CSR Charter ⅡHarmonizing with the Environment and Contributing to Realizing a Sustainable Society
Addressing Environmental Risk
Principle and Outline
The Osaka Gas Group believes that companies have a responsibility to ascertain the environmental impact of their business activities, to take appropriate steps in compliance with laws and ordinances, and to implement voluntary risk countermeasures. Osaka Gas is pursuing voluntary environmental risk countermeasures in keeping not only with the PRTR Law Act and other domestic laws but also with directives from the European Union (EU) and elsewhere overseas, and is taking action to reduce soil and underground water pollution by toxic substances and control asbestos, chemical substances and PCB waste. We are working with gas equipment manufacturers to develop and manufacture gas equipment with a limited content of chemical substances.
Response to the Climate Change Risks
Tackling climate change is seen as one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. The Paris Agreement, a UN accord on climate change, went into force in November 2016. The accord is recognized as part of international efforts since 2020 to establish a framework for solving issues related to climate change world-wide, long-term efforts for reducing greenhouse gas, believed to be a major factor for climate change, has become a global challenge, together with risks of natural disaster heightened due to climate change. Such global environment may negatively affect on our profit and cost throughout our energy businesses. Shown below is what the Osaka Gas Group is trying to do in response to the perceived risks associated with climate change.
Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
At a time when global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish a framework for achieving the goal are under way, it is anticipated that demand for fossil-based fuels, seen responsible for increasing emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas, will decline in society and markets both in Japan and overseas. Against this background, it is also anticipated that measures to regulate the use of fossil-based fuels will be worked out and put into practice.
The Osaka Gas Group believes reducing CO2 emissions is an extremely important mission for the company, whose primary business field is energy. The Group is committed to promoting the efficient use of natural gas, which emits less CO2. It is also committed to proposing and diffusing highly energy efficient products, such as cogeneration systems and fuel cells, and energy-saving services, while tapping further into renewable energysources. By implementing all these steps, the Group aims to reduce CO2 emissions not only through its own business activities, including at LNG terminals and power stations, but also at customers receiving energy services from the Group. The Osaka Gas Group's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are envisioned in its Medium-Term Management Plan 2020, which has set environmental action targets to be achieved in FY2021, and its Long-Term Management Vision 2030, which calls for a cut of about 70 million tons in CO2 emissions between FY2018 and FY2031. Through these efforts, the Group is prepared to do all it can to help create a low-carbon society.
Given that tougher regulations against CO2 emissions are likely to be in place in the future, the Osaka Gas Group is studying and collecting information on technologies related to the hydrogen that are CO2 free when produced and combusted, as well as the carbon capture and storage (CCS), a method aimed at separating, collecting and stockpiling CO2 emission associated with fuel combustion and reformulation. The Group is also conducting researches related to the energy and social systems utilizing such technologies.
Refer below for further information on the Osaka Gas Group's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Efforts to mitigate damage from natural disasters
It is said that risks of natural disasters occurring, including high tides, torrential rains and typhoons, have heightened due to rising sea levels and irregular weather conditions in localized areas against the background of ongoing climate change. To prevent facilities installed at LNG terminals from being damaged by these natural disasters, important structures deemed vulnerable to flooding (buildings that have important functions, such as electrical instrumentation equipment and control systems) have been made airtight. These facilities have also been moved to higher locations. In addition, a block system has been established along coastlines, under which gas supply to the divided blocks* is remotely shut down in response to weather alerts released by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The Osaka Gas Group is also exposed to risks of natural disasters at suppliers of LNG, used as materials of city gas and a fuel for power generation. To reduce procurement risks and secure LNG materials and fuels in a stable manner, the Group is diversifying its supply sources.
- * Block system of gas supply
- Gas supply areas are divided into blocks to prevent secondary damage from tsunami waves. Under the block system, gas supply will be shut off in blocks where damage from earthquake and flooding is significant while service will continue in little affected blocks.
