Contributing to the building of a low-carbon society in which trees are carefully raised, efficiently used, and recycled
At the foundation of the development of products at DAIKEN is the concept of "creating products based on the environment", and the key to that is trees. Trees are a reusable resource, and they play a vital role on earth, storing carbon and releasing oxygen. Trees also have a variety of other features that make them an excellent material, such being easy to process, providing heat insulation, controlling humidity, and absorbing sound.
For these reasons, DAIKEN participates in a tree cycle program in which the Company is committed to planting trees, using trees from properly-managed forests, making complete use of its wood resources, and recycling used products. DAIKEN is also turning to new materials and is making efficient use of untapped resources, such as byproducts of steel manufacture and volcanic silicate, to create more environment-friendly products.
Our Environmental Approach
Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), sequester carbon (C), and release oxygen (O). Because the total amount of carbon on the planet is fixed, by increasing the amount of solid carbon, we can decrease the amount of carbon gas. That means that as we increase our natural forests and continue to use wooden housing and wooden products, we can control CO2 emissions and help curb global warming.
Absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen
Floor base material has conventionally used plywood from South-Seas wood, but with the depletion of South-Seas wood becoming a global environmental issue, DAIKEN has made the development of a new floor base material its top priority. In 2008, DAIKEN integrated sustainable plywood from planted forests together with special MDF to create " E Hardbase", a more advanced eco-friendly base material.
The Company is looking to use this sustainable base material 100% in its floor base boards, and is considering making the eco-friendly flooring material an industry standard.
Ecological products for floor base boards
DAIKEN makes full use of MDF for the door and core material of the frame that used to use plywood made from South-Seas wood, with the exception of certain parts for quality purposes (to prevent warping). Nearly 90% of the material of our door products use ecological products (including particle board).
Using MDF for door core material
While working to expand its line of ecological products, the DAIKEN Group is making efforts to practice due diligence regarding its environmental load using a life-cycle assessment (LCA) approach and implement improvements, to create products that are even more environment-friendly.
Beginning in 2002, the DAIKEN Group began establishing a set of voluntary standards for ecological products that are easy on the environment and those that increase the quality of life, and the Group is working to expand its efforts. By the end of the fiscal year 2009, these products accounted for 61% of the Group's products. However, with recent tightening regulations regarding CO2 emissions and chemical substance control and the response to greater transparency of environmental information, it has become apparent that the Group's environmental approach must be strengthened over the life-cycle of the product while increasing product safety and environmental protection and providing appropriate information disclosure. Amid this situation, the Group is now strengthening and improving the negative check items for evaluating the conformity of environmental laws and regulations and its voluntary standards, and it is performing reviews to set product standards that incorporate efforts for LCA*1.
*1 Life-cycle assessment: The method of evaluating the environmental effects of a product over its entire life-cycle, from material procurement to production, transport, use, and disposal.
DAIKEN is practicing due diligence regarding the environmental impact of its products by completing an LCA estimate in 2009 for its main products while looking forward to creating a product carbon footprint*2 system. As part of this strategy, the Group cooperated with its subsidiary and affiliated companies to take part in the "2008 Product Green Performance Improvement Promotion Program"*3 ("Green Performance Program"), and implemented and constructed product environmental conformance design and LCA approaches. During fiscal year 2009, DAIKEN has been working to collect inventory data of fabricated products.
*2 Carbon footprint of products (CFP): The total amount of greenhouse gases produced over the life-cycle of a product converted into CO2
*3 Product Green Performance Improvement Promotion Program
A project implemented by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for effectively and efficiently promoting the reduction of CO2 among both industry and consumers and providing steady growth of the eco-product market.
The DAIKEN Group's floor material-related organization received Chain-of-Custody Certification (SGSHK-COC-005439) from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in November 2008. As a result, DAIKEN is constructing a system whereby it can provide forest-certified floor material. The forest certification system is a reliable system for evaluating whether forest management and harvesting are done with the environment and local community in mind. It provides Forest Management Certification and Chain-of-Custody Certification. DAIKEN received Chain-of-Custody Certification.
In March 2010, the DAIKEN Group's floor material-related organization received Chain-of-Custody Certification (SGSJP-PCOC-1051) from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC). Through the evaluation and certification by third-party organizations that practice forestry management in accordance with standards and indices for sustainable forests, now forest certification is available from two large global certification systems.
Each department in the Company is making efforts to reduce energy consumption and prevent global warming.
The Revised Law Regarding the Rationalization of Energy Use implemented in April 2006 in Japan forced cargo businesses to take actions to reduce power consumption. In response, the DAIKEN Group set a goal of reducing the basic unit of energy use by 5% over five years based on 2006, and as part of its measures to achieve this, it reduced deliveries of small lots, enhanced its load efficiency, increased the size of its fleet, and changed to modal shift transport. The transportation volume within Japan during 2009 was 190 million ton-kilos, and the amount of CO2emissions as a result of transportation was 23,700 ton-CO2. Although the transportation volume fell 5.3% from 2008, the increased fleet size*1, enhanced load efficiency, and other transportation improvements reduced the level of energy consumption (crude oil equivalent) 8.7%, and the basic unit*2, at 47.1 (kl/100,000 ton-kilos), decreased 3.5% compared to 2008.
*1 Some of the 10-ton trucks used primarily for transportation of products were switched to larger vehicles (15-ton and 20-ton trailer trucks), reducing the amount of fuel used.
*2 Basic unit = amount of energy used (kl) / transportation volume (1 million ton-kilos)
In addition to protecting wood resources to help prevent global warming, the DAIKEN Group also continues to make many efforts to protect nature on a global scale.
The area reforested by DAIKEN Sarawak Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia since 2002 has reached nearly 3,500 hectares by the end of 2008. An estimated 3 million seedlings have been planted in this forestation area. In 2008, the amount of CO2 emissions (fixed amount) was approximately 120,000 tons (estimated). This exceeds the amount of energy source emissions from DAIKEN's production plants in Japan in 2008 (10 plants in 9 companies). The seedlings planted in 2002 are scheduled to be harvested next year. New trees are then planted where mature trees are harvested, starting the cycle for wood resources. The wood material gifted from the properly managed forests is efficiently used in plywood and MDF without waste, keeping the CO2 in solid form as housing materials in newly built homes. When the circulation cycle at this forestation area is completed, forestation activities are expanded to new lands, contributing to the realization of a recycling society.
Annual change in CO2 absorption (estimated)
In the same tradition as last year, 13 new 2010 employees helped plant 330 cypress trees in a company-owned forest area located in Niimi, Okayama in western Japan. The employees were able to experience first-hand the importance of nature conservation, which is a principle behind DAIKEN's operations, and raise their eco-consciousness. The program was also popular among regular employees who also took part, noting that it gave them an understanding of the importance of trees and the difficulties in raising them.
New employees helping plant trees
In 2009, DAIKEN became a member of the Itochu Group of organizations supporting the North Ulu Segama reforestation project operated by the World Wildlife Federation in the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. This program aims to restore the rainforests that cannot be regenerated naturally due to severe deterioration, by planting new trees and providing a habitat for the endangered orangutan and other species. Over five years, new trees will be planted and maintained until the trees can stand on their own in a 967-hectare section in the North Ulu Segama region of the Malaysian state of Sabah. This activity will help contribute to the conservation of nature on a global scale.