Back-casting is a thinking method in which action is taken based on a strategy deemed necessary with the aim of attaining a desirable future goal. The method is designed to provide solutions to problems that are impossible to be solved under traditional approaches or thinking by envisaging an ideal future and working backwards to formulate measures that can make up for the gap with the present situation.
Because a ship is more prone to capsize when it carries less cargo, water is pumped into an unloaded cargo ship to provide stability. This water, serving as a counterweight, is called ballast. Water used as ballast is called ballast water, which is usually taken from coastal port areas. It is concerned that the contained organisms in the ballast water could be non-native species and thus may harm the ecological system of the seawater in the next port of call area when it is discharged.
Biogas is a combustible gas derived by methane fermentation of anaerobic microorganisms in organic waste such as raw garbage, livestock manure and sewage sludge. The principal components of biogas are methane and carbon dioxide. It is an unused renewable energy source, of which efficient use is expected to contribute to the mitigation of global warming.
Boiler operating efficiency
Overall boiler efficiency after long-term use, which takes into account load changes when the boiler is switched on or off.
Business continuity plan (BCP)
BCP is a plan or management strategy aimed at preventing business interruption in the event of a disaster or enabling the recovery of important corporate functions within a targeted time period even if business comes to a halt.
Carbon offset is the concept of offsetting CO2 or other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from homes or businesses by investing in projects such as afforestation, forest conservation and clean energy businesses that reduce greenhouse gases. In carbon offset products, an amount is added to the price and this added amount is donated to greenhouse gas reduction projects. By purchasing such products, consumers can indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.
Carbon pricing is a method of charging parties who emit greenhouse gas (GHG) including CO2. The pricing is designed to reduce GHG emissions by having business corporations and households shoulder the cost of emissions the public pays according to the amount of their emissions. Carbon pricing takes the form either of a carbon tax, levied on emitters in proportion to the amount of their CO2 emissions deriving mainly from the use of fossil-based fuels, and emissions trading, a method to control CO2 emissions through the trading of surplus or deficit emissions permits between countries or business corporations.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
An arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol in which developed countries support developing countries with technologies or investment that contribute to greenhouse gas reduction, and a portion of the reduction is counted as reduction by the developed countries. Defined under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol.
Cleaning up the site
A method that conducts on-site purification without excavating contaminated soil.
CO2 Emissions from Energy Consumption
CO2 generated and emitted associated with the burning and use of fuel.
Coefficient of performance (COP)
COP represents cooling and heating abilities by 1 kW of electricity consumption capacity. It is a coefficient showing energy consumption efficiency.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
CNG is usually stored in a pressure-resistant container for transportation and storage.
A type of ultra-light crude oil that exhibits similar characteristics to naphtha and gasoline.
Cryogenic power generation
Osaka Gas imports LNG, that is natural gas liquefied in producing countries. This LNG is a liquid with a temperature of minus 160 degrees Celsius, and when it vaporizes back into natural gas it absorbs heat from the surroundings giving it cooling properties (cryogenic energy). This energy is equivalent to about 240 kWh of electricity per ton of LNG. Recovering this as kinetic energy and using it for power generation is referred to as cryogenic power generation.
Demand response represents efforts by the demand side or electricity users to strike a supply-demand balance of electricity by saving their power consumption.
Digester gas is made by anaerobic fermentation in sewage sludge where no oxygen exists. It is mainly composed of methane and CO2.
A structure set up around an LNG tank to prevent the spread of LNG in the vicinity of the tank in the event of a leak.
Diversity & inclusion
A business policy and management strategy that was evolved among companies in the U.S. The original concept was to accept and respect difference in gender, race and ethnicity thereby creating new values achieving business growth.
Double Power Generation
Double power generation is an electricity-generation system combining gas cogeneration and solar power-based electricity generation.
Downstream business mainly refers to operations at LNG terminals, the generation of electricity, distribution and sale of gas and power, and energy services. The downstream business Osaka Gas is currently involved in overseas are the IPP business in North America, and retail gas sales and energy services in Southeast Asia.
It is a process recommended to businesses by which businesses avoid and address adverse impacts in terms of economic, environmental and social progress associated with their operations, their supply chains and other business relationships.
A comprehensive interacting relationship between living organisms in a specific area and the surrounding non-living environment.