Chemical Substance Management
Legal compliance and proper management
On April 1, 2015, revisions to Japan's Chlorofluorocarbon Emissions Control Act came into force, strengthening management over the lifecycle of chlorofluorocarbons, which are ozone-depleting substances that also cause global warming. Osaka Gas identified commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment covered by the Act and put together a structure for ensuring compliance with it.
There are very few hazardous chemicals handled by Osaka Gas during the processing and supply of natural gas. The Osaka Gas Group will continue to manage and reduce the amount of chemicals it uses under the policies shown below.
Osaka Gas Group Chemical Substance Management Principles
- We comply with laws and environmental regulations concerning the use of chemical substances.
- We use ISO 14001-compliant and other environmental management activities to step up management and decrease emissions of chemical substances.
- We disclose information on chemical substance management in the CSR Report and on our Web site.
Amount of Substances Handled, Released, and Transferred, Subject to Reporting Under the PRTR Law
Amount of Substances Handled, Released, and Transferred, Subject to Reporting Under the PRTR Law (Affiliated Companies*)
|Zinc compounds (water-soluble) (t/year)||Handled||537||520||623||439||0.03|
- * Affiliated Companies
- Of Osaka Gas's 150 consolidated subsidiaries, 64 companies are subject to the calculation of GHG emissions. Those housed in office buildings as tenants and whose environmental data are difficult to grasp and whose environmental effects are minimal are not subject to such calculation. Also excluded from the calculation are overseas companies whose environmental impacts are minimal. However, the aggregate number of companies may differ by fiscal year and by item due to company mergers and others.
(As of March 31, 2017)
Group companies No. of companies Company names Energy Resources & International Business Unit 1 Marinas Energy Co. LLC LNG Terminal & Power Generation Business Unit 14 Gas and Power Co., Ltd., Nakayama Joint Power Generation Co., Ltd., Nakayama Nagoya Joint Power Generation Co., Ltd., Hirogawa Myojinyama Wind Farm Co., Hayama Wind Farm, Yura Wind Farm Development, Hizen Wind Farm, Hirao Wind Farm, Senboku Natural Gas Power Generation, Osaka Gas Liquid Co., Ltd., Cold Air Products Co. Ltd., Cryo-Air Co. Ltd., Kinki Carbonic Co., Ltd., Gasnet Co. Ltd. Pipeline Business Unit 2 Kinpai Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Renotech Co., Ltd. Residential Energy Business Unit 18 Living Maintenance Service Hokuto Co., Ltd., Living Maintenance Service Osaka Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Cooking School Co., Ltd., Create Kansai Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Customer Relations Co., Ltd., Aqua Brain Co., Ltd., Kansai Business Information Inc., Osaka Gas Housing & Equipment Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Security Service Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas LPG Co., Ltd., Nissho Petroleum Gas Corporation, Nissho Propane Sekiyu Co., Ltd. Nissho Gas Supply Co., Ltd., Nagano Propane Gas Co., Ltd., Daiya Nensho Co Ltd., Ehime Nissho Propane Co., Ltd., Enes Carry Corp., Kochi Nissho Inc. Commercial & Industrial Energy Business Unit 9 OGCTS Co., Ltd., G & M Energy Service Co., Ltd., Ashiyahama Energy Service Co., Ltd., Rokko Island Energy Service Co., Ltd., Enetec Kyoto Co., Ltd., Enetec Osaka Co., Ltd., Nabari Kintetsu Gas Co., Ltd., Toyooka Energy Co., Ltd., Shingu Gas Ltd. Group Headquarters 8 OG Sports Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Autoservice Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Finance Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Business Create Co., Ltd., Active Life Inc., KRI Inc., Osaka Gas Engineering Co., Ltd., i-support Co., Ltd. Osaka Gas Urban Development Group 3 Osaka Gas Urban Development Co., Ltd., Osaka Gas Facilities Corp., Kyoto Research Park Co., Ltd., OGIS Research Institute Group 6 OGIS-RI Co., Ltd., Sakura Information Systems Co., Ltd., SIS Techno-Service Co., Ltd., JOE Corp., Ltd., Ube Information Systems Inc., System Answer Inc. Osaka Gas Chemicals Group 3 Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd., Minabe Chemical Industries Ltd., Mizusawa Industrial Chemicals, Ltd. Total 64
