Materiality 1 Contributing to a Sustainable Global Environment
Basic Ideas and Visions
Corporate management in harmony with the global environment plays an important role in the sustainable development of society and companies. In addition to reducing resource and energy consumption as well as the environmental impact associated with business activities, the Hitachi High-Tech Group aims to achieve sustainable consumption and production through the provision of environmentally-conscious products and services as well as initiatives throughout the value chain.
1. Realize a decarbonized society
To reduce CO2 emissions from energy consumption associated with our business activities, we aim to achieve carbon neutrality at its sites by systematically investing in environmental equipment that has a meaningful impact on reducing CO2 emissions and by actively promoting the use of renewable energy. We will also endeavor to reduce CO2 throughout the value chain, including Scope 3 (CO2 emissions from sites other than our own) emissions and our customers’ contribution to CO2 reduction.
2. Realize a recycling oriented society
Hitachi High-Tech strives to effectively use water, conserve resources, and reduce waste in its business activities. Specifically, we will reduce the amount of water used in factories and use fewer resources in the manufacture of products through the adoption of environmentally conscious design (eco-design) in products. In addition, with the aim of realizing a circular economy, we will work to develop and provide customers with solutions that contribute to resource recycling.
3. Realize a society in harmony with nature
In order to reduce the negative impact of business activities on natural capital, we will work to reduce the negative impact of chemical substance emissions, and aim to realize a rich future for both people and nature. We will work on biodiversity conservation activities such as forest conservation activities that will increase the positive impact.
*1 Transportation, bus, taxi, rental car, and leasing companies as well as and other businesses that operate a large number of vehicles for the purpose of moving people and goods.
Analytical & Medical Solutions
Value Chain Solutions
Core Technology Solutions
Content of Initiative
Action Targets 1 Realize a decarbonized society
Hitachi High-Tech Group’s initiatives to achieve carbon neutrality
Amid strong demand for measures to stem global warning and climate change, the Hitachi Group has set a carbon neutral goal of a state of zero CO2 emissions from its factories and offices by FY2030.
We were one of the first in the Hitachi Group to achieve carbon neutrality at seven of our business sites. Two additional sites achieved carbon neutrality in FY2021: Hitachi High-Tech Solutions Mito Works and Hitachi High-Tech Manufacturing & Service (6th Branch Office). As a result, CO2 emissions in FY2021 were 27,700 t-CO2, a 35% reduction versus FY2019.
Initiatives toward achievement of the 2024 Mid-term Management Plan
1. Provision of semiconductor manufacturing and inspection solutions
Contribute to the decarbonization of a digital society by working to reduce CO2 emissions in semiconductor manufacturing
Hitachi High-Tech provides equipment for the processing, inspection, and measurement processes in semiconductor manufacturing. The semiconductor industry is currently facing the challenge of increasing CO2 emissions, including higher power consumption, as demand for semiconductors grows. We are addressing these issues both for equipment that we are currently manufacturing and selling and for that under development. For existing equipment, we will reduce CO2 emissions by developing replacement parts that can reduce power consumption. In new products, we will develop equipment with an emphasis on environmental load reduction from the development stage so as to curb power consumption. Another focus is to reduce CO2 emissions per process by increasing productivity through measures such as extending the life of consumables, improving processing speed, and reducing maintenance time.
In addition to cutting CO2 emissions during operation, Hitachi High-Tech’s equipment contributes to the production of high-performance, low-cost semiconductors from a macro perspective, thereby helping to curtail CO2 emissions associated with the advance of the digital society.
2.Provision of measurement and inspection solutions for carbon neutral materials
Support the development of next-generation materials to achieve carbon neutrality in a wide range of fields
Achieving carbon neutrality will require an unprecedented and drastic transformation. Turbines and engines have traditionally been used to generate electrical energy. Yet the development of materials controlled at the nano level is required to increase the power generation efficiency of solar cells that use natural energy and fuel cells that use hydrogen. In fuel cells, for example, which represent the next generation of energy, catalysts are indispensable in converting hydrogen and oxygen into water to generate electricity. We therefore provide electron microscopes for R&D of such catalysts. Other technologies that contribute to carbon neutrality, such as hydrogen, ammonia and methane utilization, and biomass promotion, require the development of micro- and nano-level materials.
Hitachi High-Tech utilizes its electron microscopes, technology, and knowledge to promote joint efforts with companies, universities, and research institutions in around the globe.
3. Provision of LiB manufacturing solutions
Promote the spread of EVs (electric vehicles) by contributing to providing safe LiBs (lithium-ion batteries) and development of next-generation LiBs through total solutions including R&D, manufacturing, and inspection processes
Gasoline and diesel vehicles are being replaced by EVs. For about 30 years, we have been providing manufacturing facilities for LiBs used as storage batteries for EVs and other applications. We are currently collaborating with equipment manufacturers to help make lower-priced EVs and increase battery capacity. We are also developing new LiB manufacturing facilities in cooperation with equipment manufacturers. In 2022, we started pre-engineering activities in which we dispatch our engineers to battery manufacturers who aim to develop next-generation LiBs to provide technical support. In LiB manufacturing, contamination by metallic particles accounts for the majority of defects and is an issue that also affects quality and safety. Defects also result in the disposal of rare metals and other raw materials. To address these issues, Hitachi High-Tech’s electron microscopes and X-ray contaminant analyzers enable highly accurate raw material acceptance inspection and contaminant detection in the manufacturing process. Sampling inspections are the mainstream today, but in the future we aim to increase accuracy and conduct inspections throughout the entire production process, including all-unit inspections in the upstream processes.
