions where water risks are substantial, we will minimize the environmental impact by 2030.
  • Finally, we will create monitoring guidelines and oversee all locations to assess both business impact and environmental impact moving forward.

In order to accelerate returns to natural capital, including the conservation of water resources, we will continue to promote the development of products that contribute to sustainability in order to minimize the environmental impact from supply chain operations and help resolve local water issues.
Moreover, as an initiative being undertaken at locations around the world, we will continue to focus on contributing to the resolution of local water issues by establishing a collaborative system with those living in watershed areas between 2030 and 2050.

Roadmap

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Assessment of Water-related RisksConducting Water Risk Surveys at All Production Sites and Research Institutes

Water resource conditions in the regions in which we operate vary by area, making it important to accurately understand the type and magnitude of risks by location, and to devise and implement strategies on an individual basis.
Sekisui Chemical Group has conducted water risk surveys at all of its production sites and research institutes since fiscal 2013 using a mapping tool for water-related risks (Aqueduct: Aqueduct Overall Water Risk map)* and proprietary surveys. These proprietary surveys focus on items that could identify risks to business continuity, including factors related to water intake, such as future increases in water intake, as well as whether there are water outages, and if so how frequently, as well as water quality fluctuation issues. They also focus on water discharge factors, including those related to usage conditions downstream from where wastewater is discharged and water quality regulation trends.
Under the Environmental Medium-term Plan covering fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2022, we will gain a clear understanding of business impact and water risks through an investigation of water use conditions in areas in which we operate. We will also conduct surveys in regard to extending the scope of procurement risks for raw materials used in mainstay products. Based on the results of these surveys, we aim to finalize by 2023 strategies for business sites where business impact is deemed substantial.

  • A global map showing water-related risks / information tool developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI)
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Results of water risk surveys conducted to date
(ratio of production sites and research institutes judged to have risks)

Impact of Water-related Risks on BusinessDirect Impact on Operations

As production sites in Japan manufacturing synthetic resins drain their wastewater directly into rivers or the sea / ocean, even though the water quality of the wastewater complies with the present control levels, we understand that if any changes to, reinforcements of, etc. of the laws and regulations regarding water quality of drainage are implemented in the future, it may cause major impact on the continuity of our business activities.
For that reason, we check on a continuous basis the future trends in regulations at every area our business bases are located in, and, at the same time, to improve the water quality of drainage, implement Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) tests assessing the effect of drainage on the ecological system. If any negative impact is identified with the WET tests, we investigate the causes and strive to eliminate them using the PDCA cycle to reduce the impact of water-related risks as much as possible.

Risks Identified, Their Potential Impact on Operations, and Strategies for MitigationImpact on Supply Chain

Manufacturers of steel materials used in the Housing Business and manufacturers of synthetic resins used in the Plastics Business are suppliers of primary materials of Sekisui Chemical Group that consume large quantities of fresh water during manufacture. Although we do not directly encourage such suppliers to conform to environmental standards, with our Sekisui Environment Sustainability Index we calculate as 'use of natural capital' the environmental impact of the pollutants contained in drainage generated during manufacture of primary materials and monitor it on a continual basis.
We focus on reductions in the impact on water environments as a result of our business activities as well as the degree of our contribution to the environment from an expansion in products and services making a positive contribution to water environments as returns to natural capital.
From fiscal 2020 we will strive to better understand water risks in the supply chain creating products, as well as the returns to natural and social capital as a result of on product-based water risk reductions.

