Towards a more sustainable society
Strengthening production systems focused on environmental impact reduction
FY2021 was another year of significant change in the business landscape for Polyplastics.
As for social changes, many countries have set specific numerical targets, especially in terms of the environment, and consensus has been formed on the introduction of sustainable energy and recycling-oriented economies, the electrification of mobility and the introduction of automated driving. With regard to the changes within Polyplastics, we have promoted innovations in remote communication, utilization of IoT and AI, and also digitalization of cross-departmental operations processes.
We welcome these changes and will seek to achieve even greater progress moving forward. And in order to surmount the challenges in this process and provide solutions, we believe it is essential to make our company more excellent so that all employees can work happily. Our Mid-Term Business Plan was created with this vision.
Additionally, since becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daicel, we have decided to build three new plants. We are aiming to have all of these up and running by FY2024.
First, the second COC Plant being constructed in the Saxony-Anhalt in Germany will contribute to the realization of more European style recycling-oriented society. COC is valued for its recyclability and has an important role to play in the promotion of sustainable plastics. Taking the example of PET bottle recycling, we are aiming to introduce a system to improve the recycling quality by changing the shrink label to a COC-derived polyolefin material and separating PET and label by the difference in specific gravity in the cleaning process after collection.
With regard to POM, we are working with China on environmental policy in order to cease operation by 2024 of our Nantong Plant on the shores of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province while building a state-of-the-art plant inland that will allow us to simultaneously expand capacity and reduce environmental load as we adapt to the needs of the Chinese economy. Also, last year at our Kuantan Plant in Malaysia, we launched production of POM which utilizes biomass. POM made from methanol, which can be made from biomass or CO2 capture, is the most sustainability-friendly engineering plastic. And in order to realize this potential, we will continue to expand our production of sustainable POM.
As for LCP, which is used in support of IoT and next-generation communications, we are building a new Polymer Plant at our Kaohsiung Plant in Taiwan. The Kaohsiung Plant already has LCP compound lines, and the new Polymer Plant will allow us to provide both polymers and compound products with a supply chain in Taiwan which is known as a global semiconductor and IT device production hub.
Significantly revising targets to accelerate GHG reduction activities
We have significantly revised our GHG reduction targets through 2030 in order to clarify the environmental initiatives.
Among the shared targets of the Daicel Group, [Target (1)] aims to have group companies reduce their GHG emissions by 50% by FY2030 (compared with FY2018), while [Target (2)] is specific to Polyplastics and aims to reduce GHG emissions intensity by 46% by FY2030" (compared with FY2013 and including CO2 produced from raw materials covered by Scope 3).
Target (1) is to respond to social demands. The expectations of the global community and Japan are to halve the GHG emissions of companies by 2030. Although increasing our supply capacity will result in an overall increase in GHG emissions, we will counter this with 1) energy conversion, 2) process streamlining and 3) the introduction of innovative technologies. Furthermore, by making similar efforts as the entire group, we plan to offset the increase due to Polyplastics capacity expansion and, as a result, reduce the GHG of the Daicel Group by half.
Target (2) is to respond to customer needs. Since the CO2 emitted from the manufacture of engineering plastics is counted in the GHG emissions of customer products, we will reduce product carbon footprint on an intensity basis, including CO2 derived from raw materials. Based on the results of a life cycle assessment for major products conducted in FY2021, we are developing a plan of action in conjunction with raw materials suppliers. In addition to the efforts we are making towards Target (1), we believe Target (2) is achievable through the introduction of sustainable materials.
Engineering plastics will be indispensable to the future of society,
which is all the more reason for us to set a high bar for ourselves
Engineering plastics are essential materials to the future of society. For example, in the field of mobility, while there is a global consensus about the electrification of transportation and the phasing out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, no one disputes that automobiles themselves cannot be eliminated, as transportation is an essential need of people. Also, there is a need in all forms of mobility to improve energy efficiency through vehicle lightening while also ensuring safety. The mobility of the future, such as vehicle lightening, introducing sensors to perform area-wide monitoring which enables a high level of safety and the operation of self-driving vehicles, and using communications technology for remote operation of vehicles and mobility devices, will require technological development that makes regular use of engineering plastics. We believe that the future of society cannot be realized without engineering plastics.
For this reason, it is essential that our engineering plastics meet the standards of the future. We believe that a significant revision of our environmental targets creates a high hurdle that the engineering plastics essential to future of society must overcome in order to be accepted by that society. We do not set the bar lower easily; rather, we will clear the hurdles even if they are challenging for us.
Our goal is to be an engineering plastic solution provider that meets customer expectations with capital investment to increase capacity, meets social expectations with environmental processes and technological development, and achieves a balance with profits.