StrategyMurata’s Environmental Strategy

Creating a Continuous Cycle of Social and Economic Value

Murata manufactures diverse electronic components that are part of our everyday lives (e.g., smartphones and automobiles) and the world around us. Murata’s slogan, Innovator in Electronics, comes from the objective to be a leader in innovation for the electronics industry. With that as a guiding principle, Murata established a global brand by stably supplying advanced, quality electronic components.

The capacitors, inductors (coils), and other electronic components it manufacture are being used in various products around the world. However, the company’s impact on society is increasing dramatically due to the expansion of its core business.

Murata must expand and enhance innovation in order to help resolve social issues and create more value to customers. With that in mind, Murata formulated Vision 2030. This is our long-term vision that depicts where it wants to be in 2030.

The graphic below captures a rotating cycle of core values - Murata provides the essentials, Murata enables the future, and Murata evolves through innovation - through partnership with stakeholders at the core The company aims to contribute to the enrichment of society by producing a continual cycle of social and economic value creation.

Management That Creates a Continuous Cycle of Social and Economic Value
Management That Creates a Continuous Cycle of Social and Economic Value
Management That Creates a Continuous Cycle of Social and Economic Value

Murata is working on “management that creates a continuous cycle of social and economic value” as one of our growth strategies to achieve Vision 2030. In this process, it established nine materialities (key issues) in the area of the environment, society, and governance (ESG). It clarified its intent to solve these issues through corporate activities which includes its group companies and supply chain. That is truly solving issues through collaboration and partnership with stakeholders.

Of these, Murata set three focus areas with regard to the environment (E): strengthening climate change measures, the use of sustainable resources, preventing pollution, and managing chemical substances. The company is committed to taking responsibility because of energy consumption as well as the mineral and other resources used in the manufacturing processes.

How is Murata working to solve these environmental challenges? Let’s take a closer look.

EffortsEfforts toward Target Values

Efforts toward Climate Change Highly Rated by International Initiatives

Climate change is an unavoidable issue for the future of the planet. Murata has long been proactively working on energy saving to help resolve this issue. For example, through FY2018 it closely tracked and identified an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions*1due to expanded production coupled with greater demand for electronic components, M&As, and the development of new business.

*1) Target: Scope 1 + Scope 2

Accordingly, Murata is actively working to expand the use of renewable energy along with energy saving initiatives. In FY2020, the company was the first in the industry to join RE100, an international initiative aiming to ensure the power used in business activities comes 100% from renewable energy sources by FY2050. Moreover, target setting such as a 46% reduction in GHG emissions by FY2030 earned a SBT certification from the SBTi international initiative. Murata has worked on innovation and aggressive capital investment in line with that goal. For example, it reduced the power burden in the sintering of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), one of its core products. Additionally, the company installed solar panels in at least 15 sites in its group.

As a result, the GHG emissions peaked in FY2018 and then began to fall. In FY2020, Murata cut GHG equivalent to 174,000 tons compared to the previous year in a carbon dioxide conversion. The company is aiming to further reduce emissions by 46% by FY2030 compared to FY2019 and to keep emissions to 870,000 tons.

Murata is also planning to achieve a renewable energy usage rate of 50% by FY2030 and 100% by FY2050, which is in line with the target of RE100. The company is continuing to invest aggressively to achieve that. For instance, it installed rooftop solar panels at its plant in Thailand and is operating a 4.5 MW mega solar system - the largest in the company.

Solar Power Generation System of Murata Electronics (Thailand), Ltd.
Solar Power Generation System of Murata Electronics (Thailand), Ltd.

Protecting the Local Environment Through Sustainable Resource Use

The depletion of resources, the increase in the amount of waste, and other social problems are becoming more serious with the global increase in population. Murata established its vision and targets for 2050 to aim for sustainable growth by working to help solve these problems.

