Circular Economy

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We promote the company-wide sustainable use of raw materials across the entire lifecycle of our products, from raw materials procurement through production, end use, and product disposal.

Our Approach

In order to realize our Zero Carbon and Circular Living environmental vision, LIXIL has designated circular economy as one of our focus areas and positioned that goal as a priority among our material issues. We use a variety of resources. In order to ensure the sustainable use of limited resources, we are promoting circular production across all product processes, from procurement of raw materials, including metals, timber, resin, and ceramics, through to manufacturing, product use, and disposal. Fueled by the LIXIL Plastics Action Statement announced in FYE2021, we are also working to reduce the amount of plastic we use, to recycle plastic, and to develop alternative materials.

Products and Services

We are seeking to use recycled raw materials, design for durability and reuse, make functional parts of existing products replaceable and upgradable, and expand our offering of products as a service. In the EMENA region, LIXIL introduces for the GROHE brand the Environmental Product Declaration, communicating transparent and comparable information about the lifecycle and environmental impact of products. The EPD is a form of so-called “product passport,” which is primarily used in our collaborative businesses with external partners; where new buildings need to have a full lifecycle declaration and therefore need data on all permanently installed products in the building.

These efforts are designed to help reduce resource and energy inputs and waste across the product lifecycle.

Product Development Using Recycled Materials

Cradle to Cradle Certified® products (GROHE brand)

Four products have been certified Gold for satisfying the five Cradle to Cradle international criteria: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. With waste recycling rates of 99% and a use of brass with recycling proportions of up to 80%, LIXIL’s GROHE brand has incrementally approached a circular economy for years.

GROHE’s Cradle to Cradle Certified® products (A new page will open) >

Cradle to Cradle Certified® products

Cradle to Cradle Certified® products

• Resin window EW (TOSTEM)

It achieves world-leading thermal insulation by using resin materials, which don’t conduct much heat, separating the space in the resin frame to create a multilayered hollow structure that suppresses heat transfer, and using high-performance triple-glazed glass. With its design that uses more recycled content than conventional products, the percentage of recycled materials, including resin scraps generated in the manufacturing process, in this sliding window product* has increased by roughly three times. In addition to the frame itself, we also use recyclable resin for the surface layer of the frame.

* In case of the S range.

EW cross section (blue part made from recycled materials)

EW cross section (blue part made from recycled materials)

KIRARA STAGE Mokucho artificial timber deck

It is made from 100% recycled materials by combining recycled plastics and MDF wood dust generated from the processing of wooden building materials.

Circular economy products (Japanese only / A new page will open) >

KIRARA STAGE Mokucho

KIRARA STAGE Mokucho

Upgradable Design

• Replaceable spout with built-in water purifier

Some LIXIL kitchen faucets are designed so that just the spout portion can be replaced with one that has a built-in water purifier. This helps reduce waste when the faucet reaches end-of-life.

Upgradable products (Japanese only / A new page will open) >

Can upgrade to faucet with water purifier

Can upgrade to faucet with water purifier

Renting and Leasing Comfortable Bathroom Spaces

withCUBE mobile bathroom booth

It does not require any large-scale construction, so it can be installed in as a little as one day* and easily withdrawn, thus making it easier to provide toilet facilities at distribution centers and other locations. It can help reduce the amount of resources and energy used and the amount of waste generated across a product life cycle by providing toilet spaces that can be easily installed in and removed from various different locations through rental and lease agreements.

* Preparatory construction to install water and wastewater lines and electrical wiring may be required separately.

withCUBE (Japanese only / A new page will open) >

withCUBE

withCUBE

Business Operations

LIXIL promotes the circulation of resources across all our business processes. At our production sites, we actively work to minimize new resource input, ensure the efficient and circular use of resources through reuse or recycling, and promote the recycling of waste. In Japan, Europe, and Asia, we have achieved waste recycling rates of over 90%. We are also encouraging resource recycling across the entire supply chain by collaborating with various stakeholders. We have also set up a management system for hazardous waste and air pollutants in compliance with ISO 14001 standards.

