Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Environmental and Social Report 2015

Overview of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Group’s environmental impact

We promote a broad range of initiatives in line with two central themes: ensuring a solid grasp of the environmental impact of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Group’s business activities and helping to mitigate global warming.

The use of energy in core operations, namely, the production of oxygen, nitrogen and argon gases, represents the single most significant environmental impact of the Group’s business activities. Accordingly, we are taking steps to reduce energy consumed per unit of production. We are also implementing energy-saving measures at our various sites and striving to increase the efficiency of transport by tanker truck.

Overview of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Group’s environmental impact

Environmental Accounting

We commenced the full-scale application of environmental accounting for the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Group in fiscal year 2002, ended March 31, 2002. In fiscal year 2003, ended March 31, 2003, we began measuring investments in and costs for environmental initiatives with the aim of ensuring the efficiency thereof. The Group’s environmental accounting system is based on Environmental Accounting Guidelines 2005, published by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.

Scope of calculations:

All Taiyo Nippon Sanso sites in Japan, four domestic affiliates (Japan Fine Products Co., Ltd.; Taiyo Nippon Sanso Engineering Corporation; Nissan Transport Corporation; and Thermos K.K.) and gas production companies whose operations are managed by Taiyo Nippon Sanso


Calculation of economic benefits of environmental conservation initiatives:

  • “Profit” is profit from the sale of recycled waste from business activities with monetary value.
  • “Reduction in expenses” is calculated by comparing the reduction in payments for electric power achieved through energy-saving initiatives, adjusted for production volume as an indicator of business activities, which is multiplied by the per-unit price of electric power, with that of the previous fiscal year.

Cost of Environmental Conservation

Millions of yen

Category Principal initiatives Fiscal year 2015 Fiscal year 2016
Investment Expenses Investment Expenses

Pollution prevention costs

Installation and maintenance of abatement systems; maintenance of purification tanks; purchase of tanker trucks ¥116 ¥141 ¥ 108 ¥127
Global environmental protection costs Introduction of energy-saving air separation units 14 184 1,982 142
Resource recycling costs Waste disposal/recycling; recovery/disposal of used absorbent agents from customers 0 68 0 61
Upstream/downstream costs Green procurement 0 25 0 24
Administration costs Expenses involved in environmental management system administration 0 80 0 73
R&D costs R&D for environment-friendly products, others 62 355 77 328
Community activity costs Environmental protection; beautification; landscape and other improvements; clean-up of areas surrounding sites 0 9 0 4

Environmental remediation costs

 

0 0 0 0

Total

¥192 ¥862 ¥2,167 ¥759

Economic Benefits of Environmental Conservation

Millions of yen

Benefits Fiscal year 2015 Fiscal year 2016

Profit

Profit attributable to the recycling of waste from principal business activities ¥11 ¥  12

Reduction in expenses

Reduction in energy expenses achieved through energy conservation initiatives

6 517

Total

¥17 ¥529

Developing Products That Help Reduce Environmental Impact

Ultralow NOx oxygen-enriched combustion burner system earns acclaim

In line with our goal of developing technologies that help customers lower their impact on the environment, we have focused our efforts on oxygen combustion technologies. These efforts led to the realization of a groundbreaking ultralow NOx oxygen-rich combustion technology by the Yamanashi Laboratory’s Gas Application Technology Center, which spearheaded development of the Innova-Jet NOx combustion burner system. In 2015, this technology was selected to receive a technology award from the Combustion Society of Japan. The award was presented at the society’s 53rd annual symposium.

Our oxygen combustion technologies were featured in a presentation on the use of oxygen combustion-based energy-saving technologies in iron and steel manufacturing processes, which was given at the 118th Heat Economy Subcommittee Symposium, organized by the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan’s production technology section. The presentation attracted considerable attention within the iron and steel industry.

Our oxygen combustion technologies are expected to contribute to efforts by manufacturers not only of steel, but also of glass and other materials, to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. We will continue to promote acceptance of these technologies in a diverse range of industries.

Ultralow NOx oxygen-enriched combustion burner system earns acclaim

NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW large-capacity neon gas refrigerator for superconducting power cables

Superconducting power equipment is expected to play a key role in enhancing the energy efficiency of electric power transmission. Accordingly, R&D in this area is progressing rapidly. One key focus is superconducting power cables. With a view to commercialization, plans are in place for the laying of a superconducting cable system by 2030, which is expected to fuel significant demand in the intervening years. In Japan alone, such demand is forecast to be somewhere between ¥10 billion and ¥15 billion. Refrigerators for superconducting power equipment will be crucial to commercialization.

The operational temperature for refrigerators for superconducting power equipment is in the area of −200℃, requiring a cooling capacity of 2–10 kW. However, conventional compact cryocoolers offer a maximum cooling capacity of 1 kW. In response to these needs, in May 2013 we launched the NeoKelvin®-Turbo 2 kW, a Turbo–Brayton refrigerator developed specifically for this application that uses neon gas as a refrigerant. In July 2016, we commenced sales of NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW, a large-capacity Turbo–Brayton refrigerator.

While NeoKelvin®-Turbo 2 kW is only capable of cooling test-scale superconducting power cables several hundred meters long, NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW facilitates the cooling of cables upwards of 1.0 km. A prototype of the NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW is currently being used to cool cables in a superconducting power cable verification test being conducted jointly by Korea Electric Power Corporation and LS Cable & Systems Ltd. on the Korean island of Cheju. In March 2016, actual transmission of electric power through these cables began, marking the first time a Turbo–Brayton refrigerator has been used commercially for cooling superconducting power cables.

NeoKelvin®-Turbo 10 kW large-capacity neon gas refrigerator for superconducting power cables