Achieving a Sustainable Society

Shin-Etsu Group’s products contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in various situations. We will continue to develop products that contribute to carbon neutrality.

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Shin-Etsu Group Products and Technologies that Contribute to Environmental Conservation

Various products of the Shin-Etsu Group contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy saving, and resource saving at the stage of use.

Silicones

The Group produces over 5,000 silicone products, such as household products, automobiles, construction, and solar cells. While being put to each of their uses, these products are contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
We, together with other members of the global silicone industry, carried out a study of the entire silicone market, examining silicone greenhouse gas emissions at the phase of production and how much greenhouse gas emissions are curbed by the use of silicone, in comparison to silicone substitutes and alternative methods. The study found that the silicone used as a product has the effect of reducing emissions1 by 9 times that of greenhouse gases emitted during the manufacturing and disposal of silicones. This is equivalent to a reduction of 54 million CO2-tons of greenhouse gases2 annually.
Silicone used in automobiles, construction, and solar cells account for the greatest share of overall silicone greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Silicone is contributing significantly to the improvment of sustainability.

1 Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Effects

※2012 survey results

2 Examples of Greenhouse Gas
Emission Reductions

Source: Silicone Industry Association of Japan “Silicone-Chemistry Carbon Balance”

Global Silicones Council

Silicone Industry Association of Japan

Fields in Which Silicone Use is Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Major Silicone Uses

Polyvinyl Chloride

Approximately 60% of the raw materials used in PVC are salts, which are abundant throughout the world. Compared to other general-purpose resins, the benefits of PVC include a low dependence on petroleum resources, placing a relatively small burden on the environment. The process of manufacturing PVC from raw materials uses around 60% of the energy required to make other general-purpose resins. Highly durable and easy to recycle, PVC is used for a wide range of social infrastructure materials, including vinyl windows, water and sewerage pipes, public works and other construction.
PVC windows have superior insulation properties, and are resistant to fogging, making them mainstays in Europe and North America. Their use is also accelerating in China. In Japan, as well, they are popular in mainly cold regions. Compared to ductile cast-iron pipes1, PVC pipes have lower total carbon-dioxide emissions2 over their lifecycles, contributing to the prevention of global warming.

1 Ductile cast-iron pipe
Tubes produced by spheroidal graphite cast iron, in which the precipitated graphite shape in the cast iron structure was changed from flaky to spheroidal. Has more than twice the strength and high toughness of the flaky graphite cast iron.
2 Lifecycle carbon-dioxide emissions
Total carbon dioxide emissions for a product, from the gathering of raw materials, through the production, use, disposal, and recycling stages.
Source:Japan Chemical Industry Association “Lifecycle Analysis of Chemical Products in Japan and around the World”, third edition Vinyl Environmental Council website “Living with PVC Windows”
Japan Chemical Industry Association
Vinyl Environmental Council

Japan Chemical Industry Association

Vinyl Environmental Council

Rare Earth Magnets

Rare-earth magnets are roughly 10 times as strong as conventional ferrite magnets, offering a great deal of magnetic force despite their compact size. These properties allow them to contribute to making motors for hybrid and electric vehicles, energy saving air conditioning compressor motors, and the like more compact, lightweight, and high powered.
For example, using rare-earth magnets in air conditioning compressors can improve energy efficiency by 5 to 10%. This cuts overall power usage, helping to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. Rare-earth magnets are also used in wind power generation motors, contributing to the spread of renewable energy.

Shin-Etsu rare-earth magnets