Efficient and Circular Use of Resources at Production Sites

At LIXIL International water faucet factories, we carry out alloy smelting in in-house furnaces. Up to 80% of the brass we use in these plants for the GROHE brand is recycled material collected in and outside the factories. LIXIL factories in Japan are reducing the energy required to produce new ingots and other aluminum products by reusing aluminum scraps from outside their manufacturing process; this reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 640,000 tons per year.

With regard to plastic resources, we aim to recycle materials from one resin window into another. We are also promoting the effective use and recycling of resin materials by, for instance, building systems to recycle materials left over from factory processes and introducing equipment to sort and separate the materials. Our Tono Plant in Gifu, another site in Japan, successfully reduced waste from adjustment tiles used for creating wall construction materials by 55 tons a year and reduced the raw materials used by 80% by improving operations and eliminating the cutting process.

At our factories in Rayong and Rangsit, Thailand, we have been recycling waste materials that were previously sent to landfill, such as sludge, mold, and ceramic scraps, into ingredients for making concrete. This has reduced the amount of landfill waste generated by the two factories by approximately 22,700 tons (98.2% compared to FYE2019) and boosted recycling rates to 98.0% in FYE2022. In addition, our two ceramic factories in Mexico have managed to recycle ceramic waste and gypsum molds previously earmarked for landfill.

Feeding raw materials into the aluminum smelter

Feeding raw materials into the aluminum smelter

Collaborating with Stakeholders across the Supply Chain

Having obtained certification as a biomass business operator and lobbied timber suppliers to join forest certification organizations, our Nabari Plant in Mie, Japan, succeeded in selling its previously discarded wood shavings as biomass fuel and reducing its wood shavings waste to zero in April 2020.

In FYE2022, TOSTEM THAI acquired Level 5, the highest level in the Green Industry commendation system operated by Thailand’s Ministry of Industry. In addition to pursuing initiatives within the organization, our efforts to support the activities of business partners and suppliers and to extend our environment-conscious network across the supply chain earned high praise. We worked with 170 major suppliers to promote environmental activities that took into account the degree of environmental footprint. We also helped 14 companies that exert especially large implications on the environment implement improvements which earned them a Level 2 certification.

Award ceremony for Green Industry promoted by Thailand’s Ministry of Industry

Award ceremony for Green Industry promoted by Thailand’s Ministry of Industry

Promoting the Use of Greener Packaging

LIXIL is also working hard to minimize resource use, recycle resources, and use environment-conscious options for our packaging materials. Our LIXIL Plastics Action Statement defines our commitment to reducing plastic use.

• GROHE brand’s Less Plastic Initiative
Since 2018, we have been switching from plastic to sustainable alternative packaging materials for GROHE brand products. That helps us reduce the number of plastic packages by 37 million a year.

• Eco-packaging for LIXIL Parts Shop, the official site
for purchasing parts in Japan We utilize biodegradable wrapping paper and cellophane, hemp twine, and paper cushioning, and also use easy setup outer boxes that can be assembled without any tape. Switching to paper cushioning will help reduce plastic use by 2.4 tons annually.

• Switching water filter cartridge packaging to paper
Transitioning to paper for our water filter cartridge packaging in Japan will help reduce 3.5 tons of plastic use per year.

• Shifting to 100% foam-free packaging
Our sanitaryware manufacturing plant in Mexico will switch to 100% foam-free packaging from FYE2023, which should help reduce plastic use by 125 tons a year. This initiative has already been launched in Vietnam and other countries in Asia Pacific.

• Improving the efficiency and resource saving of kitchen countertop packaging together with local manufacturers of packaging materials (Japan)

• Promoting the reduction, reuse, and recycling of stretch film used in the logistics department for transporting products (Japan)

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