Products and Services Contributing to the SDGs

Contributing to Environmental Issues

The Showa Denko Group deems it one of its social responsibilities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through its business. To this end, we have started selecting products that can contribute to solutions for the issues described in the SDGs.
In 2019, we selected Graphite electrodes and Chemical recycling of used plastics.

Graphite electrodes

The Showa Denko Group integrated the graphite electrode business of SGL GE of Germany in 2017, thereby becoming the world’s top graphite electrode manufacturer. Graphite electrodes represent an indispensable component of electric furnaces in which iron scrap is recycled into steel. Compared to making steel from iron ore and coke using a blast furnace, melting iron scrap and recycling it into steel using an electric furnace is more energy efficient and also helps to reduce CO2 emissions.

Graphite electrodes

Target

  • 9.4) By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 11.6) By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 12.2) By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 13.3) Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

Activities in 2019: In order to improve and stabilize the quality of the final product (steel) made using electric furnaces, we decided to improve the relevant equipment toward a stable global supply of products with uniform quality.


Chemical recycling of used plastics

Showa Denko has been chemically recycling plastic waste into hydrogen since 2003. By manufacturing ammonia by using this hydrogen as a material, we minimize the use of fossil fuels in the manufacturing process. We also recycle by-products such as carbon dioxide, thereby substantially reducing environmental impact compared to the conventional manufacturing method. For this initiative, we became the first recipient of EcoMark certification for a manufacturing process. Moreover, for the creation of a low-carbon society, we supply hydrogen to hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles and also deliver low-carbon hydrogen derived from plastic waste to Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyo REI Hotel, which uses the supplied hydrogen for power generation via its pure hydrogen fuel cell system. In February 2020, in recognition of these achievements and contribution to the environment, we received an award from the Chairman of the Japan Business Federation at the 29th Global Environment Awards held by Fujisankei Communications Group.



Chemical recycling of used plastics

Target

  • 7.1) By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 11.6) By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 12.4) By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • 12.5) By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • 13.3) Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

Activities in 2019: Showa Denko, JGC Holdings Corporation, Ebara Environmental Plant Co., Ltd. and Ube Industries, Ltd. began to conduct examinations to foster collaboration on the Ebara Ube Process (EUP)* to increase the recycling rate substantially. The four companies will conclude a license agreement for the EUP and proactively conduct sales activities for plastic waste gasification equipment both in Japan and abroad.

  • *EUP(Ebara Ube Process): The EUP is a process developed jointly by Ebara Corporation (business transferred to Ebara Environmental Plant in 2009) and Ube Industries, Ltd. to gasify plastic waste through partial oxidation with oxygen and steam to turn it into synthesis gas usable for the synthesis of chemical products. The gasification facility (capable of processing approx. 70,000 tons of plastic waste a year) at Showa Denko’s Kawasaki Plant has been operating since 2003, using the EUP. This is the only technology for gasification chemical recycling in the world with a long-term track record of commercial operation.

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