Global Brother Environmental Activities Reducing Environmental Impact

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Reducing Environmental Impact

CO2 Emission Reduction Activities

Continuously implementing energy conservation measures based on the mid-term targets by FY2020

As a global company developing its business in different countries and regions across the world, the Brother Group recognizes its commitment to prevent global warming as a top priority to be addressed. In June 2009, CO2 reduction targets to be achieved by FY2020 were added to the Brother Group Mid-term Environmental Action Plan, and active efforts have been made to achieve those targets.

The Brother Group's CO2 emissions in Japan come mainly from electricity used by offices, while the group's CO2 emissions overseas are attributed mainly to the use of electricity and fuel at factories and offices. The Brother Group establishes targets for each fiscal year as milestones  to reduce CO2 emissions, and has been continuously implementing energy conservation measures to increase the efficiency of air conditioning and lighting, and ensure the efficient operation of production equipment at factories.

Mid-term targets by FY2020 (April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021)

  • (1) Cut total CO2 emissions by 30% from FY1990 levels at eight business sites in Japan*1 by FY2020 (absolute value)
  • (2) Cut CO2 emissions by 20% (per unit of sales) from FY2006 levels at manufacturing facilities outside Japan (except the USA)*2 by FY2020
  • *1: The eight business sites in Japan are the head office of Brother Industries, Ltd., Mizuho Manufacturing Facility, Hoshizaki Manufacturing Facility, Minato Manufacturing Facility, Momozono Manufacturing Facility, Kariya Manufacturing Facility, Research & Development Center, and Logistics Center.
  • *2: USA (a manufacturing facility outside Japan) constitutes part of a sales facility. Thus, the CO2 emissions are included in the results of the sales facility.

Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018) and achievements in FY2016

Eight business sites in Japan

To achieve the mid-term targets by FY2020, the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018)  set the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 28% (1% per annum) (absolute value) by FY2018 (April 1, 2018-March 31, 2019) from FY1990 levels.
In FY2016 (April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017), various energy conservation measures were implemented, including extensive energy conservation (depending on the level of operation) at all the factories, replacement with state-of-the-art air-conditioning systems, and the use of LEDs for ceiling lights. As a result, emissions were reduced by 137 tons from FY2015 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016) levels in CO2 equivalent, and by 28.4% from FY1990 (November 21, 1989-November 20, 1990) levels (absolute value), though electricity and city gas consumption increased due to the completion and commencement of operation of a new building at the Kariya Manufacturing Facility. Thus, the Brother Group successfully achieved the target.
Regarding CO2 emissions, the emissions coefficient as defined in the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures (Japanese Ministry of the Environment) is used to calculate the emissions.

Mid-term targets by FY2020 and changes in CO2 emissions from eight business sites in Japan (absolute value)

Mid-term targets by FY2020 and changes in CO2 emissions from eight business sites in Japan (absolute value)

Manufacturing facilities outside Japan (except the USA)

The mid-term targets by FY2020 were attained in FY2013 (April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014). Thus, the targets for the entire group have been applied.

Entire Brother Group

The mid-term targets by FY2020 for manufacturing facilities outside Japan (except the USA) were attained. Thus, target facilities and new reduction targets (covering more gases than before) have been specified in the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018) .
The target has been expanded to all the facilities of the group, and target gases subject to reduction have been increased to seven greenhouse gases including CO2.
The greenhouse gas emissions are converted to CO2 equivalent, and the reduction target is 1% per annum per unit of sales.
In FY2016, the conventional energy conservation activities were deployed globally to reduce the CO2 emissions from energy use. Meanwhile, a survey was conducted to determine the greenhouse gas emissions from the entire group. It was found that some solvents used at manufacturing facilities outside Japan emitted greenhouse gases. These solvents have been replaced in stages with those that do not emit greenhouse gases. These two measures achieved a reduction of 7.4% per annum, far exceeding the target value. To calculate the CO2 emissions, emission factors of respective countries published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the GHG Protocol are used for electricity and fuel, respectively.