Contribution to Reduction of Water-related Risks Through Operations

Sekisui Chemical Group develops a range of businesses related to water infrastructure, such as supply, storage, and drainage of water, contributing to the society not only by technologies and products that help to improve the quality of drainage, such as water treatment systems and drain pipes, but also by creating strong water infrastructure made to withstand natural disasters.
For example, one of our products being marketed in Japan, India, China, Taiwan, and other ASEAN areas, the “Cross Wave*” rainwater collection system, is used for the prevention of chronic water shortages and to achieve both greening of urban areas and disaster prevention. Since 2010, we have been continually working to reduce water-related disaster risks such as flooding through this product.
In fiscal 2019, Cross Wave was adopted in large-scale housing construction operations in Indonesia, contributing to the growth of green infrastructure projects in that country. We have also worked to establish a cooperative system with the local water resources departments.
We are also promoting the development of towns through the use of products with the ability to lower water risks. As an example, Asaka Leadtown in Asaka City, Saitama Prefecture solves a number of issues, starting by the lowering of water risks. We believe this to be a first step in the building of a town planning business that makes full use of Sekisui Chemical Group technologies and products to ensure safe, secure, and comfortable lives.
With the goal of not only reducing damage from the ever increasing number of disasters brought on by climate change, but also promoting disaster mitigation in support of recovery efforts after a disaster, we are expanding the peace of mind we can offer to our housing customers by recommending, for example, the installation of a drinking water storage system that makes good use of water system infrastructure piping.

  • * Cross Wave:
    Rainwater storage system. This molded product made from recycled plastic creates an underground space which is used to store rainwater. It regulates the rain volume flowing into sewer systems and rivers during torrential rains and makes reuse of rainwater possible.

Activity Policy and Reduction TargetsWe are promoting reductions through specialized efforts at business sites with high water intake volumes and discharge rates

Sekisui Chemical Group draws the water it needs to use in its business activities from public water systems, water systems for industrial use, underground reservoirs, and surrounding rivers. With the understanding that water is a precious natural resource shared by everyone in the community, we do our best to reduce the amount of water used,
such as by reusing cooling water.
We have to date established targets and enacted measures for reducing water intake volume and discharged water chemical oxygen demand (COD) volume at each of our production and research facilities. However, based on local water risk conditions and the state of water consumption, we are focused in particular on promoting a reduction in business activities at locations where the business impact is particularly large.

Major Initiatives

Reduce the Amount of Water Intake Volume, and Discharged Water Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) VolumeWater Intake Volume Increased by 0.1%, Compared to the Base Fiscal Year, With Discharged Water COD Volume Rising on the Same Basis by 5.1%

Water intake volume at production sites in fiscal 2019 increased by 0.1%, relative to results in the base fiscal year of 2016, while discharged water COD volume increased on the same basis by 5.1%.
In fiscal 2019, we studied reduction measures targeting the four Sekisui Chemical Group production facilities with the highest discharged wastewater COD volumes and the highest water intake, and invested in improvements using the environmental contribution investment framework. We expect reductions to become apparent following the completion of equipment installations moving forward.

Examples of environment-based capex in fiscal 2019

  Site Reduction strategy Result
Reduction in water intake Shiga-Minakuchi Plant Introduction of filtration equipment allowing the reuse of recycled wastewater as a coolant.
Strengthened management and promoted visualization of water use at the facility.
Reduction of 9%
Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd.
Iwate Plant
10% reduction through automation of industrial water intake adjustment system Reduction of 10%
Reduction in wastewater COD volume Sekisui Nano Coat Technology Co., Ltd. Improve treatment capacity by upgrading wastewater treatment facilities Reduction of 25%

Ongoing Monitoring of Water RisksContinuously Assess Water Extracted from Production Sites and Wastewater Risk

