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Theme 3 : Growing with Society

Environmental Risk Management

Environmental Risk Management

Environmental Risk Management

Promoting Legal Compliance, and Pollution Mitigation and Prevention

Komatsu complies with national and local laws and regulations and ensures that it periodically reports and maintains measurement results.
In FY2018, there was one minor violation of environmental regulations (a fine of less than USD 10,000). At our business unit in Russia (KMR), the iron concentration in sewage effluent exceeded the standard. It has been solved by cleaning and improving maintenance.
There were no major environmental accidents which might pollute the environment on the boundary of our site during this period.

Addressing Soil and Groundwater Contamination

Komatsu has established guidelines for testing soil and groundwater, inspects any business unit that is scheduled to be sold, closed, or removed pursuant to laws and regulations, and takes purification measures upon confirmation by local authorities if contamination is discovered.
We voluntarily investigate business units in operation in order to test for contamination stemming from VOCs in cleaning solvents, etc. used in the past.
We have been surveying soil and groundwater for VOC contamination at domestic business units since 2005, and have implemented countermeasures at any sites that have been found to be contaminated. We use methods that facilitate the cleaning process in the shortest period of time possible.
Our clean-up of the Oyama Plant was completed in FY2009. We are continuing clean-up operations at other sites while checking the effect of our cleaning measures.
In January 2018, a low-concentration of PCBs was detected in the waste oil contained in a part of the soil on the premises of Komatsu Osaka Plant, which did not affect the ground water or flow out of the plant.We have added water-pumping facilities to improve oil removal and have been taking measures such as soil replacement.
We will continue to thoroughly clean-up and regularly monitor groundwater at site boundaries to ensure that there is no outflow of groundwater that has exceeded the standard outside the premises.

Status of Soil and Groundwater Cleanup in Japan

Business unit Cleanup method Cleanup status
Awazu Plant

Excavation and removal, soil vapor extraction, groundwater withdrawal and aeration, bioremediation

In process

Komatsu Plant
(former site)

Excavation and removal, groundwater withdrawal and aeration, bioremediation

In process

Osaka Plant

Soil vapor extraction, air sparging, groundwater withdrawal and aeration, bioremediation

In process

Shonan Plant

Excavation and removal, groundwater withdrawal and aeration

In process

Tochigi Plant

Excavation and removal, bioremediation

In process

  1. Bio-remediation is a purification process whereby hazardous materials are purified using micro- organisms. This return the soil to a non-hazardous state.
  • Investigative surveys revealed zero contamination in the Koriyama Plant, Technology Innovation Center in Hiratsuka, Techno Center in Izu and Field Testing Department in Oita.

Managing PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) Waste

Komatsu stores and disposes of PCB-containing waste (such as transformers and fluorescent stabilizers) in accordance with the "Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes" and the "Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law".
We intend to continue our appropriate treatment of PCB waste, including low-concentration PCB waste, according to our plan.


Management of Chemical Substances and Pollution Prevention

Management of Chemical Substances and Pollution Prevention

Reducing the amount of PRTR-related substances

In FY2018, the number of PRTR* substances with a handling volume of 1 ton or more (0.5 tons or more for Class I Designated Chemical Substances) was 27, the same number as the previous year.
The PRTR substances xylene, ethyl benzene and toluene account for approximately 93% of the emissions from Komatsu and Komatsu Group production sites. Most of these emissions are released into the atmosphere.
In FY2018, the volume of xylene, ethyl benzene and toluene fell from FY2017 levels despite increased production volume due to the ongoing switch to coatings and thinners containing less PRTR Class I Designated Chemical Substances at each site.
We will continue to make efforts to switch to paints containing less PRTR Class I Designated Chemical Substances, introduce high solids thinners and paints, improve coating efficiency, and reduce coating film thickness. Emissions in FY2018 were reduced by about 5% from the previous year.

  • PRTR: Law designed to mandate the disclosure of the amount of specific chemical substances released into the environment to promote the management of such substances (The notification system based on the PRTR Law)

Reducing VOC Emissions

New Painting Line of Komatsu Cabtec
New Painting Line of Komatsu Cabtec

The majority of VOC emissions are from VOCs contained in paint such as xylene and ethyl benzene.
Despite a slight increase in emissions in FY2018, we have managed to maintain a 50% reduction (as compared to FY2005) in the amount of VOC emissions per units of manufacturing value.