Entire value chain

In FY2013, the Brother Group started calculations for Scopes 1 and 2  based on the GHG Protocol (a globally used standard). In FY2014 (April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015), the Brother Group started to calculate Scope 3  to determine the CO2 emissions from the entire value chain. The calculations are in accordance with the provisions of ISO 14064-1 .
To verify the calculation results, the Brother Industries, Ltd. is subject to verification by a third-party organization, starting with the calculation results for Scopes 1, 2, and 3 in FY2014. In FY2016, calculations were performed using two methods (location-based method*1 and market-based method*2) in accordance with the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance released in January 2015.

  • *1: The location-based method aims to perform calculations based on the grid-average emission factors in a certain area such as a country or region. The choice of low-carbon electricity is not reflected.
  • *2: The market-based method aims to perform calculations based on the emission factors of electricity purchased by companies in accordance with contracts. The choice of low-carbon electricity is reflected.

Conceptual diagram of Scopes 1-3

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on ISO 14064 (Scopes 1, 2, and 3)

Category CO2 emissions in t-CO2 equivalent Remarks
FY2015 FY2016 Increase/
decrease value
Scope 1 (t-CO2): direct emissions Scope 1 (t-CO2): direct emissions 33,115 27,350 -5,765  
Scope 2 (t-CO2): indirect emissions from energy use Scope 2 (t-CO2): indirect emissions from energy use 104,426 Location-based:
105,379
953  
Market-based:
100,143
-  
Scope 3 (t-CO2): other indirect emissions Scope 3 (t-CO2): other indirect emissions 2,846,999 2,693,479 -153,520  
  C1 C1 Purchased goods and services 1,281,236 1,229,363 -51,873  
C2 C2 Capital goods 96,858 59,849 -37,009  
C3 C3 Fuel- and energy-related activities 9,826 10,297 471  
C4 C4 Upstream transport and distribution 76,240 86,629 10,389  
C5 C5 Waste generated in operations 3,012 3,357 345  
C6 C6 Business travel 5,722 4,895 -827  
C7 C7 Employee commuting 13,742 14,326 584  
C8 C8 Upstream leased assets 5,942 4,312 -1,630  
C9 C9 Downstream transport and distribution 15,586 18,238 2,652  
   C10 Processing of sold products - - - No calculation target
C11 C11 Use of sold products 1,219,366 1,147,364 -72,002  
C12 C12 End-of-life treatment of sold products 117,739 113,119 -4,620  
C13 C13 Downstream leased assets 1,729 1,729 0  
   C14 Franchises - - - No calculation target
   C15 Investments - - - No calculation target
Total of Scopes 1, 2, and 3 2,984,540 Location-based:
2,826,208
-158,332  
Market-based:
2,820,972
-  
  • *:   The sources of emission factors for the location-based method are as follows:
    • IEA - CO2 EMISSIONS FROM FUEL COMBUSTION 2015 edition
    • GHG Protocol - Calculation tools
    • DEFRA
GHG emissions results in FY2016

Statement for verification by a third party organization

Statement for verification by a third party organization
LRQA assurance statement
 View the PDF [PDF/164KB]

For the scope of aggregation for Scopes 1, 2, and 3, refer to the history of audit in compliance with ISO 14064-1 .

Brother Industries, Ltd. (Japan)

At Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL), divisions that own equipment, the general affairs division, and the environmental division reviewed management standards for power-intensive equipment including: lighting and air-conditioning equipment, humidifiers, clean rooms, compressors, and constant temperature/humidity chambers. They identified locations that required improvements through energy conservation patrols and other means, to enhance electricity/energy conservation activities.
Since 2011 when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, business sites of BIL have been working on the following electricity/energy conservation activities, by taking supply-demand measures in cooperation with the electric supply companies and cutting peak electricity demand in summer.

