April 10, 2001
Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. (FHI), a global manufacturer of transportation and aerospace-related products and the maker of Subaru vehicles, announced today that its Gunma Manufacturing Division has successfully eliminated industrial waste for landfill as of the end of March 2001. The Gunma Division comprises major four automobile production plants: the Main Plant, Yajima Plant, Ohta North Plant, and Oizumi Plant.
As part of its company-wide "Zero Emission" goal for production processes, FHI announced in January 1999 that it planned efforts to reduce and then eliminate industrial waste in the Gunma Division along with the Utsunomiya Manufacturing Division, which manufactures aircraft , railway cars and ecology-related products, by March 2002. The Gunma Division significantly accelerated its waste reduction rate during the past two years, and "Zero Emission" status was achieved at its plants one year earlier than the original target date. Whereas industrial waste from the Gunma Division that was bound for landfills amounted to 1,003 tons in the 1999 fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, that amount was cut down to 43 tons in fiscal 2000, a whopping 99.3% drop. At the end of fiscal 2000, with its waste reduction programs well under way and less than one ton of landfill waste at its Gunma Division, FHI declared those four plants to be within the tolerance levels of "Zero Emission."
"Zero Emission" efforts at Gunma have focused on the complete eradication of waste ashes from its incinerators. During fiscal year 1999, the company identified 61% of the waste at the division as incinerated waste. With the ultimate goal of doing away with the incinerator, the Gunma Division turned waste destined to be burned into recyclable resources. Dewatered sludge, which took up 43% of the waste ashes, is recycled as cement materials. Refuse paint, which was 26% of the waste, is reused to make anti-vibration insulator materials, cement compounds, and blast-furnace reducing agents. Other flammable waste and non-vinyl chloride resins are categorized into 25 recyclable uses. On December 12, 2000, operation of the incinerator at Gunma was discontinued, thereby making the plants waste-free.
Nonincinerated waste from Gunma is also recycled extensively. Waste paint from paint shops that gets spilled or dried out is reused as sub-grade material of furnace melting-slugs. Soft vinyl chloride plastics are automatically sorted by recently installed sorters on the shop floors and are then recycled.
FHI also plans to achieve "Zero Emission" not only at the Utsunomiya Division but at the Saitama Manufacturing Division, which produces general-purpose engines and generators, by the end of March 2002. In addition, the company has been pursuing other environmental conservation management activities based on its policy on environmental issues by reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint shops, conserving energy and resources, and cooperating in the worldwide effort to establish the PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) program being developed under the auspices of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
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