The 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

Basic Approach

The ENEOS Group is doing its part to develop a recycling-oriented society by reducing waste and recycling resources in its own activities as well as in society. The Group is expanding its recycling business, and applies the 3Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle—to ensure that it uses resources efficiently.


For information on our structure, see Environmental Management.

Material Issues, Plans and Results

Fiscal 2022 Targets, Results and Progress

Evaluation:Achieved/Steady progressNot achieved

Material ESG Issue Initiative Target (KPI) Results/Progress
Contribution to the development of a recycling-oriented society Reduction in landfill disposal Waste-to-landfill ratio:
Maintain zero emissions (less than 1%)


Second Medium-Term Environmental Management Plan (Fiscal 2020 to Fiscal 2022)


  1. Waste-to-landfill ratio
    Maintain zero emissions (waste-to-landfill ratio of less than 1%)

Fiscal 2022 Results

  1. Waste-to-landfill ratio (actual)
    Waste-to-landfill ratio of 0.8%

Major Initiatives

Waste Reduction

The Group manages and recycles waste appropriately, with a target of maintaining zero emissions (waste-to-landfill ratio of less than 1%). In fiscal 2022, waste totaled 3,691 thousand tons and landfill waste totaled 30 thousand tons. The waste-to-landfill ratio was 0.8%, indicating that we continue to achieve our zero-emissions target.
The total amount of waste and the landfill disposal volume increased from the previous fiscal year due to factors such as an increase in the number of sites subject to data collection and an increase in production at JX Metals. There was no change in the waste-to-landfill ratio.
We pursue recycling and reuse through initiatives for waste reduction, including using the collected particulate matter and sludge released from oil refineries as raw materials for cement, and the repeated use of neutralized sludge1 at our smelting and refining facilities.
In addition, we use LCA methodology2 in evaluating the development of certain lubricant products.

  1. 1Material generated by the neutralization reaction in the smelting process.
  2. 2LCA methodology involves quantitatively evaluating the environmental effects of product manufacturing throughout the entire life cycle, from procurement of raw materials to manufacturing, transport, use, and disposal. LCA is an acronym for “life cycle assessment.”

Responsible Management of Waste

We confirm whether waste emitted at our refineries is disposed of responsibly in accordance with our duty under the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Act.

Landfill Disposal Volume and Waste-to-Landfill Ratio

  • Note:
  • For detailed data, see Data.

Increasing the Use of Recyclable Raw Materials

The Group is working to reduce its use of raw materials by streamlining production and expanding the use of recyclable raw materials.
JX Metals promotes the effective use of resources by efficiently recovering copper, precious metals, and rare metals from recyclable raw materials, drawing from processes that utilize its smelting technology, developed over the course of more than a century. The company has established a long-term goal of increasing the use of recyclable raw materials in copper smelting to 50% (ratio in raw materials or ratio contained in products).
In fiscal 2022, 240 thousand tons of the 1,856 thousand tons of raw materials used in the company’s business activities were recycled resources.

Human Resource Development in Nonferrous Smelting, Refining and Recycling

In recent years, the number of researchers and engineers in fields related to nonferrous smelting, refining and recycling has been steadily decreasing in Japan. In response, JX Metals has collaborated with the Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo to launch the Endowed Research Unit for Nonferrous Metal Resource Recovery Engineering (JX Metals Endowed Unit) to combine the forces of industry, academia and government to reenergize and raise the level of activity in the industry. The JX Metals Endowed Unit is using industry-academia collaboration to advance various initiatives to cultivate human resources to develop and apply smelting and refining technologies in the nonferrous base metals and rare metals fields.

Researching Rare Metal Recycling from Lithium-Ion Batteries

JX Metals began recycling rare metals contained in lithium-ion batteries in 2009.
In 2020, it installed bench-scale equipment* (continuous small-scale testing equipment) at the Technology Development Center of Hitachi Works. Since then, JX Metals has been working on technological development for closed-loop recycling, where rare metals are recovered from used automotive lithium-ion batteries and reused as raw materials for new ones. To verify this technology, in May 2021 the company established JX Metals Circular Solutions Co., Ltd. (JXCS), which is conducting verification tests using recovery facilities for high-purity nickel sulfate (2021), high-purity cobalt sulfate (2022), and high-purity lithium carbonate (2023). These initiatives were selected in April 2022 for the Green Innovation (GI) Fund of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Amid the shift to EVs in Europe, in August 2021, JX Metals established JX Metals Circular Solutions Europe GmbH (JXCSE) in Germany to advance the commercialization of lithium-ion battery recycling, with an eye on collaboration with European automakers. JXCSE has participated in the “HVBatCycle” research consortium, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), since January 2022 through TANIOBIS, a JX Metals Group company also based in Germany. As part of the consortium, JXCSE installed bench-scale equipment on the TANIOBIS premises in Goslar, where it began operations in March 2023 to verify closed-loop recycling using its technologies.

  • *Bench-scale equipment (continuous small-scale testing equipment) that recovers high-purity rare metals from pulverized batteries (black mass) in various forms (liquids, salts, metals) by solvent extraction method.

