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Conserving Water Resources

The OECD’s 2012 report entitled Environmental Outlook to 2050 states that during the period between 2000 and 2050, global demand for water will increase by approximately 55% owing to economic development and population increase, while more than 40% of the world’s population will be living in river basins that suffer from severe water shortages.
The Kubota Group sees conserving water resources as one of its materiality issues, 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.
2025 Activity Targets (KPIs)
  • Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2025:
    • Water consumption per unit of production at global production sites: 23% improvement compared to the base year 2014
    • Manage wastewater appropriately in accordance with the standards of the water discharge by operating wastewater treatment facilities and water recycling facilities, etc.

Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2025 and the Results for FY2021

Action item Management indicator*1 Scope Base FY Target for FY2025*2 Result of FY2021*2

Achievement Status

Conserve water resources Water consumption per unit of production Global production sites 2014 ▲23% ▲31.2% We are promoting recycling of wastewater and saving of water use.
  1. *1.The figures per unit of production represent the intensity of the environmental load per unit of money amount of production. The exchange rate of the base year is used when translating the money amount of production of overseas sites into Japanese yen.
  2. *2.▲ indicates a negative figure.

Water Consumption in the Business Sites

1. Water Consumption

In FY2021, water consumption was 4.61 million m3, an increase of 5.7% compared to the previous year. On the other hand, water consumption per unit of sales was improved by 10.8% compared to the previous year. Water consumption decreased in FY2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but increased in FY2021 as production ramped up at machinery- and casting-related sites while new sites began full-scale operations. Per unit of sales improved as consolidated net sales increased (up 18.5% from the previous year), while the Group made progress on measures such as increasing control precision over the amount of cooling water used, improving methods of sprinkling water over green areas, and making use of recycled water.

  • Trends in Total Water Consumption and Consumption per Unit of Sales

    • Water consumption per unit of consolidated net sales. The Kubota Group adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) instead of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America from FY2018.

2. Measures to Reduce Water Consumption

The Kubota Group has established the Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets and is working to reduce water consumption at production sites. Our production sites, such as those in China, Thailand, Indonesia and the United States, have introduced wastewater treatment facilities or wastewater recycling systems utilizing technologies of the Kubota Group.
In FY2021, in addition to routine activities such as raising employee awareness of water conservation and conducting patrols to check for water leakage, the Kubota Group continued its program of upgrading to water-saving bathroom facilities and automatic faucets, and improved watering methods for green areas, etc. We reduced water usage in the production process by more accurately controlling the amount of cooling water used. As a result of the efforts toward achieving the Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2025 for water consumption reduction, global production sites achieved a reduction of 79,000 m3 in FY2021 compared to the case where countermeasures were not implemented from the previous year. The economic effects of these measures reached 2.7 million yen compared to the previous year. Water consumption per unit of production in FY2021 improved by 31.2% compared to the base year (FY2014).
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.

  • At Kubota Agricultural Machinery (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (China), we installed recycling treatment equipment for reusing wastewater from processes throughout the entire plant, and this has realized zero emissions of process wastewater.

  • Water Consumption by Region

  • Water Consumption by Business

  • Water Consumption by Type

    • Japan

    • Overseas

Controlling Wastewater

The Kubota Group has set its own control values that are stricter than the emission standards of relevant laws and regulations. To ensure that the standard values are not exceeded, the Kubota Group carries out regular measurement of designated monitoring items. Under the Medium-Term Environmental Conservation Targets 2025, the Group has established a new target of managing wastewater appropriately in line with standards for the areas where wastewater is released by operating wastewater treatment and water recycling facilities.
The amount of wastewater* in FY2021 was 4.88 million m3 (3.36 million m3 into public water areas, 1.52 million m3 into sewage lines) due to an increase in water usage, mainly an increase of 11.6% from the previous year. At each site, we will promote the reduction of wastewater by taking measures to reduce the amount of water usage.
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.

  • At the Kubota Sakai Rinkai Plant, we expanded our installation of submerged type FRP johkasou, decentralized wastewater treatment plants. These are able to handle high-level treatment of household wastewater and can process up to 110 m3 of wastewater per day. Furthermore, as a BCP measure, we have raised the concrete foundations of the wastewater treatment facility. We introduced a water management solution using IoT, “KSIS,” to realize proper management of plant wastewater.

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* for all of its production sites.
The results of a survey on water stress of a total of 52 sites in 15 countries using Aqueduct (water risk assessment tool developed by the World Resource Institute (WRI)) are as follows:

  • Results of the Survey on Water Stress of Production Sites (FY2021)

    Region, country Water consumption by water stress level (thousand m3) 〈number of sites〉
    High High-Middle Middle Middle-Low Low
    Asia Japan 0 0 1,604〈8〉 1,585〈12〉 21〈2〉
    China 0 104〈1〉 0 0 17〈2〉
    Indonesia 0 0 9〈1〉 0 0
    Thailand 229〈3〉 17〈1〉 7〈1〉 0 0
    Saudi Arabia 14〈1〉 0 0 0 0
    India 46〈1〉 0 0 0 0
    Europe Russia 0 0.4〈1〉 0 0 0
    Norway 0 0 0 0 22〈1〉
    Denmark 0 0 34〈1〉 0 0
    Netherlands 0 0 0 0 16〈1〉
    Germany 0 0 9〈1〉 0 4〈1〉
    France 0 0 4〈1〉 0 1〈1〉
    Italy 12〈1〉 0 0 0 0
    North America Canada 0 0 0 0 264〈1〉
    United States 0 0 148〈2〉 21〈7〉 0
    Total 302〈6〉 122〈3〉 1,815〈15〉 1,606〈19〉 345〈9〉
  • Water Consumption by Water Stress Level

The survey results showed that “High” or “High-Middle” levels of water stress applied to 9 production sites, located in the Chinese cities of Suzhou, central Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia and Italy, which account for approximately 10% of the Group’s total water consumption. In the next “Middle” level category were 15 production sites situated in Japan’s Kanto region and Aichi Prefecture, Indonesia, coastal regions of Thailand, the southeast United States and a number of locations in Europe, which together account for approximately 43% of total water consumption. Production sites in the “Middle-Low” and “Low” categories 39% accounted for approximately 47% of total water consumption.
Although the majority of the water used in the Kubota Group’s production activities is sourced in areas with stress levels in the “Middle” or lower categories, the survey showed that some of the main sites primarily in Thailand and India are located in areas of high water stress. At these production sites, the Kubota Group is now promoting the horizontal rollout of regional examples of good practice in areas including the reduction of water consumption and appropriate management of wastewater.
We will also conduct water stress surveys in each case for the water areas around new sites that are scheduled for construction as part of the Group’s more globally oriented business growth.

  • 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))