Demand for mineral resources is growing rapidly as emerging countries develop economically. Some predictions forecast that all currently known mineral resources will have been extracted by 2050 if present trends continue. Some mining sites currently in operation and new exploration sites are located in areas where local ecosystems need to be preserved, and there is concern about the environmental effects of topsoil excavation, deforestation and wastewater.
Nissan is taking measures to address these issues. We are increasing use of renewable resources and recycled materials in addition to the traditional approach of using resources more efficiently to reduce reliance on them. Our efforts with respect to recycled materials are based on the thinking that once a natural resource is extracted it should continue to be used, while maintaining quality, to minimize environmental impact. We have set a target of increasing the usage rate for recycled materials per vehicle to 25% by fiscal 2016.
Our Closed-Loop Recycling System
Closed-loop recycling is a method of recycling waste and scrap generated during production and collection of end-of-life Nissan products and using it as material in the same type of products while maintaining its quality standards. With this method, the same material can be used repeatedly, thus greatly reducing CO2 emissions and the environmental impact over the product lifecycle. Together with our business partners, we are putting tremendous effort into collecting and reusing steel and aluminum sheet scraps from the manufacturing process, and aluminum wheels from used vehicles. In fiscal 2011 we collected roughly 212 tons of end-of-life aluminum wheel rims each month. In Japan we are recycling plastic from finished bumper scraps at our plants and from scrap bumpers collected from dealerships. Collected scraps or bumpers will be turned into recycled plastics in a finished bumper reprocessing line set up in our Oppama Plant. Recycled plastics have already been given new life as bumpers used in Nissan LEAF and many other new vehicles.
Philosophy of the Global Nissan Recycling Way
The Global Nissan Recycling Way is an action guideline for the things we must always remember when considering and implementing recycling. The Recycle Vision expresses our ultimate goal of a society that achieves a 100% recovery rate *for end-of-life vehicles. To achieve this ultimate goal, there are issues that need to be resolved in all processes of a vehicle's life cycle. We divide this life cycle into four broad phases of development stage, production stage, Sales and service stage and end-of-life stage, and are working to identify and resolve key issues using the three Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle).