Sustainability Initiatives through our BusinessWater Management

Recognition of Water Resources

The earth’s water resources are said to be 97.5% seawater, with only 2.5% fresh water that can be used for farming and drinking. And 99% of that fresh water is contained in ice in places like the Antarctic, so there is very little fresh water available for direct use.
Through its businesses across the world, Marubeni recognizes that developed countries are able to fully enjoy these finite water resources, while other countries do not even have adequate wells, and this regional imbalance is a major problem. Future water shortages are also anticipated, accompanying increases in world population and economic growth in the developing countries. The effective use of water resources is a global issue, and the international society is starting to take actions.

Water Resources Policy

Based on the Marubeni Group Environmental Policy, the Marubeni Group recognizes that energy and resources, including water, are finite, and take measures to ensure their effective and efficient use.
In the Marubeni Group Environmental Policy, we clearly state our commitment to using energy and resources, including water, efficiently. By reducing water usage through promotion of efficient use and recycling of water, and by providing stable supplies of water resources through effective water and sewerage operation and power and desalination projects, we will continue to contribute to the environment and communities and to resolving water-related social issues.

Water Withdrawal by Source

  • (Unit : thousand ㎥)
Water withdrawal by source Surface water from rivers, lakes, natural ponds Groundwater from wells, boreholes Used quarry water collected in the quarry Municipal potable water External wastewater Harvested rainwater Sea water, water extracted from the Sea or the Ocean Total
FYE 3/2016 36,797 3,384 0 1,224 10,969 1 0 52,375
FYE 3/2017 35,206 6,127 0 803 8,721 1 167 51,025
FYE 3/2018 34,216 7,706 0 1,113 7,418 2 73 50,529

Initiatives in Water-Stressed Regions

  • Taweelah B
  • Taweelah B
    Taweelah B Power & Desalination Complex

The Marubeni Group owns and operates four IWPP projects*1 in the arid region Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. In total, 440 imperial million gallons of disalination water per day are produced by those disalination plants, helping to reduce stress on the region’s water resources.
For example, the Taweelah B power and desalination complex, located 80 kilometers northeast of Abu Dhabi, which we built and operate, has generation capacity of 2,000 megawatts of electricity and 160 million imperial gallons of water per day. To meet increased water demand resulting from economic development and population growth, the Marubeni Group is selling electricity and water for 20-25 years to the Emirates Water & Electricity Company, a state-owned utility under the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy. Water from the plant is used for tap water (household and commercial), agriculture, industry and other applications, and helps to relieve stress on water resources. (To prevent exacerbation of the region’s water stress, machinery cooling water and other water used in the Marubeni Group’s business operations is produced at the desalination plant.)

IWPP Projects in the United Arab Emirates

Project Gross Desalination Capacity (Million gallons per day)
Taweelah A2 50
Taweelah B 160
Fujairah F2 130
Shuweihat S2 100

We are involved in a variety of projects in arid regions and regions with scarce water sources around the world. They include water and sewerage concessions to build-own-operate (BOO) projects, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects, and operation, maintenance, and management for water treatment facilities.
Specifically, the concession businesses and BOO project we operate in Chile, Brazil, the Philippines, Portugal and Peru, and our operation, maintenance and management of a wastewater treatment plant in Qatar, have a total water purification capacity of 3.5 million cubic meters per day and wastewater treatment capacity of 2.29 million cubic meters, and cover a service population totaling approximately 16 million people.

1 IWPP:Independent Water and Power Producers

  • Maynilad
    Maynilad Water purification plant
  • Maynilad
    Water supply in Maynilad

One example of the Marubeni Group’s concession businesses is our investment in and personnel dispatch to Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad), a water and sewerage company in the West Zone of Metro Manila in the Philippines, which has a population of 9.5 million people.
Amid the region’s ongoing urban expansion and increased congestion, Maynilad is expanding its water distribution network to increase the coverage of water supply services. In addition, it continues to provide a stable water supply to some 1.4 million households in the concession area by promoting more efficient use of water resources with measures to prevent water pipe leakage and improve water pressure. At the same time, as a medium-to-long-term goal, it is working to raise the currently low percentage of the population connected to the sewage system, to improve the sanitary environment both in normal times and during flooding, and to improve the water quality of the region’s water system and Manila Bay, through development of sewage treatment facilities and the sewerage network in its service area.

Outline of Maynilad's Business

Treatment Facilities Treatment Capacity
Water purification plant 2,550,000㎥/day
Sewage treatment plant 271,925㎥/day
Sludge treatment plant 450t/day

  • Doha West sewage treatment plant
    Doha West sewage treatment plant
  • Lusail sewage treatment plant
    Lusail sewage treatment plant
  • Lusail sewage treatment plant
    Lusail sewage treatment plant

Marubeni has participated from the construction stage at the Doha West, Doha North, and Lusail Sewage Treatment Plants, which are the major sewage treatment plants in Doha, the capital of Qatar with approximately 2.7 million people. At the Doha West and Lusail Plants Marubeni is currently conducting the operation and maintenance for 10 years after the construction. The greywater (treated water made by sterilizing sewage water, for industrial and consumer use) which is generated during the sewage treatment process is delivered daily to roadside vegetation, parks, and farms across Doha through the greywater pipe network. It plays an important role by supporting the social infrastructure in Doha, the land of desert, and Marubeni is engaging in a sustainable contribution activity in regions with insufficient water supplies through recycling of the valuable water resources.

The amount of water treated daily at each plant is shown below. Currently, 385,000㎥ of greywater is supplied across Doha per day.