Enhanced inspection accuracy will improve material yields, which is a currently a challenge. And a significant cut in the defect rate will translate to sharply reduced waste materials and lower costs, which in turn are expected to improve profitability and mass-productiveness. With its engineering and equipment development capabilities, Hitachi High-Tech will contribute to the diffusion of cheaper and safer EVs and the realization of a decarbonized and recycling-oriented society.
4. Lithium-ion Battery (LiB) Life Cycle Management
Provide DX solutions that enhance corporate value and create environmental value for customers in the value chain, starting with commercial EV fleet management operators, including LiB reuse/recycling and manufacturing
As demand for electrification of automobiles increases toward the realization of a global decarbonized society, the challenges are to promote the transition to EVs, extend the life of LiB resources, effectively use valuable metals, and reduce the environmental impact of LiB production and recycling processes. In particular, Hitachi High-Tech has developed “Remote Degradation Diagnostic Systems for On-board Automotive Lithium-ion Batteries,” a service targeted at fleet management operators that handle commercial vehicles who view the realization of stable and efficient operation of LiBs as a looming issue for the transition to EVs. Two types of battery degradation diagnosis technologies developed by us (high-speed diagnosis and remote diagnosis) make it possible to monitor LiB degradation status, which has been difficult in the past. We aim to contribute to the overall battery life cycle by creating an environment in which end-of-life EV batteries can be reused and recycled into energy storage systems and other products. In addition to proposing this service to customers in Japan and around the world, we will uncover customer issues throughout the value chain, create solutions, and contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society.
Action Targets 2 Realize a recycling oriented society
Reduction of water consumption and waste generation in the Group
As we seek to improve resource use efficiency, we have improved water consumption by 53% per unit and waste generation by 33% per unit. Our CDP*2 water risks continued to be “A- (leadership level)”*3 following on from FY2020.
Initiatives toward achievement of the 2024 Mid-term Management Plan
5.Provision of engineering services to recycle aluminum
Promote recycling business through aluminum hot stamping business using 100% recycled aluminum materials
Aluminum is used in various products and components. Together with one of its customers, Hitachi High-tech is testing a processing technology that enables an approximately 97% reduction in CO2 emissions during alloy production by using recycled materials instead of new ingots as raw materials in the manufacture of aluminum sheets for use in presses. By developing a new aluminum hot stamping process technology (patent pending) that uses an aluminum sheet made of 100% recycled alloy and an aluminum press method to achieve the highest level of formability and dimensional accuracy, we will create aluminum products that are 100% recycled and significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process. In addition, we will be proactively involved in building a value chain for these products, aiming to realize a circular economy that does not waste valuable resources by promoting the recycling business. In the future, we will promote commercialization, and in FY2022, we will first start by developing the product for daily necessities to gain public awareness, and in the future, we aim to expand it to automobiles (including EVs) and small mobility vehicles.
※2 CDP: A UK-based independent non-profit organization. It receives requests from investors around the world, and investigates, evaluates, and discloses information relating to companies’ effects on climate change, water security, and forests.
※3 “A- (leadership level)”: Discloses specific actions that recognize it as a leading company.
Action Targets 3 Realize a society in harmony with nature
Continue ecosystem conservation activities both in Japan and overseas, aiming to restore the richness of nature
We are working to create forests rich in biodiversity with the aim of realizing a society in harmony with nature. In FY2021, in the Woodlands of Hitachi High-Tech Science, a green space surrounding the R&D facilities at the Hitachi High-Tech Science Fuji Oyama Works, we conducted a survey of vegetation in each area and promoted the replacement of artificially planted cedar and cypress with heritage trees. Furthermore, an insect hotel has been established to provide a habitat for insects to make the area more habitable for living organisms. In China, we have been planting cherry trees on the premises of our business sites since April 2021 as part of a three-year plan and have also begun to improve the environment to make it more hospitable for a wide variety of living creatures.
Initiatives toward achievement of the 2024 Mid-term Management Plan
Aiming for a rich future for both people and nature, we will continue and expand our efforts and raise employee awareness
In FY2022, based on the survey conducted last year, we will start planting native species of trees in various locations where our activities are targeted. We will continue our tree planting activities and expand the area. Currently, it is said that 17% of the world’s land and 10% of its oceans are protected, but there is a movement to raise this to 30% as a shared global goal. For this reason, national governments are encouraging conservation activities in green spaces and other areas owned and managed by companies. Companies that promote such activities are eligible for certification as “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs). Hitachi High-Tech also supports this initiative and aims to become OECM certified. In the future, we intend to increase the participation and awareness of more employees by providing them with opportunities to participate in activities both in person and from home or other locations away from their workplaces in the post-COVID era. This is also expected to raise employees’ awareness of the need to review their work and businesses in terms of biodiversity and global environmental conservation.