graph: Trends in Water Usage and Water Recycling Volume

Managing Water Risk

Water risk is increasing worldwide with ever-more serious water shortages and pollution, as well as abnormal weather caused by climate change. This affects the production of both raw materials and products, leading to a corresponding interest in corporate water risk management. The Mitsubishi Electric Group uses WRI Water Aqueduct*1 to keep track of current and future water risk (including the presence of water stress*2).

We use the results of this assessment to prioritize countermeasures for each production base and take clear action. This includes reporting to government authorities as required.

During product development, we evaluate product impact on water sources and their lifecycles and strive to minimize the impact.

  1. *1 WRI Water Aqueduct: Water risk assessment tool developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI)
  2. *2 Water stress: Water stress levels can be defined by an index that indicates how close the relationship is between the supply and demand of water. When maximum water availability per capita falls below 1,700 m3, it is considered that water stress is present.

Evaluation Details

Water risk in the supply chain within the Mitsubishi Electric Group is evaluated as part of our corporate risk management framework. The evaluation factors in the influence on stakeholders, including customers and suppliers, as well as the impact on ecosystems. In addition, business risks and opportunities relating to water risk and the financial impact of water risk are evaluated. In this assessment, water shortage and relevant regulations are taken into consideration, as well as the impact of flooding.

In July 2016, we identified business sites in Japan and overseas that have a particularly high risk of drought or flooding. As of the end of March 2019, no adverse effects have been confirmed from water intake/consumption/drainage carried out in the supply chain of the Mitsubishi Electric Group.

Tool Used

WRI Water Aqueduct

Status of Water Intake/Drainage/Consumption

Status of Water Intake and Usage

At Mitsubishi Electric Group sites, water is taken to be used mainly for cooling, cleaning and adjusting the concentration of water-based paints, and as a solvent, an additive to materials and a heat medium. The breakdown of the sources of water taken in fiscal 2019 is shown below. Apart from the following, recycled water is also used after being treated.

Breakdown of Sources of Water Intake in Fiscal 2019

Source Intake
Surface water*1 3,536,000
Groundwater 4,949,000
Seawater Not in use
Water generated from production*2 Not in use
Water purchased from third parties 2,392,000
Total 10,877,000 (all freshwater*3)
Intake at business sites in regions under water stress 71,000

(Units: kL)

  1. *1 Surface water: Based on CDP standards
  2. *2 Water generated from production: Water emitted in the development/mining processes of oil, gas, etc.
  3. *3 Freshwater: Water with a total dissolved solid (TDS) concentration of 1,000mg/L or less

The breakdown of water usage by Mitsubishi Electric and affiliates in Japan and overseas is shown below.

Fiscal 2019 Breakdown of Water Usage

graph: Fiscal 2019 Breakdown of Water Usage

Fiscal 2019 Breakdown of Water Use by Overseas Region

Water Usage Waste Water
Total Usage Public Water/Industrial Water Groundwater River Water/Spring Water Total Usage Sewage Public Water System
China 807,288 805,032 0 2,256 679,510 670,763 8,747
Southeast Asia 1,074,941 1,060,400 14,541 0 594,042 516,526 0
Europe 20,765 20,765 0 0 14,915 6,865 0
North America 81,705 81,005 0 0 81,005 81,005 0
Central and South America 41,916 39,526 2,390 0 37,349 5,654 5,644
Total 2,026,615 2,006,728 16,931 2,256 1,406,821 1,280,813 14,391

(Units: m3)

Status of Drainage and Water Reuse

To avoid deviating from standard values set for each drainage point, we have established our own standards allowing leeway, based on which water is treated before it is discharged. When there is a certain drainage standard in place according to properties specific to the water area, such a standard is also incorporated into our standards.
The compliance of these standards is confirmed through measurements conducted on a regular basis.

The breakdown of water discharged in fiscal 2019 is shown below.

Breakdown of Water Discharged in Fiscal 2019

Water Drainage Volume
Surface water 3,808,000
Groundwater 14,000*1
Seawater None
Water discharged into third-party drainage facilities*2 4,722,000
Total 8,545,000 (all freshwater)
Drainage at business sites in regions under water stress 58,000

(Units: kL)

  1. *1 Includes water eventually mixed with groundwater through the watering of green spaces on the premises.
  2. *2 Wastewater treatment may be outsourced to other companies in regions where sewage infrastructure is not in place.

The status of water reuse is shown below.

Water Reuse Ratio

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Mitsubishi Electric 33 30 30 29 30 33
Affiliates in Japan 48 45 41 40 40 35
Overseas affiliates 5.7 7.5 7.1 9.5 8 8
Total 32 30 29 28 29 30

(Units: %)

Status of Consumption

Water consumption (water intake minus drainage volume) in all regions totaled 2,332,000 kL in fiscal 2019, of which total water consumption at business sites in regions under water stress amounted to 13,000 kL.

Example: Power Distribution Systems Center

At Mitsubishi Electric’s Power Distribution Systems Center, the manufacturing of vacuum valves and circuit breakers began in August 2018 in a new building.

At this new works, rainwater is used where possible in order to use water more effectively. About 80% of the water used for watering green spaces around the new building and water fed into biotopes was replaced by rainwater. As a result, water intake was reduced by 402 m3 in fiscal 2019. Additionally, pleasant spaces in tune with nature have been created thanks to some ingenious ideas, including internal lighting using sunlight, heat shielding using wood decking and louvers covered with greenery, and biotopes where wild birds rest.

Example: Mitsubishi Electric (Guangzhou) Compressor Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi Electric (Guangzhou) Compressor Co., Ltd. (MGC) manufactures and sells air-conditioning compressors in China.

Problems relating to water resources are serious in China. In its 13th five-year plan, the Chinese government declared that it will reduce water usage per GDP by 25% from the 2015 level by 2020, a fact demonstrating that the effective use of water resources is a high-priority task in the country. MGC began treatment of wastewater generated from coating processes in fiscal 2018, using recycled water in the same processes and reusing gray water. In fiscal 2019, MGS extended the range of recycling and reuse even further. In fiscal 2020, it is expected to reach its target, which was set with the government’s target as a guideline, reducing water usage as a percent of sales by 25%.

photo: Mitsubishi Electric (Guangzhou) Compressor Co., Ltd.

Mitsubishi Electric (Guangzhou) Compressor Co., Ltd.

Receiving "A-List Company" Recognition, the Highest Evaluation from CDP* for Third Consecutive Year

diagram: Receiving "A-List Company" Recognition, the Highest Evaluation from CDP<sup>*</sup> for Third Consecutive Year

In fiscal 2019, Mitsubishi Electric has been named an A-List company in the CDP Water Program, as well as in the CDP Climate Change category, for the third consecutive year (i.e., 2017, 2018, and 2019). The CDP awarded us this highest evaluation in recognition of exceptional activities in terms of measures and strategies for water resources. We have also been recognized as a CDP Supplier Engagement leader. We will continue to press forward with our efforts to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.