Initiatives to Address Chinese Environmental Regulation

In China, from FY2017 plants started to be ordered to halt production as a measure against air pollution (PM in particular). For the regions where Komatsu operates manufacturing facilities, plant stoppage orders based on air pollution conditions began from 2017 in Jining District of Shandong Province and from 2018 in the Changzhou District of Jiangsu Province. In FY2018, the regulations were not enforced uniformly, and eased restrictions were applied to companies that had made progress in their environmental response. Komatsu's plants in China have made improvements including the installation of equipment to collect and process the soot produced from welding, and units to treat the VOCs produced by coatings. As a result, of Komatsu's four plants operating in the applicable regions, three plants were granted exemptions from the regulations, greatly reducing the number of days of halted operations. For the remaining one plant, in FY2019 we will make progress on improvements and obtaining certification in order to receive exemption from the regulations. In addition, Komatsu's plant in Shandong Province (KSC) invited around 80 affiliate companies and local companies to visit its premises for an environmental action exchange session in response to a proposal by the city government. An explanation of the details of Komatsu's environmental measures was met with high praise and is also contributing to environmental improvements in the region.

Breakdown of the Amount of PRTR-related Substances Released and Transferred from Komatsu Group Manufacturing Facilities in Japan

Independent Practitioner's Assurancecheckmark

  • Totals may not match exactly due to rounded decimals in individual categories.

Amount of PRTR-related Substances Released into the atmosphere

Independent Practitioner's Assurancecheckmark

Komatsu Group Manufacturing Facilities in Japan

Amount of PRTR-related Substances Released from Komatsu Group Manufacturing Facilities in Japan

Amount of VOC Released


Independent Practitioner's Assurancecheckmark

Komatsu Group Manufacturing Facilities in Japan

Amount of VOC Released from Komatsu Group Manufacturing Facilities in Japan

Reducing the Use of Substances of Environmental Concern and Complying with the EU REACH Regulation

Reducing the Use of Substances of Environmental Concern and Complying with the EU REACH Regulation

Komatsu is aware of the harmful environmental impacts that certain materials possess, and has made continuous efforts from an early stage to reduce the use of a number of such substances. These included asbestos, lead, and other such items. In FY1999, we created our own list of banned and limited-use substances (Refer to “Substances of Environmental Concern Banned or to Be Reduced for Use in Products”), which was based in part on Japanese legislation (Japanese Law Concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture of Chemical Substances Control) that banned a number of chemical materials as well as regulatory measures in other countries.
We have also implemented more stringent measures in the control of substances that raise environmental concerns. In compliance with REACH*1, we began revisions of our FY1999 listing of banned and limited-use substances. We have also collaborated with suppliers to create a regulatory system that strengthens control of potentially harmful materials being used for production. We have rolled this system out in Japan and Europe, with plans to continue implementation in other areas of operation.
Through the use of this system, we identify SVHC (substances of very high concern) in not only vehicles for export to the EU or produced at local EU companies, but also in vehicles currently in production and in newly developed vehicles. Furthermore, we also regularly check for new SVHCs to be added to the list.
There are currently 197 SVHCs registered, with the list being revised every six months. We expect this number to increase to about 1,500 in the future. We have also devised a workflow to monitor control of these substances.

Control System for Substances of Environmental Concern

Substances of Environmental Concern that are Banned, or are to see Reduced Use in Production

Rank Number Chemical Substance


  • Hexavalent Chromium
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Tri-substituted Organostannic Compounds
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride *3
  • PCB
  • Asbestos
  • Specified CFCs/Alternative CFCs (HCFC)
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Triethanolamine
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonate)
  • RCF (Fire-Resistant Ceramic Fibers) (Alumina and Scilica Types) *3
To be reduced
(Subject to
limited use)


  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Selenium
  • Alternative CFCs (HFC)
  • Specified phthalate ester (DEHP/DBP/BBP/DIBP) *2
  • Specified Chlorinated Flame Retardents (TCEP)
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • Methanol
  • DZ
  • BNST
  • DOTE
  • UV327
Substances of
Very High
(SVHC) under


Komatsu controls the use of the following substances, which might be used in Komatsu products.

