Spurred on by climate change driven by global warming, we have joined global efforts aiming for zero-carbon societies. Japan's Ministry of the Environment embraced the goal of reducing to net-zero the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (annual emissions are currently more than 1.2 billion tons). Toward this goal, steps are being taken to dramatically reform Japan's industrial structure and socio-economic fundamentals. At SHOKO CO., LTD., we have joined these efforts by offering aluminum products capable of reducing the weight of vehicles, and expanding our handling of ecologically minded commodities such as environmentally harmonious ammonia and plastics that can be returned to the soil through the action of microorganisms.
Shoko’s corporate mission stresses its contribution to furtherance of high living standards, and ranks decarbonization and recycling as important management challenges. As part of our business handling resource materials that are of course not inexhaustible, we are expanding our supply of commodities with a low ecological footprint, and introducing new business schemes for resource recycling, thereby supporting sustainability.
Decarbonization (CO2 reduction)
ECOANN®: An Environmentally Harmonious Ammonia
ECOANN® is the trade name for ammonia produced by Resonac Corporation by processing material obtained partially from used plastic. The quality and performance of ECOANN is equivalent to that of the conventional product, but its manufacture results in a much lower environmental load. And it is receiving praise as a green procurement item.
Using aluminum to lighten the weight of vehicles
Aluminum is about one-third the weight of iron or copper. Using it to reduce vehicle weight will boost fuel efficiency and cut CO2 emissions. As electric vehicles (EVs) become more common in the future, the demand for lighter weight is forecast to boost aluminum use even further.
Development of Uses for Biodegradable Resin
We harness the action of microorganisms to break plastics down to the molecular level, leaving a biodegradable resin which can be used and eventually returned to nature. The action also produces water and CO2. This technology blends different processes and yields an agricultural mulch film that has an excellent cost/performance balance. Waste disposal is no required after use, cutting down on work for farmers and CO2 emissions.
Everyone is aware how common it is to recycle aluminum cans. In Japan their recycle ratio is a high 96%,* greatly reducing CO2 emissions during their manufacture. But many other materials can also be recycled. The ideal of course is to avoid creating waste as much as possible and to continually reuse resources since they are not inexhaustible. With this ideal in mind, we will continue to collaborate with customers and corporate partners to advance our knowhow and technical skills that will help bring sustainability to industries and communities.
* Results of a study of the Aluminum Can Recycling Association, Fiscal 2021
Participation in a Solvent Recycling Venture
We have invested in a recycling venture in China which recovers the waste liquid of solvents used in the manufacture of LCD panels, vehicles and lithium batteries, for reuse by manufacturers.
Recycling Vehicle Fenders
We have developed a business program to collect plastic products like vehicle fenders from automotive manufacturers, for recycling. The resulting material is sold as a regenerated resin to be used to manufacture plastic, thereby cutting down on CO2 emissions overall.
Recycled Ceramics / Handling Recycled Ceramic Materials
Ceramic materials no longer needed by customers are collected along with waste ceramic, to be pulverized and reborn as a recycled material. This cuts down on CO2 emissions and brings us another step closer to a zero-emission society where nothing is disposed of as waste.
"Cleantech" refers to products, services and processes that reduce (or eliminate) the use of non-recyclable materials and greatly cut back on the generation of waste, compared to what is generally being done now. Cleantech has been expanding its reach over the last few years, to include not only energy and electric power domains but also resources, transportation, logistics, agriculture and food products. At our view climate change and other environmental issues as serious problems that, while they must be addressed, can also be turned into growth opportunities. We will do this by leveraging the commodities we handle to promote environmental conservation.
Carbon Coated Foil for EV Batteries
Aluminum foil coated with a liquid containing high conductivity carbon particles and a binding agent is useful as a current collector foil. Our company is active in this domain, too, enhancing the adhesive strength of the foil to prolong battery life, and reducing interface resistance to boost energy efficiency, cut down on heat generation, and shorten battery charging time.
Polymer materials obtained through chemical or biological synthesis include recyclable substances that originate in organic matter. We supply biomass resin made from plant material, for use in the manufacture of many different products, such as food containers and grocery bags.
Lignin vanillin is a vanilla aromatic used mainly in food. We handle vanillin produced by Borregaard of Norway, the only company in the world that refines vanillin from wood. The wood comes from sustainable forestry practices, and the company's manufacturing process for obtaining vanillin emits 90% less CO2 than the chemical synthesis of petroleum. This promotes sustainability and renewability.