In fiscal years 2014 and 2015, we surveyed 98 production sites and R&D laboratories around the world to gain a fi rm understanding of our sources of water, destinations for wastewater, the current and future prospects of continuing to acquire water, and related matters. As a result, we now understand there are major differences in water supply volume and water quality by region, although the in-depth survey did not identify any water supply risks, such as potential increases in costs or restrictions on water sources that would be severe enough to adversely impact production activities. We also found out that there are many business sites that rely on ground water as their main water source. Of particular significance, 18 business sites, accounting for 35% of all business sites in Japan, use ground water or spring water (including industrial water in some cases), and 44% of the total amount of water intake for all domestic business sites depends on ground water or spring water.
Although ground water is a cheap and very effective source of water, due to unforeseen factors it may become impossible to use it in the future, and we perceive it as a risk to our business continuity.
In fiscal 2017, we created a tool for the assessment of ground water risks. The assessment tool allows us to apprise the risks from three viewpoints, namely, susceptibility, concerns in the area, and future changes. The tool uses five evaluation criteria of abundance of ground water, amount of water used by the business site, environmental changes in the surrounding area, restrictions by laws and regulations, and changes of amounts used / precipitation; it consists of 12 assessment indices.
Using the evaluation tool we created, we implemented from fiscal 2018 risk assessment at all business sites that use ground water in Japan, extracted the three sites with the greatest risks, and also added the sites with the largest comparative volume of water intake to our considerations. For these five production sites, we analyzed hypothetical scenarios resulting from climate change due to global warming and estimated future ground water replenishment.
In fiscal 2019, we selected six business sites from those the preliminary assessments identified as having high risk, high groundwater intake levels, or a substantial change in how the land within a given water area was used. We estimated for these sites potential sharp changes in rainfall, including as a result of torrential rains or drought, as well as the effects on groundwater supply. The impact assessment also focused on business site intake volume and its effect on groundwater supply.
The assessments allowed us to understand that the business sites faced substantial risks related to water intake moving forward, with three seeing a potential sharp drop in the supply of ground water and one where the intake of water is excessive in comparison to the groundwater supply in the region. We will be promoting water intake reductions at these business sites with the aim of lowering the environmental impact on the area and reducing water intake to a level in line with the groundwater depletion rate.
Regarding wastewater risks, we have been using assessment of the effects of wastewater on biodiversity in the surrounding area as a means for wastewater WET tests of production sites since fiscal 2013. We have also continued investigations into causes at sites where effects on biodiversity were recently discovered. We discovered the substances causing the effects and were able to reduce these substances in fiscal 2019 through the substitution of production materials.

Water RecyclingRecycling Cooling Water Used for Plastic Moldings

Sekisui Chemical Group promotes the reuse of water in its production processes in order to reduce the amount of water it draws from water sources. At the production plants of Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company and High Performance Plastics Company, large volumes of cooling water is recycled and reused in manufacturing processes. In fiscal 2019, at production sites in Japan and overseas, we used 107 million cubic meters of recycled water. This is equivalent to 5 times the water intake volume from all other sources.
The main water supply for Kurohama Lake*—which has been designated as a natural conservation area in Saitama Prefecture—is wastewater from the Musashi Plant (located in Hasuda City) that has been purified in accordance with environmental standards.

  • For more information about Kurohama Lake, see the page below.
Performance Data
  • Some past figures have been revised due to improvements in precision.
  • From fi scal 2019, Medical Business results are collated and presented with Headquarters results following its separation from the High Performance Plastics Company as an independent entity.
  • 3-052
  • 3-053
  • Water Intake Volume at Production Sites / Japan

  • Water Intake Volume at Production Sites / Overseas

  • 3-123
  • 3-124
  • Wastewater Volume at Production Sites / Japan

  • Wastewater Volume at Production Sites / Overseas

    Note: We have been improving the accuracy of our wastewater volume from fiscal 2019.

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  • Water Consumption at Production Sites / Japan

  • Water Consumption at Production Sites / Overseas

    Note: Water consumption increased to improve the accuracy of wastewater volumes in 2019.

