Water Resource Initiatives

Basic approach

Recognizing that our business activities affect the entire planet and that protecting the global environment is essential for our survival and activity, we actively take the initiative to protect the environment under the Nisshin Seifun Group Environmental Basic Policy, including initiatives to reduce waste and CO2 emissions and to effectively use resources and energy.

Water management

We recognize that our business activities are very closely linked to water resources, so we are carrying out initiatives aimed at using these resources effectively, as well as risk assessments.

Within our business activities, the volume of water used in the flour milling business is relatively low, but a certain amount of water is needed for the processed foods business. We are conscious of this issue and under our Environmental Basic Policy, we promote environmental protection such as using water resources effectively, reducing water use volumes, and preventing water pollution.

Medium/Long-term Targets

To address against future water resource shortages, in fiscal 2021 the Nisshin Seifun Group set medium-term targets to be achieved by fiscal 2040. We work for reducing water consumption in our production processes by identifying locations and processes where water can be reduced throughout our group and by reviewing water usage methods.We will also work with our partners at all stages of our supply chain to ensure effective utilization of this finite resource.

Targets

Target for fiscal 2040:

  • Reduction of the amount of water used in plants per unit of production by 30% compared with the fiscal 2022 level
  • This target applies to group companies in Japan and overseas.
  • We have set targets for each region based on the water supply risk level. We aim to halve the amounts of water used in regions with particularly high water risk levels.
Specific water withdrawal per production unit (m3/t)
Group FY2022 1.15

*Specific water withdrawal:Excluding the water that unable to reduce such as by incorporated into products

Overview of water use

We have major production sites in nine countries, and we monitor the water use volumes and effluent drainage routes of all manufacturing sites in line with Group management standards. In addition to the daily management of water conservation and leakage prevention, we are also working to reduce water use and wastewater per production unit through initiatives such as concentrating production into highly efficient production lines, adjusting our product mix, and carefully planning production. Going forward, we will set targets using appropriate indicators for our Group’s operations in order to making water usage even more effective.

Water use and effluent load

In our flour milling business, we mainly use a dry milling process which uses an extremely small amount of water relative to production volumes.

All our businesses are equipped with wastewater treatment facilities, and we we work to perform appropriate management that uses water as effectively as possible.

Group total water use (thousand m3) and per unit water use
Group total water use (thousand m3) and per unit water use
Total liquid effluent (thousand m3) and per unit liquid effluent
Total water discharge (thousand m3) and per unit discharge
BOD (t)
BOD (t)* BOD (biochemical oxygen demand)

Details of environmental data(1.27MB)

Taking care with water resource

Since fiscal 2018, we have been using Aqueduct, an evaluation tool developed by the World Resources Institute, to regularly evaluate water stress and water risk at all manufacturing sites in Japan and overseas and in the regions from which we source raw materials.

Scope of evaluations

Primary raw material sourcing regions: Sourcing regions in eight countries including Japan
Group manufacturing sites: 54 in Japan and 37 overseas

List of evaluation sites(181.1KB)

Carrying out water risk evaluations

The results of water risk evaluations have shown that none of our raw material sourcing regions are at extremely high risk. In order to achieve safe and secure procurement, we conduct supplier evaluations based on our own Group standards and maintain regular communication with business partners, including through site inspections.

At our manufacturing sites in China, which have a relatively high level of water risk compared to sites in other countries, we have found that water stress levels are high. As our production at these sites does not require large volumes of water, this is not a major concern at present, but we monitor water use at each site and strive to reduce per unit water use at sites where it is particularly high.

Water risk in raw material procurement regions (Aqueduct evaluation standards)
Water risk in raw material sourcing regions (Aqueduct evaluation standards)
Water risk at manufacturing sites (FY2021)
Water risk
level*
Number of
sites
Water use Total production volume
Volume
(thousand m3)
Ratio Volume
(thousand t)
Ratio
Low (0-1) 8 150.7 2.4% 418.3 7.8%
Low - Medium
(1-2)
42 3,713.6 58.6% 2,070.4 38.6%
Medium - High
(2-3)
31 2,297.0 36.2% 2,423.9 45.2%
High (3-4) 6 170.7 2.7% 440.2 8.2%
Extremely High
(4-5)
1 6.5 0.1% 15.2 0.3%
Water stress
level*
Number of
sites
Water use Total production volume
Volume
(thousand m3)
Ratio Volume
(thousand t)
Ratio
Low (0-1) 10 223.4 3.5% 985.6 18.4%
Low - Medium
(1-2)
27 2,674.0 42.2% 912.0 17.0%
Medium - High
(2-3)
38 3,277.7 51.7% 1,906.8 35.5%
High (3-4) 8 121.2 1.9% 1,068.0 19.9%
Extremely High
(4-5)
5 42.2 0.7% 495.6 9.2%

Approaching water stress in Japan – Evaluating the effects of summer water shortages on production

Map of the eight dams in the Tone River water system
Monitoring image of the eight dams in the Tone River water system
Source: Website of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Kanto Regional Development Bureau.

