Initiatives for reducing environmental load
Reduction of Energy Consumption
Energy conservation at auto auction sites
When the Nagoya Auction Site was rebuilt in 2013, we used LED lights throughout the main building as well as in the customer parking facility and other locations. We are switching to LED lights at other auction sites, too. There are also investments to install more efficient heating and air conditioning systems and make other improvements to cut energy requirements.
For the convenience of our members, we have added recharging facilities at some auction sites to serve the increasing number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. We plan to install these recharging stations at more of our locations.
All of our auction sites use suppliers of electricity other than traditional utilities. Selections of electricity providers place priority on companies with a low reliance on fossil fuels. In addition, auction sites have numerous measures for the efficient use of energy.
A lower environmental impact for logistics
USS Group member US Butsyryu Co., Ltd. transports vehicles and provides other logistics services. The company has a desk at all auction sites where customers can arrange land and sea transportation. Providing this service is another way to offer customers greater convenience as well as to lower our environmental impact by using efficient logistics for reducing truck and other emissions associated with transporting vehicles.
The USS Group has a variety of programs for lowering the amount of water used. Although our business operations do not require large volumes of water, we have these programs because of our awareness of the importance of using water responsibly.
One example is measures to prevent the wasteful use of water for vehicle washing and other activities that require water. Furthermore, all USS Group employees are encouraged to use water wisely, such as by turning off faucets quickly when water is no longer needed. For the proper handling and control of wastewater at auction sites, we use oil separation tanks and purification tanks in accordance with laws and regulations.
We sort all waste materials produced at USS Group business sites as required by local regulations and other guidelines. In some cases, we outsource waste material processing. All companies we use to handle these materials must first pass a rigorous examination and then we check the manifests from these companies to verify that waste materials are handled properly.
A Smaller Environmental Impact in the Recycling Business
The vehicle recycling operations of ARBIZ use a highly accurate sorting and reuse system for steel, aluminum, copper, rare earths and other metals as well as for plastics and other materials that are recovered from end-of-life vehicles. ARBIZ processes about 20,000 of these vehicles every year and recycles 97% of these vehicles based on their weight.
ARBIZ plans to start using a vertical shredder designed solely for miscellaneous scrap in the fiscal year ending in March 2020. This shredder will add 1,000 tons of recycling capacity. ARBIZ will continue to consider other investments in equipment in order to meet the growing demand in Japan for processing waste materials, which results in part from China’s decision to stop importing waste plastics.
Example of recycling: Effective reuse of dust from an automobile shredder
When a vehicle is recycled, airbags, tires, batteries and certain parts are first removed for separate processing or reuse. The remainder of the vehicle becomes automotive shredder residue. A sorting process is then used to separate and recycle the metals, glass, ceramics, synthetic rubber, hard plastics, light dust (foamed plastics, nonwoven textiles, etc.) and other materials in this residue.
In the past, light dust was difficult to reuse as fuel because it contains chlorine and lead. To solve this problem, ARBIZ mixes this dust with iron powder to create a substance that suppresses the formation of slag in blast furnaces. Using this new process has made it possible to reuse about 7,000 tons of light dust every year. Furthermore, this innovation cuts the cost of making iron, the amount of light dust sent to landfills and CO2 emissions.