Image of Murata’s Efforts to Realize the Use of Sustainable Resources
Image of Murata’s Efforts to Realize the Use of Sustainable Resources
Image of Murata’s Efforts to Realize the Use of Sustainable Resources

It is very important that Murata reduces its emissions total in parallel to its use of sustainable resources. The company is also working to decrease waste liquids to help achieve that. For example, Toyama Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a production subsidiary, established a plant capable of treating alkali waste liquid in-house rather than outsourcing the treatment process.

Moreover, Murata has been working for some time on reducing its water usage throughout manufacturing processes. The company is rated as A- in CDP Water by the international environmental non-profit group the CDP*2. Further reductions are planned for the future.

Murata is promoting many of these efforts both at headquarters and with group companies around the world the make a significant impact.

*2)About the CDP
The CDP is an international environmental NGO that operates a global environmental information disclosure system for companies and local governments. It evaluated efforts by interviewing companies about their response and strategies for environmental information disclosure, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, water resource protection and forest protection through capital market and corporate procurement activities in collaboration with more than 590 investors managing assets worth 110 trillion US dollars in total in FY2021. Currently, more than 14,000 organizations around the world are disclosing environmental information through the CDP. This includes more than 13,000 companies equivalent to more than 64% of the world’s market capitalization and more than 1,100 local governments. Moreover, the organization has the world’s largest environmental database that is fully compliant with the TCFD. CDP scores are widely used to encourage investment and procurement decision-making to realize a sustainable and highly flexible decarbonized society. Murata has been selected to the CDP’s Climate Change A List. Refer to the website below for details.
CDP Global Website
Waste Liquid Processing Facility of Toyama Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Waste Liquid Processing Facility of Toyama Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Case studyCase Study: Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

A Flagship Initiative for Murata

One collaborative environmental project is a 100% renewable energy initiative untaken by Murata’s and one of its group companies, Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Awara, Fukui Prefecture).

Selected as the first site to achieve the RE100 target, Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. installed a 638 kW solar power generation system and a 913 kWh capacity storage battery system - the largest in Hokuriku. This enabled the location to achieve 100% renewable energy in November 2021. It did this by storing all the electricity it generated then purchasing power from an external renewable energy source to make up the shortfall.

Shuji Iiyama, Plant Manager of Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., stated: “This was originally a small project that we started independently. However, it quickly expanded when we were selected for this pilot project. We are currently expanding the process to realize 100% renewable energy in Murata’s plants across the whole of Hokuriku.”

Hokuriku is a region where it is difficult to efficiently use solar power generation because of the high number of cloudy and snowy days. Murata is currently testing how to generate more electricity based on forecasting weather patterns while determining effective ways to handle the excess or shortfalls in line with production plans.

Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Utilizing the Murata’s Own Technologies to Achieve RE100

Masaomi Tsutsumi, Senior Manager of New Business Development Section 1 in the New Business Development Department in the Corporate Technology & Business Development Unit that supports the project in Murata’s head office, added the following: “If we can achieve a 100% renewable energy rate in a location as challenging as Hokuriku, we can then transfer that technology and expertise to other plants around the world. I hope that it will be possible to contribute to the spread of renewable energy power over the whole of society in addition to in our company.”

As stated, it is difficult to achieve 100% renewable energy under disadvantageous conditions. Iiyama told us the following: “Even if we make forecasts based on meteorological data, snow that has built up on solar panels does not melt easily. That impacts the amount of power we can harness. Given that, we want to improve the accuracy of forecasts and marry it with data obtained on-site.”

Currently approximately 13% of the 100% renewable energy used by Kanazu Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is generated privately while external sources supplement the remainder. That is a high percentage considering the challenging weather conditions. Nevertheless, the company is aiming to double that to approximately 27% by 2023.

Iiyama concluded with: “Working on RE100 cemented our belief that we need to be useful in the world. This pride has translated to our employees as well, whose behavior and mindfulness has clearly changed. I also want to tell young engineers that it is possible to create innovations within Murata that help make the world a better, safer place for everyone.”

Efforts to solve social issues through collaboration and partnership are leading to a spread over the entire group of Murata’s desire to “contribute to the enrichment of society.”

Forest landscape image
This article was published as an advertisement feature on the electronic edition of NIKKEI for one month from March 17, 2022.