At Nissan production plants, we thoroughly implement systems and control standards to manage air pollutants, and undertake activities to reduce the amount of these substances used and emitted in our production operations. We aim for even higher levels of air pollution control than those mandated by the countries in which we operate.
Since the problem of pollution first appeared, we have taken strict measures to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide (NOx) and sulfur oxide (SOx) pollutants from our factories. In Japan, we have reduced the amount of these emissions to one fourth the levels emitted in the 1970s.
A current challenge is the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs*), which account for 90% of chemicals released in our automobile production processes.
We are working to increase the recovery of cleaning solvents and other chemicals and reduce the amounts of these substances emitted from our plants ahead of the implementation of new regulations in each country where we operate. We are also systematically switching to lines using water-based paints, which have fewer VOCs, in order to cut down on the total volume of VOCs used.
- *VOCs: Volatile organic compounds. These are organic compounds that readily evaporate and become gaseous in the atmosphere.
We are working to increase the recovery of cleaning solvents and other chemicals and reduce the amounts of these substances emitted from our plants ahead of the implementation of new regulations in each country where we operate. We are also systematically switching to lines using water-based paints, which have fewer VOCs, and increasing the recycling rate for waste paint thinner in order to cut down on the total volume of VOCs used.
VOC emissions from the Kyushu Plant water-based paint line are now less than 20 grams per square meter of painted surface, and we are maintaining one of the best levels in the industry. Water-based paint lines have also been introduced in our Plant as well as the Aguascalientes Plant in Mexico, the Resende Plant in Brazil, the Smyrna Plant in the United States, the Huadu Plant in China and other plants.
We will continue trying to reduce VOC emissions in the future, examining opportunities to introduce water-based paint lines as we upgrade our facilities.
Reducing NOx and SOx emissions
Painting lines and other processes in automobile production consume tremendous amounts of heat. We have lowered NOx and SOx emissions by introducing low NOx burners in the ovens and boilers that are sources of that heart, and by switching from heavy oil and kerosene to fuels with low SOx emissions for these ovens and boilers.
Although overall emissions are rising because of increased production volumes, we are working to reduce the amount of emissions.
- *Note: In FY2006, emissions at the Oppama Plant declined dramatically. This is because incinerator operations were leased to other companies.
Please see the following for detailed information.