LED fluorescent lamps and canopy switches
LED fluorescent lamps and canopy switches
Double-pane glass window sashes (interior side of windows)
Double-pane glass window sashes (interior side of windows)
  • Cool Biz (no tie or jacket worn in summer)
  • Switching off the lights of advertising towers at business sites (activity continuing at the head office building and the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility)
  • Ensuring to observe air-conditioning temperature settings (summer: 28°C, winter: 20°C)
  • Introducing the most efficient LED fluorescent lamps
  • Removing ceiling lights where possible and installing individual canopy (string) switches
  • Switching off lights where unnecessary
  • Setting the illuminance levels for lighting in common spaces to the necessary minimum (e.g., corridors, passages, elevator halls, stairwells) and adjusting the occupancy sensor timer settings to reduce the duration in which lights are on
  • Eliminating the use of air conditioning in common spaces (e.g., corridors, passages, elevator halls, stairwells)
  • Unplugging or switching off the main power of power strips for office equipment (e.g., PCs, LED monitors) when employees go home
  • Requiring employees to submit special air-conditioning area applications to use rooms with temperature settings different from the standard setting, and reflecting such requirements in the ISO 14001  work instruction sheets as necessary
  • Switching off toilet seat heaters (in summer)
  • Reducing the number of hours in which tea dispensers are available and reducing the number of hot water dispensers
  • Adjusting the hot water temperatures of electric water heaters (in winter) (switching off in summer)
Photovoltaic power generation system expanded at the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility
Photovoltaic power generation system expanded at the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility

In FY2014 (April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015), at some offices, double-pane glass window sashes (retrofitted units) were installed on the interior side of existing windows, and proved to be highly effective for thermal insulation in summer and winter. These sashes were introduced extensively from FY2015 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016) to FY2016 to help create a comfortable office environment by reducing air-conditioning load, decreasing workplace discomfort (e.g. too hot or too cold), and reducing noise from outside. The measure has been well-received by employees.
In June 2014, the photovoltaic power generation system was expanded at the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility. At present, two photovoltaic power generation systems are in place at the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility and one at the Kariya Manufacturing Facility (a generation capacity of about 100 kW each). The total annual power generation of these three systems was 339 MWh in FY2016. The total power generation after installation of these systems added up to 2,950 MWh.

In FY2016, at the Kariya Manufacturing Facility, compressors for generating compressed air for the production process were rearranged, a unit controller was introduced to consolidate the compressors, the piping was reconfigured into a loop to minimize the pressure drop at the terminal, and the number of compressors in operation was reduced from 13 to 7. As a result, the CO2 emissions were reduced by about 230 tons in FY2016 compared to FY2015. The consolidation of compressors and rearrangement of piping into a loop will also be implemented at other manufacturing facilities in FY2017 (April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018).
At the Mizuho Manufacturing Facility, a batch control and monitoring system was introduced for air conditioners, total heat exchangers, and humidifiers to help achieve the CO2 emissions reduction target. In FY2016, the seventh monitoring station was installed, making it possible to monitor the operation status of all the air conditioners (except for part of the manufacturing facility).
At the Momozono Manufacturing Facility, an electricity monitoring system was installed in the power receiving and transforming room. The monitoring has been enabled at six business sites in total (head office building, Research & Development Center, Mizuho Manufacturing Facility, Hoshizaki Manufacturing Facility, Kariya Manufacturing Facility, and Momozono Manufacturing Facility).

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Nissei Corporation (Japan)

When adding air compressors, Nissei Corporation introduces inverter-driven air compressors (that automatically reduce the motor speed when the demand for compressed air is low) to save energy, because ordinary air compressors consume a large amount of electricity. To reduce unnecessary operation due to air leakage while compressed air is used, the air piping is inspected and repaired periodically. For equipment that is likely to cause an air leakage, operation rules have been changed to remove the couplers for air piping whenever it is not used. To reduce the electricity consumed by lighting, LED lamps were installed, and lighting fixtures were removed where unnecessary, among other initiatives.

In FY2016, the overall die cast process was reviewed by eliminating the aluminum melting furnace and replacing it with a melting and holding furnace. Energy conservation measures were implemented by introducing inverter compressors. As a result, CO2 emissions were reduced by 325 tons.

