Water Resources

Policies and Basic Approach

Water is the source of all life on earth, as well as being an invaluable resource that is the survival foundation of socio-economics systems. As a consequence of global population growth and development, water resource problems are arising on a global scale.

We recognize that access to safe and sanitary water is an important human right for all people. Also, water resources are essential for business continuity as well as for the residents in the communities where we operate. We have stipulated in our Environmental Policy that we will work to conserve water resources by reducing water consumption and improving the efficiency of water resource use.

We are engaged in operations around the world, including in areas subject to high water stress. We recognize that large-scale development and the vast consumption of water resources have caused problems with water resources. Accordingly, we will carry out water risk assessments to respond appropriately to these problems, and work to promote the conservation and sustainable use of water resources. In addition, in our Medium-Term Management Plan 2026, we have committed to contributing to the achievement of Nature Positive through business, and have positioned our water-related businesses as priority areas. We will continue to develop them globally, including in the fields of water desalination, water pumping and water production, and will contribute to solving water-related issues through our business.

Approximately 15,000 hectares of Mitsui's Forests, equivalent to around 30% of our company-owned forests, have been officially designated as Water Conservation and Water Safety Forests, helping to secure water resources and mitigate flood damage. We will continue to promote the appropriate development and management of our forests with the aim of providing a strong public benefit.

In addition, we will work to reduce our water use at our offices, for example by treating and reducing effluents.

Environmental Policy

Goals and Targets

Conservation of Water Resources and Identification of Water Risks

  • Conserve water resources related to our businesses, identify water risks in our businesses, and consider countermeasures.
  • Utilize ESG due diligence checklists and implement a risk assessment in advance using the water-related checklist items when planning new business or when expanding or withdrawing from operations. Make efforts in advance to understand the risks related to water resources for businesses and investment projects where water resources are particularly important such as beverages, agriculture, and mining in water-stressed regions.

Reduction of Water Usage and Improvement of Utilization Efficiency

  • Reduce water consumption at the Head Office and branches and offices in Japan, etc., of Mitsui & Co. (non-consolidated) to less than the amount used in the previous fiscal year, and improve the efficiency of water use.

For progress against targets, please refer to: Efforts to Reduce Water Use and Recycle Effluents - Improving Water Efficiency in Offices

Sustainability Governance and Oversight

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee works under the Executive Committee to plan, formulate and provide proposals on basic management policies, business activities, and corporate policies and strategies related to water resources.
The Sustainability Committee is structured so that its activities are appropriately supervised by the Board of Directors, and matters discussed by the Sustainability Committee are regularly discussed and reported to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Officer in Charge Makoto Sato (Representative Director, Senior Executive Managing Officer, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee)
Administrative Office Corporate Sustainability Div., Corporate Planning & Strategy Div.

Please refer to the links below for more information on Mitsui's Sustainability Management Framework and the activities of the Sustainability Committee.

ESG Risk Management

We have put in place a system to ensure that we give maximum consideration to the environment and society not only when we start a new business, but also during already under operations and when we withdraw from it.
In addition, we conduct investigations with experts for new business investment projects that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. For risk assessments in water-stressed areas, in particular, we use the portal site Aqueduct from the World Resource Institute (WRI) to monitor and analyze water risks and water effluent, not only for new business but also for our existing business, with the aim of reducing water-related risks. We also utilize ESG due diligence checklists and conduct risk assessments in advance using the water-related item checklist.

ESG Risk Management: Process of Managing Environmental and Societal Risks

Collaborating with Stakeholders

Participation in Initiatives

We are promoting and expanding our efforts to address water resources through participation in initiatives. Participation in each initiative is decided after confirming that it is consistent with our basic policy and initiatives for water resources.

CDP (Water Security)

Since 2015, we have responded to the questionnaire from CDP Water Security, a global disclosure program for corporate information on water risks. Based on our response to the questionnaire carried out in 2023, we received the score "B" in relation to Water Security.

Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)

Mitsui is a member of various Keidanren committees, including the following:

  • Committee on Responsible Business Conduct & SDGs Promotion, which works to make the Charter of Corporate Behavior well known, disseminate and promote "Society 5.0 for SDGs", and promote corporate social contribution activities
  • Committee on Energy and Resources, which promotes energy policies that provide a balance of S+3E (Safety + Energy Security, Economic Efficiency, and Environment)
  • Committee on Environment, which works to respond to climate change, promote circular economy and mainstreaming of biodiversity, and improve environmental regulations and systems

Collaborating with NGOs/NPOs

Support through an NPO for the Development of a Rainwater Reuse System to Supply Safe Drinking Water

A rainwater storage tank (November 2019) A rainwater storage tank (November 2019)

In mountainous areas and on remote islands in Bohol Province in the Philippines, it is difficult to access safe drinking water and water stress is high. Water from wells in coastal areas and on remote islands is unsuitable for drinking because of seawater contamination. Boat trips to buy water are a part of everyday life for island residents, imposing a heavy burden in terms of both costs and time. The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund has provided a grant to Ikaw Ako, an NPO to fund an initiative to provide rainwater storage and treatment facilities so that residents in this region can have easier access to safe drinking water. To create sustainable water supply systems, tanks with the optimal size for each community will be designed and built by the residents, allowing the facilities to be maintained and managed locally. Through this project, we are helping to solve the challenges of water-stressed regions.


Water Withdrawal in Water-Stressed Regions

Of the 189 nations included in the ranking of countries identified as having high risk levels related to water-stressed regions (as identified via Aqueduct, a global water risk map developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI)), we have identified 44 countries with water stress levels classified as either high-risk (27 countries) or very high-risk (17 countries). The following table shows the results of water withdrawal surveys conducted at our business sites in Mexico, Chile, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Oman, and India for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023.

*1: In some cases, data was obtained directly from project sites, while in other cases, data was only attainable via the head office (parent company/SPC) of the company or companies involved in the project.
*2: Scope of data collection: consolidated subsidiaries and unincorporated JVs.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

FY Mar/2021 FY Mar/2022 FY Mar/2023
High risk (40-80%) Locations 8 9 8
Volume of water withdrawn (thousand m3) 14 99 132
Very high risk (>80%) Locations 5 4 4
Volume of water withdrawn (thousand m3) 813 1,099 1,016

Initiatives in Water-Stressed Regions (1) Long-term Supply of Water through Power Generation and Desalination Independent Water and Power Producer (IWPP) Project in Qatar

Mitsui is participating in the Ras Laffan C power and water desalination (IWPP) project in Ras Laffan Industrial City, located 80 km north of Qatar's capital of Doha. The project was initiated in response to an increase in demand for electric power and water as a result of Qatar's rapid economic growth. Qatar uses seawater desalination to produce 99.9% of its water supplies. In this project, energy efficiency will be optimized through the use of a power generation and desalination process designed to utilize waste heat from power generation. With a power generation capacity of 2,730 MW and desalination capacity of 290,000 tons per day, this project will operate seawater desalination facilities for a period of 25 years starting in 2011. It will supply water and electric power to the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), accounting for around 24% of Qatar's electricity supply and approximately 14% of its water supply.

Initiatives in Water-Stressed Regions (2) Water Desalination and Pumping Business for Copper Mines in Chile

Chile accounts for approximately 30% of the world's copper production and is a thriving copper mining region. The country's copper mining operations use large amounts of water, especially in the north of Chile where there is a high concentration of mines. Water stress is high in this region as a whole, with growing concerns about resource shortages. Mitsui has invested in a seawater desalination and pumping service operation for the Spence Mine, a 100% subsidiary of BHP, a major mineral resources company, through Caitan S.p.A., held as a 50-50 joint venture with Dragados S.A. under the ACS Group of Spain. Caitan S.p.A. will construct, own and operate a water desalination plant and a 150 km water pumping facility in the province of Antofagasta in the north of Chile to supply fresh water to copper mine operator Minera Spence S.A. over a 20-year period, starting in 2023.
In the north of Chile, demand for seawater desalination is expected to grow at an annual rate of more than 5% as the region becomes increasingly concerned about water shortages. We will contribute to Chile's development by tapping into the country's rapidly growing demand for water infrastructure and further developing related infrastructure, while addressing the issue of water shortages through our business.