Response to Water Risks
Appropriate use and discharge of water resources
Water is not a primary material among the products handled by the Osaka Gas Group. However, the Group controls water discharge after using drinking water, industrial-use water and seawater. At power stations, core facilities for its electricity business, the Group uses industrial water as a coolant in a steam turbine condenser, and vaporizes it inside the cooling tower. Drinking water and industrial-use water are also used at LNG terminals, power stations and offices, and discharged into the sea. Seawater, for example, is discharged into the sea after being used mainly at LNG terminals for the vaporization of LNG, not for consumption. At some power stations, seawater is also used as a coolant in a steam turbine condenser. In discharging water after it is used in our industrial activities, we have controlled its quality in line with relevant laws, ordinances and agreements with local municipalities to ensure that chemical substances such as COD, pH, phosphorus and nitrogen are not contained in the water being discharged in excess of the relevant standards. Thanks to such efforts, there were no violations regarding the quality of water being discharged. The Osaka Gas Group sees water as a limited natural resource. We will continue to use water adequately, control its discharge strictly, and promote water saving.
< FY2017 water intake: drinking water and industrial water 11,130,000 m³, groundwater 3,480,000 m³, seawater 586,460,000 m³ >
Soil and Groundwater Conservation
Inspecting soil and groundwater on former coal gas production sites
Complying relevant laws and regulations, Osaka Gas conducts continuing voluntary inspections of former coal gas production sites to determine the risk of soil pollution, and take appropriate measures if necessary. Periodically, we conduct surveys to determine environmental risk. When substances (cyanide, benzene, etc.) were discovered that exceeded the standards of the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law, we followed the guidance of the local government in disposing of contaminated soil and cleaning up the site as necessary.
In case of modifying the soil, we conduct surveys based on relevant laws, and take appropriate measures including disposing of the contaminated soil and carrying out on-site containment of the contaminated soil. Shown below are our soil-conservation efforts. We will continue to take necessary measures based on the Soil Countermeasures Law.
Soil Treatment Work (FY2009-FY2017)
|Former plant site||Work period||Treatment implemented|
|Iwasaki plant site||Apr.-Dec. 2008||Removal by excavation and on-site dissolution of highly|
|Takasago plant site||Oct. 2008-Jan. 2009||Removal by excavation|
|Hikone plant site||May 2010-May 2011||Removal by excavation|
|Hikone plant site||Sep 2011-Sep 2013||Prevention of the spread of contamination by pumping Installation of shielding membrane and permeable underground water treatment membrane|
Information Disclosure on the Research Results of the Former Plant Sites
We are dealing with asbestos in our major facilities, gas appliances and buildings as shown in the following table.
|LNG plants, distribution facilities||Gas appliances and combustion equipment||Buildings of Osaka Gas|
|No asbestos is used in new facilities. Asbestos materials used in existing facilities are properly molded and there is no possibility of them being dispersed under normal conditions. These facilities are replaced with non-asbestos facilities on a phased basis when they are upgraded.||No asbestos is used in new gas appliances and incineration facilities. While asbestos was used in the packing of some gas appliances sold in the past, it will not be dispersed under normal use.||Sprayed asbestos in the building is being removed in a planned manner. No sprayed asbestos is used in open areas in our showrooms and other buildings where we receive customers.|
Violations of Laws and Fines
Abiding by environmental laws
During FY2017, Osaka Gas did not take any administrative sanction due to the violation of environmental-related laws.