  • DEHP/DBP/BBP/DIBP etc (5 substances)
  • RCF
  • Specified Lead Compounds
    (4 substances)
  • DOTE
  • UV327
  1. REACH: EU regulations for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals
  2. Diethylhexyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, diisobutyl phthalate
  3. Review for stricter limits due to regulatory trends.
  4. The number of substances registered up until April, 2019 (progressively updated). Includes materials that are not contained in Komatsu construction equipment.

Water Related Risk Management

Water Risk Management

In accordance with our Earth Environment Charter, Komatsu Group has focused on two salient areas:

  1. Promoting reductions in water-usage (input), and increasing the recycling (circulation) of water.
  2. Activities centered on water quality conservation

However, in response to the frequency of weather abnormalities and societal demands (2015/1 Water Crisis named as the number one risk at Davos Forum etc.), Komatsu has established the “Water-Related Risk Evaluation Committee” in the second half of 2015. This committee engages in the study of water-related issues, and conducted a “Water-Related Risk Survey” after half a year of learning. This survey engaged both our domestic and foreign affiliates, seeking to understand business-related water impacts and improve upon Komatsu's water policies.
To be more specific, we identified the risks that applied to Komatsu at our major operation bases by using 7 categories such as heavy rain, flood, drainage pollution, and scoring their probability of occurrence, difficulty in issue resolution, magnitude of impact, and more. In an addition, Aqueduct was used as a supplementary tool to objectively identify water risks.

Results from the Water Related Risk Survey (conducted at 45 global affiliates/divisions in January 2016)

Komatsu Group Water-Related Risks:

  1. Effect of heavy rain on operations/business
  2. Risk of pollution from drainage
  3. Effect of river flooding on the supply chain

Our water-related policies for FY2016 onwards have thus been changed to reflect the result of this survey. In addition to the continuation of previous initiatives and activities, we are now newly promoting “Water-Related Risk Reduction Activities” in order to minimize the impacts of water-related risks within our business operations.

Domestic Case Studies (Oyama and Tochigi Plants)

We have initiated the construction of multiple safety measures against the risks imposed by heavy rain. These include the building of three reservoirs (capable of holding up to an hour's worth of 100mm/h rainfall), installation of heavy rainfall water pipes, the construction of underground reservoirs, and the widening of rainwater drainage ways. In addition to this, we have installed water block walls and stop bars to prevent water from flowing outside of the premises.

* Our reservoirs also serve to alleviate the surrounding district's lack of drainage capacity.
Current Status of Reservoirs:

  1. Oyama Plant 20,000 ton 10,000 ton and 4,000 ton reservoirs (completed)
  2. Tochigi Plant 12,000 ton reservoir (under construction)

International Case Studies (KI: Komatsu Indonesia)

The following measures have been implemented to prevent the entry of river flood water into KI premises.

  1. Installation of concrete wall
  2. Installation of emergency door for employees
  3. Installation of floodgate
  4. Installation of new drainage system
  5. Installation of drainage gate
  6. Installation of pump for floods

We have engaged elements of our supply chain to collaborate with our water-related risk initiatives. Our “Water-Related Risk Survey” was conducted at the operations of one of our main supply chain companies (Midori-kai). Komatsu is proud to report that as of FY2017, Midori-kai has begun collaborative efforts in our “Water-Related Risk Reduction Activities”.


Environmental Audit of affiliate companies in Russia and China

Compliance and Risk Audit at overseas group companies

Komatsu has been conducting planned compliance and risk audits (CR audits) since fiscal 2007 for risk prevention at overseas group companies.

Environmental Audit of group companies in Indnesia and Brazil

Environmental Audit at KRCC

In FY2018, we conducted environmental CR audits in Indonesia (KI, KUI) and Brazil (KDB, KRCC).
Our comprehensive auditing procedure begins with the assessment of a check sheet that our group companies. We then begin an audit of environmental activities and compliance to legislative regulations, supported by the chief of environmental matters of our main domestic plant. There were no major problems that would lead to environmental risks in both Indonesia and Brazil, and both were actively working on reducing environmental impact.
We continue to carry out follow-ups checks at areas where audits have already been completed, and plan to conduct further environmental audits of our group companies in other regions.

Past Environment Audits

Year Area Year Area




United States



United States and Brazil


Thailand and Indonesia






India and Indonesia




Russia and China


Russia and Czech Republic


Indonesia and Brazil