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SEKISUI Continues Environmental Awareness

SEKISUI at Natural Capital Week in Paris

On Wednesday 28th November, the Natural Capital Coalition: Collaboration Day took place in Paris, France. Governments, businesses, NGOs, universities and other organizations from around the world gathered to talk about Natural Capital. Progress, challenges and next steps were discussed among members of the coalition.

The Head of Environmental Management Group was a presenter and panelist during the “Integrate with Business” session. Supported by Global Nature Fund (GNF), he introduced the SEKISUI Environmental Sustainability Index, a tool used since 2013 to calculate the environmental impact of the Group. He also explained how the index is useful for achieving the long term Environmental Sustainability Vision and the goal of achieving total balance of natural capital usage and contribution by 2030.

During the “Integrate with Business” session, representatives from various industries including forestry, finance, and luxury goods also presented examples of how they integrate natural capital into business strategy. This was a great opportunity to collaborate, share and learn from the various approaches businesses can take to integrate.

The SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group aims to contribute to improving the lives of the people of the world and the Earth’s environment, and establish a sustainable business base from the ESG viewpoint. We position contribution to both the natural and social environment as central to sustainability and will continue to promote and improve integration of natural capital thinking, biodiversity and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our overall business strategy.

SEKISUI on the panel at “Forum on Decarbonizing the Economy”

The Ministry of the Environment event “Climate Week 2018”took place from November 19th to December 2nd. Climate Week 2018 was a chance for governmental and nongovernmental organizations to discuss global climate change countermeasures and boost the decarbonization movement.

The Forum on Decarbonizing the Economy, co-hosted by the Ministry of the Environment and CDP (a non profit organization) was held on November 28th in Tokyo and SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s Executive Managing Officer, Mr. Yoshiyuki Hirai, was one of the panelists. This forum was a chance for companies like SEKISUI who are leading decarbonizing initiatives such as Science Based Target (SBT) Initiative (2°C investing initiative), RE100 (commitment to 100% renewable energy) TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and the ESG investment community to gather and discuss the most recent trends.

SEKISUI co-sponsored the forum and during the panel discussion, Mr. Hirai explained the commitment and efforts of the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group to tackle climate change. This includes a reduction of GHG emissions by 6% in FY2019 and by 26% in FY 2030 (compared to FY2013). In June 2018, due to efforts and commitment of the Group, SEKISUI CHEMICAL became the first the chemical sector to receive approval for the SBT Initiative. Read more or view the presentation materials.

SEKISUI XenoTech aims for zero waste

Since XenoTech (XT) became part of SEKISUI in 2008, there’s been a steady effort to increase recycling and reduce waste going to landfill. Several big leaps forward in sustainability have occurred during the last decade.

In 2010, XT’s formal recycling program began, led by our Safety Committee. At the time, there was no commercial recycling pickup in the Kansas City area, so the committee tackled the task of collecting the office’s discarded cardboard, plastic, aluminum, steel and paper and delivering it to public bins. In 2012, the effort was expanded when XT leased a comingled recycling dumpster. With lab cardboard alone, recycling doubled. Landfill waste was reduced by more than 5% in 2012 and by another 3% the following year.

The next big step, which came in 2015, was establishing the Green Hearts (GH) Sustainability Committee. This group expanded recycling further and trained employees to reduce waste. XT began recycling some lab plastics, with careful screening of potentially contaminated items. At year’s end, as the office was cleaned out prior to a relocation, the GH team held a paper recycling contest during EcoWeek and collected over 2500 kg of paper.

In our new location, XT continued the drive to reduce waste. The company leased a recycling-friendly refuse hauler. A roomier laboratory lowered the possibility of contamination, so recycling of lab materials increased. Glass recycling included solvent bottles, resulting in the movement of almost 2000 kg per year from landfill to recycling. Through the efforts of the Green Hearts, 2015 was the year recycling surpassed landfill waste at XT.

Today, employees are more aware than ever of waste streams, and individual trash cans have been replaced by new recycling receptacles. The company cancelled catalogs or switched to electronic copies to cut down on junk mail. Even hazardous waste has been removed using a new broker that recycles solvent waste as an alternative to incineration.

XT proudly touts our clean track record over the last 24 years, with total waste output cut by more than 10,000 pounds. Even with the hurdles of hard-to-recycle non-biodegradables and lab glass, SEKISUI XenoTech is currently on track to achieve our sustainability goal of zero emission and zero landfill.

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About the Authors

Michael Millhollen received his bachelor's degree in Visual Communications from the University of Kansas and has over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. As Global Marketing Manager, he is dedicated to the objective of sharing SEKISUI XenoTech’s scientific expertise and knowledge with scientists around the world.

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