Nissans Recycling Recovery Rate at 95.2%

By: RyanThomas

The Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. earlier announced the progress report on its recycling efforts for the fiscal year 2006 starting in April last year to March this year. Through its extensive recycling efforts, the Japanese automaker has already exceeded the targets set under the Nissan Green Program 2010 mid-term environmental action plan.

Nissan's recycling policies are in accordance with the Japan Automobile Recycling Law as enacted on January 1, 2005. The progress report of the automaker covers three aspects: the Automobile Shredder Residue (ASR), airbag-related components, and fluorocarbons (CFCs/HFCs).

"We'll hedge risks" of possible increases in material costs, said Kazuya Shishido, the automaker's general manager in charge of the company's recycling operations. Nissan, in which Renault has a 44 pecent stake, is targeting recycling 100 percent of materials, including resin products, used in its vehicles sold globally, up from a targeted 95 percent under its current environmental project.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 mid-term environmental action plan, the company intends to bolster its recycling efforts to achieve an average 95 percent recovery rate for end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) by 2010. This is four years ahead of the 2015 regulations in Japan.

For the 2006 fiscal year, Nissan recycled 95,240.3 tons from the 128,827.9 tons of ASR involving 635,440 recovered vehicles. The figure represents a recovery ratio of 73.9 percent, which goes beyond the 70 percent standard required by law. Japan's third largest automaker is already in compliance nine years ahead of the 2015 legal requirement.

The effective recycling recovery rate stands at 95.2 percent against the 95 percent target set under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental action plan. This has been attained four years prior to the 2010 target. A total of 439,526 airbag-related products involving 229,049 vehicles were received. Recycling involve ELV recovery processing as well as on-board deployment. The airbag recycling ratio stood at 94.3 percent, exceeding the legal requirement of 85 percent. A total of 160,200 kilograms of fluorocarbons were collected concerning 507,037 vehicles and processed appropriately.

The cost of these recycling efforts totaled 5,523,193,204 yen. In contrast, recycling fees and income generated from the business of managing recycling operations amounted to 5,642,113,359 yen. The figures contributed to a net surplus of 118,920,115 yen. The cumulative balance from the recycling operations from FY2004 to FY2006 results in a deficit of 58,206,881 yen, which is consistent with the forecast cost.

The fiscal year 2006 progress report reflects that the Japanese automaker has exceeded all the recycling standards stipulated under the Japan Automobile Recycling Law and ahead of its legal obligations. Consistent to the Nissan Green Program, the company will continue with its efforts to reach the ultimate recovery ratio of 100 percent i.e. to reuse and recover 100 percent of the materials from ELV into usable resources.

Nissan's extra efforts to alleviate ELV recycling include measures to achieve zero land-fill waste in Japan and new methods in creating usable materials from ELVs. In regard the long-term goal of the automaker, the company is enhancing its product lines by expanding vehicle design to enable easy dismantling and developing recycling technologies for hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Japanese automakers like the Toyota Motor Corp. are expecting these costs to continue deteriorating profit growth this fiscal year as steel products and other materials are increasingly expensive because of intensifying demand from economically growing countries like China. Nissan, by sales volume, seeks to limit these costs by using recycled materials. The project will continue until the end of March 2011. Nissan Senior Vice President Toshiharu Sakai declined to say when the company wants to hit the 100 percent goal.

Shishido hopes the costs of using recycled materials will be less than purchasing new ones, although he has not seen any indications for such cost benefits yet. A major challenge is reducing costs to collect and recycle the materials, Shishido added. But he did not disclose the ratio for vehicles sold worldwide.

At present, the Japanese automaker is trying hard to enhance the and other significant auto parts to boost its lineup without sacrificing aficionados' demands.

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