The exhaust gas, wastewater and industrial waste emitted from business operations can exert a significant negative impact on biota and ecosystems as a whole. We are minimizing such an impact by strictly adhering to emission-related regulations enforced in each country and region in which we operate to counter the negative effect of our industrial activities.
The open-pit mining of coal involves the excavation of surface soil to extract coal from underground reserves. This inevitably exerts a negative impact on biodiversity. However, we are ensuring that the impact of mining on the environment is as minimal as possible via mining site rehabilitation. Specifically, once mining is completed at a site, we ensure that the site is refilled and the native plant species are reinstated to again thrive, with the aim of restoring the site’s biodiversity. In addition, we are engaged in these endeavors in line with the concept on Land Use Change presented below.
We have disclosed data on our coal mines in Australia, including areas that have been subject to drilling and rehabilitation. We will continue these and other efforts in the course of mining operations.
We are working to prevent the destruction of ecosystems by invasive species in line with the guidelines from IMO and the Ballast Water Management Convention (an international convention to regulate and manage ships’ ballast water and sediment), which came into effect on September 8, 2017. Ballast water is ocean water used as a weight to stabilize a ship. Because the convention obligates the installation of ballast water treatment equipment by a set deadline, we are steadily installing the equipment on Idemitsu Tanker’s very large crude carriers (VLCCs). As of January 31, 2020, we finished installing electrolysis-based and filter- and chemical-based treatment equipment on APOLLO DREAM and APOLLO ENERGY.
So as to not disrupt the ecosystems of the waters around ports, the treatment equipment is used to eliminate harmful water-borne organisms and pathogens carried in ballast water and replace ocean water taken on as ballast water upon embarkation with open ocean water that has a small impact on ecosystems.
Most of Idemitsu’s refineries and petrochemical plants, which are its main businesses, are located in Japan. They account for over 90% of the Company’s total energy consumption and waste water emissions. Because air and water pollution significantly impact biodiversity, it is important to appropriately manage and address such emissions in operations.
In Japan, strict environmental emission standards have been set by national and local governments. We have in place processes that lower and treat COD, nitrogen, phosphorous, and other compounds and work steadily to fully comply with emission standards to prevent air pollution impacts on ecosystems through imbibition and acid rain as well as to prevent water pollution impacts on fish, shellfish, kelp, and other water organisms of water containing soot, SOx, and NOx from refineries and petrochemical plants in coastal areas.
In addition, even before the recent rise in public interest elevated the conservation of biodiversity, we have long taken it to heart, adopting a management approach that aims to harmonize concerns about the natural environment and business operations. In the course of constructing refineries and complexes, for example, we have ensured that the green areas within their premises exceed legal requirements.
We began building and operating these refineries and complexes, which represent our main business sites, across Japan in the 1950s when the government introduced regulations mandating that businesses secure greenery within newly constructed manufacturing facilities. In response, we have consistently sought to do more than simply meet our legal obligations for square meters of greenery. We have also striven to harmonize our new facilities with their surrounding natural environments. Our approach has resulted in green areas far more extensive than the legal requirement. Initiatives like these are highly evaluated by external organizations. Hokkaido Refinery and Aichi Refinery have received the highest grade of 5 (Superlative Stage) in the “Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES)” organized by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
Every time we install new equipment at our refineries and complexes, we conduct an environmental assessment to
shelter any endangered plants species that have been identified through ecosystem surveys. Currently, at the Aichi
Refinery we are working to conserve Salvia plebeia, a plant species designated quasi-endangered by the Ministry of
the Environment. As this species was discovered on the grounds when new facility construction was undertaken, we
have set aside conservation areas within the refinery’s premises