Sustainability | Sustainability Management | Efforts to Achieve the SDGsTDK Group's Approach to the SDGs and Its Activities
- The TDK Group's Approach to the SDGs
- The TDK Group’s Materiality and the SDGs
- Building a Setup to Address the SDGs through Business
- Business creation starting from social issues
The TDK Group's Approach to the SDGs
To make the global environment and people’s lives sustainable, the United Nations General Assembly approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. This agenda advocates Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets, to be achieved by all countries by 2030.
TDK, which aims to achieve sustainable business growth while also creating the three values advocated in Value Creation, considers the realization of Social Value (improving our value to society) to be closely related to the SDGs.
For TDK, the SDGs are the starting point of value creation. We believe that the measurement of how much value we have supplied to society and how much we have contributed to the solution of social issues is a barometer of our business achievements.
The TDK Group’s Materiality and the SDGs
The TDK Group’s materiality has been formulated based on the SDGs, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), and survey items of main ESG evaluation organizations, and issues indicated in the TDK Group’s long-term strategy reference materials, risks cited in financial reports, and key CSR issues (fiscal 2017–21).
Here we introduce the relationship between each materiality issue and the SDGs.
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|Pursuing Both Delegation of Authority and Internal Controls|
|Asset Efficiency Improvement|
Building a Setup to Address the SDGs Through Business
The TDK Group is continuing efforts, as explained below, to identify what countermeasures are available and how TDK’s products and technological strength can be exploited to tackle the global issues specified in the SDGs.
First, in addition to general in-house education, in accordance with company policy, we conducted an in-house dialogue with business groups in Japan and overseas regarding the approach to sustainability that we should be aiming for and the SDGs. After that, of the issues cited in the SDGs, we summarized the discussions that took place in each business group about what issues and targets could be addressed by their own technologies and solutions in the medium and long term and whether there were any technologies and solutions that could be newly created stemming from social issues. Subsequently, the business groups and the Sustainability Promotion HQ promoted repeated discussions and considerations on priority areas and medium- to long-term strategy to achieve the objective of “contributing to the world through technology.”
Furthermore, in parallel with these activities, of the results of considerations in the business groups, we included themes that could be realized in the short term in fiscal 2023 business plans.
Going forward, we will continue to advance the above discussions, share results and boost communication inside and outside the company, and promote actual activities.
- Implementation of employee educational dialogue to deepen understanding of the SDGs (since June 2018)
- Discussion by questionnaire or interview of what products or technologies possessed by each business group could contribute to the achievement of goals 3, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13 of the SDGs (May–November 2019)
- Inclusion of discussed ideas into the fiscal 2021 business plans of each business group (October 2019 – March 2020)
- Promotion of dialogue with business groups and other related parties and consideration of TDK’s priority areas and strategy based on social issues (since April 2020)
- Implementation of integrated progress management combining the EX and DX specified in the TDK Group’s materiality with the business areas that TDK focuses on for social value creation and corporate growth (since April 2021)
Building a Setup to Address the SDGs through Business
Business Creation Starting from Social Issues
The following are examples of the TDK Group’s business creation starting from social issues.
Reduced CO2 emissions by two-thirds
TDK Electronics takes its responsibility toward society and the environment very seriously. At its facilities around the world, it constantly strives to improve energy efficiency, save energy wherever possible and use electricity from renewable sources. This is how it has reduced CO2 emissions by two-thirds relative to sales compared with 2015.
For sustainable production and the smallest possible carbon footprint, TDK Electronics is focusing on saving more electricity, above all buying electricity from 100% renewable sources and generating electricity itself with its own photovoltaic systems. For example, compared to 2015, the company's energy consumption relative to production volume was reduced by more than 20%. This was achieved primarily through more energy-efficient machines and processes in production.
TDK Electronics is also well on the way to purchasing electricity from renewable sources. In America, the share has already been 100% for some time, and in Europe it is more than 96%. In Asia, where it has often been difficult to obtain electricity from renewable sources, two manufacturing sites in China have switched to green electricity.
There are also plans to double the current capacity of installed photovoltaic systems at the sites. Six manufacturing sites in Europe and Asia currently produce their own solar power, and six more are to follow. At four sites, existing installations are to be significantly enlarged.
Contributing to the New Mobility Society with Advanced Sensors and Actuators
TDK-Micronas has more than 25 years of experience in the manufacture of semiconductors for sensor and actuator solutions and a track record of shipping over six billion products to the automotive and industrial markets. It is playing a central role in magnetic field sensor technology and CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) integration. TDK-Micronas’s core competence is sensor solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Its product range includes Hall switches, linear sensors, 3D direct angle sensors, and current sensors, as well as embedded motor controllers for driving DC, BLDC (brushless direct current), and stepper motors.
As advocated by the Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), demands for high energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions are mounting throughout society. In these circumstances, the diffusion of electric vehicles is an important key to the solution of social issues. The spread of electric vehicles will reduce fossil-fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions on a global scale, and minimize the emission of pollutants and noise in local communities. Ecologically too, realizing the use of natural resources within the scope of regrowth will promote the development of a sustainable society.
