TOPICS

Main Activities in FY2018

TOPICS

Special Interview All for One Earth ~ What We Can Do for the Future ~

Ms. Tomoko Hoshino of SDGs Japan joined us for a three-way interview with Managing Officer, Mr. Otomo and Director, Mr. Yoshida.
JTEKT’s initiatives and thoughts concerning the environment are discussed across four themes.

Tomoko Hoshino: First off, I’d like to ask Mr. Ootomo how you feel about becoming an officer of the Safety and Environment Promotion Department starting in April.

Naoyuki Ootomo: With a background in production engineering, I was involved in the CO2 reduction working group, but I had no involvement in overall environmental matters. Being assigned to the Environment Department starting in April, I was able to see the company’s overall activities and reconfirm the significance of the positioning of the environment in the company. I reaffirmed that my expertise in production engineering is directly related to company management in terms of reducing CO2, substances of concern, and emissions.

Theme 1Feelings towards the Environmental Slogan “All for One Earth”

T. Hoshino: Please tell us about the slogan “All for One Earth”.

K. Yoshida: We were continuing activities independently at JTEKT, but from several years back, talks about going global rather than independent increasingly grew, and I thought that it was necessary to have a message that would be understood around the world. The company’s activities are generally inside-out, meaning the company sells what it wants to sell and makes what it wants to make. However, ESG and SDGs are generally outside-in. Thinking about what should be done as a business and to be all-inclusive, we arrived at the idea of doing something for the earth.
We also liked the ring of “one” in JTEKT’s vision “No. 1 & Only One”, which we incorporated in the message “All for One Earth”.
Our challenge now is how to spread this slogan.

T. Hoshino: I gather that your employees have the mindset to take part in the activities. How did you communicate with your employees and stakeholders?

K. Yoshida: To communicate to our stakeholders, we renewed our environment webpage last year and added an explanation of the message “All for One Earth” on the title page. To communicate to our employees, we did so in this year’s monthly environmental event. This year, our company president himself posts a blog titled “My All for One Earth” and sends out a message to everybody about his childhood experiences. We hope to create a series by posting “Naoyuki Ootomo’s All for One Earth”, “Kengo Yoshida’s All for One Earth”, and so on.

T. Hoshino: That makes the message very relatable. I think that making it one’s own concern is a good technique that achieves compassion.

Theme 2Environmental Challenge 2050 and Activities for the Environmental Action Plan 2020

T. Hoshino: Please tell us about the features of Environmental Challenge 2050, which was formulated and announced in May 2016.

K. Yoshida: With the target year for the 2-degree scenario or 1.5-degree scenario reported by IPCC set for 2050, in 2015, Toyota Motor Corporation announced the six challenges for 2050. Although we cannot declare “zero” like Toyota Motor Corporation, by making the announcement at the same time, we sent out our message of commitment for minimization. In 2030, we plan to release concrete numerical targets.
With regard to biodiversity conservation, it is difficult to make an assessment because our business rarely applies direct pressure on living organisms. In the case of a beverage manufacture, they can use water to make sake and drinking water, so they can say that the water itself is a blessing from earth. In the case of our company, although indirect, we conserve the environment as a whole to an extent, holding events at each factory for so-called activities for symbiosis with nature. On the other hand, if we overdo social contribution activities, there are opinions that volunteer activities that offer nothing in return are not highly evaluated by investors, so we hope to think carefully as we go about in our endeavors. If possible, I hope to offer employee training through activities for a society in harmony with nature. In that case, one index could be the number of participants. That is why we have examined the number of participants in the past two years as a barometer. We currently have about 1,000 participants.

N. Ootomo: Our activities for symbiosis with nature are positioned high in our company. Not only are the results reported at the monthly management meeting, but we encourage active participation by the officers in charge at each factory as well as the employees in an effort to promote deeper understanding.

T. Hoshino: You are also promoting environmental education through e-learning, which must benefit your employees and ultimately lead to an environmentally friendly business.
What image do you have of your company that has achieved the 2050 target?

