Activity Reports by Materiality

Protection of the Global Environment

Mitsui & Co.'s Approach

We rigorously comply with environment–related laws, regulations, and treaties. We strive to prevent environmental pollution and curb greenhouse gas emissions, to adapt to climate change, and to maintain biodiversity. We are alert to environmental impacts and work to mitigate those impacts. We use our integrated strengths and work in cooperation with our partners to achieve rational, long–term industrial solutions to environmental problems. We systematically provide grants, through the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund, for university research and NPO/NGO activities that contribute to the solution of environmental problems, efficient resource utilization, protection of ecosystems, and harmonious coexistence between ecosystems and human beings.

Strategic Focus

  • Related Product Segment: Machinery & Infrastructure

Offering low-cost and environment-friendly mobility options through car sharing

Mobility patterns and the ways in which cars are being used are diversifying around the world. A trend that is currently emerging especially in Europe and the United States is car sharing, where a single car is made available for use by multiple members. This reflects increased concern for the environment as well as an awareness of the high costs incurred by owning a private car.

Mitsui & Co. is positioning car sharing as a next–generation mobility service that is in tune with the current shift from ownership to renting. In 2010 we acquired an equity stake in the Car Club Private Limited of Singapore. By harnessing business know–how and expertise gained in Singapore, we aim to extend operations into other Asia–Pacific markets, where the car society is moving to a mature phase.

With a car–sharing service, the cost for each instance of using a car becomes clearly known. This in turn facilitates the use of alternatives, such as public transport, bicycle, or walking. A choice of the most cost–effective mobility option can be made, depending on the purpose of the trip and the current situation. Through this service, Mitsui will be able to propose a new type of car life as one of the mobility options for people in various countries and regions, which also ties in with increased consideration for the environment.

We see this business as a chance to offer mobility options of low cost and low environmental impact to global society. By alleviating traffic congestion and reducing vehicle travel distances, a positive effect on the environment as a whole can be achieved.

Protection of the Global Environment

Estimate of market size | Annual CO2 emission reduction rate

Activities for FY Ended March 2017

Business Area

    Machinery & Infrastructure
    Innovation & Corporate Development
    Corporate & Others

