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Corporate InformationSustainability

Improved Environmental Performance in Products and Services

Hitachi is improving the environmental performance of its products and services with the hope of contributing to the resolution of environmental challenges through the development and popularization of products and services with high environmental value. We strike a balance between improving functionality and reducing the environmental burden by using, as our index, the reduction rate per product and service function of CO2 emissions during usage and of the volume of resources used during the life cycle. The group of products that demonstrate a high level of potential in solving environmental issues are the targets of a plan to achieve a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by fiscal 2018 (compared to fiscal 2010 products). In fiscal 2016, we attained a 35% CO2 emissions reduction rate by promoting environmentally conscious designs and expanding sales of products and services with high energy-saving functions.

Key Indicators

Reduction in CO2 Emissions


Major functions of products correlated to CO2 emissions.

Improvements in Environmental Performance

RS90 Series of Information and Control Servers (Hitachi, Ltd.)

A rack-mountable RS90 series of information and control server.

The RS90 series of information and control servers are real-time, high-reliability information and control system platforms that play an integral role in maintaining smooth operations of society's basic infrastructure. These servers are used in such fields as power generation, water and sewer services, and rail transport. The use of high-performance processors has increased the MIPS*1 value—a computer performance indicator—to twice that of our product launched in fiscal 2010. The servers also save energy due to their smaller size, fewer components, and low-power-consuming parts, reducing annual energy consumption by 10,404 kWh. As a result, CO2 emissions per control server MIPS value have declined by 72.9%.

Million instructions per second: A value showing how many million instructions can be made in one second.

3100 Clinical Analyzer (Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation)

3100 clinical analyzer.

The 3100 clinical analyzer is an automated chemical analyzer for the healthcare field used by hospitals to test patient specimens. With a footprint of just 0.59 m2, it requires very little space and is suitable either as a main analyzer in clinics and small hospitals or a backup analyzer in large hospitals. The demand for fast test results has been increasing in recent years, and the 3100 was developed with the aim of achieving 400 tests per hour, twice the throughput of a model we launched in 1995.

The performance of our earlier products was examined, and a thoroughgoing review of the operating program of each mechanism was conducted. At the same time, the motor and other parts were optimized to ensure high performance even under short operating times. As a result, we achieved both the targeted throughput of 400 tests per hour and high analytical performance. Power consumption associated with higher speeds and an increase in the number of component parts was reduced both during operation and while in standby by lowering the isolation transformer load through a rethinking of the AC power supply configuration and by switching to a DC power source with good conversion efficiency. As a result, annual energy consumption was reduced by 169 kWh compared to the previous model. With these improvements, the automatic analyzer achieved a CO2 emissions reduction rate of 54.4% per hour of processing capacity.

Disc Brake Pad (Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.)

Disc brake pads.

Disc brake pads are built into the brakes of automobiles and motorcycles and bring vehicles to a stop by sandwiching the discs that rotate with the wheels from both sides. Generally speaking, disc brake pads contain copper to increase abrasion resistance and maintain the level of performance over long periods. Copper-containing dust powder is produced when braking, however, which is thought to cause water pollution as the powder runs off the pavement into nearby streams and rivers. To prevent this, a law to limit the copper content in disc brake pads will be implemented in the United States from 2021.

By augmenting copper's performance with various materials, Hitachi Chemical has developed an environmentally responsive disc brake pad*1 that maintains abrasion resistance while minimizing copper content. Consequently, we have been able to achieve both low environmental impact and high performance, reducing the average copper usage volume per disc brake pad by 75.9% compared to fiscal 2010.

Environmentally responsive disc brake pads are either copper-free or copper-less.

Addressing Our Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint of products (CFP) is the CO2 equivalent of the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted over the entire life cycle of a product or service—from procurement of materials through to disposal and recycling. Making the GHG emission amount visible in this way encourages efforts to reduce the amount of carbon emitted by products over their whole life cycle. A number of countries around the world use the CFP approach.

Hitachi launched CFP assessment in 2009. We participate in the Carbon Footprint Communication Program of the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry (JEMAI) and are working to expand the number of Approved CFP Products.*1 In fiscal 2016, our midrange storage system, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G800, was verified and approved by the JEMAI CFP Program. In addition to visualizing CO2 emissions, we quantified the rate of CO2 emission reductions per function*2 from previous models, publishing the quantitative effect of their energy efficiency in our catalogs and on both in-house and external websites. We are also working with JEMAI to raise the recognition of the CFP label and to promote Approved CFP Products.

Approved CFP Product: A product subjected to testing according to the CFP quantification rules of the Carbon Footprint Communication Program, is verified as conforming to those rules, and for which an application is made for registration and public announcement.
Specifically, the "life cycle GHG emissions per unit function size," calculated by dividing the "life cycle GHG emissions per sales unit" by "function size of applicable product" as specified by performance (or performance characteristic) and/or use period.

Products authorized to display the CFP label in fiscal 2016

Products authorized to display the CFP label in fiscal 2016
Product Midrange Storage
Model Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G800
Product appearance
[Previous model] Hitachi Unified Storage VM
Rate of reduction in CO2 emissions (compared to previous model) -55%

Working with European Environmental Footprint Initiatives

Europe's Environmental Footprint initiatives develop methodologies for measuring the entire life cycle environmental burden of products and organizations in up to 16 areas. Pilot studies were launched in November 2013 to establish assessment methods in multiple product and organization fields.

Hitachi, drawing on experience with Japan's Carbon Footprint Communication Program and the knowledge gained from calculating and visualizing CO2 emissions in the IT product life cycle, is participating in a European Environmental Footprint pilot study in the IT equipment field, for which it serves as the technical secretariat.

In fiscal 2016, we evaluated the environmental burden of IT products in accordance with the methods approved by the European Commission, using the Hitachi storage platform actually sold on the European market. We also disclosed and communicated the evaluation results to our customers. In conjunction, we held a consultation forum to hear the opinions of stakeholders on evaluation and communication methodologies. These were, in turn, subsequently reflected in actual methods.

Next Steps in Products and Services

Hitachi will ensure the environmental consciousness of its products and services by conducting Environmentally Conscious Design Assessments and implementing life cycle assessments (LCAs). In addition, by linking environmental values to the creation and expansion of business opportunities, we will continue to develop products and services with high environmental performance that will prove to be an added value to our customers.

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