N. Ootomo: I believe that the company will not be able to stay in business without changing. Although we are currently in the manufacturing industry, the environment could become a way of business and a pillar for our company. Perhaps a company that is conscious of the environment will be the company that stays in business until the end. It would be wonderful if we can become a company in which its employees can work with pride about contributing to society.

T. Hoshino: Environmental issues are social issues, so you are taking on a social challenge. It is important for your business and beneficial to society, so we can say that it’s a win-win situation.

Theme 3The Corporate Mission (What is Ideal in the SDGs Era)

T. Hoshino: Currently, many places are carrying out initiatives and raising awareness of SDGs, and the nation and municipalities are concentrating their efforts on doing so as well.I think that for your company, SDGs cannot be overlooked. How do you regard SDGs?

K. Yoshida: There are 17 SDGs in all. Honestly, when I first heard about SDGs, I thought that we could, at our discretion, pick out the goals that matched what we were doing. However, when we think about it from an outside-in perspective, it is a bit different. It’s not as if the environment department and section are the only ones active in the company, so we want to collaborate with the business management side.
I think that as a company, we need to think about what we can and should do to achieve the 17 goals and to do what we can do. As I think that it is important to do a solid job on materiality analysis, we will reorganize it and proceed with it.

T. Hoshino: Your company as a whole will be involved in the SDGs including items 1, 2, and 5.

K. Yoshida: It looks like we will need to look for new business possibilities, not through social contributions but in ways that will benefit us by making such contributions.

T. Hoshino: Grasping a new area and operationalizing it may indeed be worthwhile for your company.

N. Ootomo: We want to determine the position that we are in and what the world is expecting and keep those in mind as we carry out activities that will lead to our company’s profits and growth. We haven’t found what they are yet, so we will keep figuring them out and understanding them as we take action.

T. Hoshino: It’s true for the materiality assessment as well, but it’s important to grasp the stakeholders’ needs to incorporate outside goals into your own goals, working outside-in by analyzing the current external situation and putting it to use in your company.

N. Ootomo: We are not only seen by stakeholders but investors as well. We want to think about what kinds of assessment we can get and what efforts we should put forth to achieve them when taking action.

T. Hoshino: Investors also say that they don’t invest in companies that are not working on SDGs.Whether you want to work on SDGs or not, you have to do it, so it would be better to say that you are proactively taking part in it. I think this is related to the Paris Agreement, but can you tell us your view as a company in the SDGs era in which sustainability is required?

K. Yoshida: In an era in which the world is facing various problems such as the environment, SDGs have clarified what must be done and to what extent. Organizing what was vague up to now into 17 goals is good for the company.

T. Hoshino: I often call it my check sheet. I think it can be used as a model for looking over everything and checking off what has been completed.

K. Yoshida: That’s probably how it will be used.

T. Hoshino: The underpinning problems are with CO2 and greenhouse gases. Your entire company is involved in CO2 reduction.

N. Ootomo: In terms of products, we make electric power steering. Since it has a role in improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles, I think that having spread it is one social contribution. We are moving forward with it, hoping that it will grow into a successful business. As environmental problems worsen in the future, and the possibility grows for waste disposal itself, for example, to become a business, I think it’s a matter of whether our technology can be used. This is an advanced concept, but if you think about risk, I think that in the near future, it will become impossible to operate factories that make emissions. I think we need to anticipate risks and turn them into opportunities.

T. Hoshino: It’s worth the challenge, or I should say that there’s still a lot that can be done.Please tell us what else you can do for the environment and what you should do from now on.

K. Yoshida: Marine plastic pollution that has recently emerged as a local problem is becoming a global issue. Until now, it was believed that proper disposal was enough, and that plastic was not bad. As a change for the future, the development of alternatives may become a business opportunity. Although our company is not involved down to the materials, we can devise ways to reduce use. Until now, we have been working on saving energy, but we will reach a limit somewhere down the line. When that happens, we have to think of scenarios for how to make, use, and purchase renewable energy.

