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Reducing Environmental Impact

Reducing Water Consumption

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 2015 (2011-2015) , a target of reducing water consumption by 5% from FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011) levels by FY2015 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016) (per unit of sales) has been set, and various efforts were made to meet this target.

Brother Group's results of activities in FY2015

In FY2015, total water consumption (business sites in Japan and manufacturing facilities outside Japan combined) increased by 23,038 m3 from FY2014 (April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015) due to an increase in production volume and number of employees at Brother Industries (Philippines), Inc. and Brother Industries (Vietnam) Ltd. In per unit sales, water consumption increased by 4.1% from FY2014, but decreased by 23.4% from FY2010, thereby the target was achieved.

The Brother Group remains committed to further implementing measures to save water in FY2016 (April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017) to attain new reduction targets set out in the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018).

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. During the past few years, Japanese-style toilets have been replaced with Western-style toilets. It should be noted that water-saving toilets have been actively introduced. At the Kariya Manufacturing Facility, the fuel for the odor prevention system (catalyst combustion type) was changed from LPG to city gas in order to reduce the CO2 emissions in FY2013 (April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014). This eliminated the need to sprinkle water to cool the five large LPG tanks (500 kg each) on the ground, resulting in a reduction of clean water consumption.

Main activities at facilities outside Japan

Faucet before taking water-saving measures
Faucet before taking water-saving measures
Faucet after taking water-saving measures
Faucet after taking water-saving measures
Rainwater storage tank (Brother Industries Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.)
Rainwater storage tank (Brother Industries Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.)

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 measures to reduce water consumption taken by respective manufacturing facilities 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
  • 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
  • Collecting rainwater in a storage tank for use in cleaning up drains etc. and thereby reducing water consumption by about 20 L/month

Changes in water consumption at the Brother Group

Changes in water consumption at the Brother Group

FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Eight business sites of Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) (head office, Mizuho Manufacturing Facility, Hoshizaki Manufacturing Facility, Minato Manufacturing Facility, 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.* Brother Industries (Shenzhen), Ltd., Brother Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd., Brother Industries Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd., 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. Same as on the left
  • *:   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.