Mitsui Chemicals

Environmental Protection

Climate Change

Wide-ranging social problems caused by global warming have come to the fore recently, including larger-scale natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, and droughts, increasing negative effects on the agricultural and fishing industries from changes in ecosystems, greater health hazards mainly in the form of heat stroke during heat waves. The World Economic Forum (Davos Meeting) identified environmental risks such as “abnormal weather,” “natural disasters,” and “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation,” while the Paris Agreement and U.N.’s sustainability development goals (SDGs) call upon countries and companies to take measures to combat climate change going forward.
The Mitsui Chemicals Group intends to make a proactive contribution to addressing climate change both in terms of mitigation and adaption as a diversified chemicals company.

The Mitsui Chemicals Group’s Climate Change Measures

  • Reduce GHG emissions in-house and across value chains
    Raw materials: Use non-edible biological raw materials
    Manufacturing: Use high-performance catalysts in manufacturing processes; introduce energy conservation technologies
    Processing: Provide energy conservation materials for customer processing stage
    Usage: Extend end product life spans; improve energy conservation during product use
    Disposal: Provide materials that are recyclable and produce minimal waste
  • Provide products that help treat malaria and other infectious diseases
  • Provide emergency supplies for disasters

GHG Emissions and Energy Consumption

In fiscal 2016, the Mitsui Chemicals Group set itself the long-term target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25.4% by fiscal 2030 (compared with fiscal 2005, operating at full capacity). To this end, we are working to realize a low-carbon society by actively promoting energy conservation, switching to alternative fuels, and creating innovative processes.
In fiscal 2017, the Company has set the goal of reducing NF3 (nitrogen trifluoride)—which falls under the reporting scope of the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures from fiscal 2015—by over 57,000 tons (compared with fiscal 2016; operating at full capacity) through energy savings and switching to alternative fuels undertaken independently. However, we achieved a reduction of 78,000 tons by thoroughly reducing factory energy use, including enhancing exhaust heat recovery and improving the efficiency of refining processes.
As a result, our GHG emissions reduction rate (operating at full capacity) reached 24.5% (23% in the case that NF3 emissions are initially included) compared with fiscal 2005.

GHG Emissions Volume and Reduction Rate (compared with fiscal 2005, operating at full capacity) (Japan)

Scope of affiliates: Domestic consolidated subsidiaries

The Mitsui Chemicals Group reduced GHG emissions in fiscal 2017 by 140,000 tons compared with fiscal 2016. The Group targets a five-year per-unit energy consumption rate of over 1% under the 2025 Long-term Business Plan, reaching 0.9% in fiscal 2017. Looking ahead, while targeting a five-year average reduction rate of over 1%, in fiscal 2018 we aim to either reach a five-year average reduction rate of over 1% or the average per-unit reduction rate of over 1% per year using fiscal 2009 as the base year. This is because of the difficulties involved in evaluating long-term reduction efforts based on a five-year reduction rate.
In addition, we calculate GHG emissions regarding Scope 1 and 2 emissions generated from in-house operations and production activities as well as Scope 3 for indirect emissions in order to identify GHG emissions throughout the entire supply chain, extending from purchasing raw materials to customer use and disposal.

GHG Emissions

Energy Consumption

Scope of Japan and overseas affiliates: Consolidated subsidiaries
GHG emissions calculated in accordance with Japan’s Law Concerning the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming based on energy consumption figures for overseas consolidated subsidiaries.
The gases used to calculate GHG emissions are CO2, CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC, SF6 and NF3.

Per-unit Energy Consumption (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.)

Per-unit energy consumption denominator is ethylene conversion production volume.

Scope 3 CO2 Emissions (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. Fiscal 2016)

Grouping Category Emissions
(Thousands of tons CO2 eq / year)
1 Purchased goods and services 3,230
2 Capital goods 70
3 Fuel- and energy-related activities
(not included in Scope 1, 2)
4 Transportation / distribution (upstream) 60
5 Waste generated from operations 30
6 Business travel 5
7 Employee commuting 7
8 Leased assets (upstream) 1
11 Sold product specifications 3,580
12 Sold product disposals 2,430
15 Investment 1,090

【Calculation Method】
Basic Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Via Supply Chains (Ver. 2.3), Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Based on the Basic Guidelines for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions Via Supply Chains (Ver. 2.4) published by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, we 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.

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.