N. Ootomo: Plastics are used more than we think, such as for trays for carrying products and vinyl packaging, but we can’t see what happens after they reach the customer.I think that customers have trouble with disposal, so we could follow through to disposal. For example, suppliers who collect and reuse the plastics could be placed at an advantage and highly evaluated.The idea of getting involved to the point beyond the customer should gain importance.

T. Hoshino: It’s not something that one company can do alone, so it seems necessary to spread the mindset to the affiliated companies of the stakeholders with whom you have dealings in the supply chain and to send out information to the customers beyond.

N. Ootomo: When we receive parts from our supplier, those parts will remain with us. How to return, renew, and recycle them should be established between our company and partner companies, and then suggested to our customers.It is important to first have the people at the top understand how much importance is placed on the global environment.

T. Hoshino: It would be nice if environmental education could be carried out for stakeholder companies other than your company.

N. Ootomo: We hold environmental meetings with affiliated companies other than JTEKT subsidiaries to share our goals and ideas, so I think that we can start with those affiliated companies.

T. Hoshino: As CO2 has become an issue, has awareness of the environment changed in your company?

N. Ootomo: Now, the head of the company places great importance on the environment, which is completely different from 10 years ago.

T. Hoshino: At one time, the environment was an issue that was spread by CSR and social contributions, but nowadays, it is changing so that management is tackling the environmental issue to eliminate company risks. At times, I can feel this kind of societal change. Can you tell us about the environmental initiatives unique to your company that you can appeal to Japan and the world?

N. Ootomo: When making bearings, there is a process of grinding iron, which produces shavings. We are working to make those shavings into solids so that they do not become waste. We are concurrently working on eliminating the grinding process altogether.

T. Hoshino: Does it mean that the solidified shavings become products?

K. Yoshida: It means that they will be turned back into iron again.

N. Ootomo: Some kind of sorting task using special machines will become necessary.

K. Yoshida: The shavings will be melted and used. They contain much more iron compared to iron ore, so they are much better than natural resources. Also, bearings, which are one of our products, reduce energy loss by reducing friction. Use in various machines such as windmills and Shinkansen (bullet trains) contributes to saving energy. These are special features of JTEKT.

N. Ootomo: In the product category, electric power steering improves fuel economy and reduces CO2. Supplying bearings for wind power generation is another example.Another is weight reduction of driving and steering components. Reducing the weight of the system itself and supplying it to automobile companies leads to improved fuel efficiency.

T. Hoshino: So it’s not just cars.

N. Ootomo: Since they are not heavy, the vehicle has easy braking and a reduced body thickness. The car companies call such weight reduction an angelic cycle. We have set goals for weight reduction and are working to implement them on each system.

T. Hoshino: Weight reduction will certainly reduce CO2.

N. Ootomo: Now we are replacing materials to reduce weight, such as changing iron to aluminum and aluminum to resin. For materials that do not have enough strength, we are working on a production technology innovation called hybrid bonding, bonding materials such as iron with aluminum and aluminum with resin.

K. Yoshida: We would like to make it so that the CO2 produced in the manufacturing process is covered by the product’s reduced CO2.

T. Hoshino: I see, by doing so, it will become a carbon negative. Does it mean that it is also easy to recycle?

N. Ootomo: Regeneration is difficult if there are a lot of impurities, so it becomes important to shut out impurities during production and to create a technology that makes the materials easy to peel off after bonding. However, when using the materials on a car, durability and nonbreakability are requisites. I think this is a technology that should be developed, but because we cannot do it alone, we are striving for technological innovations through collaborations with the Toyota group and group companies as well as academy-government-industry, namely universities. Our research department originally worked with universities, but the production engineering department was not able to do so, so we hope to proactively collaborate with them.

Theme 4Future Prospects

T. Hoshino: Your company has already set a big goal, has started taking action, and has been continuing your challenge.Could we hear future prospects from both of you?