Pursuit of a Circular Economy

The Group is promoting a circular economy1 for the realization of a recycling-oriented society that does not rely on conventional resources.
The world is shifting from a linear economy2 to a circular economy—from a mass production, mass consumption economy to an economy that recycles and reuses resources. A circular economy goes one step further than the 3Rs by considering the environment from the design stage, using maintenance to lengthen product life, and enhancing usage efficiency by incorporating leasing and sharing.
Products supplied to society generate CO2 in each stage of the life cycle, from procurement of resources to manufacturing, sales, use, and disposal. Creating a cycle where manufactured products are recycled instead of being disposed of can help to lower these CO2 emissions.
The Group is helping to realize a circular economy, and by extension a carbon-neutral society, in the materials and services field by shifting to non-fossil raw materials and developing sharing businesses.

  1. 1An economic system that seeks to recycle resources through their effective use in each stage of the value chain
  2. 2An economic system where products flow in a single direction with resources being consumed and disposed without recycling or reuse

Efforts for a Circular Economy to Realize Circulating Society Independent from Conventional Resources

Joint Plastic-to-Oil Conversion Business (Chemical Recycling)

ENEOS is engaged in a joint plastic-to-oil conversion business with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation at the Kashima industrial complex, site of the Kashima Refinery. The two companies are currently constructing a commercial chemical recycling facility with an annual processing capacity of 20,000 tons, which will be the largest-scale in Japan on a commercial basis. Commencement of operations is scheduled for fiscal 2023. The recovered oil produced at the facility will be used as a raw material at both companies’ petroleum refinery and naphtha cracker to produce recycled petroleum and plastic products.

Using Waste Lubricants to Produce Lubricant Base Oil (Material Recycling)

ENEOS is working to commercialize a process for reusing waste lubricants in lubricant base oil.
Recycling waste lubricants as base oil, which is the main base material for lubricant products, reduces CO2 emissions from lubricants throughout the entire life cycle and helps to ensure a stable supply of base oil. We began a two-year demonstration project in fiscal 2022 with the aim of quickly commercializing the process.
This demonstration project was selected for inclusion in the Demonstration Project for a Plastic Resource Circulation System toward a Decarbonized Society, run by the Ministry of the Environment.

Scope of Base Oil Reuse Business in the Lubricant Life Cycle

Smelting, Refining and Recycling Businesses

JX Metals is engaged in an integrated range of businesses related to nonferrous metals such as copper, precious metals and rare metals. These organically related businesses encompass resource development, smelting and recycling, and the provision of high-value-added materials, such as electronic materials. Smelting and recycling, which act as “veins” and “arteries” of this value chain, include the following three businesses.

  • Smelting and Refining business: Recovery of metals by smelting and refining ore extracted from mines
  • Recycling business: Recyclable raw materials are melted utilizing reaction heat from the smelting and refining process for the recovery of metals and reuse as raw materials
  • Environmental Services business: Detoxification of industrial waste

Utilizing the key features and strengths of smelting and recycling, including zero emissions, proprietary treatment processes based on smelting and refining technologies, and a global collection network, JX Metals contributes significantly to the development of a sustainable, recycling-oriented society.

Key Features and Strengths of the Smelting and Recycling Businesses
1. Zero Emissions
HMC Department, Hitachi Works, JX Metals Smelting

JX Metals is pursuing zero emissions, where no secondary waste that requires landfill disposal is produced, in both its smelting and refining business and its recycling business. Iron and other ferrous metals other than nonferrous metals are recovered as slag and used as raw materials for cement and other purposes. By preventing the generation of secondary waste, we are reducing our environmental impact.

2. JX Metals’ Proprietary Treatment Processes Based on Smelting and Refining Technologies
Resource-Recycling Initiatives in Pursuit of Zero Emissions

JX Metals carries out recycling of nonferrous metals in its recycling business using efficient and reliable proprietary treatment processes based on technologies developed over many years through its operations at mines, smelters, and refineries.
At the JX Metals Smelting Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery, which boasts Asia’s largest treatment capacity for recycling copper and precious metals, energy is conserved by using the reaction heat generated during the copper concentrate smelting process for melting recyclable raw materials.

3. Global Collection Network

To advance its recycling business, JX Metals is focusing on boosting the collection of recyclable raw materials at its locations in Japan and overseas and increasing the processing capacity of its copper smelting and refining facilities. In fiscal 2021, a new collection site was established at JX Metals Smelting Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery (Oita Prefecture) to increase pre-processing capacity. Outside of Japan, in addition to existing collection and pre-treatment facilities in Taichung (Taiwan), along with collection support facilities in Arizona (United States) and Frankfurt (Germany), in fiscal 2022, JX Metals acquired eCycle Solutions Inc. (Canada), marking its entry into the collection, disassembly, and sorting business for electrical and electronics waste. Recyclable raw materials collected in Japan and abroad, along with raw materials collected by Group companies in Tomakomai (Hokkaido), Mikkaichi (Toyama Prefecture), and Shirakawa (Fukushima Prefecture), are sent to and undergo pre-processing in Hitachi (Ibaraki Prefecture) and at the Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery, and metals from these materials are recycled and recovered at the Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery.