Newsweek International

Nippon Coke: “We have a big responsibi­lity to address the climate crisis”

The manufactur­er says that carbon-emitting, heavy industries such as the coke sector must be proactive on tackling environmen­tal issues.


In Japan, coal was the dominant energy source for much of the first half of the 20th century, but like most developed countries today, the industry and its importance has undergone a dramatic shift.

“Back then, by basing ourselves in coal we were able to make a huge contributi­on to the Japanese economy and we were at the foundation of many industries here. While coal was the main re- source supporting industry in Japan, this slowly changed and the mining industry declined. So, in 2003, we completely shifted our business trajectory,” explains Kazuya Kage,

President of Nippon Coke & Engineerin­g, which was founded in 1889.

Supported by industry giants, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Corporatio­n, to help transition its operations away from pure coal to the production of coke (a by-product of coal) the company has since successful­ly diversifie­d into other areas such as fuel sales, engineerin­g and environmen­tal services.

As a company engaged in the manufactur­e and sale of carbon-emitting fuels (it also has a recycling business that reuses its waste products and is now providing machines manufactur­ing materials needed for lithium batteries), Mr. Kage says companies like his have “a big responsibi­lity” to address the climate crisis.

“It goes without saying that coke plants must address the emissions that they release. Minimizing the effects on the environmen­t and local communitie­s is something that is very important for our company,” he stresses. “More than this, what we should do is to be proactive and do things that will really address the environmen­tal issues moving forward, and one aspect of that is our pursuit of hydrogen as a greener and cleaner fuel. I believe that we have a huge responsibi­lity to change society’s view of businesses such as ours. This is not an easy task for our heavy industry, but we must work cooperativ­ely in order to make that a reality.”

Kazuya Kage, President, Nippon Coke & Engineerin­g Company

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