Effective Use of Resources
To cope with resource shortages caused by increasing populations, the circular economy is a concept that aims to generate profits using resource waste and discarded materials involving drastic changes to socio-economics at the level of design and business models to enable a linear system of circulation at various levels from production to disposal.
Daikin engages in the circular economy through product and packaging material resource conservation, product designs that are easily recyclable and the promotion of reuse and recycling.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. strives to use resources as effectively as possible by carrying out the 3Rs-reducing, reusing, and recycling-along with repairing under its 3R & Repair initiative.
This initiative plays a key role in our product design and development. Based on product assessment, we design and develop products that are smaller and lighter, have fewer numbers of parts and screws, and that use materials and construction that make them easy to maintain, separate, and recycle.
|Reduce||Make products smaller and lighter, Use recycled materials|
|Reuse||Use parts from end-of-life products|
|Recycle||Development||Design products that are easy to separate and recycle
|After use||Recycle end-of-life products|
|Repair||Development||Design products that are easy to maintain|
|After disposal||Have a repair support system that contributes to long-lasting products|
Product design stresses 3R & Repair based on product assessment. Since 1997, we have designed products so that their construction makes them easy to disassemble.
In fiscal 2017, Daikin developed an all-aluminum micro channel heat exchanger for the VRV X and VRV A multi-split type air conditioners. (Sales launched in July 2018)
Making products smaller and lighter means they will use fewer resources. When making air conditioners, for each product we set weight reduction targets for both the entire product and its components. However, it is technically difficult to achieve this without sacrificing energy efficiency. If making it smaller and lighter means that it consumes more energy, then the product's environmental performance throughout the entire lifecycle has not yet been improved.
When Daikin Industries, Ltd. develops new products, we establish weight reduction targets for each product on the condition that the annual performance factor (APF) does not decrease. The cocotas multi-cassette-type air conditioner for small spaces uses an air circulation technology combining a new downsizing turbo fan and a U-shaped heat exchanger that reduces size and weight, achieving an approximately 68% reduction in surface installation area compared to conventional residential cassette air conditioners installed in the ceiling.
We set a target of reducing the amount of packaging for air conditioning products by 1% in fiscal 2017 compared to fiscal 2016. Replacing corrugated cardboard packaging material with polystyrene foam, we are making efforts from the viewpoint of thinner packaging and reducing the number of parts and amount of cardboard used. In fiscal 2017, we achieved this goal by reducing the amount of cardboard and replacing heavy paper tubes with regular cardboard. Going forward, in consideration of strength, we will work with the development division to reduce the amount of packaging materials used.
At overseas Group companies, we are reducing the amount of reinforcement materials and simplifying the bottom trays used in packaging for outdoor air conditioning units. Furthermore, we are also collaborating with packaging materials manufacturers to eliminate the plywood used as reinforcement for commercial indoor air conditioner units and reduce the amount of packaging material used by effectively utilizing the cushioning properties of styrofoam.
Daikin reduced packaging materials for the square Eco-Cute tank by 15%, realizing packaging that is easy to fold, maintains its perpendicular shape and increases assembly work efficiency.
This packaging material won the Good Packaging Category Award (Electronics/Device Packaging Category) at the Japan Packaging Contest held by the Japan Packaging Institute and the WorldStar Contest 2018 held by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO).
At Daikin, we try to use resources efficiently. We take parts that have already been replaced and that contain multiple components, such as printed circuit boards, and we repair any malfunctions or replace the worn-out components. These parts (the printed circuit board, for example) are then tested for quality by ensuring that they are functioning properly and, with the customer's permission, are used as replacement parts when performing repair on a product.
Making products that last longer means that fewer resources are used. To this end, Daikin is strengthening its repair system by establishing service outlets around the world to take customer repair requests and questions and enquiries regarding products.
In Japan, the Daikin Contact Center is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year to take inquiries. We will continue to strive for even greater customer satisfaction by improving the technical expertise and etiquette of our service engineers through an engineer certification system. To ensure that customers phoning with repair requests get prompt responses, we have a database of past repair cases, practical know-how, and rules of thumb that Contact Center staff can access immediately. By asking for necessary information and providing appropriate instructions to customers over the phone, we avoid unnecessary service calls, thus improving work efficiency and boosting customer satisfaction.
As Daikin products are sold in an increasing number of countries, we are working to strengthen our service network in each country. By introducing service management systems, we are making workflow more efficient and providing more high-quality and transparent service in every phase of customer interaction including through our service engineers and our partner companies.
Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law obligates manufacturers to recycle at least 80% of the material from their own air conditioners as well as recover and then reuse or destroy refrigerants.
In fiscal 2017, we recovered about 320,000 products totaling 13,000 tons. The recycling ratio was 90% and the amount of fluorocarbons recovered was 399,000 t-CO2.
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