As hopes rise that the Japanese economy is emerging from its long spell of deflation, business activity has regained its buoyancy. The selection of Tokyo as host for the 2020 Olympics is good news for our country’s economy, and the resulting economic effects of infrastructure improvements and increased tourism, which have attracted considerable attention, are expected to provide a boost to Japan’s growth strategy. This favorable outlook has spurred an upturn in business confidence within the machinery industry, and small and medium enterprises have regained their appetite for investment in plant and equipment. Modest, steady growth seems likely for the future. However, the world context of product creation is undergoing enormous change driven by the rapid evolution of technology. In such matured markets as the US, Europe and Japan, segments exploiting advanced technologies including green business, aircraft, and medical equipment have been expanding, and there is a demand for small-batch and variable-mix/variable-volume production. At the same time, we are seeing a rapid transformation in the emerging markets too, as sharply rising labor costs prompt more and more customers to automate. The ‘emerging market’ countries are shifting to new regions.
Faced with this context of diversifying global markets, Amada Group has developed fiber laser machines with significantly reduced environmental impact and combination machines that integrate production processes for increased productivity. These machines are ‘locally made with Amada quality’ at our main manufacturing facilities around the world and delivered to customers all over the globe. As a comprehensive manufacturer of metalworking machinery, Amada supplies machines that combine the adding of high value to our customers’ products with environmental friendliness, thereby contributing to the development of society and the protection of the global environment.

In 2010, we formulated the Amada Group Environmental Declaration, in which we stated our intention as a company to connect with our customers, society and the world through ‘eco-conscious product creation’. In line with the long-term ‘Amada Green Action’ targets for FY 2020, we have committed ourselves to three major tasks.

- Reducing CO2 emissions associated with our products -

Our first task is reducing CO2 emissions associated with our products. Since Amada’s products are industrial goods, most of their lifecycle CO2 emissions occur during customer use, which is why we believe that developing machines with high energy efficiency (eco products) is extremely important. Having developed numerous eco products such as fiber laser machines that consume 80% less power than conventional models, and combination machines with lower energy consumption and integrated production processes for higher productivity, we have made good progress with our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions associated with our products.

These efforts have won us a strong reputation for developing eco products with excellent energy efficiency and productivity. Among other honors, we have received the 2013 Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity (in the technology/manufactured products category) for our FOL-3015AJ laser machine and ACIES series punch and laser combination machines. We accept such honors with a mixture of pride and humility, and for the future our efforts will continue to focus on developing a wide range of eco products with excellent energy efficiency and productivity.

- Reducing CO2 emissions associated with our business activities -

Our second task is a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions associated with our business activities by 2020, and we are making steady progress toward this goal. At our main manufacturing facilities, we strive for improved efficiency in our business and manufacturing processes, innovating day by day to save energy and resources, and create eco factories with low environmental impact. Also, because natural energy usage is a major concern for us, we are making extensive use of natural energy sources in our new-build factories and other facilities.

Further, we are vigorously pursuing environ-mental activities at our overseas facilities. Our blade factories in Austria and China have already received ISO14001 certification, and targets for the environmental initiatives being carried out at these sites are the same as for our facilities in Japan. For the future, Amada will be rolling out environmental initiatives on a more global scale, striving for rapid achievement of targets.

- Conservation and regeneration of biodiversity -

Our third task is the conservation and regeneration of biodiversity. We are pursuing a variety of ecosystem conservation initiatives including tackling the challenge of creating an ‘office in the forest’ where workers and green space can exist side by side at Isehara Works (our national headquarters), managing the Amada Forest, an area of flourishing woodland on the site of Fujinomiya Works (our main manufacturing facility), and planting Japanese red maple, an endemic tree that has been designated an endangered species, at Toki Works.

Overseas too, Amada is creating the conditions for coexistence with natural ecosystems. For example, Amada UK, our subsidiary company in the United Kingdom, set up an on-site habitat area to conserve the ecosystem of the great crested newt, which the UK classes as a protected species. For the future, we shall continue our endeavors to conserve and regenerate global biodiversity, in particular through efforts to protect such endangered species.

Thanks to you, our customers, Amada will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016. As a comprehensive manufacturer of metalworking machinery, Amada unceasingly strives to innovate in response to a rapidly evolving global market, creating products that will contribute to a prosperous future for the world’s people.

September, 2014
Mitsuo Okamoto
Amada Co., Ltd.