The future made possible by Takeuchi: Contributing to the SDGs
Looking to the future and bearing in mind the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, we intend to help create an ecofriendly, affluent society. Above all, SDG goal 11, "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" is at the heart of our Group business. We can contribute widely to society by developing, manufacturing, selling, and maintaining safer, more efficient, and cleaner construction machines. Here are some examples of our contributions to the SDGs.
Freeing workers from the hard labor of construction sites
Before the compact excavator was introduced, construction workers in residential areas used picks and shovels, which was hard work. Our compact excavator was developed to free people from physically taxing work at construction sites, and this delighted many people. In addition to reducing the workload, compact excavators helped to solve the labor shortage by significantly shortening the construction period, in some cases from a week to a day.
Construction machinery plays a different role depending on its size. Our specialty is compact construction machinery, which is mainly used on tight construction sites in residential areas, especially in cities; in other words, work in narrow, densely populated areas where large construction machinery cannot go. The necessities of life are food, clothing, and housing, and our construction machinery is deeply involved in housing, including foundation work for residential buildings; building up the infrastructure, such as water and gas pipes; constructing factories and commercial buildings; as well as public and private investment in construction for gymnasiums, etc. In this way, we continue to contribute to peoples' daily lives.
According to estimates released by the United Nations, the concentration of populations in urban areas is growing worldwide, and the urban population is expected to increase at a faster pace than the general population. Because our compact excavators and compact track loaders were designed to be highly versatile, people now can handle a range of operations aside from excavation by adding attachments. We expect that the need for our products will increase more and more for urban development into the future.
Improving disaster preparedness (flexible yet resilient)
Natural disasters continue to increase due to climate change. Their scars are deep and the damage they cause is growing worse and worse. An important issue is how to prepare and respond quickly to these disasters. Given this situation, compact construction machinery is attracting attention as being indispensable because it can work in tough and tight spaces and can play a key role in quick recovery and reconstruction. In fact, this type of equipment is often used to remove debris and mud in disaster-stricken areas, such as those hit by typhoons and earthquakes, and they were used in Australia and the US to help prevent massive forest fires from spreading. Compact construction machinery also helps prevent natural disasters. For example, compact track loaders are used to gather up dead leaves and branches in forests, leveraging their off-road performance and attachments to help prevent forest fires.
Developing products that are friendly to the global environment and people
We recognize that reducing CO2 emissions from our products is an important issue for us and our customers, so we are working to help resolve this issue by developing battery-powered compact excavators. If we can reduce emissions including CO2 to zero, this would not only be environmentally friendly but also far less hazardous to workers' health in enclosed spaces, such as inside buildings and underground. Moreover, another advantage of electrification is that it cuts noise to near zero, making this technology a perfect match for the compact construction machinery used in urban areas.
Our existing diesel engine machinery meets the strict environmental standards (emission regulations) and safety standards in Europe and the US. In addition to improving the performance of diesel engine machinery, we will develop better electrification, including on hybrid models, working to create products that are even more friendly to the environment and people.