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Hitachi's Aims: Achieving a Low-Carbon Society, a Resource Efficient Society, and a Harmonized Society with Nature
The world's population, which was 7.6 billion in 2017, is projected to grow to 9.8 billion by 2050 and to 11.2 billion by 2100.*1 Global GDP is also continuing to expand, aggravating a host of environmental problems, including global warming caused by higher CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption, the depletion of resources due to increased demand, and ecosystem destruction. Global-scale efforts are being made to develop approaches that lighten the burden on the environment so that a prosperous planet can be passed on to future generations.
Hitachi strives to achieve a more sustainable society by addressing environmental problems, which pose a major challenge for society, based on its corporate mission of contributing to society through the development of superior, original technology and products.
In fiscal 2016, we announced our Environmental Vision and long-term environmental targets called Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050. Likewise, we worked hard to achieve the following targets that were set forth in the Environmental Action Plan for 2018: Raising the level of environmental activities; improving the environmental performance of our products and services; and reducing energy use in our factories and offices. With the exception of one item, we were able to attain all targets. With an eye to the plan's final year of fiscal 2018, we are committed to improving the results of various activities on an ongoing basis to achieve our targets.
|Policies||FY 2016 goals/plans||Results in FY 2016||Achievement level||FY 2017 goals/plans|
|Higher level of environmental activities||240 green points (GPs) under the GREEN21-2018 environmental activity index||265 GPs||360 GPs|
|Policies||FY 2016 goals/plans||Results in FY 2016||Achievement level||FY 2017 goals/plans|
|Improvement in the environmental performance of products and services||Reduce CO2 emissions from use of products and services by 30% (base: FY 2010)||35%||35%|
|Reduction in energy use in factories and offices||Reduce energy use per unit by 15% (base: FY 2005)||12%||16%|
Hitachi faces a broad range of challenges regarding its products and services, such as reducing carbon emissions and improving resource efficiency across the value chain. At the same time, given the expectations of society, achieving innovations that help resolve environmental issues presents major business opportunities.
Guided by our Environmental Vision, we announced in September 2016 a set of long-term environmental targets called Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050 to guide our environmental initiatives from a broader and longer-term perspective. Aligning this with our Mid-term Management Plan, we have also formulated an Environmental Action Plan for 2018 that lays out specific activity areas and improvement targets over a three-year period through fiscal 2018 in promoting our environmental activities.
We will promote Group-wide efforts to achieve the targets set forth in the Environmental Action Plan for 2018 in order to conduct environmental management in a manner that meets the expectations of society.
To lay the groundwork for the promotion of environmental management on an ongoing basis and thereby achieve its Environmental Vision, the Hitachi Group needs to establish and continuously improve systems to reduce the environmental burden of its business operations.
Based on a number of certifications and guidelines, including ISO 14001, we have developed Group-wide environmental management systems that allow us to gauge the environmental burden of our business activities and steadily implement a PDCA cycle to reduce that burden. In order to reduce the environmental burden throughout the value chain, we apply Environmentally Conscious Design Assessments during the design and development stages of the products and solutions we offer. We also have in place a global environmental management framework, under which we evaluate our environmental activities and keep close track of our environmental performance.
From abnormal weather conditions around the world associated with global warming to resource depletion and loss of biodiversity, environmental risks that could seriously affect the future of humanity and our planet are on the rise. International calls are being made for measures to mitigate these risks, as exemplified by the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—the centerpiece of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations. Businesses, too, must accurately ascertain the risks they face and the opportunities that arise for the utilization of management resources.
Hitachi focuses on two particular environmental risks and opportunities—climate change and water resources—and promotes initiatives to address them in a steadfast manner. Indeed, among the top five global risks in terms of impact cited by the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks Report 2017 are "water crises," "extreme weather events," and the "failure of climate-change mitigation and adaption." Hitachi will strengthen its response from a global perspective to risks that threaten both corporate finances and society as a whole, such as the growing seriousness of abnormal weather, changing rainfall patterns, and the impact of droughts and floods on economic activity.
Achieving a low-carbon society is an urgent challenge shared widely around the world. Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations are "Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts" and "Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all."
Hitachi helps to achieve a low-carbon society in a great number of ways, both through its own operations and also by developing energy-saving products and services. We manufacture a diverse range of products, from power generation systems to railway carriages and industrial equipment. We also advance technological innovations in building infrastructure worldwide by combining our operational technology (OT) and IT. In order to achieve our long-term targets contained in Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050 and the Environmental Action Plan for 2018, we will promote medium- to long-term efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our factories and offices, as well as from our products and services.
Creating higher economic value with fewer resources, embracing production and consumption activities that reduce the environmental burden, and achieving a resource efficient society and economy—these aims, as the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cite in "Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns," are directed at achieving a resource efficient society, an increasingly important and shared concern of humankind. As a corporate group with manufacturing and sales operations in locations around the world, Hitachi positions the achievement of a resource efficient society as an integral part of its Environmental Vision and is advancing efforts to make efficient use of the Earth's finite resources.
In keeping with our long-term Environmental Innovation 2050, we recognize water resources to be a key environmental risk and seek to build a society that uses water and other resources efficiently. We are implementing a variety of initiatives, such as reducing the volume of water used, making effective use of raw materials, and making sure to promote the "three Rs" of reduce, reuse, and recycle. We are making active use of the technologies and expertise held by various Group companies in advancing thoroughgoing waste management, water and resource conservation during production, and utilization of used and recycled components in IT equipment. The Hitachi Group as a whole will continue to promote manufacturing approaches that contribute to the achievement of a resource efficient society.
The ecosystem furnishes humankind with a range of benefits, not only supplying the natural resources required for people's food, clothing, and shelter and for economic activity but also reducing damage from natural disasters and absorbing greenhouse gases. Human economic activity, though, is resulting in the consumption of natural resources at a faster pace than can be restored through nature's recuperative powers, and this is having a serious impact on ecosystem services.
Hitachi not only promotes ecosystem preservation but also undertakes thoroughgoing management of chemical substances that may affect the ecosystem and seeks to achieve a harmonized society with nature that minimizes impact on natural capital. We have created an Ecosystem Preservation Activities Menu covering the entire value chain to guide our preservation initiatives and are promoting design and production activities that reduce the burden on the ecosystem throughout the product life cycle, in addition to carrying out environmental conservation activities as needed. In managing chemical substances, we adhere to laws and regulations in all countries and regions where we do business, as well as establishing our own in-house criteria to enable stringent and high-level management. These efforts are aimed at minimizing the burden our activities place on natural capital.