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Corporate Environmental Strategy and Management

Mid-term Environmental Action Plan

Brother Group 2015 Mid-term Environmental Action Plan (2011-2015)

A milestone toward 2020

In the fifth year of the Brother Group 2015 Mid-term Environmental Action Plan (2011-2015), we have identified important issues and set ambitious targets under the slogan of Brother Earth and made steady progress in the fields of "Creating Eco-conscious Products," "Reducing Environmental Impact," "Complying with Laws, Regulations and Social Trends," and "Communicating Environmental Commitment."
Regarding CO2 emissions which contribute to global warming, the action plan provides the mid-term targets concerning reductions which are to be achieved by FY2020 (April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021): cut CO2 emissions by 30% (absolute value) from FY1990 (November 21, 1989-November 20, 1990) levels at eight business sites in Japan; and cut CO2 emissions by 20% (per unit of sales) from FY2006 (April 1, 2006-March 31, 2007) levels at manufacturing facilities outside Japan (except the USA)*1.

With FY2015 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016) being the final year of the action plan, various activities are planned to achieve the targets.

Mid-term targets by FY2020

  • (1) Cut total CO2 emissions by 30% from FY1990 levels at eight business sites in Japan 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) by FY2020

To achieve the mid-term targets by FY2020, the Brother Group has been working on measures to attain one of the highest levels in the industry by actively applying energy conservation strategies, in order to reduce CO2 emissions by 1% per annum at eight business sites in Japan (absolute value) and at manufacturing facilities outside Japan (except the USA) (per unit of sales).

Notably, manufacturing facilities outside Japan cut CO2 emissions by 13.7% in FY2013 (April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014) (per unit of sales) from FY2012 (April 1, 2012-March 31, 2013), achieving the target of a 20% reduction seven years ahead of schedule. Based on these accomplishments, the scope of activities to cut CO2 emissions was expanded to cover the entire group on an ongoing basis. In FY2014 (April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015), CO2 emissions were cut by 10.9% from FY2013. Meanwhile, the Brother Group complied with Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard*2 which defines the environmental impact outside the group. In FY2014, the process in Japan acquired an external certification.

By achieving the action plan, the Brother Group will (1) fulfill corporate social responsibilities at ever higher levels through continuous commitment to environmental challenges, (2) raise environmental activities to among the best in the industry, and thereby (3) instill a strong sense of pride so that employees feel truly proud to be part of the Brother Group.

This fiscal year marks a milestone in the mid-term environmental action plan. A process is underway to formulate the next mid-term environmental action plan, which will be completed by the end of this fiscal year.

  • *1: USA (a manufacturing facility outside Japan) constitutes part of a sales facility.
  • *2: This international standard for calculating greenhouse gas emissions applies to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain related to business operations.

Basic policy

Environmental targets (2011-2015)

1. Eco-conscious products

1-1. Actively acquiring environmental labels in respective countries and meeting new standards
  • (1) Ensuring that requests are met from sales facilities to acquire Blue Angel, Eco Mark, ENERGY STAR, Nordic Swan, EPEAT, and China's Ten Circle Mark, etc.
  • (2) Complying with new standards (from 2012) of Blue Angel and Eco Mark, and continuously acquiring the labels
1-2. Improving the energy-saving performance of products
  • (1) Complying with various energy-saving standards including ENERGY STAR, Blue Angel, Eco Mark, China's Energy Label, and Japan's Top Runner Target Program Standards, etc. for all applicable products
  • (2) Achieving top-level energy-saving performance in the industry for respective categories
1-3. Complying with emissions (e.g., TVOCs, UFPs, noise) standards
  • (1) Complying with standards with sufficient margins
  • (2) Also complying with new standards including those of Blue Angel and new German law (UFP)
1-4. Increasing the percentage and volume of recycled materials used
Complying with an ever-broader range of standards for all applicable products
1-5. Increasing reusability and recyclability (both for main units and consumables)
  • (1) Promoting design for reducing man-hours required in the reuse process, and cutting the number of replacement parts and costs, in the consumables reuse business
  • (2) Expanding the scope of parts for which materials derived from a closed recycling system can be used
1-6. Reducing logistics costs and CO2 emissions by promoting optimization of packaging
  • (1) Both optimizing the packaging for reducing logistics costs and reducing CO2 emissions attributed to logistics
  • (2) Promoting the selection of appropriate materials and reduction in size and weight
  • *:   The numbers in "Environmental targets" in the chart below correspond to the numbers in the text.
Environmental targets* Targets for FY2014 Achievements in FY2014 Self-
evaluation
1-1 (1) Acquiring environmental labels for all applicable products Acquired major environmental labels in respective countries for all applicable products Achieved
(2) Complying with Eco Mark’s new standards Achieved Achieved
1-2 (1) Complying with energy conservation standards in respective countries for all applicable products Achieved Achieved
(2) Achieving the top levels of energy-saving performance in the industry Achieved in all categories
Improved the energy conservation performance, and reduced the noise of home sewing machines in particular
Significantly achieved
1-3 (1) Complying with emission standards for all applicable products Achieved Achieved
(2) Complying with Blue Angel's new standards (UFP) Ensured compliance for all major products Significantly achieved
1-4 Complying with EPEAT standards for all applicable products Achieved Achieved
1-5 (1) Ink cartridge recycling rate: 50% or more Achieved Achieved
(2)
1-6 (1) Reducing the size and weight of packaging materials compared with previous products, thereby reducing CO2 emissions in logistics Achieved
Notably, the loading efficiency of new black-and-white laser printers has been improved by changing the packaging from a horizontal layout to a vertical layout.
Significantly achieved
(2)

