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Efficient Use of Resources

Toshiba Group promotes 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) initiatives for products to reduce resource consumption and increase incoming and outgoing recycling.

Toshiba Group's 3R* initiatives for products

In order to create a sound material-cycle society, there is a need to reduce the amount of resources extracted and discharged as waste throughout the product life cycle. Toshiba Group is promoting 3R initiatives for products aimed at reducing waste, increasing incoming recycling and improving outgoing recycling. We are also taking measures to promote design for 3Rs of product and recycling systems and are implementing activities to reduce the environmental impact of our products throughout their life cycles.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Waste reduction

We achieve waste reduction through various means, including reducing the amount of resources used to manufacture products (reducing weight and size) and extending product lives (including upgrades and maintenance).

Incoming recycling

Incoming recycling refers to the application of recycled materials in products. We will work to improve our incoming recycling rate by increasing our use of recycled materials, plant-derived materials and reusable parts.

Outgoing recycling

Outgoing recycling refers to the collection and recycling of end-oflife products. By promoting designs for reusing and recycling materials, we improve outgoing recycling while simultaneously improving the system design for recycling end-of-life products further.

[Image] Toshiba Group's 3R initiatives for products

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Increase in the percentage of resource savings

Results of FY2014

Under the Fifth Environmental Action Plan, we aim to further increase the amount of resources reduced to 1.5 times the FY2010 level. In FY2014, the total amount of resources used in Toshiba Group's major products, estimated by multiplying the amount used for products and packaging materials by the number of shipments, was approximately 580,000 tons. Based on comparisons with the previous product models and adjusting for the expected number of years of use, we also estimated to what extent resource consumption has been reduced for different products. Our comparisons show that we have reduced the use of resources by 385,000 tons, or by 79% compared to previous product models. In addition to reductions in the size and weight of LCD TVs and other digital devices, this result is also due to reductions in industrial product resource consumption, including reductions in the sizes of medical equipment installation spaces as well as increases in the capacities of magnetic disks.

Future initiatives

We will continue to promote resource-saving designs for all products with the aim of further reducing resource consumption.

Amount of resources used by Toshiba Group and reductions in resource consumption (FY2014)
[Image] Amount of resources used by Toshiba Group and reductions in resource consumption

Calculated by comparison with the previous product models adjusting for the expected number of years of use

Case Study 1: Automatic ticket gates

[Image] Automatic ticket gates

Toshiba Corp. Social Infrastructure Systems Company

The body width of the new EG-5200 automatic ticket gate has been reduced from 180 mm (the width of a conventional 2009 model) to 160 mm in order to increase the aisle width by 40 mm and to enable passengers to pass through gates more smoothly. We also performed a strength analysis using the finite element method (FEM) to minimize the thickness of the steel board, thereby reducing the gate's weight by 5%. In addition, we used a new material for the doors in order to minimize potential impact on the human body and to reduce the product's overall weight. We also reduced the number of motors and improved various parts, such as by integrating substrates, thereby reducing power consumption by 15%. Furthermore, we reduced the product's environmental impact throughout its life cycle by greatly reducing the number of man-hours as well as the period of time required for software development through recycling-oriented hardware design (certified as an Excellent ECP for FY2014).

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Case Studies in FY2013

Case Study 1: Reduction in MFP size

[Image] Reduction in MFP size

Toshiba TEC Corporation

The e-STUDIO 2550C series products are medium- and low-speed color multi-function printers (MFPs) designed to be compact and have excellent environmental performance.

We reduced the number of parts used as well as the thickness of plates and molded parts to produce an MFP with a product weight of 57.3 kg (53.4% reduction compared to the previous model) and a footprint of 33,925 mm² (34.4% reduction compared to the previous model), realizing the world's lightest, most compact MFP.

In addition, the newly developed low-temperature fixable toner can reduce power consumption by 60% compared to the previous model, achieving best-in-class energy-saving performance.

At the time of product release in the medium- and low-speed color MFP category

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Increase in the use of recycled plastics

Toshiba Group is promoting initiatives to recycle plastic waste generated by end-of-life products.