Water Intake Volume at Production Sites by Water Source Type

(thousands of m3)
Water source Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Surfaace water Japan 951 696 1,086 197 726 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Total 951 696 1,086 197 727 0 0 1 0 1
Ground water Japan 3,033 2,604 2,624 2,632 2,517 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 140 103 120 144 111 62 25 26 35 16
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3,175 2,710 2,745 2,776 2,628 62 25 26 35 16
Seawater Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Third-party water* Japan 11,574 12,086 11,969 12,389 10,903 0 0 0 0 0
China 245 273 298 324 265 210 236 288 311 256
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 150 896 1,097 966 1,093 27 18 46 72 80
Europe 1,843 1,943 1,883 1,866 1,960 1,760 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,887
North and Central America 1,857 2,042 2,209 2,732 3,092 10 10 81 156 141
Total 15,669 17,241 17,456 18,278 17,313 2,007 2,121 2,213 2,344 2,365
Total volume of water withdrawn Japan 15,557 15,386 15,679 15,218 14,146 0 0 0 0 0
China 245 273 298 324 265 210 236 288 311 256
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 290 999 1,217 1,110 1,204 89 44 72 107 97
Europe 1,843 1,943 1,883 1,866 1,960 1,760 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,887
North and Central America 1,859 2,046 2,209 2,732 3,092 10 10 81 156 141
Total 19,795 20,646 21,286 21,250 20,668 2,070 2,146 2,239 2,379 2,382

Third-party water: Water withdrawn from local government water suppliers (public water systems, water systems for industrial use)

Wastewater Volume at Production Sites by Discharge Destination

(thousands of m3)
Water source Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Surface water Japan 11,579 11,219 11,627 11,353 10,680 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 22 26 20 43 0 2 2 0 22
Europe 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 11,583 11,241 11,653 11,372 10,722 0 2 2 0 22
Ground water Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Seawater Japan 2,741 2,892 2,503 2,277 2,160 0 0 0 0 0
China 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Europe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
North and Central America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2,741 2,892 2,503 2,277 2,160 0 0 0 0 0
Third-party water* Japan 491 577 600 621 552 0 0 0 0 0
China 244 272 287 308 255 209 235 277 296 246
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 230 679 867 830 860 87 26 55 103 60
Europe 1,832 1,930 1,874 1,860 1,944 1,760 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,875
North and Central America 1,668 1,585 1,571 1,981 2,060 8 9 62 79 81
Total 4,464 5,043 5,200 5,601 5,670 2,064 2,127 2,193 2,283 2,262
Total volume of water withdrawn Japan 14,811 14,689 14,730 14,251 13,392 0 0 0 0 0
China 244 272 287 308 255 209 235 277 296 246
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 230 701 893 850 902 87 29 57 103 83
Europe 1,835 1,930 1,874 1,860 1,944 1,760 1,857 1,799 1,805 1,875
North and Central America 1,668 1,585 1,571 1,981 2,060 8 9 62 79 81
Total 18,788 19,176 19,356 19,250 18,552 2,064 2,129 2,195 2,283 2,285

* Third-party water: Wastewater (sewer systems) discharged to wastewater treatment facilities of local governments, etc.

Water Consumption at Production Sites

(thousands of m3)
Area of base All areas Areas with water stress
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Japan 747 697 949 967 754 0 0 0 0 0
China 1 1 11 16 10 1 1 11 16 10
The Rest of Asia and Oceania 60 298 324 260 302 2 15 15 4 15
Europe 8 13 9 6 17 0 0 0 0 13
North and Central America 192 461 638 751 1,032 2 1 19 77 60
Total 1,007 1,470 1,930 2,000 2,116 5 17 45 97 98
Indicator Calculation Method
Water intake volume Water intake volume = Total water intake volume = (The sum of water intake from surface water, ground water, seawater, and third-party water)
Wastewater volume Wastewater volume = Total wastewater volume = (The sum of wastewater from surface water, ground water, seawater, and third-party water)
Water consumption Water consumption = Water intake volume - wastewater
Areas with water stress Areas where baseline water stress is ranked as high or extremely high under the WRI Aqueduct TM Water Risk Atlas (Aqueduct 3.0) evaluation system
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  • COD Emission Volume / Japan

Index Calculation Method
COD emission volume Emission volume = Σ[COD concentration (annual average of measured value) x Drainage volume]