Proper management and disposal in line with government policies
The Osaka Gas Group manages the collection and disposal of waste containing PCBs, such as condensers from its group companies. Such waste is handled and disposed of in accordance with methods prescribed under the Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Waste.
Abiding by the law, we completed appropriate disposal of capacitors bigger than 10 kg, in which highly-concentrated PCB oil is used, in FY 2013. Stabilizing equipment is being regularly registered with the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO) to enable disposal as soon as possible. Disposal of low-density PCBs has been systematically outsourced since FY2014 to a certified detoxification facility.
We will continue properly storing and disposing of waste in line with government disposal schedules and guidelines.
Gas Appliance Eco-Design
Conform with all laws and take the environment into consideration such as by restricting the use of chemical substances
July 2006 was the start of the RoHS Directive, which restricts the use of specified substances, such as lead and cadmium, in appliances. Also in July 2006, in Japan the revised Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources went into effect, obligating companies to label products as containing the six substances of the RoHS Directive according to J-MOSS, the JIS standard for the labeling of electrical and electronic products containing chemical substances.
In line with the measures propelled in the automobiles and home appliances sectors, we are working together with gas appliance manufacturers on the development of environmentally-friendly gas appliances and its labeling. Osaka Gas currently does not manufacture or sell gas appliances containing any of the specified substances that require labeling under J-MOSS. Osaka Gas abides by Japanese regulations on chemical substances (the Law Concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture, etc. of Chemical Substances, and the Law for the PRTR and Promotion of Chemical Management). We also engage in independent evaluations of chemical management according to the RoHS Directive and are working to reduce chemical substances outlined therein.
Osaka Gas also works with other industry organizations. We make revisions to the gas and oil appliance environment assessment guidelines based on current circumstances, and exchange information and evaluations with the members of the Japan Industrial Association of Gas and Kerosene Appliances. We will also continue working to meet any changes in the revised Law Concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture, etc. of Chemical Substances, the Energy-Using Products (EuP) Directive and the REACH regulations, and investigate compliance at the industry level. To keep up with the EuP Directive amendment, in FY2014 we accumulated the findings of the European Commission through our overseas affiliate, Osaka Gas UK, Ltd.
Environmental Impact Assessments
Before the Osaka Group makes a new investment or launches a new development project, either in Japan or overseas, we always performs an environmental impact assessment if required to do so by law.
Between 2002 and 2006, for example, at the time of the construction of the Senboku Natural Gas Power Plant, the core facility for the Group's electric power business, we conducted an environmental impact assessment covering the construction (the impact of air pollution, noise, vibration, etc. due to bringing construction materials in and out) and the presence and shared use of land and workpieces (the impact of flora and fauna of geological modifications and the presence of facilities, the impact on air and water quality of exhaust gases and wastewater during the operation of facilities, etc.). We also worked to further reduce environmental impact by taking measures to preserve the environment. These measures included action to prevent air pollution, reduce noise and vibration, and purify wastewater.
Procedures for environmental assessment have started in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act regarding the proposed construction of a new power station in Nishiokinoyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, tentatively called the Nishiokinoyama Power Plant. The construction project has been undertaken by Yamaguchi-Ube Power Generation Co., a company jointly established by Ube Industries, Ltd., Electric Power Development Co. and Osaka Gas. The project envisages adopting the most advanced and highly energy-efficient coal-fired power-generation facilities. Similar environmental assessment procedures are also under way in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act for a new natural gas-based power generation project, tentatively called the “Himeji Natural Gas Power Plant Project,” undertaken by Himeji Natural Gas Generation Co., a joint company between Osaka Gas and Idemitsu Kosan Co. The project plans to introduce the highly energy-efficient gas turbine-combined cycle method.
See below regarding details of the Nishiokinoyama Power Plant and the Himeji Natural Gas Power Plant projects.
When conducting its business, the Osaka Gas Group will observe environment-related laws and regulations. The Group will do all it can to bring the business into harmony with the social and natural environments.