The Asahi Kasei Group's Environmental Contribution Products

What are Environmental Contribution Products?

Under "Cs+ for Tomorrow 2021," our medium-term management initiative, the Asahi Kasei Group is striving for sustainable society based on the concept "Care for People, Care for Earth."
For sustainable society, we believe it is important to develop products and businesses that contribute to reducing the impact of society on the environment in addition to reducing emissions, such as greenhouse gases, at the Group's production sites. The Asahi Kasei Group defines products that contribute to the improvement of the environment over the entire life cycle when compared with products considered to be the standard in the current market and products that contribute to the improvement of the environment when compared with our existing products as Environmental Contribution Products.

The Asahi Kasei Group assesses its products for environmental impact over the entire life cycle (Life Cycle Assessment: LCA). In the past, we have defined and certified products that can contribute to CO2 reduction at the product use stage as global warming conscious products. In view of recent demand for contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from an LCA perspective and the growing importance of reducing environmental impacts in areas other than greenhouse gases, such as risks to water, the Asahi Kasei Group formulated Guidelines for Environmental Contribution Products* in January 2019 in a revision of the contribution of products to reducing environmental impact including CO2.

  • In preparing the guidelines, we referred to Guidelines for Assessing the Contribution of Products to Avoided Greenhouse Gas Emissions, The Institute of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan, Guideline for Calculating the Reduction in CO2 Emissions, Japan Chemical Industry Association, Guideline for Quantifying GHG Emission Reduction Contribution, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other reference materials.
Asahi Kasei's core technologies+Environmental issues to be addressed→Environmental Contribution Products→Contributing to sustainable society

In making the abovementioned calculations, we use MiLCA, an LCA tool provided by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry.

What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?

Although CO2 is generated during the manufacture of materials and intermediate products in the Asahi Kasei Group, there are also many examples of products which contribute to improving the environment by reducing environmental impact, including CO2, during use considering the entire product life cycle, such as contributions to energy conservation.
The evaluation of the environmental impact of products over their entire life cycle is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Assessing environmental impact (CO2, etc.) of the entire life cycle, Raw material extraction→Manufacture→Distribution→Use→Disposal

Internal Certification Process

Strategic business units and core operating companies propose products for internal certification. The Asahi Kasei Group receives advice from a third-party organization on the suitability of the environmental contribution calculation methodology and approach from an LCA perspective for the proposed products, and defines products that have been internally certified as Environmental Contribution Products.
We also receive advice on the appropriateness of the calculations of contributions to reductions from outside experts when reviewing certifications.

Internal Certification Process: Proposer→Secretariat→Internal screening→LCA Review Panel, Management Council, etc. Proposer←→Advisory, Secretariat←→Advisory

[LCA Review Panel] (held July 19, 2019)

Chair
:Atsushi Inaba (Professor, Kogakuin University)
Members
:Kensuke Kobayashi (Associate Professor, Prefectural University of Hiroshima)
:Keigo Matsuda (Associate Professor, Yamagata University)
:Hiroyuki Uchida (Senior Consultant, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc.)

At the LCA Review Panel, Asahi Kasei Group personnel explain the details of calculations and receive comments and advice from the outside experts on the suitability of the establishment of baselines and the approach to contribution to reductions.