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2. Reducing environmental impact of business sites

For business sites in Japan and manufacturing facilities outside Japan, compliance with the Brother Group 2015 Mid-term Environmental Action Plan will serve as the basis of activities.

2-1. Reducing CO2 emissions of the entire group
Reducing total CO2 emissions of the entire group (business sites in Japan, and manufacturing and sales facilities outside Japan, except logistics) by 1% per annum (per unit of sales)
2-2. Reducing CO2 emissions of eight business sites in Japan
Reducing CO2 emissions by 1% per annum; reducing total CO2 emissions by 25% from FY1990 levels by FY2015 (absolute value)
2-3. Reducing CO2 emissions of manufacturing facilities outside Japan (excluding the USA)
Reducing CO2 emissions by 1% per annum (per unit of sales)
2-4. Reducing CO2 emissions in logistics
Setting emissions management standards, and reducing CO2 emissions by 1% per annum (per basic unit)
2-5. Reducing water consumption at manufacturing facilities
Reducing water consumption by 5% from FY2010 (April 1, 2010-March 31, 2011) levels by FY2015 (per unit of sales)
2-6. Ensuring global management of environmental conservation activities at manufacturing facilities outside Japan
Building a framework for globally managing (i) compliance with environmental laws and regulations in countries where manufacturing facilities are based and (ii) proper waste treatment, etc.
2-7. Acquiring ISO 14001 certifications
Acquiring ISO 14001 certifications at new manufacturing and sales facilities
  • *:   The numbers in "Environmental targets" in the chart below correspond to the numbers in the text.
Environmental targets* Targets for FY2014 Achievements in FY2014 Self-
evaluation
2-1 Achieving 1% reduction from FY2013 Achieved 11.0% reduction from FY2013 Significantly achieved
2-2 Same as above Achieved 2.3% reduction from FY2013
Achieved 25.2% reduction from the mid-term targets for FY2020
Achieved
2-3 Same as above Achieved 6.6% reduction from FY2013
Achieved 31.7% reduction from the mid-term targets for FY2020
Significantly achieved
2-4 Same as above Achieved 9.5% reduction from FY2013 Achieved
2-5 No targets set for a single year Achieved 26.4% reduction from FY2010 Achieved
2-6 Same as above Monitoring the list of applicable laws and regulations related to production activities and confirmation of compliance for all manufacturing facilities Not evaluated in a single year
2-7 The new factory in Vietnam acquired ISO 14001 certification. Manufacturing facilities: 1 (Brother Machinery Vietnam Co., Ltd.) Achieved

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3. Complying with laws, regulations and social trends

