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KYOCERA Receives Environment Minister’s Award in Japan for Record 5th Consecutive Year

Company’s manufacturing plant awarded for comprehensive energy-saving efforts

December 11, 2014
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) announced that the company’s Kagoshima Kokubu manufacturing plant (Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan) has received the 2014 Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity (implementation of countermeasures / dissemination category) in recognition of its environmental protection activities. This is a record fifth consecutive year that Kyocera has been a recipient of the award. This latest one adds to many other environmental awards the Kyocera Group has received worldwide, including the Blue Angel Award 2014 awarded to Kyocera Document Solutions Deutschland GmbH in Germany, and the fourteenth consecutive annual recycling award received by Kyocera Communications, Inc. from the city of San Diego (U.S.A.).

Photo: 1MW solar power generating system (left) and high-efficiency modular chiller (right) installed at the Kagoshima Kokubu PlantPhoto: 1MW solar power generating system (left) and high-efficiency modular chiller (right) installed at the Kagoshima Kokubu Plant
1MW solar power generating system (left) and high-efficiency modular chillers (right) installed at the Kagoshima Kokubu Plant

The award was established in 1998 by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. It 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 Kagoshima Kokubu Plant was nominated by the local township. In addition to measures such as improving the energy consumption basic unit*, alleviating electricity demand and reducing CO2 emissions in transportation, the plant was recognized for community-based efforts such as offering “Eco-Lessons” at local schools and carrying out biodiversity conservation programs.

Kyocera was founded 55 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 in order to work on environmental management aimed at sustainable growth while satisfying both ecology and economy demands. 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: Government representative (left) and Kagoshima Kokubu Plant manager (right) at the award presentation ceremony
Government representative (left) and Kagoshima Kokubu Plant manager (right)
at the award presentation ceremony

Specific Environmental Programs at the Kagoshima Kokubu Plant

1. Energy conservation
In addition to the installation of rooftop solar power generation systems and energy-saving equipment (modular chillers), the plant carried out various energy conservation measures such as improving air conditioners and piping in order to maintain fixed temperatures and humidity in the cleanrooms by optimally combining internal air collected for ventilation and external air. Furthermore, the plant introduced a new high-efficiency gas engine power generator to implement energy demand peak-time cuts by combining it with a cogeneration system in response to the need to save electricity ― which has become a social issue in Japan since the Great East Japan Earthquake, especially during the summer and winter times when energy demand is high.

2. Contribution toward a recycling-oriented society
The plant controls emissions, discharged water, soil and groundwater by implementing voluntary management standards that are more stringent than laws and public regulations. In addition to thoroughly separating waste materials, it adopted a heat treatment facility to sinter ceramic material scraps generated from production as well as equipment for compressing waste plastic. Through these efforts, the plant is working to promote the recycling of waste, and decrease CO2 emissions in transportation by reducing the weight and volume of waste generated at the plant. Photo: Heat treatment facility for sintering ceramic material scraps

Heat treatment facility for sintering ceramic material scraps

3. Community-based efforts to promote harmonious coexistence with nature
The plant concluded a partnership agreement with Kagoshima Prefecture in 2010 to provide “Eco-Lessons” at local schools, participate in environmental events and clean the local community. The plant carries out additional activities such as growing morning glory and goya (bitter gourd) to form “Green Curtains” of foliage over windows and outer walls, and conservation activities promoting biodiversity which raise fireflies and killifishes in a biotope utilizing purified wastewater from the plant. Photo: Biotope at the plant and firefly (insert) raised in the biotope

Biotope at the plant and firefly (insert) raised in the biotope

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

* The energy consumption basic unit is an index for efficiency of energy use and represents the amount of energy use per production value.