Our products have an impact on the environment throughout their life cycle stages, including the procurement of materials, manufacture, use, and disposal, because of the use of resources such as energy and materials and because of the emission of greenhouse gases and the generation of waste.
In order to reduce the life cycle environmental impact of our products, we are implementing environmental measures in all stages of our business activities across the supply chain (including R&D design, procurement, production, transportation, sales, and disposal).
We believe that we can make a contribution to the creation of a low-carbon society through the development and release of low-emission and eco-friendly vehicles, improvements in the fuel economy of general-purpose engines, and the reduction of aircraft weight by the use of the composite materials technology. We are also implementing measures to reduce CO2 emissions from our business operations. For example, the new head office building to which we will move in 2014 is designed to be an S-class building under CASBEE*1.
We are managing and reducing the environmental risks posed by our business activities. For example, we have set out environmental criteria for warehouses storing hazardous materials, painting-related facilities, and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce the risks to the environment posed by these sites, such as leaks.
Before starting the driving tests of completed automobiles near the edge of our premises, we undertook noise assessments and established a soundproof fence, giving due consideration to the outer appearance and green space. Thanks to the fence, noise levels have been lowered by approx. 17 to 18 dB.
The FHI Group environment management system is structured around the Company-Wide Environmental Management System (EMS) and the Environmental Committee that works across the business divisions to implement the Environmental Policy and the Environmental Voluntary Plan. The director appointed for environmental issues represents the Company-Wide EMS and serves as chairperson of the Environmental Committee, conducting twice-yearly reviews. We actively promote environmental protection activities through comprehensive management of progress and revising the direction of future efforts.
■ Fuji Heavy Industries Group Environmental Organization Chart (as of March 2012)
We are keen to build a group-wide environmental management structure. An EMS has been established and external certifications acquired across business sites, business partners, domestic and overseas consolidated manufacturing companies, and SUBARU dealerships at home and abroad. In particular, in March 2011, all 44 domestic dealers over 477 sites obtained Eco Action 21 certification. This was the first achievement in Japan for a manufacturer-led dealership. Further, in June 2012, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), our North America production sites, became the first U.S. car manufacturing plant to receive ISO 50001, an international certification for energy management systems. The plant continues to improve its energy management.
Through global business activities as a part of the FHI Group, we are also working on" Green Procurement" in the supply chain and a comprehensive EMS across our nine business sites. We will further expand our EMS and Green Procurement activities that require a reduction of substances with environmental impact to include our business partners inside and outside Japan.
We value the close communications maintained with the communities neighboring our business sites. This is why we set up multiple contact channels and publish environmental information in a variety of ways, such as our CSR report and through the Internet, as a reliable corporation and to provide peace of mind to our stakeholders. In the SUBARU Visitor Center located in the Gunma Manufacturing Division, our environmental efforts are explained in an exhibition corner called the Recycle Lab. The Utsunomiya and Saitama Manufacturing Divisions also have areas to demonstrate their waste recycling efforts.
We have participated in the Eco-Products exhibition every year, regarding it as an important opportunity to meet a range of people who are interested in the environment and to introduce our environmental measures to them. We have received comments from many of the visitors to our booth, who were surprised by the fact that FHI, which is manufacturing SUBARU automobiles, is also engaged in other business fields. In Eco-Products 2011, we introduced our eco-friendly products, which people do not usually notice in their daily lives, by displaying actual products and using images, and publicized a range of measures that we are fostering for the environment. Sions also have areas
to demonstrate their waste recycling efforts.
FHI had been distributing a brochure on the "SUBARU automobile manufacturing process" to children coming to the visitor center. We had also been publishing a "special CSR report" to show SUBARU social and environmental measures to fifth and sixth graders of elementary schools and "Factory Story" for the online introduction of our production factories. In FY2013, we published a new brochure for children by combining the contents of these three publications.
We created this brochure by incorporating the opinions of people who had made tours of our factories. In the brochure, the manufacturing process is explained in an easy-to-understand manner and a range of information is provided, including our environmental initiatives and measures.
We provide employees with a range of environmental education according to their job ranks and job details, deeming it as one of its social responsibilities to conduct activities towards resolving environmental problems.
In April 2011, we provided the 199 new employees of the automotive business unit with education on environmental protection. An employee in charge of environmental issues served as the lecturer for the course, and briefed attendants on global environmental problems, SUBARU environmental policies and environmental protection activities, and the importance of making individual efforts by introducing specific examples to participants.
We also held a seminar to develop internal ISO 14001 auditors to enhance the internal auditing system for the ISO 14001 environmental management system and to foster environmental protection activities conducted at our workplaces. In the twoday seminar held with an invited external lecturer, participants received education as candidates for internal auditors. We also invited employees of affiliated companies to this seminar, in order to build a more environment-friendly value chain. We will continue providing environmental education and fostering awareness among employees.
In December 2011, about 700 employees at the head office received online education on environmental protection and were tested on their level of understanding using the in-house e-learning system.
Based on our environmental policy, FHI protects biodiversity making reference to the "Guidelines for Private Sector Engagement in Biodiversity (Ministry of the Environment)" and the "Declaration of Biodiversity by Keidanren—Guide to Action Policy (Keidanren)."
SOA, which sells SUBARU automobiles in the United States, established a Rain Garden within the premises of its head office, jointly with Rutgers University and a local soil protection organization. In the garden, employees are growing plants that are certified by the State government to contribute to environmental protection, which will eventually help purify the water in nearby rivers. The Rain Garden project also raised the environmental awareness of those living here, who are now highly motivated to clean local riverheads. In FY2013, the company will create another garden giving due considerations to biodiversity and with the participation of local citizens.
In Japan we own a number of forests, which extend to over 194 hectares in total. We thin the forests to develop and manage them. The reservoirs located within the premises of our sites are used as water sources for local agriculture. Also, a walking path was established in Kanayama, Ota City, by the SUBARU Group Local Exchange Organization, where weeds were removed and azaleas grown with support from local people.
The total number of complaints received concerning environmental issues, cases exceeding the legal limits, and accidents have all declined over the last five years.
■ Transition in the Number of Environmental Incidents, Accidents, and Complaints