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Initiatives Regarding the Assessment of Water Footprints

Initiatives regarding water resources

Based on our environmental management concept T-COMPASS, we will develop solutions to reduce water resource consumption for products and services as well as to contribute to water resource management. The water footprint (WF: Water Footprint) concept is known as a tool for assessing the effects on water resources of products throughout their life cycles. In order to assess the effects of its business on water resources, Toshiba has started to estimate WFs for its products, an industry first.

Results of FY2014

Toshiba Group participated as an international expert in establishing a standardization process for principles and requirements regarding WFs in ISO/TC207 (environmental management)/SC5 (life cycle assessment). To improve the practicality of the procedures, we presented our opinions from the perspective of industry. These international standards were established in July 2014 and were published as ISO 14046.

Future initiatives

At ISO, TR-14073, which provides examples of WF calculations, is under discussion. We will continue to share our opinions from the perspective of industry. We will continue to improve our methods for assessing environmental effects and to expand the scope of assessment.

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Case Study: Water footprints for washer/dryers

Toshiba Lifestyle Products & Services Corporation

It is necessary to assess environmental impacts for water resources in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The FY2013 washer/dryer model TW-Z96X1 reduces water consumption throughout its life cycle by 60% compared to the FY2000 level, and its total impact on water resources, including eutrophication potential, has been reduced by about 34%. In Japan, the effects of water quality deterioration attributed to upstream manufacturing processes and domestic wastewater are said to be larger than those on human health attributed to water shortages.

[Image] Water footprints for washer/dryers

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Case Study: Estimation of the WF of a paper reuse system

[Image] Paper reuse system
Paper reuse system

Toshiba TEC Corp.

This paper reuse system, which removes colors, sorts paper, and creates electronic data all at the same time, was certified as an Excellent ECP in FY2012. By enabling reuse of paper, the system reduces water consumption by 79% throughout its life cycle.

[Image] Estimation of the WF of a paper reuse system

<Assessment conditions>
An MFP system is used for five years to print 540,000 A4-size sheets of paper. Each sheet of paper is used five times. 40 users use 0.5 dedicated writing implements per man-month. See the reference material* for detailed information, including per-unit production databases used for the assessment.
Yokoyama et al. (2013), 8th Conference of the Institute of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan, A1-07

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