Our Approach to Resource Recycling
The Subaru Group understands that constructing a recycling-based society is an important theme that is closely related to corporations in the manufacturing industry.
We aim to build a recycling-based society through having 100% automobile-to-automobile recycling to the extent possible considering the product life cycle, continuing to send zero landfill from domestic and overseas production plants, and aiming for a higher dimensional recycling.
Specifically, we put “resource recycling” as one of the themes of Subarus Voluntary Plan for the Environment, and we will steadily implement an environmental conservation voluntary action plan based on it.
Recycling of Raw Materials
By reusing the discard generated at the time of Subaru’s automobile production, scraps, collected used materials, etc. in place of new materials to be used such as iron, aluminum, plastics, etc., which account for a large proportion of the contents of the automobile, Subaru is working on the closed loop recycling, which reduces natural resource consumption, environmentally hazardous substances, and wastes.
|Raw material used in automobiles in FYE2018||Recycling method|
|Iron||646,147 ton||Provide professional dealers with iron scraps and they reuse them.|
|Aluminum||20,338 ton||Aluminum scraps are re-melted at plants and reused almost entirely.|
|Plastic||22,000 ton||Plastic scraps are re-melted at plants and reused almost entirely.|
Wastes generated in FYE2018 increased by 20,335 tons from the previous year.
The main cause is due to an increase of the automobiles volumes. But we consider wastes as a valuable resources, we collect and reuse them as much as possible or appropriately treat them, and we will continue zero landfill.
We do not import/export hazardous wastes stipulated in Basel Convention 2 Annex I, II, III, and IV.
Processing of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs)
Based on the End-of-Life Recycling Law in Japan (Act on Recycling, etc. of End-of-Life Vehicles), car manufacturers are obliged to fully recover and appropriately recycle automotive shredder residue (ASR), airbags, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when cars they manufacture become end-of-life vehicles.
Subaru aims to ensure smooth recovery and recycling of three items, namely ASR, airbags and CFCs, generated from end-of-life vehicles, and to stably maintain a high level of recycling rates. Through ART, a consortium Subaru and 12 other car manufactures, etc. have established, Subaru promotes proper recycling of ASR smoothly and efficiently. Regarding the recycling of airbags and CFCs, appropriate processing is carried out through Japan Auto Recycling Partnership Ltd., established jointly with domestic automobile manufacturers and importers.
The ASR recycling rate for Fiscal year ending on March 2018 was 97.9%, satisfying the Fiscal year ending March 2016 legal standard of 70%.
As for airbags, a recycling rate of 94% has been attained, exceeding the legal standard of 85%. Also, the entire amount of recovered CFCs was appropriately treated. Please go over the following pages for the latest information on our recycling achievement based on the End-of-Life Recycling Law.
Automobile Recycling Process
Promotion of Recycling Conscious Design
In order to use limited resources effectively, Subaru promotes recycling conscious design in automobile manufacturing.
Initiatives in Production
Initiatives for Waste Reduction at Plants
All Subaru manufacturing plants in and out of Japan have maintained zero landfill for waste materials since Fiscal year ending March 2005.
Overview of Waste Generation and Processing in All Sites in Fiscal year ending March 2018
There is no landfill after external intermediate treatment.
Primary Waste and Recycling Method
|Primary waste||Primary Recycling Method|
|Wastewater treatment plant sludge||Raw material for cement|
|Paint sludge||Iron-making reducer|
|Waste plastics||RPF (solid fuels, etc.)|
|Paper waste||Recycled paper, RPF, etc.|
Initiatives in Distribution
Reuse of Packaging Materials
Subaru Logistics Co., Ltd., which handles packaging and transport for complete knockdown (CKD) parts of Subaru automobiles, has been carrying out activities to reduce environmental impact, focusing on the reuse of packaging materials.
The amount of reused packaging materials in Fiscal year ending on March 2018 was 698.7 tons, 7% increase from the previous year. This was caused by the increase in production of Impreza in the United States.
We will continue to our efforts to reduce environmental impact by expanding the reuse of packaging materials.
Initiatives in Sales
Zero Emission at Subaru Dealerships in Japan
From April 2012, Subaru domestic dealerships began improving appropriate treatment activities for waste generated from their business activities to promote environmental conservation.
Collaboration and cooperation with companies and industrial organizations are being carried out for resource recycling as well as a review of conventional treatment methods, leading to zero emission activities targeting resource recycling within Japan. Various activities are being developed, including recycling of used lead-acid batteries, waste oil, used tires, etc. As the result of these activities in FYE2018, 1,433 tons of used lead-acid batteries (113,395 used batteries), 5,457 kiloliters of used oil, and 167,444 used tires were collected and recycled.
We believe that the zero emission activities of Subaru domestic dealerships, who are closest to stakeholders, are environmental conservation activities closer to home. They can also provide an environment with safety and peace of mind, in addition to products, by promoting more effective use and appropriate processing through defining corporate responsibility and recycling resources.
Recycling of Waste Oil
Waste oil generated at Subaru domestic dealerships during oil changes is recycled as recycled fuel oil based on the zero emissions scheme created by Subaru. Every year, farmers in Yamagata Prefecture grow beautiful poinsettia and cyclamen using this recycled fuel oil for heating greenhouses. Subaru distributed these cyclamens to visitors to Subaru events and EcoPro exhibition.
Recycling of used tires
Used tires changed and collected at Subaru domestic dealerships are crushed and made into rubber chips, which are then reused as fuel at plants such as power plant, paper making company (pulp), steelworks, etc. In addition to this kind of thermal recycling, we have started to reuse these chips as paving materials.
The used tires made into rubber chips are mixed in asphalt, or applied as an overlay of asphalt pavement. They can be used for parking lots, children’s playgrounds, athletic fields, and sidewalks of hospitals/nursery homes, with varied blending ratios of chips depending on the use. We not only recycle the outer layer of the tires, but the entire rubber parts of those tires for pavement materials by sorting each part thoroughly, such as wires, rubber components, etc. We are the first car manufacturer to recycle all the rubber parts of a tire for pavement materials.
Effective Reuse of Old Company Pins
Along with company name change in April 2017, each business site collected old company pins.
Subaru had metal processors take over the former company pins of 42 kg collected to make effective use of them as a metal resource.
National Parks Zero Landfill Initiative
National Parks in the United States are a beloved natural resource, explored by millions every year. At Subaru, because we have such a strong connection to the outdoors we want to help protect and enhance our parks today and for future generations. That’s why we are piloting a zero-waste initiative with the National Parks that borrows from our successful efforts to make our US manufacturing plant a zero-waste facility. This initiative is being piloted at three National Parks – Denali, Grand Teton and Yosemite – in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association.
In order to make it easier to separate waste generated in national parks, we reduce the amount of waste to be landfilled by making stickers and garbage boxes, or making organic fertilizer from food scraps generated in parks.
In FYE2018, more than 5,000 people including SOA employees and local residents participated in various initiatives. In addition to organizing meetings and events participated by all employees, we create and distribute logos, and post information on the state of these initiatives in newsletters and on bulletin boards to make them widely known to people.
Here, SOA is working to test various approaches to eliminate waste from their parks and then create best practices that can be applied, ideally, across the entire National Parks system.