Water Supply and Sewage Infrastructure Business

(As of March 2023)

Business Country Processing Capacity (Total Capacity)
Unit: thousand m3/day
Tap Water Supply Thailand 1,028
Tap Water Supply Mexico 130
Sewage Treatment Plant Mexico (4 sites) 4,620
Power and Water Desalination Qatar 290
Desalination and Conveyance Chile 90

Efforts to Reduce Water Consumption and Improve the Efficiency of Use

Efforts to Care for Water Resources During Shale Gas and Shale Oil Extraction

Through consolidated subsidiaries, Mitsui is engaged in the development and production of shale gas and shale oil. The oil and gas are extracted using hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and Mitsui E&P USA gives due care to water resources by ensuring that water for hydraulic fracturing (fracking water) is properly used (including the recycling of wastewater where applicable), managed, and discharged.

Efforts to Improve Water Usage Rates in the Copper Business

We are engaged in the copper mining business in Chile. Chile is a high-risk region in terms of water stress levels, but because the operations require a large amount of water, we are promoting the introduction of technologies to maximize the efficiency of water use in the operating processes of each mine and are working to reduce the amount of new water withdrawal.
At the Los Bronces copper mine (located in the Capital Province of Chile), in which we are engaged together with Anglo American Plc, we reached a water reuse rate of 89% in 2021, mainly due to efforts to extract and reuse water from tailings. Also, at the Collahuasi copper mine (located in the Tarapaca province), the second largest copper mine in the world by production volume, with Anglo American and Glencore as partners, the water reuse rate reached level of 79% in FY Mar/2021. In addition, we are planning to build a seawater desalination plant in the future. We will continue to contribute to the development of the country through our business while making efforts to conserve water resources.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

2019 2020 2021
Los Bronces Copper Mine (*) Water reuse rate (%) 78% 85% 89%
Collahuasi Copper Mine Water reuse rate (%) 84% 76% 79%

*For Los Bronces Copper Mine, the figures include tailings water procured from third parties, and treated sewage, etc. (Recycle + Reuse).

Water Withdrawals in Projects

Water withdrawal intensity for copper concentrate production at Collahuasi mine

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Scope Unit
(annual average)
2020 2021 2022
Water withdrawal intensity
(annual average)
Water withdrawal per ton of ore processed at the copper concentrate processing plant


0.53 0.50 0.43
Water withdrawal intensity in sugar manufacturing


Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

(annual average)
FY Mar/2021 FY Mar/2022 FY Mar/2023
Per ton of sugar produced
(annual average)


3.9 3.7 1.1
Water withdrawal intensity in livestock production and processing

Prifoods Co., LTD.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

(annual average)
FY Mar/2021 FY Mar/2022 FY Mar/2023
Per ton of chicken meat processed
(annual average)


13.0 12.8 13.7

Efforts to Reduce Water Use and Recycle Effluents - Improving Water Efficiency in Offices

At the Head Office, we use 100% recycled drainage water for toilet flushing in order to promote reduction in water consumption. In addition, we have set the goal of improving water use efficiency by reducing the amount of water used at the Head Office and at our own buildings (Osaka) to less than the amount used in the previous fiscal year.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Progress against targets Scope Unit FY Mar/2021 FY Mar/2022 FY Mar/2023 Achievement Status
Water Withdrawal Mitsui & Co. as a non-consolidated entity

thousand m3

25 57 70 A year-on-year increase due to increased office attendance.
Intensity The office buildings owned by Mitsui & Co. as a non-consolidated entity (Head Office, Osaka Office, Chubu Office)*
(per employee)


6.47 12.76 15.14 A year-on-year increase due to increased office attendance.

*For FY Mar/2021, company-owned buildings include the Chubu Office (Nagoya); from FY Mar/2022, the Chubu Office building is excluded due to relocation to a leased building.

Costs Associated with Water-Related Risks:

Water recycling cost at buildings owned by Mitsui & Co. as a non-consolidated entity (Head Office, Osaka Office): 5 million Japanese Yen (FY Mar/2023)