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Reducing Environmental Impact

Activities to Reduce Water Consumption

Brother Group Environmental Vision 2050 formulated

Resource recycling

Toward 2050, the Brother Group will maximize its resource recycling to ensure sustainable use of natural resources and minimize the environmental impact caused by waste.

In March 2018, the Brother Group formulated the Brother Group Environmental Vision 2050 as a new long-term target of the Brother Group to contribute to resolving global environmental issues under the slogan “Brother Earth,” and established a mid-term target for FY2030 as a milestone.

Mid-term target for FY2030

Mechanisms for recycling resources have been established throughout the value chain. Efforts have been made to reduce the amount of new natural resources that are used in main products.

The group’s manufacturing facilities continuously endeavor to ensure efficient use of water resources and proper treatment of wastewater.

  • An excerpt from the Brother Group Environmental Vision 2050

Brother Activities to reduce water consumption in different regions around the world

Enhancing efforts by setting new reduction targets

Securing safe water resources is an important environmental challenge for the global community. The Brother Group has been working to reduce water consumption to fulfill its responsibilities as an operator of manufacturing facilities in many countries and regions. In the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018), a target of reducing water consumption by 30% from FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011) levels by FY2018 (April 1, 2018-March 31, 2019) (per unit of sales) has been set, and various efforts were made to meet this target.

Brother Group’s results of activities in FY2017

In FY2017 (April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018), water conservation activities were promoted across the company to reduce waste. However, water consumption increased by 1.0% (about 8,725 m3) from FY2016 (April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017) due to the increase in production volume at manufacturing facilities and water leakage from deteriorated water pipes at some business sites. Per unit of sales, water consumption decreased by 8.8%. Recently, water issues have attracted much public attention around the world due to the increased water stress and water disasters caused by climate change, tight supply-demand balance due to population increase and economic development, among other factors. These issues may directly affect our business operations in various ways. To assess the water-related risks on business operations at the business sites of the group, Aqueduct (a water risk evaluation tool offered by the World Resources Institute) is used to monitor water-related risks.

The Brother Group remains committed to further implementing measures to save water in FY2018 (April 1, 2018-March 31, 2019) to attain new reduction targets set out in the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018).

Details of the Brother Group's activities in FY2017

Main activities at business sites in Japan

At business sites in Japan, efforts have been made to reduce consumption of clean water by replacing equipment and apparatuses with new ones. When Japanese-style toilets were replaced with Western-style toilets, water-saving toilets were introduced, and conventional Western-style toilets have been replaced with water-saving toilets in stages. Manual basin faucets were replaced with automatic ones, and shower-type faucets were introduced to continuously reduce the water consumption.

Main activities at facilities outside Japan

Activities to reduce water consumption at manufacturing facilities outside Japan started in FY2009 (April 1, 2009-March 31, 2010). Replacement of water-cooled air conditioners with air-cooled air conditioners, advancement of activities through QC circle activities and an extensive review combined with the optimization of water for sinks and toilets, in particular, produced substantial results.
The main water-saving and recycling measures taken by respective business sites are described below.

  • Replacing the faucet valves with lever-type faucet valves that allow the water flow to be easily adjusted. Combined with the introduction of shower-type water-saving devices in faucets to reduce the water flow, this leads to reduced consumption
  • Adjusting the water supply valve opening to minimize the water flow for faucets and toilets and reduce consumption
  • Replacing water-cooled air-conditioning equipment with air-cooled inverter air conditioning equipment in line with energy conservation activities, and preventing the dispersion and evaporation of water in cooling towers to eliminate waste
  • Collecting wastewater drained from central air conditioning and using this wastewater for flushing the factory toilets; Daily water consumption was reduced by 6 m3 (1,440 m3 annually)
  • Improving water injection control and reducing water consumption in the coating process for sewing machine parts
  • Posting the monthly water consumption results on the factory bulletin board to encourage employees to reduce water consumption (This was combined with posters for raising awareness)
  • Reducing the time of the roof leak inspection on container cars (water spraying using a shower) to one minute (with a timer set up); conducting only visual inspections in the case of short-distance transport
  • Reusing water purified by the wastewater treatment facility for the VOC treatment facility

Wastewater treatment facility Wastewater treatment facility VOC treatment facility VOC treatment facility

Changes in water consumption at the Brother Group

30% reduction from FY2010 levels by FY2018 (per unit of sales)

Changes in water consumption at the Brother Group

Scope of aggregation

FY2010 FY2013 FY2014-FY2017
Eight business sites in Japan (head office of Brother Industries, Ltd., Mizuho Manufacturing Facility, Hoshizaki Manufacturing Facility, Minato Manufacturing Facility,*1 Momozono Manufacturing Facility, Kariya Manufacturing Facility, Research & Development Center, and Logistics Center), Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd., Taiwan Brother Industries, Ltd., Zhuhai Brother Industries, Co., Ltd., Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd.,*2 Brother Industries (Shenzhen), Ltd.,*3 Brother Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd., Brother Industries Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.,*4 Brother Industries (Vietnam) Ltd., Nissei Corporation, Mie Brother Precision Industries, Ltd., and Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. Brother Industries Saigon, Ltd. and Brother Industries (Philippines), Inc. were added to the scope of aggregation on the left. Brother Machinery Vietnam Co., Ltd. was added to the scope of aggregation on the left.
  1. The Minato Manufacturing Facility stopped production on September 30, 2017.
  2. Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd. is a business site established through the merger of Xian Brother Industries, Co., Ltd. (formerly Xian Typical Brother Industries, Co., Ltd.) with Brother Sewing Machine Xian Co., Ltd. in 2010. In the same year, Brother Sewing Machine (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. transferred its business to Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd.
  3. Brother Industries (Shenzhen), Ltd. was subject to an absorption-type merger in October 2016, with Brother Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd. as the surviving company.
  4. Brother Industries Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd. terminated its business operations on March 31, 2017.
Material Balance

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