Importance of Environmental, Health and Safety Activities
In FY2020, health and safety activities were added to the KITZ Environmental Committee, an organization that spans the KITZ Group, and it gained a new start as the KITZ Environment, Health and Safety Committee. As a result, we have developed a system to focus more on health and safety activities in addition to environmental activities, and strengthening our efforts in these areas.
KITZ Group Principle of Environmental Activities
KITZ Group companies aspire to become operations worthy of society's confidence through the supply of environmentally friendly products and services and promotion of environment-responsive corporate activities.
KITZ Group: Environmental Action Policy
KITZ Group companies shall recognize environmental issues as an essential perspective of corporate management and every employee shall positively participate in the following activities.
- Development and supply of environmentally friendly products and services
- Eﬀective use of resources
- Promotion of reduction, reuse and recycle of waste
- Prevention of environmental contamination
Philosophy and Initiatives for Environment-Responsive Management
KITZ will conduct activities in accordance with the aforementioned principle and action policy on the basis of achieving a balance between risk prevention and cost reduction. This balance is based on our philosophy that preventing environmental risks such as soil contamination through proactive environmental conservation activities minimizes potential future costs; and that we can reduce other costs and make a broad contribution to society by thoroughly reducing waste generated by our business activities.
The KITZ Group has established targets for environmental conservation on a global scale (maximizing environmental contributions through our products and services and minimizing the environmental impact of our business activities). The Group is making a united effort to achieve a sustainable society.
In conducting soil contamination studies, we go beyond the legally mandated requirements and conduct our own voluntary studies focusing on plants. In addition to the Nagasaka, Ina and Chino plants, we have also completed soil contamination studies at plants of major domestic group companies. We take measures to address circumstances at these plants based on the results of the contamination studies.
Development and Supply of Environmentally Friendly Products and Services
KITZ has formulated its own independent environmentally friendly development policies and environmental impact reduction guidelines and works to develop products that minimize environmental impacts based on medium- and long-term perspectives.
Highly corrosion-resistant alloy steel valves for seawater desalination plant
Compact water purifier for water works
Compact direct current electric proportional control valve
Lead-free brass-forged ball valve for water supply pipes
Effective Use of Resources
The main materials of valves are metals, which are natural resources. KITZ utilizes used scrap metal as part of raw materials for valves. KITZ also strives to recycle scrap and cutting chips generated in the production process by utilizing the know-how it has accumulated over many years. In addition, for casting sand to be used in the casting process, chunks are crushed, sorted and processed in the sand process for recycling. If casting sand is used repeatedly and becomes smaller than the standard particle diameter, it will become waste. However, casting sand that is disposed of will be used as auxiliary materials for cement. In this way, KITZ aims to achieve coexistence with the global environment and promotes the effective use of limited resources.
Flow Chart of Recycling and Reuse in Production Process of Cast Iron Valves
Reduction of Waste, Promotion of Recycling and Reuse
We are working to properly dispose of materials that we are unable to reduce (no generation or bringing in of waste), reuse (recyclable waste materials are returned to the production lines for reuse) or recycle (sort and recycle as resources). By thoroughly sorting waste material and recycling it as valuable resources, we are curbing the amount of waste materials generated.
In its production divisions, based on surveys and analyses of the volume of waste generated, KITZ is stepping up efforts to reduce and reuse industrial waste materials, which consist mostly of waste materials generated by the KITZ Group's production activities. Moreover, the Waste Material Management System, which manages the KITZ Group's environment and safety-related information, enables KITZ to ascertain on a timely basis the entire waste-handling process, from the generation of waste to final disposal, and allows this information to be shared within the Group. For its waste handling system, KITZ has established a framework under which the waste disposal route is determined in advance and waste cannot be processed using any route other than the route specified in the consignment agreements.
Volume of Industrial Waste Materials
Prevention of Environmental Contamination
Metal resources and casting sand, which are raw materials of valves, contain many Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) target substances* such as lead, manganese, chrome, nickel and chromium oxide. The main types of substances discharged into the atmosphere are xylene and toluene from paints, thinners and stored gasoline while the main substance transferred externally is chromium oxide contained in casting sand.
To prevent environmental contamination caused by dangerous and toxic substances contained in chemical products, in addition to preventing contamination from PRTR target substances*, KITZ built the Chemical Substance Management System. KITZ is working to identify chemical products containing toxic substances and to use alternative substances as it strives to improve the safety of its valve products and reduce environmental impacts.
