Environmental Protection

Preventing Global Warming

As part of its Mid-Term Business Plan from fiscal 2014 onwards, the Mitsui Chemicals Group set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22% (compared with fiscal 2005, operating at full capacity) primarily at six of its domestic manufacturing sites and 15 domestic consolidated subsidiaries by fiscal 2016. We are working to realize a low-carbon society by actively promoting energy saving, switching to alternative fuels, and creating innovative processes.
Against a fiscal 2015 GHG reduction target of 10,000 tons through energy saving and switching to alternative fuels undertaken independently, we achieved a reduction of 40,000 tons by thoroughly reducing factory energy use, including enhancing exhaust heat recovery and improving the efficiency of refining processes. We reduced GHG emissions in accordance with the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures by conserving energy and shutting down certain production equipment. However, GHG emissions increased by 410,000 tons to 4.69 million tons (Figure 1) year-on-year in fiscal 2016 due to the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures being extended to include NF3 emissions and higher utilization rates at large plants. As a result, our emission reduction rate reached 14% (18% in the case that NF3 emissions are initially included) since fiscal 2005.
In addition, we are undertaking energy conservation measures with the aim to reach targets under the Act on the Rational Use of Energy (Mitsui Chemicals non-consolidated: reduce per-unit energy consumption by over 1% annually over the medium- to long-term). In fiscal 2015, while the unit energy consumption index (fiscal 2009: 100) worsened 0.4 points year-on-year, we reached our targets for a third straight year owing to the five-year average unit improvement rate reaching 2.3% (Figure 2).
In addition, we calculate GHG emissions regarding Scope 1 and 2-category emissions generated from in-house operations and production activities as well as Scope 3 categories for indirect emissions in order to identify GHG emissions throughout the entire supply chain, extending from purchasing raw materials to customer use and disposal (Figure 3).

As a result, we discovered that the highest CO2 emissions came from purchased goods and services. We plan to disclose calculations for all Scope 3 categories.

Figure 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Mitsui Chemicals Non-consolidated and 15 Domestic Consolidated Subsidiaries)

Figure 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Mitsui Chemicals Non-consolidated and 15 Domestic Consolidated Subsidiaries)

Figure 2: Per-Unit Energy Consumption (Mitsui Chemicals Non-consolidated)

Figure 2: Per-Unit Energy Consumption (Mitsui Chemicals Non-consolidated)

Figure 3: Scope 3 CO2 Emissions (Mitsui Chemicals Non-consolidated Fiscal 2014 Emissions)

Grouping Category Emissions
(Thousands of tons CO2 / year)
1 Purchased goods and services 4,830
2 Capital goods 77
3 Fuel- and energy-related activities
(not included in Scope 1, 2)
195
4 Transportation / distribution (upstream) 55
5 Waste generated from operations 39
6 Business travel 5
7 Employee commuting 6
8 Leased assets (upstream) 1
11 Sold product specifications 3,379
12 Sold product disposals 1,952
15 Investment 713
【 Calculation Method 】
Basic Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Via Supply Chains (Ver. 2.2)
published by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Used emission factors provided by IDEA and the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures
calculation/reporting/disclosure system, and emission units formulated by the Ministry of Environment based on Basic
Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Via Supply Chains Basic Database (Ver. 2.2) published by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Status of CO2 fixation technologies

Mitsui Chemicals took part in the CO2 fixation project launched by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and has continued with the development of catalysts that will synthesize methanol from CO2 and hydrogen.
Having constructed a pilot plant inside its Osaka Works in 2009, Mitsui Chemicals commenced operations toward the commercial application of methanol synthesis technologies that utilize as feedstock the CO2 contained in exhaust gases. As a result of a variety of verification tests, we were able to verify and confirm that methanol can be synthesized from CO2 and hydrogen in 2010.

Since then, we have also been able to examine a variety of business models, including whether a manufacturing plant would be good as a source of CO2, or good as a source of hydrogen, or whether locations with an abundance of natural energy would be better. The current status is that we are continuing our investigations to improve commercialization accuracy, but the securing of hydrogen supplies is presenting a major hurdle. We are looking into biomass-derived hydrogen to overcome this problem.