Melting and holding furnace

Melting and holding furnace

Newly-introduced inverter compressor

Newly-introduced inverter compressor

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Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd. (Asia)

Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd. built a new manufacturing facility, and transferred production from the old manufacturing facility in FY2013. The new facility was designed to give priority to energy conservation to minimize CO2 emissions from the outset. Extensive energy conservation activities have been continuously implemented.

Energy conservation feature Details
Natural lighting Roof windows are provided, and lighting is controlled by sensors depending on the indoor illuminance.
Thermal insulation The walls and roofs are thermally insulated to reduce (i) heat transmitted to the interior (solar radiation heat and outdoor heat) and (ii) heat radiated from the interior to the exterior, thus reducing unnecessary electricity consumed by air conditioning.
Total heat exchanger In the production areas that require temperature control, the outdoor air is taken in via a total heat exchanger to reduce the air-conditioning load and hence electricity consumption.
Dirivent fan The fan produces a strong air stream to spread the hot air from the heater in the manufacturing facility, achieving a uniform temperature in the working area.
Highly efficient lighting equipment The most efficient fluorescent lamps at the time of construction were installed.
Automatic lighting using occupancy sensors In areas used by many people for short periods of time (e.g. bathrooms, stairways, break rooms, and changing rooms), occupancy sensors automatically switch the lights on and off, avoiding forgetting to turn off the lights.
Integrated management system An integrated management system automatically turns off the air conditioning and lighting when and where unnecessary (e.g. during breaks and after work).

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Brother Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd. (Asia)

In FY2015, Brother Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd. started to implement the energy conservation measures given below to reduce the electricity consumption.

  • Reviewed the layout of the manufacturing area and office, reduced space and the number of equipment, and cut power consumption
  • Reduced the number of compressors in operation by one by connecting the compressed air piping for two separate buildings
  • Reduced the number of air compressors in operation during the nighttime when the production load is small
  • Installed power switches at readily accessible positions, so that electrical equipment in the production line is turned off at the end of production
  • Halved the number of test runs for maintenance inspections of generators (from twice every two weeks to once every two weeks)

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Brother Industries (Vietnam) Ltd. (Asia)

Brother Industries (Vietnam) Ltd. implemented the following energy conservation measures and reduced electricity consumption.

  • Installed lamps for illuminating the table for the product appearance quality inspection, and reduced the fluorescent lamps for ceiling lighting where unnecessary
  • Lowered the air pressure of air compressors and reduced the electricity consumption
  • Applied thermal insulation coating on the roof of the electric room to eliminate the air conditioner for temperature control
  • Replaced about 2,500 energy-efficient fluorescent lamps with LEDs and reduced electricity consumption

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Brother Industries (Philippines), Inc. (Asia)

Chiller pump
Chiller pump
Inverter control console
Inverter control console

Brother Industries (Philippines), Inc. implemented the following energy conservation measures for air conditioning and reduced electricity consumption.

  • Modified the air-conditioning chiller pump to attain inverter control, and reduced the pump speed without affecting the air-conditioning function (about 30 t-CO2 reduced per annum)
  • Reduced the number of air-conditioning chillers in the specific area (which operated on holidays) from two to one (about 100 t-CO2 reduced per annum)
  • Reviewed the areas air-conditioned at night
  • Identified the air-conditioning overcapacity areas based on the temperature control standard and reduced the number of air conditioners operated
  • Rigorously applied the standard for managing the air-conditioning temperature

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Ongoing energy conservation activities at sales facilities

Energy conservation activities below are underway at offices and service centers of the Brother Group sales companies.

