- Basic approach
- Targets and results
- Initiatives related to eco-conscious products
- Initiatives related to LCA calculations
Under the "TOYOBO Group Fundamental Policy on the Global Environment," the Toyobo group promotes to reduce and improve the impact on environment by developing new technologies. At every stage, from product development through to design, manufacture, sale, disposal, and collection, we are forecasting, evaluating, and reducing their impact on the environment, and working towards its protection.
Mechanism for certification of eco-conscious products
Since 1998, the Toyobo group has operated the "Eco-Review System" as a system for evaluating the environmental impact of our products.
This system evaluates and analyzes the following aspects at every stage in the product life cycle: preventing climate change, reduction of chemical substance use, resource conservation, waste reduction, and Biodiversity Other. Products that meet these standards are certified as ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® products. Since the Eco-Review is carried out at every product life cycle — from R&D to commercialization — issues that require improvement from an environmental protection perspective are identified and improved at an early R&D stage prior to the subsequent review. As products and technologies are developed, they are improved to reduce their environmental impact and contribute to the environment.
Eco-Review Evaluation Items
Review and Certification Process
Products that meet or exceed certain standards in the Eco-Review System are designated as "ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM®" products that contribute to reducing the burden on environment.
Evaluation standards for the ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® comprise five categories, including items such as “resource conservation.”
The life cycle of products are divided into six stages from raw materials through to disposal, and the environmental impact at each stage is evaluated and certified.
Targets and results
We aim to increase the ratio of sales of ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® products to 40% of total sales by fiscal 2030 and 60% by fiscal 2050.
In fiscal 2023, sales of ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® products accounted for 35.2% of the company's total sales. Going forward, we will continue to create eco-conscious products.
In addition, we are considering expanding the scope of application of the certification system to include group companies, and have begun to identify issues in order to calculate the sales ratio held by ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® products for the entire group.
|Sales ratio held by ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® products (TOYOBO CO., LTD. only)
Sales by Evaluation Standard of ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® Products
|Five evaluation standards
|Preventing climate change
|Reduction of chemical substance use
|Other environmental contributions
|Note: Net sales in the figure include duplicates because they are determined based on multiple criteria.
ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® Products
Here are some of the products that have been certified as "ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM®".
Major ECO-PARTNER SYSTEM® Products
|Climate change measures
|Film of recycled PET resin
|Three-dimensional cushion material
|Liquid water-holding agent
|Solvent recovery equipment
|Bag filters for thermal power plants
|Photosensitive water-wash nylon resin relief printing plate
|Transparent vapor-deposited film
|Solving water resource problems
|Reverse osmosis membranes for seawater desalination
|Water purification UF membrane modules
|Recycling systems (recycling and resource reduction)
|Modifier for recycled PET
|VYLON® RF series
|Recycled nylon resin for airbag scraps
|Recycled PET textile products
|PET-based synthetic paper
|Spun yarn using unused cotton
|Recycled nonwoven fabrics
|Other (environmentally friendly products)
|Ultra-high-strength polyethylene fiber
LCA Calculation Initiatives
We calculate LCA as appropriate by introducing MiLCA, a software for computing LCA.
Avoided emissions calculation
Beginning in fiscal 2022, we began calculating the contribution to CO2 savings (avoided emissions) by comparing baseline products with cLCA(carbon-Life Cycle Analysis of our products) and replacing them with our products. First, we calculated avoided emissions of reverse osmosis membranes (RO membranes) and VOC (volatile organic compounds) recovery equipment as typical techniques of our group. We will continue to expand the number of products covered in the calculation.
We will reduce CO2 emissions generated when customers use our group's products and contribute to mitigating climate change throughout the supply chain.
Case ① VOC recovery equipment
Toyobo's VOC recovery equipment is used around the world to control emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are feared to affect the atmosphere and human health. Our VOC recovery equipment incorporates "K-FILTER®", an unique activated carbon fiber, and it is used in various industries to recover dichloromethane used in the lithium battery separator manufacturing process and to control emissions and recover ethyl acetate (which is used in dry lamination and adhesive processes), toluene, and IPA etc.
Assuming that the steam desorption VOC recovery equipment sold by our group in fiscal 2023 operates for 15 years, the amount of VOC (methylene chloride, etc.) recovered will be approximately 6 million tons*. In addition, "K Filter®" makes it possible to recover high-quality solvents and save energy because it is a high-performance adsorbent that has a faster adsorption rate than granular activated carbon and contains fewer impurities. Our VOC recovery equipment can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50 to 70% compared to conventional VOC combustion equipment when treating combustible VOC such as ethyl acetate and toluene (according to research by Toyobo).
Furthermore, our group also sells the nitrogen desorption type "K Filter®" VOC recovery equipment, which is even more energy-saving. Since nitrogen is purified and reused using a unique circulation method, it can be processed at low running costs, and it is also possible to recover and reuse water-soluble solvents and significantly reduce wastewater. Compared to conventional steam desorption methods, CO2 emissions during treatment are expected to be reduced by approximately 50 to 80%*.
Going forward, to contribute toward the realization of the decarbonized society, we will expand applications of our VOC recovery equipment and sales promotion of our nitrogen desorption type VOC recovery equipment, which is more energy efficient.
- Our group calculations
- VOC recovery apparatus (steam desorption type) K-FILTER®
- VOC recovery apparatus (nitrogen desorption type) K-FILTER®
VOC treatment equipment's CO2 emissions compare (e.g.)
- (Calculation Conditions: VOC Processing Capacity is calculated by setting the same conditions for the combustion device and the recovery device (our group-wide calculation).
VOC recovery equipment
Case ② RO Membrane for seawater desalination
Globally, water shortages are becoming an increasingly serious problem. We provide hollow fiber reverse osmosis (RO) membrane, which enables desalination with low energy consumption, to countries throughout the world, especially in regions where there is inadequate access to fresh water. By comparison with the conventional multi-stage flush (MSF) method, Toyobo’s method using RO membrane makes it possible to achieve a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.
Toyobo's RO membrane is made mainly from biomass material, and it has a number of unique features, including long product lifespan of eight years or more, and being able to produce high-purity fresh water. Additionally, the superior chlorine resistance of the membrane material keeps maintenance costs down.
Assuming that the RO membrane elements sold by our group is used for eight years, freshwater production would be approximately 900million m3, and avoided emissions (reducing CO2 emissions) will be approximately 9 million tons (our group estimate).
Going forward, we will be expanding production of RO membrane so that it can be used to meet the daily water needs of around 10 million people through seawater desalination (this is the target for Sustainable Vision 2030).
Seawater desalination plants
Biomass Mark* for our hollow fiber membrane in HOLLOSEP®
- The Biomass Mark is allowed to be labeled on products and materials containing a certain percentage of biomass after the composition, proportion, quality, and safety of the raw biomass is verified by a third-party organization composed of academic experts.