Reduction of Waste Volume in Business Activities

Toshiba Group is working to reduce waste generation by minimizing the volume of waste generated per unit activity, which indicates business process efficiency improvement, as well as by reducing the total volume of waste to a level that does not exceed the Earth's environmental capacity.

In FY2021, the volume of waste (excluding that of objects with value) totaled 30,000 tons. The total volume of waste generated per unit production was 96% compared to that of FY2020, achieving the target.

We are first focusing on not generating waste and aiming to improve the recycling rate. At each stage of design, development, production, and distribution, we give thorough consideration to reducing, recycling, and facilitating waste disposal. We monitor the composition of waste and promote the reduction or elimination of hazardous substance content, as well as thorough sorting and storage.

In addition, the total volume of hazardous waste*1 is 3,500 tons in FY2021, the recycling rate*2 is 85%, and the volume discharged and moved*3 is 520,846 kg.

  • The total volume of hazardous waste indicates the quantity of specially controlled industrial waste specified by the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act of Japan (the “Waste Management Act”).
  • The volume recycled refers to the quantity reused or recycled of the specially controlled industrial waste specified by the Waste Management Act.
  • The figure is determined based on the volume discharged and moved of the substances that are managed by Toshiba Corporation among all the substances defined in the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCA).

■ Waste volume and the rate of improvement of total volume of waste generated per unit activity

* The target values are for the waste volume only.

■ Breakdown of the waste volume (FY2021)

Promoting Recycling

In FY2021, Toshiba Group recycled 75,000 tons of resources, and 96% of the total volume of waste generated was reused effectively as various resources. The recycled resources consisted mainly of scrap metal, waste paper, and wood chips, and 89% of them were used effectively for material recycling (recycled into materials for products), and the remaining 11% for thermal recycling (heat recovery). In the future, Toshiba Group will continue to increase the total volume of resources recycled and at the same time will strive to raise the quality of recycling chiefly by increasing the percentage of resources recycled into materials.

■ Breakdown of the volume recycled (FY2021)

Case: Recycling waste plastic as a material (turning it into an object with value)

Toshiba Industrial Products and Systems Corporation

Toshiba Industrial Products and Systems Corporation manufactures electrical equipment that is essential for social infrastructure facilities such as motors and transformers. The company imports copper wires used in the manufacturing process of motor coils from overseas, however, the used plastic bobbins that held the copper wires cannot be exported for return due to import controls on waste plastic and also cannot be reused in Japan so the company has been disposing of approximately eight tons of such bobbins per year as industrial waste.
In an effort to recycle such bobbins, the company required disposal vendors adjacent to the site for their cooperation and it has become possible to convert them into new plastic materials through selection and crushing.
The largest issue in terms of cost was the transport method. Focusing on improving the method, the company added a new idea to the bobbin storage and used flexible-container-bags as the containers to reduce the man-hours for collection and secure the storage capacity at the same time, which made it possible for an 11-ton vehicle to carry them all at once. By reducing the transportation cost in this way, the company turned waste plastic into objects with value.

Case: Reducing waste by improving the yield of industrial ultraviolet fluorescent lamps

Imabari Complex, Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation

Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation manufactures industrial UVFLs (Ultraviolet Fluorescent Lamps) used in the manufacture of flat panel displays (FPDs) such as liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. In manufacturing these lamps, defects generated in the glass sealing process (sealing of the base and the glass) caused issues with cost and the increase in waste. As such, the company launched a productivity cross-functional team (CFT) to study improvement measures aimed at improving production efficiency and reducing waste.
Based on their improvement measures, mass-flow controllers (flowmeters) was installed so that stabilize the heating power during glass sealing. Then, a system that detects defects (signal tower) was installed to identify locations where defects occur so actions can be taken, which improved the yield. These improvement measures resulted in a 20% reduction in hglass waste compared to the previous method
Going forward, Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corporation will continue to promote activities toward forming a circulating society, such as waste reduction, to contribute to achieving a sustainable society.

Signal tower

Graph showing the generation of glass waste

Case: Resource Saving through Improved Material Yield in the Manufacturing Process

Toshiba Industrial Products and Systems Corporation

Toshiba Industrial Products and Systems Corporation manufactures iron cores for generators used in hybrid electric vehicles. Its iron core stamping process had generated raw material losses. The company was faced by the challenge of reducing losses and costs through more efficient production methods and saving resources to reduce environmental impact.
Accordingly, the company used its original technologies – a large high-precision mold technology and a technology to stabilize the conveyance of thin and wide rolled materials – and improved the stamping method from single-row punching to triple-row punching. This improved the material yield by 9.4% and achieved resource saving. Triple-row punching, which punches three rows of iron laminations with a single press punch, realized a 2.9-fold improvement in production efficiency and reduced the energy used during manufacturing, thus achieving high-efficiency manufacturing.

Case: Reducing the amount of timber used for wooden boxes at a Chinese site

Toshiba Elevator (Shenyang) Co., Ltd.

Cutting down forests, which play a role in preventing global warming; illegal waste dumping; waste plastics; and other issues brought about by mass-production, mass-consumption societies and lifestyles greatly impact the environment.
When delivering escalator products to customers, Toshiba Elevator (Shenyang) uses wooden boxes to pack and transport parts. The amount of timber used for such boxes and the volume of waste generated after transport have been issues. Thus, the company worked to improve the packing method for parts in an attempt to reduce the number of wooden boxes used and the volume of such packing boxes. As a result, the company is expected to reduce the amount of timber used by approximately 13 tons per year and to significantly reduce the volume of waste generated in FY2020.