  • Conventional lamps are being replaced with energy-efficient LED lamps
  • Lights are being switched off and removed whenever and wherever unnecessary, and lighting fixtures fitted with sensors are being introduced
  • Temperature settings and timers of air-conditioning equipment are being reviewed
  • Power is being switched off when it is unnecessary
  • PCs are being set to standby mode and equipment is being switched off.
LED lamps used in the showroom, service center, and officeLED lamps used in the showroom, service center, and office

LED lamps used in the showroom, service center, and office

Independent switches were added to reduce power consumption. The temperature settings of air-conditioning equipment were reviewed. Lights were switched off and removed whenever and wherever unnecessary.Independent switches were added to reduce power consumption. The temperature settings of air-conditioning equipment were reviewed. Lights were switched off and removed whenever and wherever unnecessary.Independent switches were added to reduce power consumption. The temperature settings of air-conditioning equipment were reviewed. Lights were switched off and removed whenever and wherever unnecessary.

Independent switches were added to reduce power consumption.
The temperature settings of air-conditioning equipment were reviewed.
Lights were switched off and removed whenever and wherever unnecessary.

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Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) (North America)

Photovoltaic power generation systems set up at two locations
Photovoltaic power generation systems set up at two locations
Photovoltaic power generation systems set up at two locations

In 2012, the logistics center of Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) (BIC (USA)) in Tennessee was certified under the International ENERGY STAR program* for the following energy/electricity conservation activities in particular.

  • Introducing an automatic lighting control system
  • Introducing an air-conditioning control system (closed loop control type)
  • Introducing thermal insulation measures for roofs and windows
  • Introducing two photovoltaic power generation systems (power generation capacity of each: about 60 kW)

The electricity generated by two photovoltaic power generation systems added up to 163 MWh in FY2016 (about 2.0% of the total electricity consumption at this site).

Ceiling equipment in the warehouse area / extra-large fan
Ceiling equipment in the warehouse area / Ceiling fan
Ceiling equipment in the warehouse area
Ceiling fan (left) and extra-large fan (right)

In the warehouse area, extra-large fans and ceiling fans were fixed to the ceiling to keep employees cooler in summer. In winter, warm air is circulated on the floor surface to increase the heating efficiency and reduce fuel consumed by the boiler.

  • *:   In the U.S., a building program (covering all types of corporate buildings) is in place for certification under the International ENERGY STAR program.

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Efforts in logistics

Efforts in Japan

In Japan, the New Comprehensive Program of Logistics Policies (2009-2013) was approved at a government cabinet meeting in July 2009. This program takes into consideration the trend of measures against global warming and includes targets to achieve logistics with less environmental impact. Systematic and comprehensive efforts have been made to develop logistics measures.
The Brother Group has been reviewing delivery routes and adjusting the delivery service frequency, etc. as necessary to increase the efficiency of logistics in Japan. The logistics network was rearranged to unload products shipped from manufacturing facilities outside Japan (including those in China and ASEAN countries) at the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Osaka, which are closely located to large market areas, instead of the Port of Nagoya, which had been used before. In addition, some products are unloaded at the Port of Yokohama, which is close to customers and the group also delivers products from warehouses in Yokohama. Truck transportation was reduced and delivery distances were significantly reduced by increasing warehousing facilities. As a result of these measures, CO2 emissions were cut by about 38% per shipped weight. The Brother Group has successfully kept CO2 emissions low ever since.
Since 2013, a modal shift has been introduced for some product shipments to large customers by switching from trucks to railroad. As a result, CO2 emissions in FY2016 were reduced by 22 tons.
Meanwhile, six external warehouses that had been used to store service parts were integrated into one factory, and the logistics and reverse logistics facilities for some products were consolidated to eliminate the need for transport between warehouses. In total logistics, this measure reduced the volume of transport by about 10%.
3PL (third party logistics)  is also used in the sales logistics of Brother products. It is noteworthy that sales logistics are undertaken by companies that are committed to reducing CO2 emissions (e.g., use of small hybrid delivery trucks).

