Our Global Warming Countermeasures
A significant amount of energy is used to melt glass. Therefore, we consider it our duty to further improve the energy efficiency of our melting furnaces.
Oxy-fuel Firing Glass Melting Furnaces
Compared to air combustion furnaces, oxy-fuel firing furnaces remove more excess nitrogen. This reduces exhaust gas (and consequently exhaust heat), thus reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and the generation of thermal nitrogen oxides (NOx).
In 1993, we installed Japan’s first oxy-fuel firing glass melting furnace. This technology has now been adopted for almost all of our furnaces.
Percentage of Oxy-fuel Firing Furnaces among All Melting Furnaces
Fuel Conversion in Glass Melting Furnaces
We have been switching to fuels with less environmental impact to operate our glass melting furnaces. We have switched from heavy oil to LPG and ultimately to natural gas and city gas, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
Increasing Electricity Usage in the Glass Melting Process
In the melting process, both gas and electricity are used. In electric heating, unlike that using gas fuel, electrodes are directly inserted into the molten glass, resulting in excellent thermal conductivity of the glass. Also, in heating with electricity, the amount of exhaust gas and resulting exhaust heat can be reduced compared with that generated by heating with fossil fuels. Thus, if electricity usage is increased in percentage terms, energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved.
We are continuing with group-wide activities aimed at increasing electricity as an energy source used to melt glass.
Supporting the forest conservation initiatives of the Konze Forestry Association
Every year since 2018, we have been purchasing nationally certified “J-Credits” (CO2 absorption credits) from the Konze Forestry Association in the city of Ritto, Shiga Prefecture. In 2020, we purchased 50 metric tons of CO2 absorption credits. We also participate in forest maintenance projects of the Konze Forestry Association in an effort to promote CO2 absorption. This is a volunteer forest conservation initiative sponsored by the Environmental Conservation Association of Shiga Prefecture, of which we are members.
As part of our corporate social responsibility, we are required to contribute to society by, for example, making an effort to protect the global environment through our business operations. We have identified “consideration for the environment” as an important value and have endeavored to reduce our environmental impact.
Committed to the principle of leaving nature untouched except for the locations required for our business operations, the Notogawa Plant has established and maintained natural forests that make use of the native vegetation of the local Suzuka Mountain Range.
The plant has even left local streams undisturbed since it was established.
The plant also grows flower seedlings in a greenhouse inside the plant and donates the seedlings to local residents.
In addition to reducing emissions of global warming gases, we voluntarily participate in maintenance work carried out by the local forestry association and take part in the extermination of invasive fish species in an effort to protect the ecosystem of Lake Biwa. We also conserve local biodiversity through various initiatives.
Pedestrian path through native natural vegetation