* PRTR target substances: These are substances recognized as being persistent in the environment over a wide area and that meet one of the following conditions that include "being harmful to human health and ecosystems," "chemical substances that may easily form hazardous chemical substances through a naturally occurring chemical transformation" and "ozone layer destroying substances."
Strengthening Environmental Management Systems
The KITZ Group regards the promotion of environmental management as a key aspect of strengthening our management foundations. In our Environmental Mid-term Plan, we have set the goal of obtaining ISO 14001 certification at all plants in Japan and overseas, and are making efforts to establish global environmental management.
In addition, in January 2021 we began activities at the Nagasaka, Ina and Chino plants toward obtaining ISO 45001 certification, the international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. We are aiming to obtain certification in October of this year, after which we will also extend certification to Group companies.
Business Offices That Have Acquired Integrated ISO 14001 Certification
Efforts toward a Decarbonized Society
KITZ was selected as a "Zero-Emission Challenge Company" by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry.
KITZ has pursued initiatives to "develop technologies to reduce the costs of hydrogen stations as part of the research and development project for the full-scale adoption of technologies for an ultrahigh pressure hydrogen infrastructure and to develop technologies related to large valves for liquefied hydrogen as part of the liquid hydrogen oriented society technological development project, operated by NEDO*, in which KITZ participates. In recognition of these efforts, KITZ was one of the companies chosen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry under the Zero-Emission Challenge.
*New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
KITZ Receives Commendation as an Excellent Energy
Management Company in the Kanto Area for FY2020
KITZ received a commendation as an excellent energy management company for FY2020. The award is presented by the Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry to businesses that have excelled in making outstanding contributions to energy conservation during "Energy Conservation Month" held in February each year.
Health and Safety Activities
We promote efforts to ensure zero accidents based on the KITZ Group Safety and Health Fundamental Philosophy and the Safety and Health Fundamental Policies. We have established health and safety committees at our head office and plants, and we bolster efforts to prevent workplace injuries and illness, promote the development of comfortable workplace environments, engage in healthcare aimed at preventing lifestyle-related diseases and work to prevent traffic accidents.
Reciprocal Audits by Group companies
Since FY2018, mutual audits regarding the environment, health and safety of its eight Group domestic companies has started. To identify and assess risks, once a year internal auditing personnel conduct on-site inspections regarding 20 evaluation items, and a briefing session is held for the officer and the managers of each site. These efforts lead to activities that reduce the spread of and eliminate risks. In the future, KITZ is also considering the introduction of periodic on-site inspections by an outside organization.
In addition, to cultivate personnel who will be responsible for the environment and safety in the future, we conduct training on laws, regulations related to the environment, health and safety and the maintenance of equipment while also actively creating opportunities to experience actual on-site inspections.
KITZ Group Safety and Health Fundamental Philosophy
KITZ places the highest priority on safety and health in all of its activities based on the principle of showing respect for people. Group companies conduct extensive safety and health programs with the goal of zero accidents.
KITZ Group Safety and Health Fundamental Policies
- KITZ maintains stimulating and pleasant workplaces that contribute to the mental and physical well-being of all employees.
- KITZ is dedicated to ensuring safety and health for all employees by complying with Japan's Industrial Safety and Health Act and other associated laws and regulations as well as by adhering to internal rules and standards.
- KITZ improves safety and health management by educating and training all employees with regard to the knowledge and skills needed for safety and health programs.
- KITZ is dedicated to ensuring the safety of its machinery and equipment so that employees can do their jobs without concern.
- KITZ reduces exposure to risk factors with the goal of eliminating potential sources of danger and harm to employees in workplaces.
Take Preventive Steps and Improve Safety Awareness through Group-Wide Safety and Health Programs
Safety experience room at the Nagasaka Plant
The Company will address safety from two directions: "Enhancement of safety activities and systematic incorporation of prevention measures into production lines" and "Promotion of volunteer activities at workplaces (bottom-up approach via small group activities)," Through this two-pronged approach, the Company will encourage a change in every employee's mindset and increase employees' awareness with regard to safety, thereby reforming the corporate culture.
KITZ has formulated the following key actions as measures for employee safety and health with the aims of taking preventive steps for safety and improving safety awareness.
- Develop a management system (comply with safety and health related laws and regulations)
- Implement safety measures for machines, equipment and people (prevent similar accidents)
- Create a workplace culture (promote zero accidents)