Therefore, TDK-Micronas believes that society expects much of its optimized sensor and actuator solutions, and its goal is to meet those expectations by supplying solutions for all applications in vehicles, from battery management and exhaust valves to shift lever and pedal position sensors.
One specific example is the Micronas high voltage controller (HVC) family, which combines an ARM standard microcontroller core with a multitude of additional functions and features, such as power drivers, that previously could only be realized via discrete elements. The HVC family, which was developed as an embedded controller for smart actuators, offers advanced integration to realize compact and cost-efficient system concepts for use in automotive applications and beyond. One area of application for the HVC family is in active grill shutters (AGS). AGS offers significant improvement in aerodynamic performance, up to 30% as compared to non-AGS vehicles, and ensures higher operating torque reliability under all weather, vehicle, and wind velocity conditions.
In recent years the major trends, whether in combustion engines, electric vehicles, or hybrid vehicles, have continued to be the reduction of CO2 emissions and the electrification of vehicles. Many consumers desire flexible and environment-friendly mobility too. In large cities, therefore, it will be necessary to use new types of vehicles, such as small electric cars and pedelecs, and to develop new mobility concepts integrating electric vehicles into car-sharing fleets and public transport.
Amid this social trend requiring strict controls to meet new legal conditions, the demand for sensors is increasing in all vehicle types. TDK-Micronas engages in development and production with sustainability in mind throughout the entire value chain. It endeavors to utilize renewable energy, use the most efficient machinery and equipment, and reduce emissions and to supply value to society in the form of advanced sensors and actuators.
Contribution to Diffusion of Sustainable Farming Models and Regional Development in Collaboration with External Partners
Many regional cities in Japan share similar challenges relating to agriculture, such as a lack of successors to carry on farming, environmental problems, and food safety issues. TDK’s first president, Kenzo Saito, advocated the building of affluent communities through the development of both agriculture and industry. With this idea of the integration of agriculture and industry as a background, TDK in 2020 launched an agricultural project aimed at realizing the sustainable affluence of the regional community. Noting that agriculture is the core industry of Akita Prefecture, TDK’s birthplace, the company is endeavoring to plant smart farming models oriented toward environmental preservation in the region.
As the theme for the first stage of the project, TDK specified “The cultivation of safe, reliable, and tasty rice and its branding.” In collaboration with people both inside and outside the company, TDK is engaged in activities from various perspectives, such as process design for a smart farming model oriented toward environmental preservation, promotion of the diversification of farming into processing and distribution , and analysis of taste evaluation methods, with the goal of making rice that customers will select.
One initiative involves a weed-suppressing robot called Aigamo Robo , which has been developed by Yukimai Design Co., Ltd. with support from TDK. This robot is a replacement of the ducks (aigamo in Japanese) that play a central role in the so-called Aigamo method of rice-duck farming, which uses less or no agrochemicals. Powered by a solar panel, Aigamo Robo moves around the paddy field stirring up the mud to prevent sunlight from reaching the weeds underwater, thereby curbing the use of herbicides. The prototype underwent repeated improvements from 2020, and now the project has reached the stage of arranging a mass-production setup for the 2022 model.
In May 2022 TDK, Gonuemon Co., Ltd. , Iseki & Co., Ltd., Yukimai Design Co., Ltd., and Nikaho City concluded a five-party collaborative agreement relating to the promotion of cooperation on environmental-preservation-oriented smart farming. The aim is to tackle the solution of regional issues by pooling the knowledge and experience of regional farmers and harnessing the environment and state-of-the-art technology and to build environmental-preservation-oriented smart farming by around 2025 through collaboration between the public and private sectors.
TDK will continue contributing to the solution of issues faced by the regions and, together with local communities, build sustainable societies for future generations.
Combating Climate Change Together with Customers
Climate change is an urgent issue that must be tackled by the whole world. Amid the rush to solve this problem, here we introduce the efforts of TDK to help realize a carbon-neutral society.
One of the solutions toward realizing a carbon-neutral society is the promotion of a shift from gasoline to electric vehicles (xEV) . To supply products contributing to the improved energy efficiency of xEVs, TDK personnel in charge of each process of product development, the launching of manufacturing lines, and post-mass-production startup, engage in repeated daily communication with our automaker customers and, by making continuous improvements, clear the high quality standards demanded by them.
TDK’s compact motor thermistor with integrated flat coil, which is a sensor measuring the temperature of xEV motors, is a product with high levels of responsiveness and durability thanks to the development of a new compact structural body. The processing of flat coils with a high level of measuring accuracy in consideration of the environments in which the product would be used, the introduction of forming equipment, and automation were tough challenges. But after repeated trial and error, the obstacles were overcome, and eventually TDK was able to introduce a production line with a high level of productivity and stable quality. The project also led to the upgrading of members’ skills and the strengthening of their collaborative capabilities.
The ATF oil-temperature sensor contains a newly developed linear thermistor element that enables accurate temperature control over a wide-range temperature area (especially high-temperature zones). This product has helped to raise the performance and lower the cost of systems carried in xEVs.
Capitalizing on the technological capabilities gained in this project, TDK intends to expand business in the xEV market and contribute to speeding up the realization of a carbon-neutral society.