Effective Use of Resources
At Daikin, we believe it is important to make use of limited resources effectively to reduce environmental impacts. We will contribute to the shift toward a circular economy through efforts including reducing resource usage, recycling, improving the recyclability of products, reducing waste in the production process, and enhancing our repair system to extend product longevity.
Among the wide range of initiatives aimed at improving resource recycling in our business activities, our priority is to establish a recovery and reclaiming system of refrigerants that are essential to our mainstay products of air conditioners.
The recovery and reclamation of used air conditioner refrigerants from the market not only contributes to reduced emissions of greenhouse gas, but is also important in terms of resource recycling and stable supply of refrigerants.
As part of our social responsibility as an air conditioner manufacturer, Daikin promotes the establishment of a refrigerant recovery and reclamation system that circulates resources by recovering and reclaiming used refrigerants.
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 address 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 and receive requests for repairs. We strive for even greater customer satisfaction by improving the technical expertise and etiquette of our service engineers through an engineer certification system. To make repair requests more accessible, the telephone Contact Center staff follows a support system that promptly asks for necessary information on the phone and provides adequate directions, and we offer more ways of reaching us other than by telephone, such as through the Internet.
We are also 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.
Making products smaller and lighter is effective for reducing the amount of resources used. When making air conditioners, for each product we set weight reduction targets for both the entire product and its components.
However, if making it smaller and lighter means compromised energy efficiency, 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.
Daikin strives to reduce the usage of packaging for air conditioners from the perspectives of improved carriability, and reduction of components and cardboard area.
In fiscal 2021, we set a reduction target of 5% compared to fiscal 2016. We were able to conserve packaging materials with a design change to the outdoor unit of large air conditioners to accommodate protruding piping inside the main unit. This reduced the amount of packaging materials used by about 80% to reach the annual target as well as improved the load efficiency of vehicles during transport.
Two cardboard packaging products from Daikin Industries, Ltd. received the Industrial Packaging Award at the 2021 Japan Packaging Contest from the Japan Packaging Institute.
The packaging of the "Streamer Disinfection unit" attached to the indoor unit of our ceiling-mounted air conditioner for commercial use is made entirely of cardboard. This reduced the number of parts used and the cardboard used by approximately 13% by weight. Assembly was also simplified. (Received the award together with Oji Container Co., Ltd.)
All cardboard packaging for Streamer Disinfection unit
We developed a structure that minimizes the number of parts as much as possible for the packaging of Smart Cube (automatic air flow rate control unit). This consists entirely of cardboard which also simplified the packing process. (Received the award together with Rengo Co., Ltd.)
Smart Cube cushioning material with integrated top and bottom tray
The main materials used in air conditioners are metals such as iron, copper, and aluminum. Of these, copper faces the issue of over mining which leads to lower ore grade, while its demand is expected to increase as society strives to decarbonize. Daikin is working to reduce the amount of copper it uses through establishment of replacement technologies.
In addition, the circular use of plastic resources is also another major challenge. To this end, Daikin is moving forward with switching to appropriate recycled or renewable materials for plastics used in its products. We are also striving to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used in our packaging materials.
We consider a product’s recyclability from its design phase. We adopt the use of resins that are easily recyclable and structures that can easily be dismantled, and promote the labeling of materials for sorting and recycling. In addition, Daikin also strives to reduce parts and develop structures with improved recyclability.
Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law obligates manufacturers to recycle at least 80% of the material from their own residential air conditioners as well as recover and then reuse or destroy refrigerants.
In fiscal 2021, we recovered about 460,000 products totaling 18,337 tons. The recycling ratio was 91% and the amount of fluorocarbons recovered was 590,000 tons-CO2.
Daikin is working to reduce waste emissions from production processes, including hazardous waste. At the same time, we are endeavoring to reuse or recycle waste emissions.
In fiscal 2021, we have set a new target of reducing fiscal 2025 emissions per unit of production across the entire Group by 10% against the standard value (average for fiscal 2013 to 2015), and to this end we have strived to use raw materials more efficiently, minimize production loss, and shift to returnable packaging. In addition, we also strive to reduce waste by improving the material efficiency of waste plastic, reducing the amount of metals scrapped, and improving fluorine recovery rate. In fiscal 2021, we achieved a 13% reduction in emissions per production unit against the standard value.
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