N. Ootomo: I believe that delays in making environmental efforts turns into risks. On the other hand, pushing forward to advance such efforts creates business opportunities. Our top priority is for management and every employee in operations to gain an understanding because if everybody does not understand, it will not work as a company. As human beings who preside over the environment, we will continue to send our message to increase the number of supporters. If the environmental issue becomes increasingly severe in the future, it will become impossible to operate factories, and there is also a risk of being forced to shut down. On the other hand, developing products and facilities that eliminate risks becomes an opportunity. We already have some businesses now, but by innovating technology, we can further raise the expectations of new businesses.

T. Hoshino: So, it means that you will find risks and turn them into opportunities to continue your challenge.

K. Yoshida: For the time being, we have a target until 2020. Fortunately, our CO2 initiative was quite effective in FY2018. We would like to proceed step-by-step first. There are some concerns this year that wastes may be a bit tight this year, so we hope to make up for it. It is important to work steadily one step at a time.

N. Ootomo: When the initiative starts, there are topics and things that we notice, but in order to carry it out continuously, technological innovations and new awareness are necessary. We will work by coming up with new ideas and seeking new awareness.

T. Hoshino: Thank you very much for your participation today.

  • Naoyuki OotomoJTEKT Corporation Managing Officer
    Hometown: Tokushima Prefecture
    March 1987 – Graduated from Kanazawa Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering
    April 1987 – Joined Koyo Seiko Co., Ltd.
    April 2018 – Posted as Managing Officer of JTEKT Corporation In charge of the Steering Operations Headquarters Prototyping Department, Driving Operations Headquarters Prototyping Department, Bearing Operations Headquarters Prototyping Department, Production Engineering Headquarters Steering Production Engineering Department / Driving Production Engineering Department / Bearing Production Engineering Department
    April 2019 – In charge of JTEKT Corporation’s Production Support Headquarters Safety and Environment Promotion Department, Production Engineering Area, Production Engineering Management Department, Production Engineering Development Department, Machinery Department, Casting and Forging Engineering Department, Heat Treatment Production Engineering Department
  • Kengo YoshidaJTEKT Corporation Safety and Environment Promotion Department Director
    Hometown: Aichi Prefecture
    March 1983 – Graduated from Nagoya Institute of Technology’s Department of Architecture
    April 1983 – Joined Toyota Motor Corporation; mainly assigned to facilities planning*
    2018 – Joined JTEKT Corporation
    Is a first-class registered architect and a member of the Architectural Institute of Japan
    *In charge of sites including the TOYOTA Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi-Japan master plan, and recently the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama, taking leadership in environmental assessment
  • Tomoko HoshinoDispatched from SDGs Japan (Managing Director)
    Participated in the launch and operation of the Johannesburg Summit 2002, The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development promotion campaign, the citizens’ network for the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity COP 10, and the Rio +20 Earth Summit NGO Liaison Committee involved in the operation of Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) since 2003 Currently promotes partnerships by promoting and spreading SDGs and arranging forums as the Vice President of the Environmental Partnership Council (general incorporated association) Is also a director of the Japan NPO Center (incorporated non-profit organization) and Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center (general incorporated association), Vice President of the Sustainable Sport NGO and NPO Network (SUSPON), and more Is a member of the Ministry of Environment SDGs stakeholders’ meeting.

FY2018 Activity Report (Summary)

As part of our effort to achieve Environmental Challenge 2050, in order to promote the JTEKT group and our environmental conservation activities, we established the Environmental Action Plan 2020 which outlines our initiatives and targets, and share this throughout the entire JTEKT group. Below is the report of our FY2018 initiatives.
Global CO2 emission volume (base unit)
Improvement by 12.8%
(compared to FY2012)
JTEKT Non-colidated
CO2 emission volume (base unit)
Improvement by 16.0%
(compared to FY2008)
Moving forward, JTEKT will proceed with setting CO2 emission targets based on scientific grounds in order to keep temperature rise less than 2°C, as agreed in the Paris Agreement. With the aim of realizing our Environmental Challenge 2050, we aim to minimize CO2 emitted throughout the entire lifecycle of our products.
<FY2018 results of activities>