Response to Climate Change
The fluorocarbons used as refrigerants in air conditioners have a global warming impact that is several hundred to several thousand times greater than that of CO2.
The Daikin Group is the only comprehensive air conditioner manufacturer developing everything from refrigerant to air conditioners and engaging in the recovery, recycle and destruction of refrigerants. In addition to disseminating low-global-warming-impact refrigerants worldwide, we strictly manage refrigerants during the production, after-sales, and other stages, and we recover, destroy, and recycle refrigerants at the end of air conditioner life so that we can reduce environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle.
At all worldwide production bases, we recover and destroy refrigerants placed in air conditioners during testing and other processes. In Japan, with the enforcement of the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons, we are supporting customers in carrying out inspection, repair, and maintenance of their commercial air conditioners, including non-Daikin products. We also constantly improve the skills of installation staff to ensure the work is done properly and that no refrigerant leaks during product use.
The fluorocarbons emitted in the Chemicals Division are raw materials and by-products in the production of fluorochemical products. To prevent such emissions, we have been installing recovery equipment on production lines and properly destroying the fluorocarbon gases recovered. We also take the fluorite generated during the destruction process and use it as raw material for the production of fluorochemical products.
In fiscal 2015, we expanded destruction facilities at the Yodogawa Plant. In addition, we strove to limit the amount of emissions of HFC-23, a by-product of production processes with an extremely high global warming potential.
Overseas, even in countries with no fluorocarbon emission restrictions, Daikin plants voluntarily recover gas and destroy it either in house or through a contracted destruction facility. In fiscal 2015, Daikin America, Inc. proceeded with introducing substitutes for Perfluorohexane and stepped up recovery of FC-c318, thus dramatically reducing emissions.
We will continue to switch to fluorocarbon substitutes in our efforts to reduce environmental impact.
During the air conditioner manufacturing process at our worldwide production bases we do everything possible to ensure no refrigerants (HFC, HCFC) leak during filling.
These measures include the following:
All this and other related work is done by certified technicians according to maintenance manual procedures. Technicians also undergo training every year based on the manual.
In fiscal 2017, the refrigerant emissions ratio was 0.2% at Daikin in Japan and 0.5% overseas. In addition, by converting to low global warming potential refrigerants, we are reducing CO2-equivalent emissions. For the gas used in the inspection process, we have converted to helium, which does not deplete the ozone layer and is not a greenhouse gas.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. carries out three inspections for refrigerant leaks during the production process for residential and commercial air conditioners. This gives customers highly reliable products and prevents refrigerant emissions due to product defects.
The refrigerants used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment are colorless, odorless, and tasteless gases that, although not harmful to humans, must be prevented from leaking into the atmosphere since these refrigerants have a great impact on global warming. In 2009, the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association announced a policy of displaying the effects of global warming caused by these refrigerants: a ‘visualization' of their movement.
Since that time, the Daikin Group in Japan has placed stickers on its refrigeration and air conditioning equipment for the Japanese market that show that fluorocarbons are being monitored. In accordance with the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons went into effect from 2015, these ‘visualization' stickers have shown the global warming impact of the refrigerant used in order to encourage the recovery of fluorocarbons. These same stickers are placed on products made overseas for the Japanese market.
We are improving the placement of stickers and designing products so that stickers are highly visible to end-users and installers and so that we can improve the recovery rate.
The development of technicians able to properly install refrigerant pipes is essential for the prevention of faulty pipe installation, one of the causes of refrigerant leaks during use. Since April 2011, Daikin has implemented a certification system for refrigerant pipe technicians. We also became the first manufacturer to establish an in-house system for certifying that refrigerant pipe installers have outstanding knowledge, techniques, skills, and ethics in this area. As of the end of fiscal 2017, a cumulative total of 1,226 people at retailers and installers had been certified.
The Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons went into effect in April 2015 in Japan with the aim of strengthening the prevention of fluorocarbon leaks that cause global warming. Accordingly, this law obligates commercial air conditioner users and owners to conduct strict management of refrigerants to ensure they do not leak during product usage. In response, since October 2015 we have offered the free smartphone app "Daikin Fluorocarbon Tool (Dfct)" that can identify and list equipment subject to this law just by photographing the equipment. It also provides notifications for periodic inspections and a simple checklist menu for all equipment.
In response to customer feedback, we upgraded the app with everyday functions in fiscal 2017, launching the use of Excel for the batch entry of equipment data for customers who want to manage multiple units as well as a map function able to display lists of equipment and properties on a map.
Dfct is also used throughout Daikin to thoroughly manage targeted equipment located inside the Company.
