Effective Use of Resources

Air Water Group uses a great deal of natural resources, such as water and raw materials, in the manufacturing processes, which produce industrial waste. For this reason, we are working to promote the effective use of resources through various efforts including reusing valuable water resources and reducing industrial waste by practicing the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).

Effective Use of Water Resources

At the Air Water Group, many of our manufacturing businesses rely on water. Some 90 percent of the water we use is seawater, which is used for cooling the heat generated in the course of producing industrial gases and chemicals, and a plentiful source of salt, magnesium, and other elements. Elsewhere, groundwater is used as an ingredient or coolant when making beverages (in our agriculture and food products business). Here, too, we are sure to use this precious resource as efficiently as possible, and we work closely with regional governments, residents, and businesses to help maintain the quantity and quality of the local water.

Efficient Use of Water at Beverage Plants

Gold-Pak is the Air Water Group’s producer of beverages for major drink companies, and we focus mainly on making drinks in cans, paper cartons, and plastic bottles. Beverage production involves the use of huge volumes of groundwater, so we are careful to use that precious resource as efficiently as possible.
For instance, the Azumino Plant uses the same water three times. First, groundwater is used for air conditioning as it maintains a steady temperature all year round, but it is still clean after that, so it is reused in the beverage chilling process, and reused again at the wastewater treatment plant. Water from other sources is also reused to eliminate waste. For instance, clean water from the production process is reused in boilers.
We are dedicated to making the most efficient use of resources possible to ensure our business is always in harmony with the natural environment.

Industrial Waste Discharge

The Air Water Group makes efforts to reduce waste through practicing the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), and properly monitors the amount of waste discharge. In addition, we conduct appropriate disposal in accordance with the Waste Disposal Act, which includes entrusting disposal to contractors certified by the government authorities.
In fiscal 2018, we saw an increase in the amount of industrial waste discharged due to a temporary increase followed by the disposal of PCB waste that has been stored at our industrial gas plants and an increase in sludge due to the increased production at our seawater plants. We recycled this increased sludge to ensure that it is effectively used as a secondary material for material manufacturers to avoid affecting the remaining capacity of final disposal sites.

Changes in the Amount of Industrial Waste Discharge

Scope of collection:Plants identified as business operators discharging a vast quantity of waste under the Waste Disposal Act in 2018

FY2014:7 companies and 12 plants、FY2015:8 companies and 13 plants、FY2016~2018:10 companies and 15 plants

Effective Use of Food Waste

At the Air Water Group, we work aggressively to reduce food waste at our agriculture and food products business plants, and to recycle any waste that does arise. Naturally, we report to the government on the outcomes of these efforts, as required under Japan’s food recycling laws. Groupwide, food recycling exceeds 95 percent of the government’s target rate; in FY2018, increased use of carrots to make vegetable juice and a jump in tea production meant more food waste was generated, but improved recycling meant the overall recycling rate exceeded the preceding year’s figures. Moving forward, we are determined to improve the recycling rate through a range of initiatives, such as partnering with waste contractors to use vegetable scraps as fertilizers.

Food Waste and Recycling Rate

Many Ways to Use Food Waste Effectively

At Tomiichi, we turn potatoes, pumpkins, daikon radishes, and other produce from Hokkaido into processed foods for sale nationwide.
Making pre-cut vegetables, for instance, inevitably leaves large volumes of offcuts and other waste, so we are serious about finding ways to use these effectively. In FY2018, we recycled fully 100 percent of food waste; 97.6 percent was composted and the rest recycled for livestock feed. In fact, we have achieved 100 percent recycling for the last six years, and we are determined to continue making efficient use of resources by recycling food waste.