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KYOCERA Manufacturing Plant in Fukushima Receives Japan′s 2012 Minister of the Environment Award

Marking third year in a row Kyocera has been recognized for its efforts to combat climate change, adds to numerous city, state and national environmental honors in California and Mexico

December 6, 2012
Kyocera Corporation (President: Tetsuo Kuba) announced that the company's Fukushima Tanagura Plant (Fukushima Pref., Japan) has received Japan's 2012 Minister of the Environment Award for the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming (countermeasures category) in recognition of its comprehensive environmental protection activities. This is the third consecutive year that Kyocera has been a recipient, following the 2011 award received by the company's central Japan manufacturing plants in the countermeasures category, and the 2010 award for Kyocera's high-output solar module in the technology development / product category.

230kW solar power generating system (left) and Green Curtains (right)
at the Kyocera Fukushima Tanagura Plant

This latest award adds to the many others Kyocera companies have received worldwide. Most recently, Kyocera Mexicana S.A. de C.V., a manufacturing plant in Tijuana, Mexico was awarded its third consecutive Industria Limpia (Clean Industry) Certification from the Mexican government. Kyocera Communications Inc., a San Diego-based provider of wireless phones in the Americas, earned a “2012 Environmental Excellence Award” from the Industrial Environmental Association (IEA) in the category of Climate Change for reducing its environmental impact by fundamentally altering its freight-shipping practices. Kyocera also boasts the distinction of San Diego's “most awarded” company for its various environmental programs, earning 19 awards from the city for recycling and other business practices as well as several Waste Reduction (WRAP) Awards from the state of California.

For this year's Minister award in Japan, Kyocera's Fukushima Tanagura manufacturing plant was nominated by the local Tanagura township and was recognized for its comprehensive and community-based efforts. Kyocera has continually carried out environmental efforts over the years, but in response to an increased need for energy conservation following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Kyocera further enhanced its activities at the plant, including the expansion of the solar power generating system, implementation of demand control ventilations, and adoption of hybrid cars.

“This award is the result of our positive communication with the community and the efforts of employees to help combat climate change,” said the Tanagura Plant manager, Toshiaki Nakanishi. “We would like to express our deep appreciation to all those involved with the Kyocera Fukushima Tanagura Plant.”

Specific Environmental Programs

1. Energy conservation
Kyocera has installed 1,830 solar panels on the building's roof, realizing a power generation capacity of 230kW. This is the equivalent power used by roughly 57 typical households and supplies approximately 6% of the annual electricity used at the plant. In addition, Kyocera adopted demand control ventilations, thus reducing electricity used for air conditioning by 10-30%.

2. Reduction of CO2 emissions
A 53m x 4.5m curtain of foliage was grown on the west side of the administration building to provide shade from direct sunlight and heat radiation during the hot summer months. These Green Curtains mitigate the surface temperature of the outer wall by roughly 12 degrees Celsius, helping to lower the building's internal temperature and thus reducing energy required for air conditioning in the hot summer.

3. Water conservation
Kyocera implemented special types of faucets in sinks to save water. In addition, discharged water from compressor drains is reused for landscape irrigation.

4. Reduction in gasoline use
By replacing four of the six company cars with hybrid vehicles, Kyocera aimed to reduce the use of gasoline and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

5. Contribution to community education
Kyocera employees offer “Eco-Lessons” to local elementary schools by using solar energy as an educational subject. Since 2007, employees from the Fukushima Tanagura Plant have provided Eco-Lessons to 2,404 students at 56 schools in the area.

6. Forest conservation
This year, 50 Kyocera employees volunteered to thin trees and cut grass in a forest located near the company's site. Kyocera plans to foster further biodiversity in this forest after further land preparation is completed.

About the Award
The Minister of the Environment Award for the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming was established in 1998 by Japan's Ministry of the Environment. The award is given every year in December to coincide with Global Warming Prevention Month, and is presented to individuals and groups that have shown remarkable achievements in the prevention of global warming.