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Theme Business Area Business Activities
Enhancement of Environmental Management System
Corporate & Others
  • Introduction of e–Manifest for use in monitoring industrial waste disposal in the Head Office building
  • Achievement of “Good Point” assessment in independent ISO14001 inspection of environment management in the Head Office and company–owned buildings (Nagoya, Osaka)
  • Sale of emission trading credits from the old Head Office building (17,575 t–CO2) to an affiliated company to support that company's regulatory compliance
  • Administration of environmental management system according to ISO14001:2015
  • Development of environmental accident response tools to support an appropriate initial response
  • Development of new networks in collaboration with international NPOs and NGOs to drive projects based on environmental and social priorities
  • Implementation of environmental law seminars (2 seminars, approx. 100 attendees), environmental seminars relating to industrial waste (2 seminars, approx. 110 attendees), and a Mitsui Environment Month lecture (approx. 220 attendees), for officers and employees of Mitsui and its affiliated companies
Initiatives toward Environmental Value Creation
  • Global supply of automotive parts with excellent environmental performance through investment and participation in Gestamp Automoción, S.A. (North and South American operations Spanish parent company)
  • Contribution to the supply of wind power related materials and equipment through investment and participation in GRI Renewable Industries, S.L. (Spain)
  • Business development of our joint venture for remanufacturing automotive parts by introducing Japanese technology
  • Launch of the project aiming to reduce environmental burden in iron ore operation by eliminating the need for a dam and ore trucks for tailings (low–grade ore), through investment and participation in Vale (Brazil)
  • Effective utilization of copper resources through copper concentrate blending business optimizing impurity level in complex conc blended with clean conc
Machinery & Infrastructure
  • Renewable energy IPP business (approx. 2GW in Japan and overseas), including the completion of a run–of–river type hydropower plant that will reduce CO2 emissions by 600 million tons per year (Brazil), and commencement of operations at Wind Farm Hamada and Hamamatsu Solar Park
  • Implementation of energy–efficient smart city project (Malaysia)
  • Development of distributed solar power generation capacity, and development of next–generation energy management services (U.S. and other countries)
  • Modal shift promotion through rolling stock leasing
  • Promotion of green chemicals business, such as palm oil and other natural–oil derived oleochemicals business (Malaysia, China), and corn–derived glucose based biochemical business (Canada)
  • Investment and participation in a wood biomass power plant (Japan)
  • Commencement of geological surveys, drilling, and development for launching of geothermal power business through Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. (Japan)
  • Investment and participation in fuel and chemical product business based on the use of microbial fermentation technology (U.S.)
  • Construction completion and operation commencement of a jetty boil–off gas recycling plant through Qatar LNG project (Qatar)
  • Initiation of development of a manufacturing and transportation value chain for hydrogen as a promising next–generation clean energy resource
  • Implementation of a survey concerning the reduction of electric power consumption through the utilization of waste heat from a factory to power air conditioning in a neighboring housing complex (UAE)
  • Provision of operational maintenance services for solar and biomass power generation facilities by Mitsui & Co. Foresight
  • Continued efforts to obtain Bluesign® and Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certifications for outdoor apparel fabrics through Mitsui Bussan I–Fashion, which resulted in the maintenance of compliance with those environmental standards. Promotion of development and sales of environment–friendly and highly functional textile products (Europe, U.S., etc.)
  • Investment in Alcantara, which has achieved carbon neutrality certification for all manufacturing processes and devotes around 30% of its total investment in sustainability–related facilities to promoting the sale of Alcantara products to automobile manufacturers
Innovation & Corporate Development
  • Driving sharing economy through C to C E–commerce business (Japan, U.S., UK)
  • Supply of lithium–ion rechargeable batteries for electric automobiles and other new–energy vehicles (China)
  • Improvement of energy efficiency through visualization of data from office buildings, factories, and other facilities, (U.S.), contribution to power consumption savings of around 20% (depending on the facility) through remote management of air conditioning systems (Japan)
  • Support for reliable supply of energy through solar power generation monitoring services, cloud–based energy management services, and other services (Japan)
  • Contribution to global warming countermeasures through the optimization of fertilizer amounts on farmland, leading to the reduction of N2O emissions (Canada, U.S., Brazil, etc)
  • Formation and sale of solar power infrastructure funds through Mitsui & Co. Alternative Investments
  • Investment in renewable energy projects through the Emerging Markets Infrastructure Fund
  • Shortening of transportation distance for logistics services (MGL) by utilization of local ports (Japan)
Initiatives to Reduce Environmental Load, Including Curbing Global Warming
  • Effective utilization of waste products, including commercialization of chicken manure by Prifoods, as a fertilizer and snow–melting agent (in carbonized form), and utilization of tea leaf residues as a compost ingredient by Mitsui Norin
  • Sale of recycled feed made from food manufacturing by–products and other raw materials to compound feed manufacturers, resulting in the effective utilization of previously unused resources, and contributing to the creation of a recycling–based society and the improvement of the feed self–sufficiency ratio
  • Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister's Award in the 36th Green City Awards won by Ikuta Green Space Management Consortium, for which Mitsui & Co. Foresight is the representative company
  • Reduction of energy consumption and environmental burdens through the renewal of plant utilities at MicroBiopharm Japan, resulting in an 84.7% year–on–year reduction in energy use (crude oil equivalent) per unit of product
  • Acquisition of LEED certification by Acibadem Altunizade Hospital as a sustainable medical facility (Turkey)
Corporate & Others
  • Monitoring of CO2 emissions, water use survey
    • Group companies in Japan: Monitoring of changes in CO2 emissions over time, identification of scope for reductions, and efforts to reduce GHG emissions based on a target of reducing energy consumption (including consumption at business facilities) by an average of 1% or more each year; Global group: Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by affiliated companies based on management levels adjusted according to output levels, with intensive management and monitoring of year–on–year changes for companies that have high CO2 emissions (overseas affiliated companies); continuation of last year's survey of water use by subsidiaries in key countries and other locations
  • Estimate of CO2 absorption (approx. 160,000 tons/year) through the appropriate management and development of Mitsui's Forests
Initiatives for Preserving Biodiversity
  • Support by Toho Bussan for production and sales of rice grown using farming methods that develop biodiversity (Japan)
Addressing Environmental Issues through Contribution to Society
Corporate & Others
  • Provision of grants through the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund for university research and NPO/NGO activities that contribute to the solution of environmental issues (21 grants totaling ¥171 million), and employee participation in the activities of grant recipients (13 projects, approx. 200 participants)
  • Implementation of school–visit classes for elementary, middle, and high school students, utilizing Mitsui's Forests (13 visits, approx. 800 participants), and forest experience programs for elementary school children and their parents, employees and their families, and other participants (10 programs, approx. 300 participants)
  • Contribution to human resources development for the forestry and timber industries through the continuing endowment of a lecture program at Keio University (course completed by approx. 300 people)
  • Presentation of a special lecture program on the significance of forests owned by business corporations, in collaboration with the Tokyo University of Agriculture (approx. 100 participants)
  • Supply of FSC® certified timber from Mitsui's Forests in Mie Prefecture for use in a wooden building built for the Ise–Shima Summit

