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Reduction to zero of sexivalent-chrome consumption in motorcycles and their production processes Part of the drive toward totally eliminating use of environmental pollutants

April 25, 2002

Yamaha Motor has established a voluntary action plan to reduce motorcycle sexivalent-chrome (*1) consumption to zero by 2008 (with an interim reduction to 80% of year 2000 sexivalent-chrome consumption by 2005).
In addition, the company aims to reduce consumption of this type of chrome in its production processes to zero by 2010.

Sexivalent chrome is now widely used in the surface treatment of many industrial products, due to its excellent corrosion resistance and anti-corrosion properties in respect to metal surfaces. On the other hand, sexivalent chrome is considered harmful to human health. Therefore, Japanese laws and regulations, such as the Basic Environment Law, set forth standard values for sexivalent chrome in the environment, and alternative technologies for eliminating the substance are under study.
Motorcycles in particular feature numerous "appearance parts," many of which incorporate sexivalent chrome for its designability and aesthetic appeal. Yamaha Motor uses sexivalent chrome mainly in the undercoating of galvanized parts such as bolts, and aluminum parts such as crankcases. Sexivalent chrome is also used in the chromium plating process in producing iron and aluminum parts. According to provisional estimates based on company data, the annual consumption (*2) of sexivalent chrome at Yamaha Motor is approximately 190 kg (approx. 0.1 to 0.6 g/motorcycle unit) on a product basis and approximately 1,700 kg on a production process basis. The company is committed to switching from sexivalent to trivalent chrome, which has less of an impact on the environment (*1), and will also implement new undercoating methods. Thus, the company aims to reduce its consumption to zero, both in motorcycles themselves and their production processes.

Yamaha Motor led the motorcycle industry in eliminating use of lead wheel balancers, a step toward the total abolition of the use of environmental pollutants. Continuing in the direction of eco-conscious management, the company will also be the first to address itself to reducing sexivalent-chrome consumption to zero.

In another aspect of the drive to reduce environmental pollutants, Yamaha Motor is pursuing "green procurement." The company plans to hold a series of meetings with its various suppliers to present green procurement guidelines beginning in 2002. Specifically, the reduction of sexivalent-chrome consumption to zero will be addressed as a procurement policy for suppliers, and will be conducted based on technical assistance provided by Yamaha Motor.

In 1999, Yamaha Motor established "the 2010 environmental action plan," which clarified corporate policy and objectives in respect to global environmental preservation. The company is now engaged in various environmental preservation activities, centering on: 1) environmentally sound products, technologies and production processes; 2) establishment and operation of an environmental management system; and 3) raising environmental awareness to bring about changes in individual lifestyles. In January 2002, the company also established the new global environmental policy with the slogan "In harmony between people and nature," and is currently promoting environmental activities linked with its business operations.
Reduction to zero of sexivalent-chrome consumption is part of this comprehensive environmental preservation action. Yamaha Motor aims to achieve harmony between two of its key pursuits: environmental preservation and the excitement that its products and services create. Through such commitment, the company seeks to develop fully eco-conscious management involving the entire Yamaha Motor group, including suppliers.


(*1) Sexivalent chrom


Sexivalent chrome has long been known to be a harmful substance. Countries around the globe have sought to control it by strictly enforcing factory emission and labor sanitation laws and regulations, and companies have also taken scrupulous measures to deal with the substance. In addition, consciousness about environmental preservation has been growing in recent years. In the EU, the ELV Directive (regulating used cars) governs allowance parameters for sexivalent chrome in products, together with lead, mercury, and cadmium. Consideration is also now being given to reducing its use in products, reflecting the move toward zero consumption of it in the future. This trend is expected to develop, extending beyond cars in the EU.

(*2) The figures come from the company"fs in-house provisional estimate data.


(The figures for the production process include sexivalent chrome compounds.)

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