At Lacto Japan, energy with relatively high environmental impact includes energy used by refrigerators and freezers in warehouses at overseas bases, and energy use tends to increase as more ingredients are received. Furthermore, as electricity is used in machinery and boilers used to manufacture products as well, the quantity of energy used increases in proportion to manufacturing volume. In Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, where our factories are located, there is almost no seasonal fluctuation in cooling use because temperatures do not vary much throughout the year.
Note that when selecting our own facilities or external warehouses for freezers and refrigerators, we confirm that they do not use chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas. Looking at the future, we are considering promoting the pursuit of measures such as even more appropriate temperature management, the introduction of LED lighting, and the introduction of energy-saving equipment when changing warehouses and machinery. Moreover, we are making preparations to assess and aggregate electricity usage at each factory.
At the head office, we have changed all lighting to LEDs and improved the efficiency of heating and cooling in offices in tandem with the relocation in 2018.
In the production of processed cheese at overseas factories, natural cheese, which is an ingredient, is melted and auxiliary ingredients are added to it, so almost 100% of the natural cheese is used up. Furthermore, ingredients with confirmed quality that can be returned to the manufacturing process due to the characteristics of the ingredients can be reused. We recognize that disposal occurs only when human errors or quality problems arise in processing but the disposal amount is very small in proportion to the volume of products produced annually.
Auxiliary ingredients are sometimes used in smaller quantities than the minimum lot quantity at the time of purchase. For this reason, our factories in Singapore and Thailand have introduced a system for sharing inventory and they both use it while accommodating each other's needs. Nevertheless, if the expiration date is approaching, we try to reduce the amount of waste disposal by reusing these ingredients as much as possible as feed, etc.
As most of the disposal losses that occur at Lacto Japan are caused by human errors, we are striving to reduce disposal losses further by thoroughly enforcing quality control and promoting employee education and awareness.
In manufacturing processes, Lacto Japan uses tap water as a rule and, when necessary, uses tap water in processes after purifying it.
In cheese and other manufacturing processes, we use steam when heating but it does not account for a large proportion of the quantity of water used. We use water in the greatest quantity in cleaning processes after manufacturing, which are essential for hygiene management of processes.
As regards wastewater, we have installed equipment, etc. in accordance with the regulations of countries and regions where our factories are located. For example, in Thailand we have installed our own wastewater treatment tank based on the standards of the industrial park and the waste water is discharged after it has been treated. In Singapore, however, we are not obligated to install wastewater equipment, as the central government cleans wastewater.
We believe that the environmental impact of the amount of water we use in countries of production is not that large. However, we will accelerate initiatives aimed at sustainable environmental preservation by investigating the acquisition of various types of environmental data including water usage.
Lacto Japan has dedicated trucks for delivery in Singapore and Malaysia. Moreover, in Indonesia we use an external distribution service. When importing products into Japan from overseas, we carry out transportation on ships arranged by our partners, as a rule.