Message from Mitsui's Environmental Officer

Satoshi Tanaka

We have entered an era in which an international community with diverse values increasingly expects business corporations to play a key role in finding solutions for environmental and social issues relating to climate change, resource recycling, biodiversity, and harmony with local communities. Business activities that are not in tune with society's expectations are unlikely to survive long in this context.

“Sustainable development” is the key concept in the report of the Brundtland Commission, which was published by the United Nations in 1987 under the title “Our Common Future”. Since then, the idea of “sustainability” has been embraced as a symbolic slogan for global environmental issues. Today the concept of sustainability has become a solid foundation for international initiatives, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. We are witnessing the beginnings of a huge wave of change spanning multiple eras and generations, accompanied by an increasing awareness and focus on, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) perspectives.

As a company engaged in a wide variety of activities, Mitsui responds proactively to environmental and social issues, and creates opportunities to address those issues at the global level. Of course we will continue to strive toward sustainable growth by undertaking business activities that are based on genuine care for the environment and society. We draw attention to the work of the Sustainability Committee, and also our Specially Designated Business for environment–related project assessments. Our Environmental & Societal Advisory Committee comprises external experts whose input is invaluable. Finally, We should mention our Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund, which supports the activities of NPOs, NGOs and academic researchers undertaking work relating to global environmental issues, a and numerous other social contribution initiatives and engagement with stakeholders.

Satoshi Tanaka

Representative Director, Executive Vice President,

Environmental Officer

Environmental Policy

Guiding Principles

  1. Mitsui & Co. believes that one of its most important management themes involves providing a positive response to environmental issues on a global group basis, in order to contribute to the creation of a future where the dreams of the inhabitants of our irreplaceable Earth can be fulfilled.
  2. Mitsui & Co. will make every possible effort towards realizing a “sustainable development” which is aimed at creating a harmony between the economy and the environment on a global group basis.

In view of the above principles, and in accordance with the Action Guidelines shown below, Mitsui & Co. will design, periodically evaluate, and continually improve an adequate risk management system, including response to matters such as global warming, nature conservation with consideration given to biological diversity, and the prevention of pollution, which will cover the wide range of activities that it undertakes on a global scale. At the same time, we will strive to ensure the development and dissemination of earth–friendly technologies and further reinforce our responsibility with respect to the environment on a global group basis.

Action Guidelines

1. Compliance with relevant environmental laws and regulations

We will comply with various relevant environmental laws and regulations, as well as all agreements signed by the company for promoting business activities.

2. Efficient utilization of resources and energy

We will strive to reduce the burden on the environment within each of our workplaces and in our business activities through the efficient utilization of resources and energy, as well as the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste and its proper disposal.

3. Environmental care for products and services offered, as well as existing and new businesses

We will give the utmost consideration to the environment to the extent technologically and economically feasible by exercising an appropriate degree of influence in enlisting the understanding and support of involved business partners, as well as evaluating the impact that we have on the environment, not only in the prevention of pollution, but on such issues as global warming and the conservation of biological diversity as well.

4. Contribution to providing industrial solutions to environmental issues

We will engage in business activities with the goal of providing rational and permanent industrial solutions, and contribute to the realization of “sustainable development” by exploiting our individual abilities and the collective strengths of our organization in cooperation with our global partners.

Sustainability Report 2017

P.21–39 “Protection of the Global Environment” (PDF 1.11MB)

More detailed information can be found in our Sustainability Report.