Initiatives to Become a Resource Recycling Society
Toward the realization of a resource recycling society
In order to create a sustainable society without depleting limited resources, we need to create a "circulation-based society" in which we produce with few resources and energy , reduce waste, and reuse resources. It is possible.
TAMRON works on 3R which are reduction of raw materials and waste (Reduce), to reuse materials and water can be used repeatedly(Reuse), and recycling waste as material (Recycle), for circulating resources efficiently.
In Japan, TAMRON carries out design work, creates prototypes and fabricates metal molds at its head office plant located in Saitama Prefecture, while the Aomori Factory (Namioka Site) manufactures lenses, the Aomori Factory (Owani Site) molds plastic components, and the Aomori Factory (Hirosaki Site) assembles products. TAMRON manufactures parts and assembles products at TAMRON Optical (Foshan) in China and at TAMRON Optical (Vietnam).
These sites use electricity, heavy oil, kerosene and other energy sources for developing, designing and manufacturing, which produce CO2. Our plants in Namioka, Foshan and Vietnam also use water for polishing and cleaning lens elements. The the Aomori Factory (Owani Site) and TAMRON Optical (Foshan) manufacture plastics used to make peripheral components for lenses, and these processes produce runner materials(*1) and other waste. Air cargo, marine shipping, and trucks are used to transport components and products between plants, which results in CO2 emissions from the burning of fuel.
1. Waste material that occurs when pouring plastic resin during the production process.
Procurement of raw materials and parts
Development, design and production at TAMRON
|Heavy oil||199||kℓ||Heavy oil||539||t-CO2|
|Natural gas||63||103㎥||Natural gas||139||t-CO2|
|Water reused and recycled||8||103㎥||Total amount of discharged matter generated||1,974||t|
|Chemicals||5||t||Industrial waste (*2)||1,388||t|
|Genaral waste (thermal recycling)||131||t|
Sites covered :
Head office (including Sales Office), the plants in Aomori Prefecture, TAMRON Optica (l Foshan) and TAMRON Optica(l Vietnam).
Manual for Calculating and Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Ver. 4.8.
1. Data during transportation covers energy used to transport parts and finished products by ground and commercial vehicles connecting TAMRON's satellite offices in Japan and TAMRON Optical(Vietnam).TAMRON Optica (l Foshan) data covers company-owned vehicles only.
2. Regarding to Pollutant Released & Transfer Registered (PRTR) substances, industrial waste includes 0.5 tons of xylene and 0.5 tons of ethylbenzene. 0.1 tons of xylene and 0.1 tons of ethylbenzene were also released into the atmosphere.
3. The amount of plastics recycled represented 56 tons of thermal energy and 92 tons of material.
Waste volume increased 22% year on year in 2021, and the industrial waste recycling rate in Japan was 98.1%. Waste volume increased 25% in Japan and 21% at overseas plants. A major factor behind this was recovering production in 2021 compared with 2020, when many operational shutdowns and production decreases occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
*TAMRON's definition of zero emissions is recycling more than 98% of the industrial waste it produces.
Promoting Design for the Environment (DfE)
TAMRON manufactures environmentally friendly products by placing emphasis on the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). At the design review stage of product development, we assess the extent to which we have achieved a longer service life (longer use, easier repair), resource savings (lighter weight, more compact, reduction in the number of parts, use of recycled materials, easier disassembly), and energy savings (lower power consumption at manufacture and use stages). Products that are environmentally friendly and that meet TAMRON voluntary standards are certified as being TAMRON Eco Label products. See here for certified products.
Regulation of Hazardous Substances
TAMRON develops products in line with the policy of not using harmful chemical substances in its materials. TAMRON also implements internal analysis work using equipment including Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES) and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to ensure only the safest and most secure products are delivered to customers. TAMRON’s systems also allow us to analyze four additional substances of RoHS, in addition to the original six substances.
In 2019, the scope of application of RoHS is being expanded from the original six substances ‒ Cadmium, Lead, Hexavalent chromium, Mercury, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) – to include four additional substances, all of which are types of phthalates : Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). TAMRON’s systems also allow it to analyze these four substances. TAMRON is also establishing the frameworks and systems needed to ensure compliance with other new regulations relating to the control of harmful chemical substances that may be established in different countries around the world in the future.
*PBB and PBDE are brominated flame retardants and are also endocrine disruptors (environmental hormones).
Realization of plastic recycling
In particular, we have been focusing on reducing the amount of plastic waste generated, which amounted to over 150 tons per year. In order to reduce the amount of waste deriving from manufacturing processes, the rear caps for TAMRON’s DSLR camera lenses are made using 100% recycled plastic runner materials. From FY2010 to FY2021, we used a cumulative total of 189.2 tons of recycled materia (in 8.56 million rear caps).
TAMRON has also considered new recycling methods at Integrated Design, Production Technology and Production Sub-committee meetings to further promote recycling. As a means of reducing waste while maintaining quality standards and ensuring that product functionality is not affected, TAMRON adopted "Preconsumer Closed Recycling, which involves mixing recycled materials with virgin materials. Since FY2017, TAMRON started to utilize these recycled materials for the mass production of the filter screw rings, a component of interchangeable lens for SLR cameras. TAMRON will continue to expand the introduction of recycled materials in components, examine new areas to target and promote waste reducing and recycling.
(*1) Waste material that occurs when pouring plastic resin during the production process.