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KYOCERA Receives Environment Minister’s Award in Japan for Record 7th Consecutive Year

Company receives two awards for its global warming prevention activities and its development of a highly efficient SOFC system

December 13, 2016
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) announced that the company has received two 2016 Environment Minister’s Awards: one at its Kyoto Ayabe manufacturing plant (Kyoto Pref., Japan) for Global Warming Prevention Activity (implementation of countermeasures / dissemination category), and another for its part in developing the residential-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) co-generation system, ENE-FARM Type S (technology development / product category).

This is a record seventh consecutive year that Kyocera has been a recipient of the award, and this latest one adds to many other environmental-related awards and third-party recognitions that the Kyocera Group has received worldwide, including Mexico’s highest award for Environmental Excellence; the 16th consecutive annual recycling award from the City of San Diego (U.S.A.); and evaluation as a “Top Performer” in the 2016 PV Solar Module Reliability Scorecard.

The award, which was established in 1998 by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, is presented every year in December to coincide with Global Warming Prevention Month, and is given to individuals and groups that have shown remarkable achievements in the prevention of climate change.

For this year’s award, Kyocera’s Kyoto Ayabe Plant was nominated by the local township. The Plant, which manufactures organic packages and multilayer printed wiring boards for semiconductor devices, was recognized for its wide-ranging environmental activities that include use of clean energy via solar panels installed on the plant’s roof, proactive introduction of highly energy-efficient machinery and equipment, utilization of waste heat recovery units, and the promotion of community-based activities such as providing “Eco-Lessons” to teach local school children about environmental and energy issues.

In addition, Kyocera also received the Minister’s Award in the technology development / product category. This award was received for the residential-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) co-generation system, ENE-FARM Type S, which was jointly developed with Osaka Gas Co., Ltd, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., and Noritz Corporation. Kyocera developed the cell stack, which acts as the core piece of equipment in the ENE-FARM Type S. This product was launched by Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. in April 2016.

Kyocera was founded 57 years ago with a philosophy of “harmonious coexistence” and a commitment to social responsibility and environmental protection. The company is working to achieve the Kyocera Environment Vision 2020, which clarifies the goals to be met by 2020 relating to environmental management aimed at sustainable growth while satisfying demands of both ecology and economy. The company believes that fostering mutual understanding and awareness with the community is vital in addressing environmental issues and remains committed to local efforts.

Photo: Solar power generation system on the rooftop of the Kyoto Ayabe Plant (1.6 MW)
Solar power generation system on the rooftop of the Kyoto Ayabe Plant (1.6 MW)
Photo: Eco-Lessons at a primary school
Eco-Lessons at a primary school

Specific Environmental Programs

1. Continual improvement of energy efficiency
The Kyoto Ayabe Plant is thoroughly committed to further enhancing its energy efficiency. Recent measures include: introduction of highly energy-efficient turbo refrigerators for air conditioning, installation of a solar power generation system on the plant rooftop (some 7,400 panels with a total generation capacity of some 1.6 MW), use of compressor waste heat, and installation of inverters that control the rotations of pumps and blowers to best suit the varying load.

Yearly CO2 reductions:
- High-efficiency turbo refrigerators: approx. 2,530t
- Solar power generation system: approx. 860t
- Use of compressor waste heat: approx. 120t
- Rotation-control by inverter: approx. 100t
Photo: High-efficiency turbo refrigerators
High-efficiency turbo refrigerators

2. Environmental awareness activities for employees
At Kyocera, the period of June through September each year is designated as the “Summer Eco-Challenge.” Every employee takes “My Eco Pledge,” stating his/her own environmental action plan in the workplace — for example, reducing usage volume of air conditioners or making sure lights are turned off when a room is not in use. Also, staff members patrol the manufacturing floor to ensure efficient use of energy, and the company periodically holds “eco-driving” seminars to increase employee awareness about car fuel efficiency.

3. Local community activities
Specially trained Kyocera employees visit primary schools and provide hands-on “Eco-Lessons” to teach school children about environmental and energy issues. In 2015, a total of 228 students at five local primary schools took part. The lessons are designed to encourage children’s interest and involvement by using original experiment kits and toys as well as fun and educational quizzes. In addition, employees conduct cleanup activities in public spaces in the neighborhood on a regular basis.

Past Environment Minister’s Awards Received by Kyocera
2010 High-output solar module awarded in the technology development / product category
2011 Shiga Gamo & Shiga Yohkaichi Plants awarded in the countermeasures category
2012 Fukushima Tanagura Plant awarded in the countermeasures category
2013 Kagoshima Sendai Plant awarded in the implementation of countermeasures / dissemination category
2014 Kagoshima Kokubu Plant awarded in the implementation of countermeasures / dissemination category
2015 Shiga Yasu Plant awarded in the implementation of countermeasures / dissemination category