Environmental management system (EMS)
“Environmental management system” means the process by which a company works towards environmental protection by establishing environmental policies and voluntary targets, as well as systems and procedures to implement the policies and achieve the targets. The system and procedures for this are collectively called EMS.
“Ethnicity” is a term that indicates an individual's particular group based on language, customs, region, religion, family background or physical characteristics. More narrowly, ethnicity can be translated as “being ethnic.” “Ethnicity” is used more broadly than "being ethnic" since the former is used when an individual belongs to a particular group according to more diverse and wider elements concerning his or her belonging.
The earth, sand, and asphalt that are dug up when gas pipes are constructed under roads or when gas pipes are moved.
FIT stands for feed-in-tariff. FIT is a mechanism designed to spread the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind power by obliging utility companies to purchase such energy sources from renewable energy producers at fixed rates set by the state for a certain period. FIT electricity is electricity generated using renewable energy sources purchased under this mechanism.
Gas cogeneration system
An energy-efficient system that runs on city gas, generating the power and heat where they are used such as homes and businesses, and using the waste heat from the system to heat or cool the air, or to heat water. Electricity is generated by kinetic energy from gas engines and gas turbines, and by fuel cells, which are powered by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Two types of energy, electricity and heat, are generated from these systems fueled by a single energy source.
Gas pipeline service business
Business of supplying gas using specified pipelines of which maintenance and operation are consigned by the company.
The pipes that make up the pipeline for the delivery of gas to customers. There are three types of gas pipes depending on the pressure of the gas running through them: high-, medium-, and low-pressure gas pipes. The gas that leaves LNG terminals flow through a high-pressure pipeline. A pressure regulator adjusts the pressure to medium- and low-pressure levels before the gas is delivered to our customers through a low-pressure pipeline.
Gas turbine combined cycle power generation method
A high-efficiency power generation method in which gas turbines and steam turbines are combined. City gas, mixed with compressed air, is combusted in the burner, and the pressure generated by the combustion drives a turbine to generate electricity. Next, the heat of the exhaust gas from the turbine is used to generate high-pressure steam in a waste-heat collecting boiler, and this steam drives a steam turbine to generate electricity. This use of heat from the exhaust gas gives the gas turbine combined cycle method a high power generating efficiency.
It is a facility that plays a role in protecting and preserving the resources called genes, as well as increasing the number of individuals to restore the population of the natural habitat. It is mainly intended for wild plants that are threatened with extinction and those that are rapidly decreasing.
GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Protocol
GHG protocol is guidelines established by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) that set out the philosophy and rules for calculating greenhouse gas emission and reduction amounts.
Greenhouse gas (GHG)
GHG refers to gases in the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the earth's surface. The Kyoto Protocol defines seven greenhouse gases whose emissions should be reduced; which are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.
GRI Standards are sustainability reporting standards developed by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international nongovernmental organization (NGO), with the aim of attaining sustainable social development through promoting the compilation of policy measures and policy plans by business corporations, and stepped up efforts to take specific actions to implement the measures and plans. Under the GRI Standards, business corporations are required to identify significant impacts that their activities are expected to have on the economy, environment and society, and report such impacts to the GRI as materiality items. The initial edition of the GRI Guidelines was issued in 2000. The guidelines were revised several times before shifting to the GRI Standards in 2016. Companies are required to disclose “general disclosure items” and “management approach” under universal standards, and items identified as “materiality,” chosen from “economy,” “environment” and “society” under item-by-item standards. GRI Standards, officially called GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, were issued on July 1, 2018.
Higher heating value (HHV)
HHV is amount of heat released when fuel undergoes full combustion, which includes the latent heat of condensation of water vapor generated (heating value used to transform vapor into water).
Home energy management system (HEMS)
HEMS contributes to residents' energy saving with features such as visualization of energy consumption, giving energy advice to residents and automatic control of various housing services.
Hydrogen filling station
A facility that provides hydrogen to vehicles running on fuel cells. Hydrogen is a super-clean energy since it emits no CO2, a greenhouse gas, during combustion. Osaka Gas utilizes the technology it has developed in order to increase the number of hydrogen filling stations.
Independent power producer (IPP)
IPP is a private entity that generates electricity and sells to power companies. Under revisions to Japan's Electricity Utilities Industry Act in 1995, IPPs can take part in competitive bidding with power companies.
An international environmental management system (EMS) standard set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The aim of the standard is to continuously improve the level of environmental management through the PDCA cycle of Plan, Do, Check, and Act. Under the ISO system, renewal audits are to be carried out every three years.
