December 17, 2003
NTN Casting Acquires ISO 14001 Certification
(Stringent ISO standard achieved in seven months,
the fastest for any company in the casting industry)
On November 25, 2003, NTN Casting Corp. (hereafter called NTN Casting) of Hirata, Shimane Prefecture, a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of NTN Corporation (hereafter called NTN), achieved ISO 14001 certification, signifying compliance with international standards of environmental protection. NTN Casting (President: Shoji Kotera) became the sixth member of the Japan Cast Iron Foundry Association (573 companies) to attain ISO 14001 certification and the third casting company in Shimane Prefecture to do so.
NTN Casting acquired ISO 14001 status just seven months after starting the application process, the shortest time period of any company in the casting industry. During the ISO 14001 acquisition process, NTN Casting was involved in joint research with the Shimane Institute for Industrial Technology, Tatenui Construction Business Association and the Shimane Industrial Promotion Foundation on the recycling of casting sand, which in the past has gone into landfills. The recycled sand material is to be used as roadbed material.
One of the ISO requirements is communication between the company and the public. To meet this requirement, NTN Casting has undertaken a policy of environmental management that takes into consideration the effect the company has on the environment of local citizens by strengthening measures to deal with dust produced in the casting process and improving the quality control of water discharged from factories.
As early as 1999, NTN obtained ISO 14001 status for 11 of its business sites: NTN headquarters, five NTN plants and five affiliated companies in Japan. In becoming the 12th site, NTN Casting becomes another contributor to NTN's environmental control system, a system that actively tackles global environmental protection.
NTN set its waste reduction goal at zero waste (meaning no landfill waste) in fiscal 2002 and reached that goal in September 2003. Moreover, at 98 percent, NTN has the highest recycling rate in the bearing industry. This high rate was made possible by recycling grinding swarf (with the introduction of the grinding swarf briquetter developed independently by NTN) and by utilizing sludge from the wastewater treatment plant as roadbed material.
NTN achieved another first in the bearing industry by expanding its circle of environmental protection activities to include key business partners such as parts manufacturers and suppliers. NTN is promoting environmental protection by setting common goals for the entire NTN Group on such issues as waste reduction and energy conservation. These actions are not limited to asking business partners to obtain ISO 14001 status. NTN has also set up a support system to allow business partners to obtain speedy certification. NTN Technical Service Corporation (a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of NTN) is registered as a certifying agent for "Eco Stage" non-governmental environmental standards and offers consulting services for companies seeking certification.