Efforts at facilities outside Japan

Brother's manufacturing facilities in China and Southeast Asia produce nearly all Brother products. Many of these manufacturing facilities are located in industrial parks near ports that are served by container ships, thus the products can be shipped to overseas markets. The manufacturing facilities also employ containers with higher loading capacity to increase the loading efficiency and reduce the number of containers required.
Sales facilities in respective regions have been stepping up efforts to track logistics-related CO2 emissions, from unloading at ports to delivery warehouse and retailers, and analyze the data, so that future CO2 emissions reduction measures can appropriately reflect local conditions.
Regarding transportation of products to sales facilities in the U.S., the U.S. arrival port for unloading was changed for some products, thereby reducing distances traveled by sea, facilitating transshipping from sea to land, and enabling Brother to transport more by railway. The ratio carried by rail was increased, almost eliminating the use of trucks for urgent shipments. Since FY2011 (April 1, 2011-March 31, 2012), efforts have been made to improve respective operations by optimizing order placement cycles and transporting orders by pallet.
At the same time, a transport management system was introduced to load different products (orders received from various customers) with optimal combinations and to increase the cargo loading efficiency per truck. As a result, the transport frequency was reduced by 25% from the results of FY2009 (April 1, 2009-March 31. 2010).
Products manufactured in Southeast Asia had been transported to sales facilities via Brother International Singapore Pte. Ltd. In 2011, this system was replaced by direct delivery from manufacturing facilities to reduce marine transportation distances, etc.
At various facilities (mainly manufacturing facilities) in China and other regions in Asia, delivery trucks of less than three tons were replaced with larger ones of three tons or more (whose CO2 emissions coefficient is small) to reduce CO2 emissions.

Brother Logitec Ltd. (Japan)

Brother Logitec Ltd., a group company in charge of logistics operations for Brother products in Japan, considers reduction in environmental impact attributed to logistics as an important management challenge. Thus, the company has been promoting various efforts to ensure green logistics. Measures include improving the cargo loading efficiency, optimizing transportation routes by using digital tachographs (device to continuously record the operations of trucks) to meet varying transportation quantities, and improving fuel efficiency by requiring drivers to drive economically and turn off their engines when stopped. As a result, fuel economy was improved by 5% in FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011) from FY2009, and has been maintained at this level.

Biofuel refined from 100% used edible oil from cafeterias has been in use since 2012, and one truck owned by Brother is exclusively run on such biofuel. To reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, the number of vehicles fueled solely by biofuel will be increased to cut CO2 emissions further.

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Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. (North America)

Brother International Corporation (Canada) Ltd. (BIC Canada) switched the transport route for most cargo to Montreal from the route via Prince Rupert to a shorter Vancouver route, thereby reducing the transport distance.

Reducing transport distances by switching the transport routeReducing transport distances by switching the transport routeReducing transport distances by switching the transport route

Reducing transport distances by switching the transport route

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Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) (North America)

New Jersey Logistics Center (Cranbury)
New Jersey Logistics Center (Cranbury)

In April 2014, Brother International Corporation (U.S.A.) (BIC (USA)) established the New Jersey Logistics Center (Cranbury), a new facility on the east coast of the U.S. This logistics center has reduced the distance that products are transported from the manufacturing facility primarily to the northeastern part of the U.S.

Reducing transport distances by establishing a new facilityReducing transport distances by establishing a new facilityReducing transport distances by establishing a new facility

Reducing transport distances by establishing a new facility

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Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. (Europe)

Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. (BIUK) improved transport efficiency by increasing the container loading rate and replacing delivery trucks of less than three tons with larger ones of three tons or more. Regarding the transport for the OEM business, products had been delivered via the OEM warehouse. The transport distance was reduced by switching to direct delivery from manufacturing facilities to customers.

Reducing transport distances by switching the transport route Reducing transport distances by switching the transport route

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Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. (Europe)

Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. (BISK) reduced CO2 emissions by increasing the container loading rate and replacing delivery trucks of less than three tons with larger ones of three tons or more. BISK also replaced the 13.6-meter trailers (which account for 60% of the means of transport) with 15.5-meter trailers using tandems, to further increase the transport efficiency.

Increasing the transport efficiency by replacing the trailers

Increasing the transport efficiency by replacing the trailers

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