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Initiatives in Production

Initiatives to Reduce CO2 Emissions and Water Usage

Akebono has been promoting an energy and CO2 reduction project since 2007, improving onsite facilities at all sites to help reduce CO2 emissions and implementing energy conservation activities. Considering the importance of managing water resources to reduce usage, we have ascertained our water resource usage and continue to prioritize activities to reduce this.

Akebono’s CO2 emission volume worldwide in fiscal 2016 was 289,600 tons and our water resource usage was 1,647,000m3.

We have conducted analysis of factors of those increase from the previous fiscal year and continue to prioritize activities to reduce them.

Total CO2 Emission and CO2 Emissions per Net Sales (Akebono Group Worldwide)

Total CO2 Emission and CO2 Emissions per Net Sales
  • * From 2011, AEC and ABC have been included in the scope of calculation for emissions from North American locations.

Water Resource Usage and Water Resource Usage per Net Sales (Akebono Group Worldwide)

Water Resource Usage and Water Resource Usage per Net Sales

Continuation and Improvement of Zero Emission Initiatives

In order to eliminate waste material generated by our business, Akebono continuously promotes zero emission initiatives. In 2004, we achieved our goal of no landfill disposal of industrial waste in our main domestic locations. Zero emission goals promoted by Akebono (no direct landfill disposal or incineration) was achieved by Akebono Brake Sanyo Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in March 2006 and by Akebono Brake Iwaki Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in February 2007, marking the successful implementation of the zero emission plan in all our facilities.

Akebono will keep contributing to the creation of a recycling-oriented society and will continue the research in efficient usage of recycled resources as well as reduction of waste disposal costs and optimization of disposal methods. In addition, we keep strengthening our efforts to achieve the goal of no emissions while further promoting “reduce, reuse, recycle” - the basic objective behind the zero emission concept.

Continued to accomplish zero emissions through disposal methods with low environmental impact such as the recycling of sand into raw material for cement which the Company started in 2010 through outsourcing.

Waste Generated in Fiscal 2016 (primary operations in Japan)

Waste Generated in Fiscal 2015

Fiscal 2016 Volume of Waste Generated and Recycling Ratio (major operations in Japan)

Since fiscal 2007, we eliminated landfill waste completely.
  • Since fiscal 2007, we eliminated landfill waste completely.

Change in Total Volume of Waste Generated and Recycling Ratio (major operations in Japan)

Change in Total Volume of Waste Generated and Recycling Ratio
  • * Total volume of waste generated includes resources of value, such as metals.
  • * Figures represent data from eight locations, with Tatebayashi Foundry being included in the calculation from fiscal 2009.

Introduction of Air Purification System

In China, where air pollution is a growing problem, industrial zones in each area apply voluntary standards. In Suzhou, we established a new air cleaning system (electrostatic precipitator*1, low temperature plasma treatment*2, scrubber treatment*3, activated charcoal treatment, activated charcoal regeneration), and applied voluntary standards that exceed those of the law and regulations. This air cleaning system also helps to deodorize the air.

  • *1Electrostatic precipitator: A device that charges dust and oil mist in the atmosphere using a corona discharge from a discharge terminal, then collects the dust and mist at a collection terminal. The running cost is low due to the small electric current.
  • *2Low temperature plasma treatment: Low temperature plasma is air that has around 1% plasmarized (separated into positive ions and electrons) so that it contains plasma ions at room temperature (a few degrees Celsius) and is able to dissolve organic matter.
  • *3Scrubber treatment: Adsorbing and capturing dust and matter in the air using a water shower.

Developing Young Engineers to Design Environmentally Considerate Facilities

Miniature production line and construction team
of the “next-generation friction material
manufacturing facility” constructed in fiscal 2016.

Akebono is looking to develop engineers who will design the facilities of the future by conducting a program for “building a miniature production line for brake manufacturing processes that can be operated by a single motor.” Under the program, a team of young engineers who are within the first five years of their assignment to the production engineering division undertake “miniature line building” concurrently with their ordinary work, undertaking all steps from planning and design to production.

This initiative has been carried out since fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2016, we produced the miniature production line for next generation friction materials. The original facility that the line is based on was installed at Akebono Brake Yamagata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in 2012. The production line can manufacture small lots, and consumes half the amount of electricity compared to the conventional line.

Building miniature production lines involves considering the operability of each process as well as the timing coordination over the entire line and so forth. This resulted in various innovations such as reducing the weight of moving parts.

Looking ahead, we will develop engineers who will take a birds-eye-view of the entire line and apply their own skills to designing energy-saving, high efficiency facilities.