The Oyama Industrial Park, located in the southeastern part of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, has 15 manufacturers in operation in industries such as machinery, steel, and chemicals. Having attained "zero emissions," in which all factories within the park reuse their waste materials as resources and minimize their final disposal volume, the industrial park has attracted attention from the industrial world and local government.
This project to achieve zero emissions throughout the entire industrial park started in 2003. By that time, within the park Komatsu's Oyama Plant and Komatsu Forklift Co., Ltd.'s (now Komatsu Utility Co., Ltd.'s) Tochigi Plant had already achieved zero emissions. However, in the park as a whole, like other industrial parks in Japan, a large amount of industrial waste was being disposed of rather than reutilized.
Before the industrial park could take on the challenge of zero emissions there were numerous hurdles to be overcome. At the launch of the project, for example, companies had a mindset that caused them to ask why they had to introduce zero emissions to their operations when their existing waste disposal methods were going so smoothly.
For that reason, the first step was to get all of the companies in the park to have the same mindset.
To bring all of the park's companies to the same mindset, it was critical to gain the understanding of each company's top management. The project team created various opportunities for awareness-building, such as meetings in which top managers and project heads paired off for consultations and lectures on attaining zero emissions in the park, appealing to the top managers on the basis of the fact that attainment of zero emissions not only contributes to environmental conservation but also reduces waste disposal costs. Through this undertaking, the top managers were able to appreciate the significance of the project, and in addition to announcing a voluntary declaration to undertake zero emissions activities, the manufacturers participated in a zero emissions promotion forum established in cooperation with the prefecture and the city. In this way efforts got on track.
Project members tour a recycled waste-paper processing plant. By observing the effectiveness of using waste as resources, participants are able to deepen their understanding of zero emissions.
Know-how accumulated by the Komatsu Oyama Plant was applied to the zero emissions routines underway at other companies.
The disclosure of one company's environmental conservation activities contributes to the local society overall-based on this philosophy, the Oyama Plant released to other companies its know-how for attaining zero emissions, including education in waste disposal and separation and collection methods. Through this, understanding by the project heads was deepened further. What's more, by examining the practical implications of the know-how Komatsu disclosed, it was possible to have discussions at forum meetings on various waste disposal issues.
Among various issues, it was necessary to develop technologies to deal with waste that is difficult to recycle, such as ballasts, cured coatings, thermal insulating materials, and paints containing lead, which constituted an issue that the industrial park could not solve on its own. The park asked the Oyama National College of Technology, which is in the vicinity, to undertake joint research aimed at tackling this problem through academic-industrial cooperation. While the research efforts at the Oyama National College of Technology are still underway, a certain amount of success has already been achieved, such as the withdrawal of resin components from ballasts and the extraction of lead from hardened leaded coatings.
The Oyama Industrial Park intends to incorporate research results into the recycling process once they reach the stage of practical application.
Discussions on disposal methods with waste plastic treatment companies
In March 2006, about three years after these activities were launched, the Oyama Industrial Park succeeded in attaining zero emissions. Manufacturers within the park worked in collaboration, further propelled by academic-industrial-government collaboration, to overcome differences in size and operations to achieve waste reductions. The following can be considered the effects of this approach:
The efforts towards zero emissions undertaken by the Oyama Industrial Park have been featured both in newspapers and on television. In addition, groups of observers from Oyama Industrial Park No. 2, Haga Industrial Park, and other locations have visited the park to learn about its zero emissions activities.
The Oyama Industrial Park will continue to provide various types of information related to zero emissions to industrial parks around Japan.
Please refer here for further information.
In 1994, United Nations University proposed a vision of zero emissions under which society as a whole would work towards the generation of zero waste in order to achieve a resource-recycling society. Komatsu, receptive to this idea, independently defined zero emissions as "promoting the recycling of industrial waste generated within the company to reduce the amount of landfilled and simple-incineration waste to less than 1% of the total waste generated." Komatsu has not only undertaken activities to reduce its volume of generated waste but also recycled its waste.
|September 1999||Launches efforts towards zero emissions|
|November 2000||The Oyama Plant becomes the first manufacturer of construction equipment in Japan to attain zero emissions|
|March 2002||All of Komatsu Ltd.'s manufacturing facilities attain zero emissions|
|March 2006||All Japanese manufacturing facilities in the Komatsu Group attain zero emissions|
Here are messages from the project heads for zero emissions efforts at the Oyama Industrial Park.