Iijima Green Factory Expands Wastewater Management System

Inaugurated “Environmental Technology Center” Aims To Lower Environmental Impact

November 18, 2014– Hikari Miso Co., Ltd. completed expansion of its wastewater management system at the Iijima Green Factory in Nagano Prefecture on October 2, 2014. The company also inaugurated “Environmental Technology Center,” a specialized department aimed at reducing the factory’s environmental impact.

The third leading miso manufacturer in the industry, Hikari Miso has been speculating the increase of energy consumption and wastewater runoff and aggressively investing in greener facilities, in order to respond to the increased production at the factory.

The expansion of the wastewater management system has successfully laid the foundation for the environmental impact reduction program, which the company has been working on for years. The program will be carried over to the new Environmental Technology Center to further strengthen company’s responsibility to the global climate change crisis.

Hikari Miso believe these efforts are essential and relevant to realize company’s mission to “provide delicious, safe and affordable products.” The company hopes the new Environmental Technology Center will become the core of these efforts, as well as reducing energy and resource use and promoting green living.

The expansion project included a high-rate anaerobic treatment and anoxic-aerobic activated sludge treatment as well as a newly built membrane bioreactor (MBR). The MBR separates wastewater into treated water and floating particles by filtration at a micron level. These systems eliminates the need to increase the capacity of the sedimentation tank by keeping sludge levels the same as before, increasing overall processing ability for the plant as a result.

Environmental Activities Thus Far:

Hikari Miso became the first miso manufacturer to acquire ISO14001 certification, the international standard for environmental protection, in 1998. Along with the certification, the company has been contributing to a better world climate by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, promoting energy conservation and developing environmentally conscious products. Here are two of the major environmental projects the company was engaged in:

  1. Heavy oil boiler to LNG boiler update project (January 2009)
    By updating the existing heavy oil boiler to an LNG (liquid natural gas) boiler, Hikari Miso was able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 27%. In January 2013, the manufacturing process for instant miso soup products adopted LPG (liquified petroleum gas) for fuel, making this a zero-heavy-oil factory.
  2. Biomass boiler energy saving project (May 2009)
    Hikari Miso has successfully saved energy with a biomass boiler powered with methane gas, which is produced by re-fermenting dewatered sludge from the wastewater management system. The company uses the large quantity of dewatered sludge, which used to be industrial waste, to generate energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In December 2012, the company installed a biomass power generation system to make use of surplus methane gas generated, and added another generator in August 2014.

These projects were certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) in January 2010 for the national credit system as a greenhouse gas reducing business. In February 2011, Hikari Miso received the “Food Industry Carbon Dioxide Reduction Award” organized by The Japan Research Institute, Limited and subsidized by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF). In September 2011, the company also received the incentive award at “Shinshu Eco Award” organized by Nagano Association for Conserving Environment.

The Iijima Green Factory is nestled between the Central and Southern Alps of Japan, blessed by a cool climate and rich underground water flow. Located within such beautiful nature, Hikari Miso believes the company must suppress carbon dioxide emissions, use renewable energy, create appropriate wastewater management flow, and proactively participate in multilateral activities to lessen environmental impact. As a miso manufacturer blessed by nature, Hikari Miso will continue its effort to protect the environment that is represented in its corporate message, “Nature’s Best, From Our Family to Yours, Hikari Miso.”