Sewage treatment plan in Qatar Sewage Treatment Plant Capacity
Doha West Sewage treatment plant 340 thousand m3/day
Doha North Sewage treatment plant 439 thousand m3/day
Lusail Sewage treatment plant 60 thousand m3/day
Treatment Capacity 839 thousand m3/day

Water Withdrawal from Water-Stressed Regions

By referring to databases such as “Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins” by CEO Water Mandate, the Marubeni Group identifies water-stressed regions (“relevant areas”), and through internal reviews such as “Operating Companies' Environmental Performance Review,” we survey the amount of water intake from the relevant areas.
Of the 2,263 operation sites covered by the “Operating Companies' Environmental Performance Review” etc., with aggregated data as of the end of March 2018, 169 operation sites that account for 7.5%, operate in the watershed areas of the Bravo River, Brazos River, Columbia River, Mississippi River, Nelson River, Santiago River, St. Lawrence, Trinity River, Cape Fear River, and San Antonio River in the U.S. with relatively high water stress. There is a total intake of 156,000 cubic meters in these regions, and we are aware that this is equivalent to 0.3% of 50.529 million cubic meters, the water intake for the whole Marubeni Group. (Furthermore, we have confirmed that no operation sites face comprehensively high water risk, such as the amount of physical water resources, pollution by waste water, regulations, or assessment of nearby regions.)

Amount of Wastewater by Destination

  • (Unit: thousand ㎥)
Amount of Wastewater by Destination Ocean Surface water Underground/wells Off-site water treatment Others Total
FYE 3/2016 12,091 31,981 3 924 0 44,999
FYE 3/2017 10,628 32,949 3 835 0 44,414
FYE 3/2018 10,983 33,070 3 884 0 44,940

Wastewater quality is appropriately managed based on the laws and regulation of each country and region.

Water Recycling Rate

The total water consumption of the Marubeni Group’s 297 locations In the year ended March 31, 2018 was approximately 50,529 thousand cubic meters, of which the amount recycled as non-potable water was 16,120 thousand cubic meters, for a recycling rate of about 32%.

Number of Legal or Regulatory Violations Related to Water Withdrawal and Wastewater

In the year ended March 31, 2018, the Marubeni Group was found to have one violation related to the amount of wastewater in Queensland, Australia, and was fined 12,190 Australian dollars by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
This infraction occurred when water in excess of the permissible amount was released into an adjacent river from a water storage dam on a site related to the Marubeni Group because of record downpours associated with a cyclone.
In addition to constructing a run-off channel and expanding the capacity of the dam, our response included completing changes to environmental approvals and permits related to increasing the amount of wastewater with the department. The results of a water quality test showed that there was no harm to the environment.

Water Consumption Intensity in Food & Cement Production

Water Consumption Intensity in Food Production (㎥/ton)

FYE 3/2016 24.1
FYE 3/2017 24.5
FYE 3/2018 28

Water Consumption Intensity in Cement Production (㎥/ton)

FYE 3/2016 0
FYE 3/2017 0
FYE 3/2018 0

Formulation of the Marubeni Group’s Water Management Plan

As of March 31, 2018, 22 (5.1%) of the 430 Marubeni Group companies had established water management plans. These companies monitor and manage the amount of water withdrawal, waste water, and recycled water, as well as quality and temperature of waste water, and take measures to use water resources effectively and reduce their environmental impact.
Koa Kogyo Co., Ltd., for example, uses water efficiently in production processes, and sets and manages standards for the amount of fresh water used in each department, as part of its efforts to conserve resources.

Since large quantities of water are needed in papermaking operations, Koa Kogyo secures the necessary water from both industrial and well water sources and recycles water in the manufacturing process. In waste water, strict water quality standards are met by using activated sludge tanks to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and by purifying water.

Click here to view Koa Kogyo’s initiatives (Japanese only)

Another example, The Nisshin OilliO Group, Ltd. has set the target of reducing water consumption (tap water and industrial water) intensity at its four production bases in Japan in the year ending March 31, 2021 by 8% compared to the year ended March 31, 2013, and is implementing reduction measures and progress management to meet that goal.

Click here to view Nisshin OilliO’s initiatives

Water-Related Risk Quantification and Financial Impact Measurement

At Maynilad Water Services, Inc., a Marubeni Group company, the effects of operational shutdown caused by physical damage etc. to the facility due to disasters or extreme weather is quantified.
Specifically, several of Maynilad’s important business locations such as the purification plant, pumping station, and water distribution network are chosen as samples, and the economic impact of operational shutdown is calculated by period, to be used for developing the business continuity plan.

Expenses Related to Water Risk Mitigation Measures

Marubeni spent a total of 128 million yen in the year ended March 31, 2018 on water risk mitigation measures through its Group companies. These measures included maintenance and repair of water withdrawal and drainage systems and recycling treatment facilities, installation of water-saving equipment, purchase of wastewater treatment chemicals, emergency response training for scenarios assuming the outflow of hazardous substances, and implementation of cleanup activities in the areas surrounding water sources.
We also spent 29 million yen in the year ended March 31, 2018 as R&D expenses for maintaining water quality and securing water supplies in our business operations.

Participation in CDP’s Water Security Program

The Marubeni Group shares information about its ESG initiatives with its stakeholders around the world. As part of that effort, the Marubeni Group has participated in the initiative of CDP, a NGO, since 2007. CDP is a project that calls on companies in various countries to disclose environmental information, including climate change measures. CDP analyzes and assesses the collected information, and makes it available to investors. CDP’s database of environmental information on corporate climate change measures is one of the largest in the world.
The Marubeni Group has answered CDP’s Water Security Program questionnaires, which evaluate corporate water management, since the year ended March 31,2014. This information is provided to stakeholders and is being used to improve the Marubeni Group’s water management.

Note: Data on water management is collected from Marubeni Corporation and its domestic and international consolidated subsidiaries.