Each year we carry out an evaluation of all production sites in Japan in preparation for potential water shortages during summer. The results of considerations based on these evaluations are reported to the management board and our recognition of the issue is shared throughout the Group. In the summer of 2016, there was concern that water intake from the Tone River water system would be restricted in the Kanto region, so we investigated reservoir capacities at eight dam locations in the Kanto region and evaluated the effects on our 10 manufacturing sites in the area, including the state of water resources and potential impact on supply structures.

As a result, we found that multiple water sources, such as groundwater, were available and that there would be no impact on production at all but one site. Even at the one site where there was a risk of water shortages, it was possible to supply water from other manufacturing sites in the same area, so our assessment concluded that the overall impact would be minimal.

Initiatives for reducing water use at overseas manufacturing sites

Water use (thousand m3) and water use per production unit in Indonesia for the past three years
Water use (thousand m3) and water use per production unit in Indonesia for the past three years

We are working to reduce water consumption as well as make water use in our manufacturing processes at our overseas manufacturing sites more effective. For example, we are implementing various initiatives aimed at reducing water use in manufacturing as much as possible, including making efficient production plans that reduce the amount of washing within production processes, adopting water-efficient refrigeration systems such as dry mist for manufacturing frozen food products, and using rainwater in chiller refrigeration equipment.

Within the Group manufacturing sites where we have identified a relatively high risk of water stress, our sites in Indonesia use a particularly large amount of water during production. The water use graph for these sites is as follows.

Using water resources effectively

We are working to save water by reducing water consumption, raising awareness among employees, and cultivating water-saving mindsets through environmental education. Also, when we need to dispose of wastewater, we strive to effectively use water resources by disposing of this water in ways that minimize environmental impact.

Wastewater treatment equipment that generates clean energy

Wastewater treatment equipment at Oriental Yeast Co., Ltd.’s Osaka Plant
Wastewater treatment equipment at Oriental Yeast Co., Ltd.’s Osaka Plant

Wastewater treatment equipment installed at Oriental Yeast Co., Ltd.’s Osaka Plant combines methane fermentation with activated sludge treatment. This wastewater treatment process creates methane gas that can be used as fuel for a biogas engine that generates electricity, thereby reducing the amount of energy consumed by the plant. Furthermore, the sludge produced by this process is used as a fertilizer. This both minimizes the environmental impact of wastewater treatment and reduces the plant’s energy consumption.

ZLD system installation for yeast production plant

Fresh yeast production plant of Oriental Yeast India Pvt. Ltd. (OY India) is located in the suburbs of Pune,Maharashtra, India. That plant does not discharge wastewater outside the plant grounds for installation of zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system.

Dense wastewater will be concentrated and then incinerated in a boiler, while light wastewater will be purified and reused within the plant, ensuring zero liquid discharge from inside the grounds. In addition, sludge generated from processes within the plant will be reused as a raw material for fertilizers. The aim is to limit use of local water resources as much as possible while also reducing the environmental impact of operations.

This initiative is being welcomed by local authorities as a good model for the future.

Protecting water resources

Supporting activities to protect Kiritappu Wetland

A panoramic view of Kiritappu Wetland
A panoramic view of Kiritappu Wetland

Our business and products are dependent on the blessings of nature. We hope that these blessings will continue to be available as a foundation of a healthy and fruitful life for people into the future, so we are supporting activities of the authorized NPO Kiritappu Wetland National Trust, which is working to conserve Kiritappu Wetland in Hokkaido. Kiritappu Wetland is Japan’s third biggest wetland and the trust carries out research activities to understand this abundant ecosystem and its connections to the surrounding area, as well as conserve the upstream areas that provide the wetland with water and the surrounding forest.

Local activities to protect spring water (NBC Meshtec Inc.)

Freshwater fish swimming along a fresh stream running to the west of the company’s facilities
Freshwater fish swimming along a fresh stream running to the west of the company’s facilities

There are many natural springs in the region surrounding NBC Meshtec Inc.’s head office. The annual average discharge of these abundant springs is 14.5 liters per second, thereby providing a habitat for species that can only flourish in fresh streams, such as Japanese freshwater crabs and Semisulcospira Libertina freshwater snails. It is also an important recreational area for the region, where fireflies can be found at the start of summer.

Since its founding, NBC Meshtec has sought to operate its business in a way that can coexist with the bountiful nature of the Musashino area, so NBC Meshtec Inc. works with local communities on activities to preserve these water resources.