Activities for Reducing Environmental Risks
Atmospheric risk management
NSSMC is taking measures to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Agreements we have exchanged with municipalities included calling for more stringent levels of total volume control than stipulated in the Air Pollution Control Act. We intend to control emission volume even lower than the agreed levels and are therefore taking measures such as using low-sulfur fuel, adopting low NOx generating burners and installing effective equipment, including equipment that reduces SOx and NOx emissions. To curb emissions of soot and solid particles generated from factories and raw material yards, we try to enhance their anti-pollution functions by installing dust collectors and prevent scattering of particles by installing windscreens and sprinklers, based on air pollution risk analysis using scientific simulation. We also conduct constant monitoring and regular patrols to ensure that no abnormal emissions are released outside.
NSSMC’s water consumption (excluding power generation facilities)
Water quality risk management
NSSMC strives to reduce environmental impact in its business activities by continual reduction in the amount of use of water and improvement in efficiency of its use. We use approximately 6 billion m3 of freshwater a year at all of our steelworks and factories combined. Approximately 90% of this is re-circulated or reused. We try not to waste precious water resources, and to control wastewater discharge. To achieve this, we make daily efforts to maintain and improve the performance of wastewater treatment equipment, and inspection and control of wastewater quality. Such initiatives of reuse and recycling contribute to reduce risk of water shortage. We also ensure water resources to be reserved, preparing for restrictions on water intake being imposed. One such measure is to have our own water reserve in some steelworks.
In consideration of the importance of preventing water pollution, we have installed devices such as detectors, shutoff valves, and emergency pits; established work procedures to use them effectively; provide periodical training; and try to improve our procedures, so that in the event of operational problems, dangerous or potentially dangerous wastewater will not be discharged outside our steelworks and factories.
In addition, to prevent abnormal water leakage from revetments and quay walls, we have established procedures, periodically inspect equipment, and take proper measures for the equipment.
Soil risk management
With respect to environmental preservation specifically for soil and underground water, we are taking appropriate measures in compliance with the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, local government ordinances and guidelines, and so on. Based on the amended Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, which took effect in April 2010, we report to the local government when performing landform modification work such as an excavation of 3,000 m2 or more. We conduct pollution surveys when needed.
If soil contamination is detected, we take appropriate action in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ministry of the Environment.
Noise, vibration, and odor
We comply with environmental rules and regulations and continue to promote measures against sources of noise, vibration, and odor.
Long before asbestos-caused health problems became a social problem, we banned purchase of asbestos and took steps to shift from asbestos to alternatives. The remaining portion of asbestos-sprayed materials within the works was disposed or contained, eliminating the scattering of asbestos fibers in the air. The products which contained non-diffusive asbestos and had been in existing facilities are gradually being replaced by alternative products at the time of repair. Since the enactment of asbestos-related regulations in 2006 we have complied with the rules calling for prior notification of plans to dismantle buildings or workplaces, the standards for isolating work area, and other requirements.
Initiatives on biodiversity
With the aim of conserving biodiversity in the communities where it operates business, NSSMC performs the Environmental Impact Assessments to measure impact on biodiversity at the start of a new business, such as independent power generation. As for our important bases, in particular, on top of preventing negative impacts, we take initiatives to improve the natural environment. Examples include creation of forest where a diversity of animals live, through tree-planting and other activities. Another initiative is creation of “sea forests,” which promote regeneration of seaweed beds, jointly with Mashike Town, Hokkaido. We make efforts to conserve biodiversity by working together with various stakeholders, including municipalities, NPOs, and academic institutions.