An international standard on social responsibility, published in November 2010 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Toward building a sustainable, equal and fair society worldwide, ISO 26000 provides all types of organizations with practical guidance on social responsibility across issues such as human rights and environmental protection. The standard was developed through a multi-stakeholder approach, involving more than 600 experts from 99 countries and 42 regional organizations representing various sectors.
CO2 emission reductions achieved by small and medium-sized companies through the introduction of high-efficiency equipment are converted into credits and are purchased by large companies. The scheme, called the J-Credit system, is designed to cut CO2 emissions in Japan.
LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (transsexual). Transgender (Transsexual) is a term referring to people whose gender identity does not match their assigned sex determined legally, biologically and socially or people who choose to live independently of conventional labels of sexual orientation. The term “sexual minority” is used in a similar manner and is interchangeable with "LGBT."
LNG is an abbreviation for Liquefied Natural Gas. LNG is produced by cooling natural gas, which is mostly methane (CH4), to approximately minus 160 degrees Celsius to form a liquid. The resultant volume of the LNG will be about 1/600 that of the original natural gas. Natural gas is liquefied in the producing countries, such as Indonesia and in the Middle and Near East, and transported to consuming countries by LNG tankers. Japan is the largest LNG importer in the world.
Lower heating value (LHV)
LHV is the amount of heat released when the fuel undergoes full combustion, which excludes the latent heat of condensation of water vapor generated (heating value used to transform vapor into water).
Osaka Gas' “Green Distribution Policy” encourages to use low-pollution vehicles throughout its business operations. Low-pollution vehicles include natural gas vehicles, bi-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, methanol vehicles, or vehicles certified as having low levels of fuel consumption and emissions (vehicle types for which automobile taxes are reduced due to their low environmental impact status) and new-generation vehicles of lower pollution level, such as fuel cell vehicles.
LPG stands for liquefied petroleum gas. LPG is mainly composed of propane or butane. LPG becomes liquid when cooled to minus 42 degrees Celsius. When liquefied, LPG becomes one-250th the volume of the gas.
“Materiality” means important aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Some aspects of corporate activities are important for the company and other aspects for society. Identifying aspects that are important for both the company and society is called identifying the materiality. Identifying materiality is an important process in deciding a company's priority items.
Methane is one of the seven greenhouse gases marked for emissions reduction during the second commitment period (starting in 2013) of the Kyoto Protocol. The seven greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride. Major sources of methane include sites for final disposal of organic waste, swamp bottoms, body waste from livestock, and the anaerobic breakdown process of sewage sludge.
Gas cogeneration system of up to 100 kW of generation capacity.
Mobile gas-generating facility
A mobile facility aimed at providing gas to meet spot demand, with gas generated using compressed natural gas or propane gas filled inside the cylinder installed at the facility. This mobile facility is deployed in the event of emergencies such as earthquakes to provide city gas to public facilities including hospitals and welfare homes for the elderly.
Native seedlings are those that have been grown from locally gathered seeds. One of the important points is that their production process is clarified.
Natural gas vehicle (NGV)
NGV is a vehicle equipped with a natural gas-powered engine.
In a once-through boiler water is supplied to a pipe and steam is produced from the other end. The boiler can produce steam quickly because it is compact and not much water remains in the pipe of the boiler.
Once-through boilers are categorized into three types, which are regular boilers, small-sized boilers and compact boilers, according to the maximum pressure used and the width of the heat transfer area. Compact once-through boilers are the smallest of the three types. They require no operating license.
A method for containing soil on-site that does not meet the environmental criteria by means of diaphragm (water-blocking) walls or other devices.
OSHMS stands for occupational safety and health management system. OSHMS is aimed at enhancing workers' safety and health at work sites by establishing a system that can manage their safety and health continuously and according to plan.
Peak demand cut
Responding to power shortages, changing the settings for home appliances and avoiding the use of electricity during peak times can contribute to energy savings and reduction in peak demand.
A system of continuous fixed, above-ground or below-ground pipes that transport gas to its destination. An efficient network of gas pipelines, consisting of a high pressure trunk pipeline and medium and low pressure gas lines, which has been developed in line with our long-term supply plans developed to meet the growing demand for gas.
Polyethylene (PE) pipes
Polyethylene (PE) pipes used for underground installation. They are flexible and highly resistant to earthquakes. PE pipes were confirmed quake-resistant because they were not damaged by the Great Hanshin Earthquake. PE pipes also have an excellent corrosion-resistance for underground use.
Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)
PEFC is a type of fuel cells that uses a polymer film as the electrolyte. Hydrogen is ionized and the hydrogen ions pass through the electrolyte, reacting with oxygen and generating electricity.
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
PRI are principles launched in 2006 by the UN Secretary General at the time, Kofi Annan. They were established through a joint collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the United Nations Global Compact to ensure institutional investors take environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into account in investment decisions.
Under the PRTR (Pollutant Release and Transfer Register) system, companies handling more than a certain amount of specified chemical substances are obligated to report the amount of such chemicals to the regulating authorities. This system was made into a law in Japan in 1999 “Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof,” (generally called the PRTR Law). The PRTR Law lists 462 class 1 designated chemical substances.
Rated boiler output efficiency
The rate of absorption of heat by the steam generated against the total quantity of heat supplied to the boiler during rated output.
Natural energy sources that can be used over and over, such as sunlight, wind power, hydropower, wave power, and geothermal power, as well as body waste from livestock, wood scraps, and plant oil-based biomass (organic resources).
Replacing pipes without excavation
This is a method of burying polyethylene (PE) pipes in which only each end of the construction stretch is excavated. Not only does this these methods result in less excavated soil, it they also reduces the impediment of traffic around the construction site.
“Resilience/Resilient” is a term that means easily being able to return to an original shape after being bent with great force. The term has recently been applied to the ability of the Japanese government to respond to the risks of major natural disasters, such as an expected huge earthquake in central Tokyo and an expected powerful earthquake in the Nankai Trough that runs off central and western Japan, emphasized in the country’s policy of national resilience. It is considered imperative for Japan to establish a strong and flexible social infrastructure able to minimize possible damage from natural disasters and enable the speedy recovery and rehabilitation from such damage.
Reverse power output flow
A situation in which redundant power output from distributed electric sources, such as solar power and cogeneration systems, are flowed back into commercial power distribution networks.
Sand blasting occurs when high-pressure fluid is blown out from a water pipe buried underground. Sand particles blown off by the water squirting out of the pipe hit the gas pipe buried adjacent to the water pipe, and wear down and break through the gas pipe wall, and eventually water penetrates into the gas pipe.
Scope of supply chain/ value chain
Natural gas produced from shale, which is a sedimentary rock made of mud. There are abundant shale gas deposits in many parts of the world. The U.S. is active in shale gas production. Shale gas is the focus of global attention as another promising source.
Shallow pipe installation method
A method of placing pipes shallow underground. Like the Vermeer method, this method reduces the amount of excavated soil generated when burying gas pipes.
Socially responsible investment (SRI)
In SRI whether or not the company has fulfilled its social responsibility becomes an important factor for investment decision as well as conventional financial analysis. Elements of corporate social responsibility include the environment, society (observance of laws, protection of human rights, addressing labor issues, responding to consumer needs and regional contribution), and corporate governance.
Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
SOFC is a type of fuel cells that uses ceramic as the electrolyte. The oxygen is ionized and the oxygen ions pass through the electrolyte, reacting with hydrogen and generating electricity. A unique feature of SOFCs is that they can use carbon monoxide (CO) as well.
Supply chain (upstream)
In this report, supply chain refers to business activities on the upstream side (resource procurement, etc.). Supply chain management is concerned with the management of business activities on the upstream side to enhance added value of products and services.
TCFD stands for Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.TCFD was established by the Financial Stability Board in 2015 to discuss how the financial sector can take account of climate-related issues. In 2017, it issued a report (TCFD Recommendations) to support and encourage corporate information disclosure related to climate change.
United Nations Global Compact
This is an initiative proposed by then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the 1999 World Economic Forum, which calls for businesses to observe 10 principles concerning human rights, labor, the environment, and the anti-corruption.
Energy previously not made use of; for example, household wastewater, industrial water and sewage water, river and ocean water, waste heat from substations and factories, and waste heat from the cooling and heating systems of subways and underground malls.
Upstream business mainly includes obtaining concessions for gas fields for natural gas projects, and gas development projects. Osaka Gas currently engages in such development projects in Australia, U. S. A., Papua New Guinea, and so on.
Value chain (upstream/downstream)
In this report, value chain refers to thorough business activities from the upstream side including procurement of resources to the downstream side including consumption at customers' sites.