Results of FY2014

In addition to continuing to use recycled plastics for washing machines and vacuum cleaners, we made significant progress in using recycled plastics for refrigerators. We also expanded their use for industrial air conditioners as well as home air conditioners. As a result, we increased use of recycled plastics to approximately 3,000 tons in FY2014. The percentage of recycled plastics* used in Toshiba Group products was 7.5%, greatly exceeding the target of 2.9%. We are also using plant-derived plastics to manufacture some plastic parts for LCD TVs and POS systems.

Future initiatives

In order to further increase the percentage of recycled plastics used in our products, we will secure a supply of waste plastics as well as develop new uses for recycled plastics in all product groups.

[Amount of recycled plastics] / [Amount of plastics used for products] × 100

Amounts and percentages of recycled plastics used
[Image] Amounts and percentages of recycled plastics used

Post-consumer recycled materials vary in quantity available and quality depending on how they are obtained. At times, we may need to use virgin materials due to insufficient supply or quality problems.

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Case Study 2: Progress in sorting waste plastics

Nishinihon Kaden Recycle Corporation

In addition to product design initiatives, such as using recycled plastics for new product parts, Toshiba Group is also working to ensure sufficient supply of recycled plastics to expand their use. Nishinihon Kaden Recycle Corporation has developed and introduced a process for collecting high-purity, single material plastics from crushed mixed plastics. The process makes use of a near-infrared sensor to sort and separate ABS and HIPS resins. Then, brominated flame retardants are removed to ensure a supply of recycled plastics that meets the RoHS* Directive. In addition, a machine polishes the surfaces of collected plastics to further increase their purity. Recycled plastics obtained in this manner are used in home electrical appliances and other products.

[Image] Progress in sorting waste plastics

RoHS (Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances) directive: A directive which limits the use of specified hazardous substances in electrical and electronic devices

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3R initiatives for packaging material

We will streamline the use of packaging as well as product materials to reduce environmental impacts throughout their entire life cycles. In FY2014, Toshiba Group received an LCA Japan Forum Award for its activities to reduce use of packaging materials by employing LCA. We will work to reduce the use of packaging materials in accordance with the characteristics of each business area and product category through various measures, such as reducing packaging volume, enlarging the size of returnable (reusable) cases and using materials with low environmental impact.

Case Study 2: Replacing wooden packages for CT systems

Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

We replaced the conventional wooden crates, which generated large amounts of wood waste and required moisture management, with reusable steel boxes. This reduced consumption of wooden materials and also enabled two-tier loading, thereby improving the loading factor. CO2 emissions were reduced by 206 kg through reductions in the use of wooden materials and by 1,608 kg through improved transportation efficiency.

[Image] Replacing wooden packages for CT systems

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Case Study 1: Resource-saving design for LCD TVs

Toshiba Corp. Digital Products & Services Company

Thanks to Toshiba's unique lightweight design, the 40J7 model for the Japanese market achieved the industry's highest level of resource-saving performance. In addition to enhancing the strength of the front bezel material, we succeeded in reducing the width of the frame by creating the industry's first integrated back cover design. This model, which features reduced body weight and smaller packaging, thereby achieving the highest level of resource-saving performance*, was certified as an Excellent ECP for FY2012.

Compared to products in the same category at the time of product release

[Image] Resource-saving design for LCD TVs

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Case Study 2: Use of recycled plastics in refrigerators

Toshiba Home Appliances Corporation

The percentage of recycled plastics used in Toshiba's VEGETA/GR-F56FXV refrigerator has significantly increased compared to the equivalent model for the previous year (GR-E55FX). The main reason for this increase is that recycled plastics were used for the parts embedded in polyurethane and the parts inside the machine chamber that do no affect product appearance. In addition to design improvements, improvements in recycling processes, including an increase in the supply, development of new recycled materials, and transport to overseas production sites, have made it possible to use such recycled products.

[Image] Use of recycled plastics in refrigerators

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