3-1. Globally complying with regulations on chemical substances
  • (1) Ensuring compliance with relevant laws (including REACH, RoHS, and TSCA) that regulate chemical substances contained in products
  • (2) Developing a strategy for managing chemical substances contained in products, and attaining industry-leading low levels by FY2015
3-2. Globally complying with energy-saving regulations on products
Complying with relevant energy-saving laws and regulations on products (including ErP, Russia's product regulations, South Korea's energy law, China's Energy Label, and Japan's energy saving law) with top-level energy-saving performance
3-3. Fulfilling manufacturers' broadening scope of responsibilities
  • (1) Increasing the accuracy of data submitted to the authorities to comply with WEEE/Packaging Directive, etc.
  • (2) Globally building a closed recycling system for products
  • (3) Globally expanding the consumables recycling system and aiming to develop the system to involve respective regional sales headquarters
3-4. Disclosing overall environmental information regarding products
  • (1) Globally disclosing information regarding products' environmental impact
  • (2) Disclosing product information in accordance with The Eco Declaration (ECMA370)
3-5. Using certified paper
Promoting the use of certified paper including FSC certified paper
3-6. Promoting green procurement
  • (1) Enhancing the auditing and education of suppliers, increasing eco awareness, and thereby ensuring legal compliance
  • (2) Building a framework for managing places of origin, illegal logging, recycling, etc. of paper used as packaging materials
  • *:   The numbers in "Environmental targets" in the chart below correspond to the numbers in the text.
Environmental targets* Targets for FY2014 Achievements in FY2014 Self-
evaluation
3-1 (1) Ensuring compliance with regulations regarding chemical substances contained in products Revised the green procurement standards in a timely basis, and maintained compliance Achieved
(2) Establishing the index (KPI) for determining management levels at respective factories, and promoting activities Achieved KPI for FY2014 Achieved
3-2 Complying with energy conservation regulations for products Quickly identified the revision schedule of laws and regulations, and reflected the revisions in designs Achieved
3-3 (1) Continuing to weigh products when they are shipped from factories and to confirm changes in weight, in an effort to increase the accuracy of data submitted to the authorities Continued to weigh products when they were shipped from factories and to confirm changes in weight, in an effort to increase the accuracy of data submitted to the authorities Achieved
(2) Establishing a global system Continued in FY2015 Achieved
(3) Launching recycling systems at respective sales facilities (RHQs) Same as above Achieved
3-4 (1) Disclosing 100% of new product information to sales companies Created and disclosed a list of specifications related to the environmental impact Achieved
(2) Disclosing 100% of information to sales companies in Europe Disclosed environmental characteristics (including legal requirements) of printers, All-in-Ones, label printers, and scanners for Europe and the USA Significantly achieved
3-5 No targets set for a single year Started to use FSC certified paper for catalogues prepared by sales companies in Japan Achieved
3-6 (1) Revising the green procurement standards, disseminating information (e.g. sending a notice about additional REACH-SVHCs in advance), and conducting audits at suppliers to raise awareness of suppliers and group companies about green procurement and ensure legal compliance Revised the green procurement standards twice a year
Audited suppliers on a regular basis based on the plan
Achieved
(2) Conducting investigations to confirm the recycling rates of packaging materials at target factories (five factories)
Complying with EU timber regulations
Continued with investigations to confirm the recycled content of packaging materials with assistance from five factories.
Conducted investigations to confirm legality of target packaging materials and products, and confirmed legality.
Achieved

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4. Environmental communication

4-1. Promoting Brother Earth in combination with marketing activities
Ensuring eco-consciousness in developing new products and businesses, distributing environmental information via websites (including social media), and publicizing environmental commitments by promoting the Brother Earth planetarium dome, etc.
4-2. Promoting environmental and social contribution activities focusing on conserving biodiversity
Globally conducting environmental and social contribution activities for conserving biodiversity with the involvement of employees in respective regions, posting key activities on  Brother's special website on the environment  to be covered by Click for the Earth donations, and encouraging the participation of stakeholders.
4-3. Promoting prevention of global warming by raising the environmental awareness of employees
Globally promoting the Brother eco point program , measuring the level of environmental contribution by respective facilities, and raising the environmental awareness of employees, thereby consistently achieving CO2 emissions reduction targets on a group basis.
  • *:   The numbers in "Environmental targets" in the chart below correspond to the numbers in the text.
Environmental targets* Targets for FY2014 Achievements in FY2014 Self-
evaluation
4-1 Actively disseminating information about (i) environmental technologies built into new products and (ii) environmental conservation activities involving employees Promoted the "Package Design Optimization" technology (for increasing transporting efficiency and reducing environmental impact), "Low-noise Belt Drive" technology (built into home sewing machines), "Project for Combating Desertification in Inner Mongolia" and "Mangrove Reforestation Project in Thailand" (involving employees) through Brother's special website on the environment, websites of respective facilities, etc., and continuously expanded the scope of information dissemination by utilizing Brother's official SNS accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) Achieved
Improving the quality of the environmental website Ranked 3rd in "Eco Site Survey 2015 Ranking" by Tribeck Brand Strategies, Inc., and won the Good Performance Prize in the Environmental Report Section of the 18th Environmental Communication Awards (organized by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Global Environmental Forum) Significantly achieved
Actively promoting environmental events and increasing environmental awareness in Japan Organized "Brother Earth Eco Festival" and "Brother Green X'mas 2014 - Projection Mapping on Brother Earth -" jointly with the Nagoya City Science Museum
Donated "Koala Forest" (an experience-based facility for learning and exhibition) to the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens operated by the City of Nagoya
Exhibited at "Eco-Products 2014" (one of the largest environmental exhibitions in Japan)
Significantly achieved
4-2 Continuing environmental conservation activities to conserve biological diversity involving customers and employees at 33 facilities worldwide Implemented in 43 facilities Achieved
4-3 Percentage of employees participating in the Brother eco point program: more than 60% (more than 24,600 individuals) Achieved (25,908 individuals) Significantly achieved