During the parts replacement that takes place during maintenance of air conditioners, refrigerant can leak out into the atmosphere. To prevent this, the Daikin Group in Japan has recovery equipment at service outlets across Japan that carry out such repair work, and this equipment is used to recover refrigerant before any repair work begins. In fiscal 2017, Daikin Industries, Ltd. recovered 204.8 tons of refrigerants.
In the Daikin Group, refrigerant recovery equipment is deployed to sales company service divisions in each country. Regardless of differences in the laws and regulations of each country, all technicians conduct refrigerant recovery work with a strong awareness of environmental measures.
In accordance with fluorocarbon regulations in Europe, especially in countries like France and Italy, Daikin provides training to employees and dealers as a certification course for the acquisition of national certification in gas welding and fluorocarbon handling.
In Asia and Oceania, refrigerant recovery training is conducted within instructors development training, which was held three times in fiscal 2017 with a total of 19 national instructors deployed to sales companies in each country. In some countries, refrigerant recovery trainings were also conducted for service cooperation stores that requested them.
In Japan, we are thorough in our recovery of fluorocarbons (refrigerants) from commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. We have created a network system for the integrated management of all information from recovery to destruction of refrigerants, including the amount of refrigerant recovered and the amount destroyed by contractors. By entering the type and quantity of equipment for each case of refrigerant recovery and the amount of refrigerant recovered, we accurately ascertain refrigerant recovery rates and thoroughly manage compliance with the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons.
Companies responsible for charging, recovering, recycling and destroying refrigerants add up the total amounts they charged, recovered, recycled and destroyed, which they are required to report annually to prefectural governments in Japan. As this system also assists with generating these reports, it contributes to these companies working more efficiently.
In addition, even overseas in European and North American countries with strict regulations, we have established recovery systems similar to that used in Japan to manage the process from recovery to destruction. In other regions, we also comply with regulations in each country and take appropriate measures from the perspective of environmental protection.
Further, Daikin destruction equipment is used in Japan and Thailand to thoroughly destroy fluorocarbons.
The recovery of refrigerants requires special knowledge and skills, and Daikin Industries, Ltd. provides these through training for the sales, technical, installation, and service staff who will be recovering refrigerants.
After one of these training programs, the technician training course, participants take a final test and if they pass are registered as refrigerant recovery technicians by the Refrigerants Recycling Promotion and Technology Center. In fiscal 2017, 2,183 people, mostly from retailers and installers, passed the test. Of all those registered as refrigerant recovery technicians in Japan, 71% took the Daikin technician training course.
The Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons went into effect in 2015, and in response we must conduct strict management of refrigerants to ensure they do not leak during product usage. Persons conducting equipment inspections and refrigerant filling work are also obligated to acquire new certifications. In response, Daikin has been holding workshops for people who have acquired certification as first and second grade refrigerant fluorocarbons handling technicians. We have also held seminars on the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons for employees of buildings and large stores using Daikin products, and contracted maintenance outlets.
In fiscal 2017, workshops that we held for people who have acquired certification as first and second grade refrigerant fluorocarbons handling technicians were attended by 450 people (first grade) and 1,842 people (second grade) throughout Japan.
Overseas, in April 2018, we began implementation of the R-32 air conditioner installation and refrigerant recovery technology workshops at the Singapore training base in order to disseminate R-32 refrigerant. Daikin provides the Singapore training base with information from training in Japan for use in these workshops.
We take requests from retailers and other businesses for the proper recovery and destruction of refrigerants. The Daikin Contact Center receives calls all day, every day. Recovered refrigerants are taken to our Yodogawa Plant, Kashima Plant, or one of the contracted destruction facilities around Japan where they are properly destroyed or handed over to recyclers authorized under the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons
In fiscal 2017, the total amount of refrigerants destroyed in the recovery and destruction business by the Daikin Group in Japan was 397 tons.
Fluorocarbon destruction facilities (Yodogawa Plant)
Note: Amount destroyed at Yodogawa Plant, Kashima Plant, or one of the contracted destruction facilities around Japan.
Note: Figures until fiscal 2013 are for Daikin Industries, Ltd. only, and figures from fiscal 2014 are for the Daikin Group in Japan.
In developing countries, Daikin cooperates with the Japanese government, national governments and other agencies to conduct foundational research aimed at creating refrigerant recovery, recycle and destruction schemes among other support for the recovery, recycle and destruction of fluorocarbons.
As in fiscal 2016, in fiscal 2017 Daikin was entrusted by the Ministry of the Environment to engage in research projects for the purpose of supporting developing countries, and in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme in Sri Lanka, we worked on promoting energy-saving air conditioners created refrigerant recovery, recycle and destruction schemes. Based on survey results obtained over a two-year period, we compiled policy recommendations that were proposed to the government of Sri Lanka. We explained the details of this policy during a local briefing attended by more than 70 people involved in government, academia and industry.
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