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Conserving Water Resources

 The Environmental Outlook to 2050 (2012) produced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that during the period between 2000 and 2050, global demand for water will increase by approximately 55%, and over 40% of the global population will be living in river basins under severe water stress.
 The Kubota Group sees conserving water resources as one of its materiality, and has been advancing initiatives to promote the effective utilization of water resources and to address water risks, such as the reduction of water consumption by promoting water saving and wastewater recycling, and the proper management of wastewater treatment and wastewater quality. Production sites promote measures not to cause adverse effects on local ecosystems and the lives of local residents, taking into consideration the status of water stress in the respective regions.

Activities towards achieving SDGs

Related SDGs and targets
Major Activity Content
  • Promotion of measures to reduce water resource waste and losses, focusing on JIT and automation
  • Water conservation measures, water leak inspections, introduction of wastewater regeneration equipment which applies our company’s technology
  • Thorough execution of appropriate wastewater management, risk management, etc.
2020 Activity Targets (KPIs)
  • Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2020:
     - Water usage intensity at global production sites: 10% improvement compared to the base year 2014

Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2020 and the Results for RY2017

Conserve water resources Water consumption per unit of production Global production sites 2014 -10% -16.9% We are promoting recycling of wastewater and saving of water use.

Water Consumption in the Business Sites

1. Water Consumption

 In RY2017, water consumption was 4.51 million m3, a decrease of 7.1% compared to the previous reporting year. Additionally, water consumption per unit of sales improved by 15.4% compared to the previous reporting year. These achievements are mainly due to the measures implemented to reduce water consumption, as well as the reduction of production volume at cast iron production sites in Japan.

Trends in Total Water Consumption and Consumption per Unit of Sales

*1 Water consumption per unit of consolidated net sales
*2 Values for RY2014 and RY2015 were corrected to improve accuracy.

Water Consumption by Region Water Consumption by Business
Water Consumption by Type
 ●Japan  ●Overseas

2. Measures to Reduce Water Consumption

 The Kubota Group has established its Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets, and is working on the reduction of water consumption at its business sites. Its production sites, such as those in China, Thailand, Indonesia and the United States, have introduced wastewater treatment equipment or wastewater recycling systems utilizing technologies of the Kubota Group.
 In 2017, in addition to daily activities such as raising employees’ awareness of saving water and conducting patrols to check water leakage, efforts were made to raise the ratio of utilization of recycled water at the sites where the wastewater recycling system has been introduced. Kubota Agricultural Machinery (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (China) succeeded in reducing water consumption approximately 16,000 m3 per year by reusing the water recycled by the MBR* it had introduced in the precoating process. The total amount of recycled water at all sites where the wastewater recycling system has been introduced was 89,000 m3, which was reused in production processes or used for watering of green zones.
 As a result of the efforts toward achieving the Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2020 for water consumption reduction, global production sites achieved a reduction of 296,000 m3 in RY2017 compared with the case where countermeasures were not implemented from the base year (RY2014). The economic effects of these measures reached 48 million yen compared to RY2014. Water consumption per unit of production in RY2017 improved by 16.9% compared to RY2014.
 We will continue to promote the reduction of water consumption through initiatives to promote the 3Rs of water, such as conducting water saving activities and promoting water recycling by using the Kubota Group’s technologies.

 We work on reduction of water use as well as effluent drain into rivers with our effluent recycling membrane treatment facility. Introduction has been started in oversea sites including the developing countries where worsening of environmental pollution is concerned.

Controlling Wastewater

 The Kubota Group has set its own control values that are stricter than the emission standards of relevant laws and regulations. In order not to allow the exceeding of standard values, the Kubota Group implements thorough daily management activities, such as monitoring the trends in water quality data and inspecting the wastewater treatment facilities.
 Moreover, we control the amount of water discharge by reducing the amount of water consumption. In RY2017, the amount of wastewater discharge was 4.68 million m3 (3.26 million m3 into public water areas, 1.42 million m3 into sewage lines), a decrease of 10.8% compared to the previous reporting year.
 We will continue to reduce load on the local water environment through activities to manage water discharge and reduce water consumption.

* The amount of wastewater discharge includes rain and spring water at some business sites.

Survey on Regional Water Stress

 In order to identify the risks related to the use of water resources and find effective responses to such water risks, the Kubota Group conducts surveys concerning water stress*1 for all of its production sites.
 The results of a survey on water stress of a total of 53 sites in 15 countries using WRI Aqueduct 2014*2 and WBCSD Global Water Tool (Version2015 1.3.5)*3 are as follows:

Results of the Survey on Water Stress of Production Sites (RY2017)

Water Consumption by Water Stress Level

 The survey results showed that the water consumption at the production sites with water stress of “Middle” level accounts for about a half of total (49%), followed by the water consumption at the sites with “High-Middle” level, accounting for 38%.
 The production sites with “High” level of water stress are located in the Osaka Bay area, Tokyo Bay area, Okinawa, Saudi Arabia, and the Midwest area of the United States. The amount of water consumption by these sites account for around 3% of total, and the number of such sites is 10.
 Knowing that much of the water used for its production activities is taken in areas with relatively high level of water stress, the Kubota Group will implement measures to minimize the impact on business activities, while promoting management not to cause adverse effects on lives of local residents and ecosystems.
 The Kubota Group plans to set up new business sites with the aim of expanding its businesses on a more global scale. For such new sites, the Group will conduct water stress surveys for their respective water areas.

  • Water stress refers to the state where the annual water availability per capita is less than 1,700 tons and people feel inconvenience in their daily life. Water stress in this survey is the water stress for each river basin, which is calculated based on the ratio of water intake to the amount of available water resources. (World Resources Institute (WRI))
  • A tool developed and released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to assess water risk information
  • A tool developed and released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to assess water risk information

Related Information

Kubota's research and development values thorough hands-on approach. As an agricultural and water expert, we challenge and attain the future of food, water, and the environment, realizing our customer’s needs.

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