The Challenge of Going Carbon Neutral

What is Carbon Neutral?

In recent years, we have been hearing more and more about the term “Carbon Neutral” in the news. The Japanese government announced the “2050 Carbon Neutral Declaration” in October 2020. Many companies are accelerating their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to realize this declaration, which calls for reducing Japan’s overall greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero by 2050.
Since it is difficult in practical terms to completely reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of companies and households to zero, Carbon Neutrality refers to reducing emissions and “absorbing” or “removing” the emissions that were inevitably emitted, with the aim of bringing the overall total to zero.

Toward zero CO2emissions in 2050

In May 2016, the Toyota Boshoku group formulated the 2050 Environmental Vision, based on the belief that it is necessary to take a long-term perspective on environmental issues and set even more ambitious goals, and we set six environmental stretch goals. Among them are the “Challenge of achieving zero CO2 emissions in Toyota Boshoku Group” and “Challenge of achieving zero CO2 emissions in the product life cycle.” In order to realize our 2050 Environmental Vision, a new five-year action plan, the 2025 Environmental Action Plan, was announced in November 2020.

2050 Environmental Vision

In July 2020, the Toyota Boshoku group defined as ourmaterialitythe identification of the key issues to be prioritized through our group’s operations from among a variety of social issues, and the approach we adopt to resolve them. In this materiality, we declare our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact. Read more about materiality here

Furthermore, in the 2025 Mid-Term Business Plan, which is our mid-term goal for achieving our materiality, we have set environmental initiatives as one of the priority actions to be addressed, and have set a goal of reducing CO2emissions by 25% (compared to FY2014).

Specific initiatives

As one of the six environmental stretch goals in the 2050 Environmental Vision, the Toyota Boshoku group is promoting three initiatives to achieve zero CO2 emissions in 2050.

The first is to promote daily improvements. We are striving to reduce CO2 emissions through daily on-site inspections and improvements, such as energy conservation by ensuring that power is turned off when equipment is not in operation, and switching to LED lamps, as well as the use of so-called “Karakuri” devices that use no power and can streamline the production process without consuming energy.
The second is the application of innovative technology: we are in the process of installing an experimental plant for a CO2 recovery and methanation system. This is an initiative that utilizes a technology called methanation, with the aim of being carbon neutral. The CO2 generated from drying furnaces and power generators is collected and reused.
And the third is the introduction of renewable energy. The Toyota Boshoku group has installed solar power generation panels at 19 sites in three regions: Japan, China, and Asia.

The second of the six environmental stretch goals, “Challenge of achieving zero CO2 emissions in the product life cycle,” aims to achieve zero CO2 emissions throughout the entire life cycle of a product, from the production of materials and parts, to the use of the product by the customer, to the disposal and recycling of the product.
We are working to cut the weight of our products and to reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by developing products that are compatible with next-generation automobiles, and are setting targets for the use of non-petroleum-based materials and recycled materials.

In April 2021, responding to calls for Carbon Neutrality in society and to further promote our activities as a member of society, we established a new Carbon Neutral Environment Division. We are now reviewing our internal targets so that we can meet the Japanese government’s 2030 CO2 reduction target (–46%). Our goal is to achieve zero CO2 emissions in 2050. We will further strengthen our cooperation with the Toyota Group and industry organizations to strongly promote activities to achieve carbon neutrality.

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